Thursday, July 6, 2017

Goals 1 and 2 - The Reading Strategies Book Study

Hey there!

I hope you had a great week celebrating Independence Day and studying the first two goals for our book study. ;-)

Somehow I managed to schedule appointments in town--remember I live about 30 miles away--nearly every day this week. What was I thinking?!?! 

My friends tease me that I am a hermit in the summer, but I really just like to spend time at home as much as possible. 

What can I say? 

Teaching, coaching, and church involvement leave little time at home during the school year, so I take my time at home in the summer very seriously. 😂 Anybody else? 

Okay, enough about me. Let's get on to the real reason you are here!

This week we started digging into the "meat" of the book, the reading strategies. I can't say enough about how this book is set up! The organization by goals is so helpful for a busy teacher, and the list of strategies at a glance in the beginning of each goal section is perfect for finding what you need and getting started right away.

Goal 1: Supporting Pre-Emergent and Emergent Readers

I have to share my favorite quote from page 20-21, "We can meet students were they are and help them engage with and enjoy books, make meaning, acquire vocabulary, use text features, connect the pages, respond to texts by writing and talking, practice their fluency, and develop identities as confident, engaged, joyful readers (even without decoding)."

That is a mouthful! 
But it is an amazing list of things our littles can do before ever learning to "read."

Another great thing about how this book is organized is when Serravallo answers the question, "How do I know if this goal is right for my student?" THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

The handy "at a glance" page for the strategies in the Goal 1 section.
On to a few of my favorite strategies from Goal #1...

1.5 Word Treasure Hunt

This strategy allows the student to enjoy the story through "reading the pictures" first. Then encourages them to go on a "treasure hunt" for letters and words they know. I think this will be a perfect strategy to create joyful readers and challenge them a bit as well. 

In my role as a K-6 reading specialist (remember that is a new position for me next year--eek!), I can see myself using this with Kindergartners (letter hunt) and some first and graders (word hunt).

1.8 Express the Emotions

When I read this strategy, I wondered why I hadn't thought of it that way! I always asked my second graders to read with expression, but didn't always take the time to connect the character's feelings to how it should be read. Let's just say it was an A-ha! moment for me--and made me realize how automatic these strategies can become. I know I consider the character's feelings when I'm reading, but hadn't really thought about how I learned to do that.
I also loved the visual aid on this one--and totally plan to use it with my beginning readers this next year.

1.14 If You Don't Know, Guess

This seems so simple, but over the years I have had so many students who are hesitant to make a guess or prediction. I think if I start teaching this strategy to my littlest ones, maybe as they grow as a reader it won't be so difficult. I also like the prompts to think about what makes sense with the story because I'm sure we have all had those kids (who aren't afraid to make a guess) say something completely off-the-wall! ;-)

"Without engagement, we've got nothing." 
(pg. 44)

Isn't that the truth?
I was immediately reminded of the first year I taught an actual engagement lesson to my class. 

Afterwards, my students were cracking me up because they would say, "I'm engaged to my book..." Ha!

Building stamina as a class is something we work on extensively when training for Daily 5. This would be interesting to graph individually, but I'm not sure how that would work for a teacher working with younger readers. I'd love to hear from you in the comments if you do this with littles!

Now...a little secret about something that was mentioned in this section. 


I'm not a fan of book logs or reading logs.

That's all I will say about that.

2.3 Reread to Get Back in Your Book

Again, this is something that I do all the time, but hadn't really considered purposefully TEACHING to my students. 
I often tell them to "back-up and reread" if they are struggling to understand, but to link that to recognizing when they become distracted hadn't occurred to me.

2.6 Fixing the Fuzziness

This immediately made me think of a "Mr. Check-In" bookmark* that I make for each of my students at the beginning of the year. I give them out when I teach a mini-lesson about asking questions as we read. I know my students will relate to the image "fixing the fuzziness."
*I would link this for you, but I'm not finding where I got it. It seems you now have to sign up for something to get it, and I know I didn't do that (because that kind of thing annoys me). 

2.19 Finding Reading Territories

This strategy will help students answer the question, "Who am I as a reader?" That, of course, helps us to point them in the right direction for books that will interest and engage them.

The visual for this one is simple and informative, divided into three sections. 

Books I loved...
Pits Books...
When I want a book, I want it to have...

It is just a practical strategy that will help students identify the kinds of books they are looking for, and I think it really could be done at any age.


Those are a few of my favorite strategies. 

Now it's your turn! 
Tell me about your favorites either in the comments below or on our Facebook page! 

And don't forget to check out the other blog posts below for more thoughts and ideas!

P.S. Ooops! I clicked something and it published so I guess today is the day!


  1. In Goal 1, I did find some strategies that would work in my 3rd grade classroom, particularly of note are Strategy 1.3 "Linger Finger" {SLOW DOWN} and Strategy 1.9 "Back Up, Revise" (helps students really make sure they are comprehending and not just glossing over words).
    There were so many applicable strategies in Goal 2 (too many to note -- I really liked this chapter!). Crystal, in Goal 2, one of the notations I made was to try reading logs/book logs with future students, which I have not done in YEARS, and even when I did, it was barely scratching the surface, not really a LOG. If you wouldn't mind expounding, I would appreciate knowing why you don't care for them. My hesitation with using them is the knowledge that some students probably will not be completely honest or accurate, which doesn't end up helping them at all. I'd appreciate yours (and anyone else's) input on reading logs.

    1. P.S. I like your chart on being engaged vs. just pretending to be or considering it a duty.

    2. Hi Melissa. Thanks for commenting. I agree with you about Goal 2--so many great ideas! About the reading logs...more than the reason you mention (which is also a good one) is that I want my kids to enjoy reading. I wouldn't want to be asked to fill out a reading log, so why would I ask my students to do one? To me, it would just zap the fun right out of the book! That being said, I do think Serravallo made some good suggestions for using them effectively.

      Hope that explains my position a little better.

      Thanks again for joining me!

    3. Yes, it does. Thank you, Crystal!

  2. I'm a kindergarten teacher in a Title I school with a majority of the students being ELs. These chapters were very beneficial and will be turned to often.

    Goal 1: 1.1 "Be an Explorer Who Finds Treasures in Books"- This strategy is so helpful for my little ones who have never been exposed to books.

    1.11 "Move Your Body, Remember the Words"- I LOVE this one. I need to find more ways to involve motions in my pattern books. I use movements to teach so many other skills, why have I never done this?

    1.12 "Keep in Mind What Repeats"- So many of our guided reading books have repeated phrases.

    Goal 2: 2.2 "Vary the Length of Type of Text ("Break Reads").

    2.11 "Purposes for Reading: Go/Stop Mat"- This is perfect for the students who rush through all their books so that they'll be done or for those who need a visual to stay focused.

    1. I loved the "Move your Body, Remember the Words" strategy also. It reminds me of Whole Brain Teaching--which I use a lot in my classroom. I also took note of the "Keep in Mind What Repeats" strategy. Those types of books go so far in helping kiddos gain confidence in reading!

      Thanks for joining the study!


  3. As I was reading these chapters I found myself jotting down notes of how I saw myself using a strategy and adding ideas to my list of things to prep for the upcoming year.
    1.1- Find Treasures--There are always reluctant readers and I love this idea for getting them interested and involved.
    1.2- Whole and Teeny-Tiny-- Great strategy and visual for Main Idea & Details. I can use this whole group with our basal as well as in small groups.
    2.7- Prime Yourself with Prior knowledge-- This is a great strategy to use to talk through the books I read aloud to them after recess.
    2.12- Ask Questions to Engage-- What a great strategy to model while I'm reading aloud to them!
    2.13- Mind Over Matter-- A great test prep strategy I plan to use this year!

    I even went back through the Table of Contents and circled these, with a quick note for each so I wouldn't forget them! I can't wait for the next two chapters!

    1. This might seem silly.. I hate writing in my books, but your comment about circling the useful strategies in the Table of Contents is probably much more beneficial than my 100 sticky notes all over the place. You have inspired me to redo my 'not-so-organized' methods.

    2. I also like the idea of circling the strategies in the table of contents. Thank you, Kimberly!

  4. I notice that theme, we already do these strategies, but we haven't considered explicitly teaching them!

    "Without engagement, we've got nothing."
    (pg. 44) RIGHT?

    1. Yep! That is why doing studies like this is so important for our professional growth--makes us think of things we might not realize on our own!


  5. Isn't it funny how when things are so automatic for us as readers, we forget that we actually have to TEACH that automaticity? Happened to me all the time in the classroom and I loved reading that I'm not the only one! :)

    1. It is interesting. I think I was more aware of this when teaching math. I could explain my thinking in math, but "teaching" it in a way 1st and 2nd graders could grasp was sometimes challenging. Being aware of it helped! Now as I read this book, I realize I need to be thinking the same way about the strategies I use (without even thinking about it)!


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