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.
February 14. 2017
Comprehending the fullest meaning of a text is the goal every time we read anything. We do not teach comprehension by applying one strategy to one book during one lesson: we help students learn how to focus on the meaning and interpretation of texts all the time, in every instructional context, each instance contributing in different ways to the same complex processing system. Below are some suggestions for you and your colleagues to provide your students with opportunities for processing texts:
1. Bring together a cross-grade-level group of colleagues to think about text experiences. You may want to have them work in small grade-level groups and then share as a whole group.
2. Use large chart paper divided into columns. As a group, consider (1) processing orally presented written texts; (2) processing written texts; and (3) acting on the meaning of texts after reading. These three actions occur across instructional contexts.
3. Have each group use their weekly schedules to discuss a week of instruction in their classroom. Make a list of all the processing opportunities students have in each of the three areas in the three columns on the chart paper.
4. Review the charts. Have the whole group participate in a larger discussion of how these opportunities can be expanded. Emphasize that there are specific ways of teaching for comprehending in each of these settings.
Excerpted from Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency: Thinking, Talking, and Writing About Reading by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Copyright (c) 2006 by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Published by Heinemann.
February 13. 2017
A learner might make tremendous gains in one area while seeming to almost “stand still” in another. It’s our job to provide these learning opportunities and guide their attention so that learning in one area supports learning in others.
February 10. 2017
When teachers systematically observe the literacy strengths and needs of all students, it can inform instruction and teaching can be powerful and responsive.