Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Reading Strategies Book Study - Getting Started

 Hey there! I'm so glad you are joining me and some of my blogging friends for The Reading Strategies Book study!



Before I start discussing the "Getting Started" section, I wanted to take a minute to share a couple of goodies that might interest you.

The Heinemann website has lots of goodies on their site about the book, including a study guide.

There is a Facebook group dedicated to the book!

If you still need to get your copy, Amazon might have the best deal.

Here is the schedule for our study:

Now that we have all that out of the way, I want to jump right into the "Getting Started" section of the book. You'll find a few questions along the way that you can answer in the comments! :-)


I'm actually going to start with the last page of the "Getting Started" section (pg. 19) and share my absolute favorite quote. 

This just speaks to my teacher heart!


What is your favorite quote from the "Getting Started" section?

Goals

Aside from knowing Serravallo shares an important part of my teaching philosophy, I love how she organized the book into goals. Conferencing and setting goals with my students has always been my absolute favorite part of teaching, but it has also always been a challenge to fit it into my day. I used the Daily 5 structure in my classroom. Most of my one-on-one conferences were on Fridays (when I would not have Time with Teacher) or during morning tub time as kids trickled in from breakfast. That is one thing I am excited about for my new position as a reading specialist--more time to work one-on-one and with small groups!

How do you fit in time for conferencing and/or goal-setting?

This last year I incorporated Data Binders (PSA - If you're looking for a resource to use for data binders, check out this FREE, editable version from The Curriculum Corner) for the first time, and I loved it! My students each had a binder and tracked data for a variety of things. It made prepping for parent teacher conferences a snap too. I would have liked to use the goal section more effectively, and I think reading this book will certainly help me with that.

Here's some of my favorite quotes about goals from the book:

"...goals coupled with teacher feedback make one of the biggest differences on student achievement and progress." (pg. 2)

"...make sure you are matching the right goal to the right reader." (pg. 2)

"...work to understand each student in your class well enough to be able to articulate a goal for him or her." (pg. 5)

"...when the goal can come from the student, the student will be all the more motivated to work on it." (pg. 5) YES! YES! YES!

Strategies

Serravallo defines strategies as the deliberate, effortful, intentional, and purposeful actions a reader takes to accomplish a specific task or skill. She continues to explain that our goal should be for our readers to outgrow the strategies! In other words, as a student masters a strategy, it will become automatic and resurface when he or she needs it. YES!

"The strategy is a temporary scaffold, and like any scaffolding it needs to be removed." (pg. 9)

"...introduce one strategy at a time, guide the student in practicing the strategy, and move on to a new strategy when the student appears to be secure with the first one." (pg. 9)

Give an example of a temporary scaffold you already use in your classroom (any subject) and tell us how you make sure it is temporary.

Visuals

The examples of all the visuals were amazing--and they are all throughout the book! I really like the idea of creating a visual reminder for each reader so they are reminded of what they are working on (especially liked Lilli's Reading Goals on pg. 8).

Check out these characteristics of a helpful chart or tool:
--clear and as simple as possible
--low on text
--have icons, pictures, and/or color-coding
--appropriate for the age and readability level of the students
--clear headings

Prompts and Feedback

I definitely need to work on this area. After reading this section, I can see that I am sometimes way too wordy which means I am doing most of the work!

"...try to phrase my prompts in as few words as possible." (pg. 11) 

"...gentle nudges, to encourage the child to do the thinking, talking, jotting, and working through the strategy with me as a guide." (pg. 11)

Taken from page 11 of The Reading Strategies Book.
That sums up my thoughts of the "Getting Started" section. I'm excited to dig into the first and second goals and strategies next week. We will be choosing two or three favorite strategies from each goal and sharing how we use or will use them in our classroom. 
No blog? No problem. You can still share your favorites and ideas on how to use them in the comments section. :-) 
I can't wait to read everyone's great ideas!

To join in the discussion this week, answer these questions in the comments below (and/or simply share your thoughts on the "Getting Started" section): 

What is your favorite quote from the "Getting Started" section?

How do you fit in time for conferencing and/or goal-setting?

Give an example of a temporary scaffold you already use in your classroom (any subject) and tell us how you make sure it is temporary.

Now continue the study by hopping along to visit the other blogger's posts to see what they have to say!

P.S. I posted early this week to make sure the link up was working properly. The remaining weeks really will be on Fridays (see dates listed on the schedule).




30 comments:

  1. That page 19 quote was my favorite too! Great teachers think alike! ;) Thanks so much for hosing this!

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    1. Isn't that the truth? I think each of us have mentioned that quote so far!

      Crystal

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  2. I try to meet with my students on Fridays for conferences. Something I am going to be adding to my daily routine this next year is having students set goals during our literacy stations. I have our stations on flip cards with goal ideas. They can check one provided or write in their own. PS... The page 19 quote just might be my favorite educational quote to date. It really hits home on so many different levels.

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    1. Hi Kara! Great idea about your goals during literacy stations. I love that you are encouraging them to choose their own goal. You'll have to let me know how it works!

      Crystal

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  3. One of the things I miss from being in the classroom is getting to sit down with a student individually and discuss his or her goals for reading. How great that you'll be a reading specialist! You'll love that one-on-one and small group time!

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    1. Yes, I'm very excited for my new position!

      Crystal

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  5. I didn't have students read last semester, but I used the bellwork time as a conference time with my students. I think this fall I aim to use bellwork as a conferencing period, and I am to meet with 4 or 5 students a class to make it through them by the end of the week. I am thinking I won't start that though until mid-quarter as I want to use the first few weeks to model active reading. Do any of you all do this?

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    1. We made the change to have kids trickle in as they finished breakfast this year and I had morning tubs out for the kids. I'd pull one student back or a few students back at a time to conference. I know you are thinking older students, but I still think your idea should work for you. :-)

      Crystal

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    3. Pulling students during morning work time is a great idea! I struggle with conferencing with students consistently, so that may be the solution!

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  6. I've read this book too. It's obvious that Jennifer knows her stuff. I definitely need to improve goal-setting with kids!

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    1. I love how the book is organized. It will be so easy to flip and find a strategy for one of my kiddos.

      Crystal

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  7. I like the idea of setting their assessment on the table to let them reflect on what they missed and to come up with their own goals to see how they compare to mine. That way the are part of the decision making and feel empowered.

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    1. Love it! You're absolutely right. When the goals are student-driven, they are much more likely to work hard to meet them!

      Crystal

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  8. 1) There were a couple of quotes that stood out to me (in addition to the awesome reminder on p. 19 that several people have already acknowledged): "I feel grateful to be part of a profession where there is so much sharing and comingling of thinking..." (p. 1) YES! And p. 5 (as Crystal mentioned): "...when the goal can come from the student, the student will be all the more motivated to work on it [Pink 2009].
    2) As far as conferencing and goal-setting, I'm "all ears" on what other teachers intend to do or already are doing. I have found it difficult to keep all students engaged while I meet one-on-one with numerous students back-to-back for lengthy amounts of time. Obviously, I need to chunk it up more. I appreciated Haylie and Kara's ideas.
    3) The temporary scaffold that first comes to mind in my classroom is the multiplication chart that hangs at the front of the room as we begin our multiplication units in math. As students gain understanding and confidence in their memorization of their times tables, the chart comes down. I have small, handheld charts that I will still loan to struggling individual students at certain times.

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    1. Hi Melissa! I'm glad you joined us.

      I love that you mentioned the quote about our profession sharing so much. That is exactly why I'm so excited about this book study!

      About your conferencing...what does your ELA block look like? The Daily 5 structure is what allows me some conference time. The other students are rotating between Read to Self, Read to Someone, Word Work (spelling), Listen to Reading, Work on Writing. I love Daily 5 because all the training happens at the beginning of the year and the "rotations" are meaningful activities that are easy to manage and monitor.

      The scaffold I thought of was also for math. The Math Helper I made and give my students at the beginning of the year. They use it often, but as the year progresses they do not need it as much.

      Thanks again for participating!

      Crystal

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    2. My ELA block looks more like the "old" traditional style, with basal readers and class-wide novel reading, along with plenty of whole class participation. There are elements of the Daily 5 in our weekly schedule, just not daily. ;) I'm hoping to branch out more this year and differentiate according to individuals' needs within the school day, not just after-school tutoring only.

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    3. I have a basal--and love it--and use it in the Daily 5 structure. It can be difficult to fit things in, but I have made it work for me. I'm sure you will figure out what works best for you and your students!

      Crystal

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  9. I see you referenced the section regarding doing most of the work as well! I think that as teachers, we innately tend to feel as though it is our responsibility to do the work, but one thing I'm working on getting better at is really giving just enough support to really create independent learners.

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    1. Yes! You are absolutely right--and I am working on that too. :-)

      Crystal

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  10. 1. I really liked a quote on page 8: "I wouldn't ever tell a novice cook to just 'whip up a soufflé!' without telling her how, just as I wouldn't tell a reader to 'think beyond the text' if I saw he wasn't yet able to do it independently. What a great image to remind us that every skill is learned and each person learns at their own pace.
    2. Our school has "Time With Text" and I can conference with students while the class has silent reading time.
    3. One scaffold I use is individual writing dictionaries that my students reference less and less as they become more confident with writing and spelling.

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    1. This is why I love doing a book study with other great teachers! The quote you pointed out is a great reminder of providing the support needed for each individual learner.

      Time with Text sounds like my Read to Self. That is a great opportunity for conferences!

      Great example of a scaffold. I have those as well!

      Thanks for participating!


      Crystal

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  11. 1. "The most helpful strategies are portable, generalizable, transferrable- so that a student can repeatedly practice and apply the strategy, eventually helping the student to become automatic." -p. 10

    "Be secure in the knowledge that your teaching will match your child, and it will inevitably also help the child reach higher standards." - p. 19

    2. This was an off-year for reading conferences :( We were participating in a pilot phonics program for our county, which took up a lot of time. Also, we had some strict expectations for Readers Workshop, that allowed for small groups, but not so much for conferencing. We have a new principal this year and I am hoping things will change. I like people's ideas of morning time and I like how Friday was left open for conferencing.

    3. We use SnapWords (word flashcards with pictures and motions attached). I use the side with pictures when we are initially learning words, then I turn to the side without the pictures.

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    1. I had that quote on page 10 highlighted as well. The strategy being portable is so important, and I loved the reminders all throughout the section that our goal is that strategies become automatic.

      I'm sorry to hear your schedule didn't allow for conferencing. Hopefully you can find something that works for you.

      Curious about your Snap Words... Is that part of the phonics program? It is by chance Pathways to Reading? They call sight words Snap Words. I love Pathways to Reading!

      Thanks for joining me in the study!

      Crystal

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    2. No, the school purchased SnapWords before our county adopted a phonics program. They are found at https://child1st.com/collections/snapwords and they are on TPT.

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    3. Ok, thanks. I'll have to check them out!

      Crystal

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  12. What is your favorite quote from the "Getting Started" section?

    "We must meet children where they are, we must understand them well to teach them, and we must offer them the right amount of support and challenges to grow."
    Regardless of the standards we have to follow, or the school environment in which we find ourselves, we all have the same goal: to help students. Whether it's the struggling reader or the reluctant mathematician, we must first spend time getting to know the individual before we can begin to offer solutions to their struggles.


    How do you fit in time for conferencing and/or goal-setting?


    I am looking forward to seeing how other people answer this question. Since I've been out of the traditional classroom setting for three years, it's been a while since I've actually taught reading. I'm interested to see how other people fit in time for conferencing and goal setting with their students.

    Give an example of a temporary scaffold you already use in your classroom (any subject) and tell us how you make sure it is temporary.

    Last year I taught social studies and Bible to third through seventh grade. As a social studies teacher, one of my goals was to help students learn how to take notes. For my third-graders, I did fill in the blank style notes that they followed along with and filled in as we discussed the lesson. At the end of each lesson they would cut out the notes and glue them into their interactive notebooks. By the end of the year the outline that I gave them to work from changed from a fill in the blank with a word to fill in the blank with the definition of the word and add a doodle to go along with it.

    At the beginning of the year I would stop when I got to one of the answers on their outline page and ask someone to fill in the blank for us. Then I transitioned into just pausing without saying anything when I got to a point where I had given information that would help them fill in the next blank. By the end of the year students were following along with their notes as I was teaching and raising their hands to give answers before I even paused. Since I will have the same group of kids next year, I look forward to seeing how far I can take them into independent note taking.

    Thanks for hosting this study! I can't wait to use these strategies with my kiddos this year!

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    1. Miranda! I love how you are teaching your students to take notes! It is such an important skill and sometimes not taught intentionally. In second grade, I touched on it some and tried to guide them through taking notes in graphic organizers. It is so hard for them! You are doing an amazing job!

      Thanks for joining the study!

      Crystal

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