Here are my TOP 10 things I am thinking about tonight:
reader use strategies to develop a deep understanding of what they can take
away from the information they are reading.
2. Don’t excuse books that are short or
appear basic as not being rich text or ‘too easy’ for your fifth graders…if you
look closely you may find deep meaning that upper elementary students can grow from
as readers. These kinds of books are
great to use as interactive read-alouds that we can share as a whole group with
our class. Imagine the conversations we
3. We could read the same text to students at different
grade levels and the students will take something different from those
books. Students are growing, thinking,
and changing their opinions year after year.
Students’ perspectives and thinking about a text read to them in fifth
grade will be much different than when the same text was read to them in second
4. Instead of teaching to the text by always asking teacher
generated questions, let’s listen for our students’ responses to a text. We can learn a lot about how our students
think by giving them time to talk about their thinking with the class, in small
groups, or with a partner. Sometimes our
specific questioning gets in the way of students’ thinking. Instead, let’s ask, ‘tell me what you are
thinking about this book?’ Or, ‘what are
you wondering after reading today?’
what we are thinking in your head as you read to the class or during guided
reading. By modeling our thinking, students
will begin thinking and forming their own ideas.
need to believe that kids can think and that sometimes they can teach us
something. We sometimes keep them from
thinking by asking them questions we think they should be answering.
7. Book clubs are a
great opportunity for students to go deeper with their thinking and
understanding of a text. Teachers should
be part of a book club to share input to guide students through their
8. Book clubs can be done in all grades. Wordless books work great for kindergarteners
to share their understanding of a text without having to read words.
is all about meaning. When we are
teaching specific skills in guided reading (making inferences, for example), we
always need to tie back to the big idea of the text.
analyzing a text while reading with students, take some time to talk about what
the author’s purpose is and also what the big ideas are. The big ideas should include themes that can
be pulled out of the story and applied to our lives (friendship, bravery,
injustice, for example).
another great day of learning. Tomorrow
we meet until noon then it’s off to the airport to get home. As much as I love all this training, I am
eager to get home and see my family!
Happy Thursday EveryoneJ