Saturday, January 25, 2014

Catching Readers





I was told by a knowledgeable student that I was supposed to wear my pjs inside out, flush two ice cubes down the toilet and sleep with spoons under my pillow to make a snow day happen. I did not do any of that - and I guess that's the reason we didn't have a snow day on Thursday. We have another chance on Monday - so maybe I need to get on the ball Sunday night. 

I mentioned in another post that I was leading a book study loosely based on this book:


{It's really just an excuse for me to make the time to read this book!} 

I was looking at Chapter 7 - I Thought I Knew How to Teach Reading, but Whoa! Whoa is right! Much of the discussion is for students that are in earlier grades, but it seems every year I have one or two {or, yikes! more!!} that are still struggling to read. Well, let me clarify - I always have students that are lower than we'd like on their DRA - but those 1 or 2 students are considerably below where they should be. 

"The best thing is to catch it (dependency on the teacher) and encourage self-monitoring from the very start" (page 123). Do you have students that don't even realize that they've made a mistake, particularly when it's one that doesn't make sense?? When the authors talked about self-monitoring, I realized this is something that many of my students don't do. So, here's something to work on for me {and my kiddos - even though they don't know it yet!}

When I got done with Chapter 7, I just couldn't stop - so I kept reading - Chapter 8 - Comprehension. 

"Comprehension strategies are not an end in themselves, but rather a means to understanding. Our classroom instruction must reflect this." - the authors are quoting Harvey and Goudvis. The authors also discuss the difference between spotlighting a strategy and heavy-handed teaching. 

Ack - I think I'm guilty of heavy-handed teaching. Our basal reader has a strategy for the week - and that's what I focus on. At one point in the chapter, the authors ask if the strategy is something you as a teacher use when you are reading. Well, this week our comprehension strategy was story structure. For me personally, I do sometimes make lists of characters and their relationships to each other if I'm getting confused. But what about beginning, middle, end? I guess, yes, I think about these things. I guess what was a light bulb moment for me was when the authors said, "The teacher treats the strategy as the end goal" {heavy handed} versus "Teacher gives time for students to talk about how the strategy helps them understand the story." {spotlighting}

Anyway, this has given me lots of food for thought. If you've read Catching Readers - what are your thoughts??






13 comments:

  1. I have not read the book but it sounds great! Might need to look into that one. Thanks!

    Amanda
    A Very Curious Class

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    1. It has certainly gotten me thinking!
      Sara

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  2. I wish I could send some of our snow your way - it seems as though it just won't stop here. Teaching reading sure is tricky business. Thanks for some good information to think over. I think I am going to have to read that book this summer. Maria

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    1. We are so dry here - we would welcome some snow - not to mention a snow day!
      I like how you said that - teaching reading is tricky! So true!
      Sara

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  3. Those are great chapters. The one on comprehension still makes my head hurt. The authors get us thinking and reflecting though. Good stuff!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

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    1. Oh, yeah - somebody else who's heading is spinning! Oh, that sounds terrible - but I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that's working through all this! I think you were the one that mentioned this book - it's been a good one! Thanks for sharing this resource. Sara

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  4. Love the ritual for getting a snow day. I have a special dance. We haven't danced it yet, but perhaps soon??? Have a great weekend!

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    1. Well, we haven't had a snow day yet this year - and it will be the first year that I can remember if we don't have one. Care to YouTube your dance - lol?
      You have a great weekend, too!

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  5. Another great post. I really need to get that book! I am guilty of being heavy handed like you. I sure don't spend the time to spotlight the strategy like they said. :/ When my daughter was in kdg, she was reading to me. She misread the word cat for can. When she got to the end of the sentence, she stopped with a puzzled look on her face and then went back to read it again. The second time she read the word correctly. This probably sounds dumb, but I was so happy to witness it, I almost cried. It is really hard to get some students to pay attention to what they are even reading to realize that it isn't making sense. I have more than I would like with that problem.
    Kelly
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

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  6. I read this book a few years ago...but I think it's time for me to reread. I love finding books like this that make you think about your own teaching.

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  7. I don't know how I just saw this! I lead a book study about this book on my blog last summer. You can find my thoughts on it here http://1stinmaine.blogspot.com/2013/06/crbtf-book-study-guide.html and then by searching for CRBTF on my blog. I am interested to see what you think.

    Kimberley

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    1. And I don't know how I'm just replying!
      I had actually already blog stalked you and seen your book study. Wish I would have seen it to do it with you. I really like the book - and other people's thinking!
      Sara

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