January 3. 2017
Literature study enables students to help one another learn. Our goal is always student independence. We want individual students to take responsibility, manage themselves as learners, complete tasks, and discover how to learn on their own. At the same time, we recognize that learning is interdependent.
We want our students to participate in learning groups in which they can contribute to the learning of others. The key characteristics of effective literature study are selecting texts, forming groups, establishing routines, facilitating discussion and varying the organizational models. Select a great variety of high-quality texts specifically for literature discussion.
Select texts for literature study that:
• Are developmentally appropriate.
• “Teach” and “stretch.”
• Include layers of meaning.
• Exemplify worthwhile issues.
• Reflect a variety of perspectives.
• Represent our diverse world.
• Encompass a variety of authors/illustrators.
• Encompass a variety of genres, formats, and levels.
• Exemplify special features.
Excerpted with adaptations from Guiding Readers and Writers. To learn more about selecting texts and other key characteristics of effective literature study reference Fountas and Pinnell’s professional books.
January 2. 2017
Facilitate the opportunity for students to expand their literacy power in a way that is generative.
December 30. 2016
Use language that confirms the reader’s precise reading behaviors & enable him to develop new ways of thinking.
December 29. 2016
The key to effective teaching is your ability to make different decisions for different students at different points in time.
December 28. 2016
High-impact teaching occurs when teachers understand what proficient readers and writers know how to do and respond to their precise needs.
December 27. 2016
The early years of school are important for every child, but for those who find literacy learning difficult, every one of these years is critical. Intervention must be effective and focused on outcomes rather than simply on numbers of children served. The most effective intervention is implemented early in a child’s school career—before the cycle of failure is established.
If you intervene to help readers who struggle, you want to do so in a way that will prevent further difficulties. The ability to observe and interpret reading behavior is foundational to effective teaching of struggling readers. Fountas and Pinnell talk extensively in their book, When Readers Struggle, about the essential experiences needed to support young children who find literacy difficult.
Ensure these essential literacy experiences daily:
1. Talk—evaluate whether your students have enough time to talk with others and share their stories.
2. Texts—engage students in a large amount of continuous text from various genres that are of interest, are age/grade appropriate, and can be read with fluency and comprehension.
3. Teach—provide explicit, clear, effective instruction based on the observed behavior of your students.
A literate life is the right of every child—even (or especially) those who initially find it difficult. Excerpted and adapted from When Readers Struggle: Teaching That Works.
December 26. 2016
If assessment does not result in improved teaching, then its value in school diminishes greatly.
December 24. 2016
A world of good wishes for a year full of learning!
December 23. 2016
Goal of guided reading is to help students build their reading power—to build a network of strategic actions for processing texts.
December 22. 2016
You start with something you can do, like making an easy recipe or paying an easy song on a musical instrument. But after a while, the new task becomes too easy and you seek greater challenges and a higher level of expertise.