March 1. 2017
Learning deepens when students think, talk, read, and write about authentic texts across many different instructional contexts.
February 28. 2017
Early experiences in interactive writing offer kindergarten children an opportunity to learn about letters. At the same time, even though that have very limited knowledge of literacy, they are participating in the construction of a meaningful text. Working with with letters within a known text is a more powerful learning experience than simply working with a letter in isolation. Children are highly engaged because they see that letters have a purpose. And, when they read and write, they must recognize letters that are embedded in words that are embedded in sentences.
During interactive writing, you can draw children's attention to letters and help them learn how to look at them by using the following teaching directives:
- Have the children say the name of the letter (m).
- Talk about the features of the letters (a stick and two humps).
- Demonstrate the motions necessary to make the letter.
- Talk about the motions while making them (pull down, over and down, over and down).
- Have the children trace the letter in the air on the floor, talking aloud about the motions while making them.
- Show the children how to check the letter against a model (alphabet chart or name chart).
- Show the children how to make connections between the letter and known words, particularly names.
Adapted from Interactive Writing: How Language & Literacy Come Together, K-2 by Andrea McCarrier, Irene C. Fountas, and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2000 by Andrea McCarrier, Irene C. Fountas, and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.
February 24. 2017
Learning does not occur in stages but is a continually evolving process.
February 23. 2017
Learners progress in their individual ways, but they ultimately reach the same goal--a complex and flexible literacy processing system.
February 22. 2017
Learning does not automatically happen; most students need expert teaching to develop high levels of reading and writing expertise.
February 21. 2017
Struggling readers need to build a core of words that they know quickly and automatically--that they can recognize without effort. They also need to develop a system for learning how to learn words. Here are some ideas for ways to help children look at and learn a new word:
1. Use language that makes it clear you are talking about a word: "This word is _____." (Some children confuse letters and words.)
2. Tell children to look at the beginning of the word and show them what that means (first letter on the left).
3. Read the word to children as you run your finger under the word, left to right.
4. Ask children to look closely at the word and say what they notice at the beginning.
5. Ask them to look at the word and then read it as they use a finger to check it, left to right.
6. Remind them of another word that will help them remember a new word: an, and; the, then.
7. Help children notice the first letter and then look at the rest of the letters in the word, left to right, to notice more.
8. Give children magnetic letters in order to build the word left to right.
9. After building the word, have children take it apart and build it several times.
10. After building the word several times, have children write the word.
11. Show children how to check the word they have written letter by letter: a, a, n, n, d, d.
12. Have children, using magnetic letters, break the word apart by pulling down the first letter (s) and then the rest of the letters, e.g., s-ee, th-e.
From When Readers Struggle: Teaching That Works by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2009 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.
February 17. 2017
Text analysis and close observation of behaviors are the most important resources for your moment-to-moment teaching in guided reading.
February 16. 2017
You select language in response to the reading behaviors you observe.
February 15. 2017
Assessment is not teaching; it is gathering information for teaching.