Tip of the Week November 7, 2008

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November 6, 2008

Reading Log

Do you keep a Reading Log, carefully recording title, author, genre and comments regarding every book you read? Few of us do. So why do so many of us ask our students to keep a Reading Log? Is there a purpose in requiring our students to do this specific task, which so few of us do ourselves, or are we asking students to spend considerable time on a task that may not have purpose or meaning in real life?

This week we have an article about how we use "Reading Histories" with our children and a download of the form.

CAFE? - Recording Your Reading History (DOWNLOAD)

Frequently Asked Question

Can you tell me where you get the calendars you use in your Pensieve?

FAQ - Can you tell me where you get the cute calendars you use in your Pensieve?

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Lesson 4-Beginning the Literacy CAFE? Menu: Back up and Reread

The million dollar question is always, "Which strategies on the CAFE? Menu do we introduce first? Is there a standard sequential order in which we teach the strategies?

Alas, our students vary so widely in experience and needs that there just isn't a systematic order we can rely on that will allow them to become exquisite readers. We have to make decisions based on student need with every new group we get, while keeping in mind what we know to be true about proficient readers.

We tend to consistently introduce the following three first: Comprehension - Check for Understanding; Accuracy - Cross Checking; and then Expand Vocabulary - Tune into Interesting Words. After that we typically layer on another comprehension strategy that supports accuracy as well...Back up and Reread. This article lets you take a peek into our classroom to hear how it sounds.

Strategies to Start With (ARTICLE)

Introducing the CAFE? Menu

This video features Pam reviewing some of the CAFE? strategies with her class. We like her explicit explanation of her metacognition as she thinks aloud for them so they can, in essence, see inside her head as she uses strategies while reading. She asks children to engage with the lesson by trying to figure out the strategies as she uses them.

Pam Reviews CAFE with her class whole group (VIDEO)

Modeling the Use of Multiple Strategies

In this video Janet models 3 strategies in combination. Author's purpose and Text Features help deepen comprehension, and paying close attention to pictures helps expand vocabulary. The story she has selected supports the strategy instruction beautifully. Watch how she introduces these 3 strategies, involves the students in the learning, and then wraps up the lesson for the children by identifing the strategies and their use.

Whole Group Using 3 Strategies (VIDEO)

A Different Look at Small Group Work

Small group instruction is a powerful way to take full advantage of our time in the classroom teaching children. When we first began our journey of teaching small groups, we put children together by levels, so they all had the same text. The challenge was, even though it was a small group of students who read at the same reading level, they all had different needs. We had just taken the whole group problem of different children with different needs and made it a small group problem!

This video gives a glimpse into Carrie's room as Joan models for Carrie how to group children by need, in this case the comprehension strategy of Check for Understanding, not reading level and each child uses a different book.

One Group, Different Books (VIDEO)

Until next week!

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