• Last Chapters

    Posted by Tina Kiracofe on 3/11/2011 8:00:00 AM
          In these last two chapters, Routman encourages readers to "build on best practice, know the research, and use programs as a resource" and to make the most of our time.  Having worked your way through this book, each of you have taken steps to become more familiar with the best practices associated with reading instruction.  Now we must find the time and manner in which to apply the strategies and practices that we believe would be beneficial to students.  In this week's post, consider and respond to one or more of the following questions. 
    1.   What are your thoughts as you read p. 202 – 205, “Live an Interesting Life” and  “Spend Most of Your Time Thinking?”
    2.      Which strategies would you like to incorporate from “Make Every Minute Count?”
    3.      What help and support will you need to make these strategies part of your everyday lessons?
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  • Reminder of Final Discussion

    Posted by Tina Kiracofe on 3/11/2011 8:00:00 AM
    Just a reminder that we will meet on Wednesday, March 23 at 3:45 PM Central Office  Building #2 for our final discussion.  We will spend some time reflecting, sharing, and celebrating our own learning!
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  • Chapter 10: Examine Guided Reading

    Posted by Tina Kiracofe on 3/3/2011 4:05:00 PM
          Last week we learned many strategies to help teach comprehension.  This week's chapter focuses on the many reading strategies that can be addressed through guided reading.  I especially appreciate the teaching tips for guided reading on page 174.   Reading aloud to help students quickly get into a new book can   giving reluctant readers a jump start on a new book, often hooking them and making them more likely to continue reading on their own.  Using oral cloze during read aloud holds students accountable for reading along.  Finally, the three steps for evaluating and reteaching gives a step-by-step approach to diagnosing the comprehension problem. 
           In your post this week, talk about what was meaningful for you in this chapter.  What impact will this chapter have on your reading or subject area instruction. 
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  • Ch. 9: Emphasize Shared Reading

    Posted by Tina Kiracofe on 2/23/2011 1:00:00 PM
          In this chapter, Routman defines shared reading and describes it as making reading visible and explicit for students thus improving reading achievement.  Isn't this our goal for all instruction--making the content visible and explicit-- whether it is reading, science, math, or social studies?  She emphasizes that a shared read aloud or shared reading is a purposeful teaching, discussing activity, not just a shared reading of words (p. 133).  The rest of the chapter then explicitly defines the shared reading components and strategies we should incorporate into our instruction.  In your posts this week, share your thoughts about integrating shared reading into your classroom instruction. What will be your next steps after reading this chapter?
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  • Ch. 8 Teaching Comprehension

    Posted by Tina Kiracofe on 2/16/2011 12:00:00 PM
         In chapter 8, Routman addresses teaching comprehension, a complex set of skills that may not come naturally to some students.  When teaching comprehension, we often focus on particular strategies such as visualizing, asking questions, etc.  Yet, Routman points out that teaching strategies such as rereading, writing, surveying, connecting, self-monitoring are the skills that good readers use to comprehend during the reading process.  I find it interesting that while comprehending comes to most teachers naturally, we are not readily able to teach this complex set of skills which lead to comprehension. As I reread this chapter, it occurred to me that Routman is "thinking aloud" for us in this chapter, actively walking us through the process it takes to teach comprehension to our students. 
    In this week's post, share with the group your thinking on at least one of the following:   
    1.  What did you hear in Routman's "think aloud"?   What ideas stood out to you or even resulted in a "duh" or "light bulb" moment for you?
    2.  Think of the organization of your reading instructional time or even your content area teaching time.  How does it compare to the suggestions presented here for explicit strategy instruction and time to apply and extend those comprehension skills taught?
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  • Ch. 7: Make Assessment Instruction's ...Partner

    Posted by Tina Kiracofe on 2/9/2011 10:50:00 AM
         "Assessments should bring about benefits for children, or data should not be collected at all." 
                        --Lorrie A. Shepard
              This is a great quote to introduce the chapter.  What good is assessment if we do not use the resulting data to guide our instruction?     In this chapter, Routman encourges us to make assessment and evaluation a daily routine (p. 100).  She goes on to provide direction for evaluating students using their self-selected texts through informal reading conferences and teaching intentionally.  How could or are you incorporating these strategies in your reading class?  If you teach a content area other than reading, are there aspects of the individual conference process that you could employ to assess students in your core classroom? 
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  • Ch. 6: Plan for and Monitor Independent Reading

    Posted by Tina Kiracofe on 2/1/2011 4:00:00 PM
          In this chapter, Routman makes it very clear that an independent reading program is essential to reading achievement.  She goes on in the chapter to describe the critical elements that the independent reading program must include. 
    1.  As you read chapter 6, list the strategies discussed that you are already doing with your students.  What elements do you need to add or improve upon to make the most of independent reading in your classroom? 
    2.  This school year, sixth grade teachers at SDMS and BMMS began implementing many of the strategies discussed in this chapter.  If you are already incorporating many of the essential elements that Routman recommends, what effect has this change had on your instruction, your students, and you personally?   Discuss the benefits as well as the struggles that you are facing. 




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  • Ch. 5: Organize an Outstanding Classroom Library

    Posted by Tina Kiracofe on 1/26/2011 11:00:00 AM
    Choice 1:  Compare the current condition and compostion of your classroom library and how you would like it to be.  What would you add to your collection?  How would you select books for your students?  How would you organize your classroom library?  How would students' use of this library become a part of your reading or language arts instruction? 
    Choice 2:  The first time I read this chapter, I marked "MS" (for middle school) in the margins at several places. Comment on something from this chapter that you will try in your middle school classroom/with your students. 
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  • Ch. 4: Teach with a Sense of Urgency

    Posted by Tina Kiracofe on 1/20/2011 3:10:00 PM
        From the beginning of this chapter, Routman encourages us to teach with a sense of urgency, making every minute of instruction count.  She encourages the use of the optimal learning model, the gradual release of responsibility through the use of demonstration, shared demonstration, and guided and independent practice.  While many of her examples deal with the most basic reading skills, this model is effective with any reading skill or any content area instruction.  Furthermore, she encourages educators to employ this learning model in a meaningful context.  "Students do best when the skills they need are explicitly taught in meaningful contexts (p. 50).  Teaching bits and pieces can make learning more difficult and does not result in a transfer of skills to everyday reading and writing.  She concludes the chapter by saying, "Only by teaching all of our students with a sense of urgency and joy can we hope to challenge them in appropriate and meaningful ways" (p. 62).
         Considering Routman's emphasis on urgency, the use of the optimal learning model, and teaching reading in meaningful contexts share your thoughts, plans, and/or mental struggles as a result of reading this chapter. 
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  • Chapter 3: Share Your Reading Life

    Posted by Tina Kiracofe on 1/11/2011 4:15:00 PM
          Routman makes many suggestions in this chapter about sharing your own reading in the classroom.  What strategies do you already use in your classroom OR which ones are you interested in trying in your classroom?
          Routman begins and ends chapter three with two of my favorite quotes.  On page 23 she states,        "While excellent teaching is essential, without time to practice and read extensively, students will not become readers."   Then on page 37 she notes,   "If our students are to become readers, they have to enjoy reading and find it satisfying.  Only then will they choose to read, read for their own purposes--and get high test scores too."  Respond to one of these quotes or chose your own favorite quote from this chapter and elaborate on your thoughts regarding the quote. 
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Last Modified on March 11, 2011