Helping More 90% of Students Become Proficient ReadersOct. 31, 2011 Donaldson In-Service Grades 3-5 Presented by Leah Vestal
Preface:• Some kids are good readers without instruction.• Some kids would improve with explicit reading instruction.• Some kids are puzzles that we have yet to figure out.• The way many of us teach reading has trickled down from teachers that have been long retired and our own teachers. There’s been a lot of research in reading instruction since that time.
This presentation is based on feedback from teachers through candid discussions and surveys plus my own reflections as a classroom teacher:*I don’t know where to begin remediating my students.*Teaching reading is confusing.*I pick a story and figure out what I’m teaching along the way. We touch on a lot of different things whenwe read and discuss.*I’m still confused about some Eligible Content and question whether it’s important in the advancement ofmy students as readers – not just test takers.*What should I do in small group instruction? Where do I begin? What are the other kids doing?
Explicit Instruction: Planning and Implementing the Mini-Lesson
Explicit Instruction: Effective, Intentional PlanningWhat comprehension skills or strategy does Harcourt suggest for the selection? Too many?Not eligible? Something that your kids already have a grip on? You like another better withthat particular story?Doesn’t really matter all that much as long as it builds upon prior knowledge….. Pick something that is…..1) in our curriculum (EC) and2) That is conducive with the selection.3) Pay attention to the verbs. Identify? Compare? Explain? Describe? Analyze?What precisely are you after? •There were times that I wasn’t ready to “go there” with summarizing…….. •I preferred to wait to introduce ______ until I read the story…….. •Other subjects were complicated, so I didn’t want to choose a skill/strategy that was so rigorous….. •Sometimes I didn’t understand why a reader needed this skill/strategy……
Explicit Instruction: Effective, Intentional Modeling – “The Mini Lesson”1) Model for the kids EXCPLICITY how “the pros” do it. How do you use this skill or strategy before/during/after your own reading? Think out loud.2) If you don’t understand why something in the reading curriculum can help a reader, talk to a reading specialist and ask her. She’ll shed some light on it. Avoiding something because you don’t understand it is a detriment to our students. •Why does an 8 year old need to know an author’s purpose? •How does text organization aid in comprehension? •How does summarizing help?
Explicit Instruction: Effective, Intentional Modeling – “The Mini Lesson”Materials Needed:• Harcourt Text or Picture Book or other text that is relevant to the skill/strategy you’re are teaching - And probably…….• Whatever material they will use when they are practicing….graphic organizer, sticky notes, etc., so you can demonstrate with that tool - (more on that) And for the super ambitious…..• Smart Board lesson that illustrates this process in an engaging way -
Explicit Instruction: Effective, Intentional Modeling – “The Mini Lesson”Use Mini-Lessons to model all skills/strategies included in the EC. As well as……• Any other reading skill/strategy that is not in the EC (but in our curriculum – it may be worded differently, though) that is crucial to reading success….i.e. Back up and re-read; predict; question yourself, etc…• Behaviors that support reading…..choosing good books that are in your range; reading quietly during partner pairs; staying in one spot the whole time
Discussion PointThe mini-lesson is not a new idea.In fact, it’s right there in the Harcourt manual.Why have we gotten away from this?• Kids can read well without explicit instruction• Failed efforts• Academic freedom• Don’t understand the rationale/importance• Something’s gotta give….I need to learn more about this EC:______________________________
Explicit = (Most) kids could say, “My teacher showed us how non-fiction textis organized differently and if can spot that pattern, it can help me understandwhat I’m reading.• What have I explicitly modeled in reading last week? Last month?• How is “touching on” something different than explicit instruction?• What mini-lesson can I plan to model this week?The EC I plan on explicitly modeling this week:______________________
Planning Practice with Purpose Guided Independent Practice PracticePartner Small one- Pair Group on-one
Practice with Purpose1) Does the practice you are providing line upwith the VERB?
1. Does the practice you are providing line up with the VERB?2. Does the practice you provide help develop strategic readers as well develop good PSSA test takers?
The Sticky Note• A practical way for students to SHARE how they are practicing a mental strategy when you can’t be one-on- one with them.• If you asked students to practice the strategy you modeled, how would you formatively assess them?• A good alternative to some graphic organizers that are more confusing than helpful.• How would you keep them on task?
Practice with Purpose Examples of Comprehension Practice 1-2-3Example: Summarize the key details and events of a text as a whole.1. Using the Harcourt passage, pairs can emulate the teacher’s “thinkaloud”/modeling. (Teacher is facilitating.)2. Students practice independently using Harcourt, their AR books, or other text.(Teacher works with at-risk group using leveled readers.) Sticky Summarizing3. In the future, follow through with explicit modeling, practice and independentopen-ended practice if applicable assuming they have the prerequisites.Example: Summarize what happened after Virtue ate the rice. Summarize how children of Iceland capture and release the puffins.
Practice with Purpose Examples of Comprehension Practice 1-2-3 Example: Identify, explain, interpret, compare, and/or describe connections between texts.1. Using the Harcourt passage, pairs can emulate the teacher’s “think aloud”/modeling. (Teacher is facilitating.)2. Students practice independently using Harcourt, their AR books, or other text. (Teacher works with at-risk group using leveled readers.) Sticky Connections & summarize3. In the future, follow through with explicit modeling, practice and independent open-ended practice if applicable assuming they have the prerequisites.Explain how the poem “Pizza” is different than the poem “Stromboli”. Use 2details to support your answer.
Being Efficient….. Examples of Comprehension Practice 1-2-3Example: Make inferences and/or draw conclusions based on information fromthe text.1. Using the Harcourt passage, pairs can emulate the teacher’s “think aloud”/modeling. (Teacher is facilitating.)2. Students practice independently using Harcourt, their AR books, or other text. (Teacher works with at-risk group using leveled readers.) Sticky Inferencing3. In the future, follow through with explicit modeling, practice and independent open-ended practice if applicable assuming they have the prerequisites.Explain why the character believed that the Old Woman lived in a shoe. Use at least 2details from the passage to support your answer.
• What are some other quick methods to formatively assess students’ REAL reading other than sticky notes?• What is your next step in implementing explicit practice?• How can you tell if EC is tested using the open-ended format and requires us to practice like that? How I plan on formatively assessing during reading strategies: __________________________________
Parts 1 and 2 - SummaryWe need to be mindful of the eligible content and the associatedverbs when planning mini-lessons and practice.It is important to explicitly model for students the thinking processthat good readers do. Some students have acquired good readingstrategies automatically while other readers will need much moredirect instruction.Provide the students with both guided practice and independentpractice so we can monitor progress and adjust our instructionalgoals.Be mindful of the PSSA question stems during modeling and practice. Reader’s Workshop Approach
Ideas for Integrated Repeated Practiceserve dual purposes using materials you already have
Define and/or apply how the meaning of words or phrases changes when using context clues 1. Have students “guess the covered words” using context clues as an introduction to the words. 2. Reveal the answers. 3. Conclude the lesson by discussing and writing student responses that were synonyms or near synonyms.
Identify and/or interpret a synonym or antonym of a word used in text.Examples: Graphic/Sketch Examples: Graphic/SketchNon Examples: Non Examples:Synonyms/Near Synonyms: Sentence/Definition Synonyms/Near Synonyms: Sentence/DefinitionAntonyms/Near Antonyms Antonyms/Near AntonymsExamples: Graphic/Sketch Examples: Graphic/SketchNon Examples: Non Examples:Synonyms/Near Synonyms: Sentence/Definition Synonyms/Near Synonyms: Sentence/DefinitionAntonyms/Near Antonyms Antonyms/Near Antonyms
Identify how the meaning of a word is changed when an affix is added; Identify the meaning of a word from the text with an affix re-, pre-, in-, un-, dis-, mis-, non-; -ful, -less, -ble, -ly, -or, -ness, -ment.Vocabulary Word Base word + affix = Words that contain the same letters– underline the affixes Make new words…Check for accuracy. as one of the affixes in the row….laugh laughable tablemessy messiness (This actually has 2 suffixes.) babyleisure leisurely hollydisappointment reappoint; appointer discperseverance (Would discuss that this probably is a root word…..)uneasy easily (This actually has 2 suffixes.) until
Putting it all together in to one big EC chart.Name:________________________________________ re-, pre-, in-, un-, dis-, mis-, non-; -ful, -less, -able, -ly, -or, -ness, -ment.Donavan’s Word Jar Vocabulary Word Add on 1 new 3 new words that use Same structure as the Synonyms (s), affix from the the affix in a similar affix but not an affix antonyms(a), example (e) list if possible way and/or definition (d) EXAMPLE 1 laughable x x S – chortle, chuckle, giggle A – cry, weep laugh Ex: Mary saw her laugh at the funny clown. EXAMPLE 2 x brainy, steely, boy, stay, play, S – untidy, cluttered, disorganized A – clean, spotless, immaculate sunny ready, pretty messy Ex: The messy desk made the teacher cringe! leisure x xdisappointment x perseverance x x x uneasy x
Discussion Point• Think of your vocabulary assignments you routinely assign. What value are the students getting beyond learning new words?• Did you know…..all of these ideas can be made into interactive SmartBoard lessons to use for modeling and small group practice? (And independent practice at individual computers)A vocabulary strategy I could explicitly model then use for practice on aregular basis to give added value is_______________________________
Identify and/or interpret meaning of multiple-meaning words used in text. 1. Identify words that are multiple meaning.terribletotal total, handle, single, force, titlemedal 2. Discuss and have them quickly sketch two graphics that will helpsignalsimple them remember the 2 meanings. (There may be more meanings, but the point is to familiarize them with the fact that words sometimes have multipleloops meanings and that context will reveal the meaning.handlenormal 3. Write meaningful (contextual) sentences for those words.purplepeopleexplore 4. The key is making this a regular part of “what you do”.singlemiddle Alternative ideas:force • Once they are proficient with a dictionary or shift F7, they cancentral check/confirm the multiple meanings independently.title • Do half together in class and have them find the 3 remaining MMapple words for HW.astronaut • Look at your spelling list with fresh eyes and think of ways youable can integrate EC into the words.
Identify, explain, interpret, compare, and/or describe connections between texts. & Identify, explain, interpret, compare, and/or describe components of fiction and literary nonfiction: Have “Making Connections” Days regularly• Making Connections (Harcourt)• A poem and the selection• The selection and what they are reading independently• Current selection with past selections What would be the prerequisites before you could have the students write explanations, comparisons, and descriptions of connections between texts and components between texts independently?
Identify, explain, interpret, compare, and/or describe connections between texts. & Identify, explain, interpret, compare, and/or describe components of fiction and literary nonfiction: The selection and what they are reading independently• Another way to hold them accountable for independent reading• Great for homework/Parent involvement• Constantly changing -> so endless texts in which to respond• Great EC for blogging, Build-a-Book if you like to be creative
Non-Fictional ONLY EC1. Use template with PSSA question stems for periodicals to provide practice on applicable skills.2. Use effective questioning techniques when reading non-fiction across the curriculum.3. Use social studies and science as a time to intentionally practice non-fiction reading strategies. What would be the prerequisites before you could have students practice the non-fiction reading strategies and get the results you want? Why is discussing not enough?
Discussion Point• How might social studies or science routines change to include more explicit instruction?• How can you integrate that in with your existing structure? My next step towards intentional, routine non-fiction reading:________________________________________________
Part 3 - SummaryWe should be providing our students with a lot of practice on whatwe have explicitly taught. Not only are we concerned abouthelping them become strategic readers but also strategic testtakers.We should be mindful that our practice helps accomplish both ofthese tasks.We know that kids who struggle need lots and lots of practice andincluding them into our routines is one way to make sure we areregularly including that practice.Keep in mind the prerequisites the students will need beforeplanning our lessons and assigning independent practice.
Harcourt Tests• Limited in what this test tells us due to repeated readings of the story, but you want a grade (That’s cultural.)• Modify tests to include more EC, but keep in mind….• New series in 2 years? (They will still have a place…..)• Can use these tests to practice QAR (challenging) or Thick vs. Thin (easier) and eliminating choices• Additional reading assessments from Harcourt are available on I drive. Good for cold assessment to re-evaluate needs.
Conferring• Sit down next to a child as they read and have them read to you. Are they applying what you explicitly modeled and practiced? Coach them….• Pull kids together that have similar needs and provide further practice.• It will become apparent that most of your class is independent and you can just hone in on……
• What are you typically doing when students are practicing reading? Can you imagine yourself conferring with a couple of at-risk students each day?• What are some other benefits of conferring with students?Three students to confer with this week:________________________________________
Monitor Independent Reading More Closely• Students have to read on their own level to apply the skills and strategies we have explicitly modeled and taught.• AR is the tool we are using to help monitor that.
Problem Possible SolutionStudent isn’t reading enough. In school: Prioritize it. At home: Require it for homework. Communicate with the parents.Student makes every excuse not to read. Behavior modification: Have all the books in a book bag; Stay in one spot. Once situated -> not allowed to move, etc….Teach the appropriate behaviors.I assign 20 minutes of reading for HW, but it Structure it. Just saying, “Read” isn’tisn’t getting done. enough. Make the goals shorter term by tracking the minutes or pages read. Assign EC HW to accompany the reading. More on that….. Have students read the same text as a peer to keep accountable. Check in with your students every few days. Check with the librarian for higher interest texts on students’ levels.
The Big I It really makes a BIG difference.• The BIG I was selected over a hamburger or other organizer b/c its easy to draw and works for this purpose• We need uniformity among and between grade levels and special area teachers.• Written expression is a prerequisite to students explaining, describing, and comparing (in writing) what they are reading.• It is recommended to teach the structures (basic description and compare/contrast) early without the reading component so the students have the prerequisites skills needed to apply that to a reading situation.
Smarter Centers• Many of the ideas presented can become “centers” once students are at least proficient enough to work on the task in a small group.• The Smart Board has many interactive features which could be used as a center.• Reading Skills and Test Tutor links are classified by EC and can be found under TeacherSites. (Ask me why….)• Generic vocabulary games like Rummy and affix board game….add new words with each new selection -> new application• How about some generic PSSA Lingo discussion cards for students to use at a discussion centers?• Making connections where pairs compare across texts (a poem and Harcourt selection, for example); Fill out large laminated Venn share write a response using BIG I.
References/ResourcesBeth Newingham – Guru on Reader’s Workshop…contemporary model of teachingreading including the mini-lesson, guided practice, and independent practiceThe Café Book - A system of explicitly modeling a skill and progress monitoringThe Sisters – CAFÉ interactive resources – Don’t understand why a skill or strategy isimportant? These helpful “Ready References” may be what you need.The Art of Teaching Reading
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