April 6. 2017
Your clear, specific language facilitates the student's construction of a neural network or system for working on written language.
April 5. 2017
You can use facilitative language to help students extend their thinking and to move the discussion along.
April 4. 2017
Selecting a book is a complex task, but one that is well worth learning. As adults, we select books that offer opportunities to relax and enjoy ourselves. While we don't specifically choose books to increase our reading skills, we may challenge ourselves to get to know a new author or genre. Students, too, might want to learn to read a new author or genre or increase the variety of their reading. Generally, however, they select books just as we do: they choose one that looks interesting.
Initially, they may not know how to choose well, so you will want to teach them how to think about selecting a book that works best for them. Here are six ways you can show students how to choose books.
- Listen to a book talk and match characteristics of the book to their interests.
- Examine book covers, cover copy, and illustrations.
- Sample a bit of the text to get a feel for the language and the author's style.
- Think about the topic, considering their interests and previous knowledge.
- Think about how the book matches their own reading background and experience and whether they would need to listen to an audio version or another person read it to them.
- Consider whether the book will offer challenges or opportunities to expand their knowledge or skill.
Adapted from Guiding Readers and Writers by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2001 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.
April 3. 2017
We emphasize that small-group instruction is more powerful when nested within a variety of instructional contexts with varying levels of support.
March 31. 2017
The best kind of professional development is not a “one off,” but consists of an ongoing series that supports growth in expertise over time.
March 30. 2017
Talk permeates each instructional context; and the talk is different within each. There are different opportunities for learning across this design but all contribute to the goal of creating active, thoughtful readers and writers.
March 29. 2017
The ideas and images that students meet in texts shape their lives and values.
March 28. 2017
Many children have gone to daycare or been part of play groups, but for some, prekindergarten is their first experience with a group read-aloud. With careful teaching, even young children new to school can follow these simple routines. Again, you will find methods of teaching that fit your class, but here's a general approach that is effective:
- Demonstrate the behavior yourself. Describe it in words that are simple. Tell children why it is important.
- Have two or three children demonstrate the behavior while the others watch (maybe in a circle). Have everyone clap when they do it well.
- Have everyone demonstrate the behavior and clap for themselves.
- Insist on the behavior every time with gentle reminders and more demonstration as needed. (If you constantly allow deviations, children will become confused about your expectations.)
- Give specific praise to the children when they demonstrate the expected behavior.
- Use positive commands whenever possible; tell children what to so rather than what not to do.
Adapted from Literacy Beginnings by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2011 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.
March 27. 2017
Books should act as a connection to all humanity and be at the center of every literacy classroom.
March 24. 2017
Interactive read-aloud should expand vocabulary and nurture the ability to think, talk, and writing about texts that will fully engage students' interests.