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Shared Reading

  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. Reading - Does that makes sense? No, Really, Does it?

    Text is meaningful We have to explicitly teach them to come to print with the position that this text is meaningful and I, as the reader, need to interact with the text. David E. Rumelhart, a psychologist, developed the Interactive Reading model, which highlights the importance of readers integrating meaning, semantics, syntax (structure) and the visual information as they process text.
  3. Uh oh, not the "R" word... Running Records!

    Records of Reading Behavior

    Going Beyond the Checkmarks and Other Conventions of Running Records to Understand Students' Reading Behaviors.

    You know how when you play the telephone game, you start with one message and by the time you get to the last person the message changed dramatically from the original message. Well, that is what has happened with running records. Running records are an observation tool that has dramatically morphed into an assessment tool. Marie Clay created running records to be used as an observational tool to get a snapshot of how students process text. Clay's book An Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement (2000) emphasizes that the qualitative data, the analysis of the running record (MSV) is equally as important as the quantitative data (accuracy rate, text level, etc.) to inform instructional decision-making.

    In order to support our readers in strengthening their literacy processing system, we have to take note of what sources of information our readers are using and neglecting. It's the MSV part of the running record that, let's confess, sometimes get neglected.

    'M' for meaning.

    Is the reader using or neglecting meaning?

    Does the student's response make sense?

    'S' for structure.

    Is the reader using or neglecting the structure of English?

    Does the student's response sound right?

    And lastly, 'V' is for visual, the print.

    What visual information is the student attending to or neglecting?

    Does the student's response look right?

    Additionally, we take note of other reading behaviors, such as, is the student monitoring and self-correcting, are they searching for information to help them at point of difficulty or do they skip over the word, appeal to the teacher, and so forth.

    Once we've analyzed our running records we now have juicy and informative qualitative and quantitative data on our readers to guide our instructional decisions. We get to know our readers beyond the text level and have more information to ensure our small group teaching is precise, concise and tailored to students' specific needs. That is why our Flying Start to Literacy resource includes a running record (with MSV :) ) for every text pair in the collection. It's a tool included to support teachers and students as they work together to strengthen each student's literacy processing system.

    Running records is a tool used to observe student reading behaviors to guide instructional decision-making.

    Have a running record analysis party with your colleagues and discuss your readers beyond the text level and focus on MSV, the student's reading behaviors.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.


  6. 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.


  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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