Find a Rep

Teacher Talk

Welcome to Teacher Talk, where our authors 'talk' early literacy with teachers. You'll find practical classroom strategies and tips from real educators, as well as personal stories and innovative approaches to improving your teaching practice.

  1. What does Guided Reading look like at Grades 3-5?

    Guided reading Grades 3-5 contains some of the elements of guided reading in the primary Grades (K-2). When working with students at higher Grades (3-5) the teaching approach needs to take into consideration that the texts will:

    • be longer in length
    • have less familiar content
    • become increasingly difficult.

    The teacher’s role is first to support students in developing the strategies and skills to read these texts. And second to teach the students to transfer their increasing knowledge and understanding to texts they will encounter across the curriculum.

    Establishing the strategy focus

    While the teacher may initially introduce the text and establish the focus, most of the reading the students do will be done independently or with the support of a partner. When the students meet with the teacher for their small group lesson, the teacher’s role is to encourage the students to talk about their thinking and prompt them to respond critically to the text. Students in the group are expected to engage in high level discussions with the teacher acting as a facilitator.

    Help students to synthesize

    A graphic organizer for students to use as they read provides a framework for the students to record and keep track of their thinking. The graphic organizer not only holds the students accountable for their independent work it is also a very useful a tool for the teacher to assess the strategies and skills that have been taught.

    Below is an example of a graphic organizer that could be used for students to track their thinking when comparing and contrasting information within a text.

    Example:


    Assessment

    Can students use information they have gathered to form their own opinions about a topic?

  2. Starting a New Shared Reading Book with Kindergartners (Video 1 of 7)

    Join literacy consultant Debra Crouch as she shares a big book with a San Diego Kindergarten class. This introductory session focuses on meaning and cognition of Which Pet is Best?

    Watch how Debra models her thinking about how the book works.

    Most conversation happens as whole-group discussion, until the turn-and-talk at the end of the book.

  3. Deepening Meaning: Returning to the Book with Kindergartners (Video 2 of 7)

    This follow-up reading's focus is about deepening meaning of the book. Debra again models her thinking and invites students to turn-and-talk several times during their second reading of Which Pet is Best?

    Students join in reading the text aloud with the teacher as they choose.

    Debra uses a pointer to track the print by moving fluidly under the text, as all students in the class have one-to-one match established.

     

  4. Building Vocabulary During Shared Reading with Kindergartners (Video 3 of 7)

    In this installment with Debra Crouch, she and her students revisit the text to focus on vocabulary —specifically, describing words. Students discuss numerous describing words in the book.

    With each word discussed, Debra reads the sentence on the page to establish meaning, discusses meaning of the vocabulary word, and then rereads the sentence to put the word back into context. Students join in reading the text aloud with her as they choose.

     

  5. Word Study: Returning to the Shared Reading Text (Video 4 of 7)

    Before the video begins, Debra had students draw and write a response to the book: write about a pet you think is best. After collecting the students’ writing, Debra examined their writing to determine an appropriate teaching focus for word study.

    Debra determined that the word study focus would be to encourage students to ask themselves, “Does the word look right?” after they write a word. Several children had or could have used the word “because” in their writing. So this became the example word for their new strategy.

  6. Modeled Writing with Shared Reading for Kindergartners (Video 5 of 7)

    This modeled writing experience gives children an opportunity to hear a writer decide what to write about, how to say the ideas to be written, and to notice strategies and conventions for getting an idea onto paper.

    Literacy consultant Debra Crouch writes about a topic the students had already written about: the best pet. After discussing the topic with students, Debra discusses different ways to begin the opinion piece and that the piece needs to include reasons to support thinking. She emphasizes rereading to check your writing and maintain meaning.

  7. Extend Oral Language with Kindergartners (Video 6 of 7)

    This lesson happened just before the first reading of Which Pet is Best? The book had been used in several reading sessions the previous week. In this session, several pages, not the entire book, are used as a warm-up at the beginning of shared reading time to extend oral language. Students join in the reading as they choose. The language focus is on continuing to use positional words. The vocabulary of “lumberjack” was used by students during the previous week and, as it was a known word, we used that word.

  8. Extending Oral Language, Small Group Kindergarten (Video 7 of 7)

    Small Group reading to extend Oral Language

    Watch as the teacher leads a reading lesson with a small group of kindergarten children.

    The teacher invites each child to look at the pictures in the book and asks the child open questions about the story. Most of all, the teacher prompts the child to use their own words. She also asks the children questions starting with "which" and "where" to encourage the flow of communication. The teacher encourages the children to "add into the thinking", while supporting their ideas and concepts.

    As a result, the child displays a curious interest and communicates their thoughts about the book with the group.

  9. Guided Reading: Synthesizing & Talking About the Pair (Video)

    Join literacy consultant Debra Crouch as she and her guided reading group of 3rd grade students talk about paired texts AMAZING SALAMANDERS and SALAMANDER SURPRISE, Level N paired texts from the FLYING START TO LITERACY series. FLYING START is available from Okapi Educational Publishing.

     

  10. Flying Start to Literacy Critical Thinking (Video)

    Educational consultant Lyn Reggett discusses critical thinking and early literacy instruction.

Items 1 to 10 of 62 total

Page