Literacy tips – janrichardsonreading q gastrobar dias ferreira

I was recently asked if teachers could extend the two-day lesson to a three- or four-day plan, using the same book. I don’t recommend it for the following reasons: 1) Students will read more books when you use the two-day lesson. This exposes them to more vocabulary and language structures. 2) Using the two-day plan increases engagement and motivation. Just watch your students’ faces when you bring out a new book. They are delighted to read a new story, meet new characters, and learn more interesting facts through nonfiction texts. 3) Using the two-day plan keeps the lesson fast-paced and engaging. Since you know you have to make time to teach a short word study activity on Day 1 and guided writing on Day 2, you will avoid excess talking, and you will teach with a sense of urgency. Remember to put the familiar books in your students’ book boxes so they can reread them with a buddy, by themselves, or with their parents. Rereading familiar stories builds automaticity with sight words, strengthens strategic actions, and promotes fluency.

Research has proven that students who enter kindergarten not knowing their letters are at risk. However, we can change this projection if we take immediate action. I’ve spent the past 20 years collecting data on students who enter kindergarten knowing less than 40 letters. Two instructional procedures have quickly taught letter names, letter sounds, and many concepts of print: Tracing the ABC book and the integrated Pre-A lesson. Tracing an ABC book with a tutor is designed to teach letter names (upper and lower case). I recommend that students who do this intervention say the name of the letter twice (as the student traces the letter in the ABC book) instead of saying the letter name, letter sound, and picture (A-/a/-apple). Students with very limited letter knowledge are likely to become overwhelmed if asked to learn the letter name and letter sound at the same time (Lipson & Wixson, 2010, Successful Approaches to RTI ). However, as students learn letter names, they often learn letter sounds since the sound for the letter is often embedded in the name of the letter. Thus, if students know the name of the letter it will be easier for them to remember the sound of the letter (Lipson & Wixson, 2010, Successful Approaches to RTI, p. 42).

If assessments do not impact instruction, they are of little value (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996). The first step in teaching guided reading is to get to know your readers. Most teachers use some form of Dr. Marie Clay’s running record to assess their students. Some districts use formal running records three times a year as a summative assessment, but the running record is even more valuable as a formative and diagnostic tool. If the running record contains some errors, it can provide a snapshot of the reader’s strategic processing in addition to an approximate instructional text level. I find running records to be extremely useful, even with fluent readers. By looking for a pattern of errors, I might notice the student ignores inflectional endings, struggles to decode multisyllabic words, or ignores punctuation. Sometimes a slight hesitation on a word signals the student might not know what the word means. But the first thing I analyze is whether the student is monitoring for understanding. A reader who is satisfied to skip or mumble through an unknown word is unaware of the importance of constructing meaning. The next time you sit with your students and listen to them read, ask yourself. Does this student monitor when meaning breaks down? If the answer is no, target monitoring as your next instructional focus. When you confer with the student ask, Were you right? Does that make sense? Did you understand what you just read? Then teach him or her a variety of strategic actions such as rereading, breaking words apart, and asking questions that get to the heart of comprehension. Assessment does make sense when we use it to make instructional decisions.

Originally, Tina began using Literacy Footprints, the guided reading support kit developed by Jan Richardson and Michele Dufresne, to teach young adults in a technical training program run by GECHAAN. Tina knew there was a great deal of illiteracy in the community since the government has no formal curriculum. There are no textbooks or resource materials and most instructors in the remote areas do not have a degree in education. Still, she was shocked to learn that out of the 65 applicants screened for admission to the training program, not even 15 could read above a first-grade level. Tina needed more than the random worksheets she downloaded off the Internet to meet the needs of these students. When friends in the U.S. suggested Literacy Footprints, Tina knew she had found the right tool. Pioneer Valley Books generously donated a Literacy Footprints Kit for Tina to use. With the guidance of a friend, Tina spent a week observing and learning how to do assessments, use the lesson cards, and teach lessons. By the end of the week she could already see reluctant, self-conscious readers becoming excited, confident, risk takers who couldn’t wait for their next lesson.