Adventures in Literacy Land: Reading Strategies

Showing posts with label Reading Strategies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reading Strategies. Show all posts

Teaching Reading in Small Groups: Moving Readers to the Next Level

I leveled up!

This is a phrase that my pre-teen son used to exclaim with glee when he had successfully completed a level in his favorite video game.

I am stuck, Mom!  Can you come help me!

This was also a phrase my pre-teen son used to utter with impatience when he just could not get past a difficult stage of his game.

Learn how to use Text-Level Introduction Groups to improve student reading skills and knowledge of strategies with tips from Teaching Reading in Small Groups by Jennifer Serravallo.

Teaching Reading in Small Groups Ch.4 Strategy Lessons

Professional Reading Book Study of Teaching Reading in Small Groups by Jennifer Serravallo Chapter 4 Strategy Lessons.

The official title of Chapter 4 is Guided Practice Toward Independence: Strategy Lessons for Comprehension, Print Work, and Fluency.

To start this chapter Jennifer Serravallo talks about learning to be a clown for a high school production.  She chooses to be a plate spinning clown, which is a perfect way of thinking about teaching children in strategy groups (or really teaching in general if you think about it!)  You have to get one plate spinning on its own before you can move on to the next.  Then, you have to go back periodically and give the plate a bit of a spin to keep it moving independently.  You teach (spinning originally), Assess (go to check to see if it is still spinning) and then reinforce (give that plate another little spin to keep it going). Hence, Strategy Lessons.  These are the With (or coaching) part of teaching students independence.  You've got to keep them spinning if you want them to stay up!

Making Decoding Strategies Automatic: 3 Easy Steps

Making Decoding Strategies Automatic:  3 Easy Steps
Hello, Everyone.  This is Cathy from Cathy Collier's The W.I.S.E. Owl.  I am a reading specialist in a K-2 school.  I do both pull-out interventions and coaching, but have a soft spot for my pull-out kids. Two of my students this year are first grade students diagnosed with a "learning disability." (My undergraduate degree is in special education, so you know I love them.) They are the highlight of my day...and I won't deny I'd love to teach them all day!

When we started in late fall, these two were on a Level B and as of March they were moving into a Level D.  THEN, we hit a wall.  The D to E wall.  E seems to be the time when students are faced with lots of long vowel words, blends and digraphs, and word endings.  Here's what I know:  they can decode almost any word, IF I ask them questions and guide them.

For example, If they come to the word "gate."

     Me:  What do you know?        
Justin:  There is an "e" on the end?
     Me:  What does that mean?      
Justin:  The "e" makes the "a" says it's name.
     Me:  So, what is the word?      
Justin:  /g/ /a-a-a-a/ /t/,  gate.
     Me:  Great job!

What can I do?

My greatest challenge is getting the students to have their own internal dialog when using decoding strategies.  After a conversation with my Assistant Principal, we decided to try and practice the automaticity of the decoding strategies.  What does that mean?  I want them to come to an unknown word and think strategy first.  I have always "taught" and "practiced" the strategies, but I'm taking it one step farther.

1.  Play "Slap Jack"

I created a strip of the 3 strategies they seemed to need the most.  I chose 1 known and 2 unknown strategies.  We had been using CVC Sliders to practice our "slide and sound" with cvc words.   They have gotten pretty consistent with that strategy, so that became their "known" strategy.  The second strategy was the silent e "making the vowel say it's name (most of the time)."  We have talked about this strategy, but they needed concentrated practice with it.  The final strategy was "chop the endings."  We covered up or "chopped off" the endings to look at the base word for decoding.  To begin, I wrote 5 words for each strategy on an index card and when I flashed the card, they had to "slap the strategy" they would use to decode the word.  THEY DID NOT DECODE THE WORD.  This wasn't a decoding lesson, it was a strategy lesson.  We played this game for a week.  I let them sit side-by-side and slap the strategy together, but by the end of the week it was a race.  I wanted the strategy to be automatic.  The video below is Justin identifying the strategy for me.  (He said he didn't want to slap it, if it wasn't a game.  He thought he looked silly doing it alone.)
I hate that the video doesn't show all the strategies, but you get the idea.  By the end of the week, he was pointing to the strategy and saying the name of it.  That's what I want:  automaticity.

2.  Sort 

Part 1, we sorted with the cards from the week before.  I gave them the cards to sort under the strategy mat.  Yes, I should have made the cards smaller.  Lucky for you, I made small cards for you at the end of the post.  They would sort the cards as quickly as they could, then they would "prove" the cards belonged in that column.  They are still not reading the cards, they are just choosing a strategy.  Part 2, was a sort sheet.  This was an independent activity at the end of the week, but the students were still asked to "prove" the word belonged.  I also wanted to send a sample of a competed sort home to their parents.

3.  Read.

Finally, we read sentences I constructed with multiple strategies in each sentence.  As they came to an underlined word, they touched the strategy on the mat and then decoded the word.  They did a great job.  My favorite moment was when looking at the word "running" Justin said, "After I chop the ending, I can see a word to "slide and sound."  WOW...that's a moment, if you ask me.

I made a Decoding Strategy FREEBIE set for this idea.  


Reading Strategy File Folders!

Hello! It's Amy over from Eclectic Educating again! Today's post is just a  little explanation of one of my favorite activities from the amazing Debbie Miller. Is anyone else out there completely in awe of the wonderful Debbie Miller? I had the privilege of seeing her speak at a conference my first year teaching and loved every minute of her session. We studied her book Reading with Meaning: Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades in great detail in my college classes.

I really love how she gradually fosters independence in her students with the key reading strategies. My post today focuses on an idea found in her second book Teaching with Intention. The activity is very simple, but my students loved it!

The first thing you need is some file folders. (I thought purple added a little flair!) Using a permanent marker, I divided the file folder into four sections: 

              1. What we think we know
              2. New Learning
              3. Questions
              4. Misconceptions

After I finished labeling the different sections, I laminated all of the file folders, for durability. In her activity, Debbie Miller used full sized post-its, but I found that the mini post-its worked better for my students. 

This activity works well for most nonfiction texts. To begin, I have my students record what they think they know on post-its. We label it as what we think we know because sometimes students have misconceptions about a topic. If we find this to be the case, we simply move the post-it to the misconception section later on. 

Then, students write questions they have about the topic. We also pause throughout the reading to add more questions. When we are pausing, we also add information to the new learning section. As we go along, we move any post-its that turned out to be misconceptions. (Sorry for the glare!)

I found that this activity really got my students to focus on their own thinking during their reading. They also were really excited to use file folders and post-its. It's the simple things right? Some of my favorite texts to use for this activity are articles from Ranger Rick  magazine. 

Thanks for another hit Debbie Miller! Is anyone else out there a huge Debbie Miller fan? If not, who do you admire?