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Paired Texts

  1. Recalibrating the Focus of Teaching Reading to Engagement and Motivation

    Any Volunteers to Read an Engineering Textbook?
    Re-evaluating Text in the Classroom

    We are still in an interesting place in our field when it comes to student assessment and this culture of accountability. Whether we want to admit it or not, there has been some significant changes to our teaching practices. Decisions are being made, top down, bottom up, and even sideways, as everyone searches for the magic pill for what is best for children and teachers.

    Unfortunately these shifts, although well intentioned, have siphoned out the FUN in some of our literacy teaching and learning practices. Yes, F-U-N! FUN! It’s time for an intervention! Bring the fun back! Some of the teaching practices in our elementary schools look like middle and high school classrooms which can cause some of our early learners to sometimes not respond positively to reading and writing.

    Books should be relevant and engaging

    Sometimes, we, educators, are the first contact in exposing our readers to the idea of what it means to be ‘a reader’. We are the initial hook to get our readers excited, engaged and motivated about reading and writing. The next hook is the text that they are presented with to read independently, or shared, or with guidance. Our books should be relevant and engaging to support a reader’s motivation, and their identity as a reader. A variety of texts can help readers identify who they are as a reader. For example, they will begin to identify what genres they enjoy, who is their favorite author? Illustrator? and what do they appreciate about the author’s style of writing that they would like to use in their own writing?

    That is why Flying Start to Literacy has a rich collection of texts that readers will enjoy! You will notice that in this series readers will be exposed to fiction and nonfiction texts that spark their interest in many different areas. Additionally, readers strengthen their oral language and talk deeply about text such as Amazing Salamanders and Salamander Surprise or Clean Energy and Surviving the Earthquake. You can already hear your readers excited voices as they talk about slippery salamanders and rumbling earthquakes!

    So as stated earlier, BRING THE FUN BACK with great books! Once readers see reading as a pleasurable and engaging activity they will read often authentically. Thus, readers will strengthen their literacy processing system and their abilities to talk deeply and write deeply about text.

    Text selection plays an important role in supporting student engagement and motivation.

    With your colleagues, have an in-house audit of your text collections. Then rate them with your own rubric to identify the level of fun your text ignites. Try not to focus on what text are your favorite, and get input from your readers. Take informal anecdotal notes on your readers’ level of enthusiasm during interactive read alouds, shared reading, small group reading and independent reading. Reflect on your collective data and plan accordingly.

  2. July 26-27 Annual Balanced Literacy Symposium 2019

    BALANCED LITERACY SYMPOSIUM - COME JOIN US FOR TWO FULL DAYS OF LEARNING DESIGNED WITH REAL CLASSROOMS, ENGAGEMENT, AND JOY IN MIND!

    Featured Speakers include: Matt de la Peña, Maria Nichols, Drs. Yvonne & David Freeman, Dr. Mary Howard

    Developing literate learners means developing literacy and language. It means classrooms filled with students who read, think, talk, and write together as they immerse in a process of making and conveying meaning.

    This two-day balanced literacy symposium offers educators from around the country an opportunity to think together as they construct, refine, and extend their own professional understandings of literacy and language learning.

    Developing classrooms alive with literacy and language invites all voices and perspectives to the conversation as we value and nurture the literate learners we want in our society.

    As educators work with colleagues and other literacy leaders, they will explore ideas such as:

    • What becomes possible when we create and nurture environments where learners think and talk purposefully about books?
    • What is the literacy work that matters for literate learners and what roles do balanced reading and writing approaches play in this learning?
    • How does instruction focused on meaning align with phonics and spelling instruction in a balanced literacy classroom?
    • How does formative assessment support quality literacy instruction in a time of high-stakes testing and standards?
    • How does this work come together in Spanish-speaking classrooms, and in biliteracy and dual language classrooms?
    • How can literacy leaders support classroom teachers to make the most of a learning environment?

    PURCHASE ORDERS ARE ACCEPTED FOR THE BALANCED LITERACY SYMPOSIUM! Call 866-652-7436 or email pat@myokapi.com

    (Sponsored by Okapi Educational Publishing and San Diego County Office of Education)

     

    Annual Balanced Literacy Symposium

  3. High-Frequency Words in Guided Reading: Words by Sight

    High-Frequency Words in Guided Reading: Words by Sight
    When It Comes to High Frequency Words, Context Is Key in Guided Reading Texts! The use of high-frequency words in guided reading texts offers young readers multiple opportunities to learn these words as a component of an effective reading process. When developing readers learn high-frequency words in context, their abilities to recognize these words by sight supports them becoming confident, accurate, and fluent readers.
  4. Building Literacy with Paired Texts—Limitless Benefits for Learners

    Building literacy with paired texts is an exciting concept in guided reading instruction. Through intentional pairing of texts, teachers present students with opportunities to develop literacy in considerable ways.

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