Meaningful Student Engagement – Whole Class Reading

by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

Teachers often ask me for suggestions on ways to engage students more, especially during whole class reading lessons. Student engagement is vital, isn’t it? Robert Marzano is a well-known educator/speaker whose research shows that students in highly engaging classrooms outperform their peers by an average  of almost 30 percentile points.  Students today have a higher need for interaction or they check out. What does engagement look like? The student . . .

  • participates in discussion
  • stays on task
  • listens to others
  • shares ideas
  • is aware of what is going on / alert
  • follows directions
  • reflects on learning
  • helps others
  • does more work than the teacher
  • enjoys the process
  • committed
  • applies new strategies
  • and . . . learns!!

What does lack of engagement look like? The student . . .

  • looks bored, sleepy, uninterested
  • can’t keep up
  • talks to their neighbor
  • is apathetic
  • gets confused
  • lacks understanding
  • fiddles with items in their desk
  • has a wandering mind
  • misbehaves
  • has a tired, frustrated teacher (because he/she is doing most of the work)
  • misses important information
  • hears the teacher do all the talking
  • has to be reminded to pay attention / follow along

I read an interesting article titled The Eight C’s of Engagement: How Learning Styles and Instructional Design Increase Students’ Commitment to Learning by Harvey F. Silver & Matthew J. Perini (linked here:The Eight C’s of Engagement).  They are:  Competition, Challenge, Cooperation, Connections, Curiosity, Controversy, Choice and Creativity (pages 9-11).

Cindy’s Top 20 Reading Engagement Ideas / Activities: These are based on personal experience, observation, and research. Get your free pdf copy here: Student Engagement – Whole Class Reading

    1. All students respond:
      • Thumbs up / down
      • Yes / No cards
      • Stand up / Sit down
      • Individual white boards (having specific procedures ensures productive use)
      • Multiple choice hand signals positioned in front of the student’s chest (1, 2, 3 or 4 fingers or finger-spelling sign language for a, b, c, d)
    2. Partner share: This takes modeling, observation, and practice to make it productive so students know quickly who their sharing partner is, what voice level to use, how to listen, how to take turns, how to summarize or recall what your partner said, how to help properly, etc.
    3. Sorting activities: Prepare cards which can be grouped according to your specs such as…
      • Sort the verbs (or adjectives) according to the character who exhibits these actions (or qualities).
      • Sort words to emphasize story elements: the characters, the setting, problems, actions, etc.
      • Sort words into a Venn diagram template while reading a compare / contrast article.
    4. Complete a graphic organizer together as you read and discuss the story. Notice that different text structures require a different way to organize the information.
    5. Fold it note taking: Students fold a blank sheet of paper into 4-8 sections to take notes, show examples, or illustrate desired elements. Teacher directs note-taking by modeling or telling what to put in each section.
    6. Technology – video – interactive Smartboard activities or tools
    7. Post-it-notes:  Students use post-it-notes to mark critical parts in the story. Focus on one objective at a time. Even more powerful — connect to a skill you are working on.
      • when new characters are introduced
      • on a confusing part or a question
      • to mark an “A-ha!” moment
      • on the part that shows a problem in the story, plus write what it is
      • to mark changes in time, indicating a sequential structure
      • to recall who and what periodically throughout the selection
      • to write an important detail, especially with a descriptive structure
    8. Teach students to ask thoughtful questions about the text instead of always waiting for the teacher to ask. Asking a question is much like having a conversation with yourself. Students can write questions on post its, a book mark, an index card, or on a piece of butcher paper hung in the classroom (for multiple questions).
      • Is there a word you don’t understand?
      • Are you confused or curious about something?
      • Do you have a question about the author’s purpose?
      • What is something you wonder about?
      • Do you need more background information?
      • Can you turn a heading or subheading into a question?
    9. Instead of questioning students after reading, give then a purpose to read a paragraph, page, or set of pages before reading. (Example:  Read ahead to find out ______).
    10. STOP ROUND ROBIN READING! What can be done instead?
      • Partner read: Teach how to do this properly. For example if partner A doesn’t know a word, how can partner B help without always just telling them the word? How much does each partner read? How to ask each other questions, or summarize as they read? How to stay engaged with your partner? How to share a book if needed?
      • Project the story on the screen.
      • For a story heavy with conversation, read the characters speaking parts. (I love the books Freckle Juice and Snot Stew for this!)
      • Read short specific excerpts. Example:  “Find the part which tells how _____.”
      • For poetry, find poems that can be read in two voices. Partner 1 reads 1st line, couplet, or stanza, Partner 2 reads next set. This is also great fluency practice!
      • In small group, students read silently while teacher “taps in” to listen to one read at a time.
      • If there is patterned text (ex: Gingerbread Man), choral read those parts.
    11. Provide more than one option for the assignment – – students are likely to be more engaged if they have a choice.
    12. Make a “scoot” activity in which students move around the room to answer posted questions.
    13. Matching:  Students each have a card and must walk around the room to find their matching partner. Switch cards with someone else and repeat. Connect to the story you are reading.
      • word – definition
      • synonym – antonym
      • sentence – missing verb
      • fact – opinion
      • character – quote
      • affix – root word
    14. Become a vocabulary expert (get free pdf attachment click here):Each student thoroughly researches one word from the vocabulary list (definition, synonym, antonym, use in sentence, pronunciation, part of speech, and illustration). They become the expert about that word and teach it to others.
    15. Cooperative groups – each person should have a role:
      • Summarize a page, set of pages, or chapter.
      • Give an opinion.
      • Sequence main events.
      • Illustrate the story elements of a fictional selection.
      • Search for a specific number of interesting details (they get a choice in what details to include, plus they must debate or rate how interesting the detail is). Let class vote on which detail was the most interesting.
    16. Prepare work stations (learning centers) to review, expand concepts in a game or interactive format.
    17. Four corners:  Pose an open-ended question with 4 possible scenarios. Post each in a different corner. Students go to the corner that matches their opinion and discuss with others who think the same way they do. Then meet with group with opposing opinion for a friendly debate.
    18. Connect phonics, spelling, or word work lessons to the story by searching for one of these categories of words:
      • nouns
      • verbs (you can even specify past tense, present tense, past participles, action, etc.)
      • contractions / compound words
      • by number of syllables
      • vowel sounds
      • opinion words
      • sequence words
      • words with embedded little words (ex: yesterday)
    19. Make a poster of text features to go along with a story or article that didn’t have any.
    20. For stories with very few illustrations, describe a mental picture of what could be going on. Compare and contrast those mental pictures (by illustration if needed).

    Graphics provided via Microsoft Office clipart (creative commons)

    See www.teachertrap.com for this engagement poster:

 

 

Sight Words and Word Walls

by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

Sight words are those which students can identify automatically without the need to decode. They often do not follow phonics “rules.” Examples: who, all, you, of. They may include some high frequency words (HFW). High frequency words are those which occur most often in reading and writing. By learning 100 of the HFW, a beginning reader can access about 50% of text.  According to Fry, these 13 words account for 25% of words in print:  a, and, for, he, is, in, it, of, that, the, to, was, you.

When are students ready to learn sight words?  According to the experts from Words Their Way (Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton), student need to have a more fully developed concept of word.  Concept of Word is the ability to track a memorized text without getting off track, even on a 2-syllable word. In other words, does the child have a one-to-one correspondence with words? When tracking, does their finger stay under a 2-syllable word until it is finished, or are they moving from word-to-word based on the syllable sounds they hear? In the sentence shown, does a student move their finger to the next word after saying ap- or do they stay on the whole word apple before moving on? Students in the early Letter-Name Stage (ages 4-6) start to understand this concept. It becomes more fully developed mid to later stages of Letter Names (ages 5-8).

Students with a basic concept of word are able to acquire a few words from familiar stories and text they have “read” several times or memorized. Students with a full concept of word can finger point read accurately and can correct themselves if they get off track. They can find words in text. Therefore, many sight words are acquired after several rereadings of familiar text.

Instructional Strategies KG-2nd Grade Continue reading

First Day Math & Literature Activity K- 5

by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

The book, Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes is one my my all time favorite first-day-of-school stories to share with my students – no matter what grade level. The main character is Chrysanthemum, who is all excited about her first day of school until the other students start making fun of her name because it is soooo long. This makes her reluctant to go to school until everyone finds out their favorite music teacher has a long name (Delphinium) and is planning to name her new baby Chrysanthemum. A poignant story to help children develop a sense of empathy and compassion and realize that everyone’s name is special – no matter what it is or how long or short it is!

Math Connection Grades K-2

  • Letter and name recognition
  • Counting letters in names
  • Name graph with a variety of methods (paper graph, color tile or unifix cube graph, etc.)
  • Name grid art activity (see below)
  • Comparing name lengths

Math Connection Grades 3-5

  • Name graph – can use first, middle, and/or last names. To start, just have students write their name on a post-it-note and stick it on the board. Then rearrange into columns or rows according to how you are collecting your data. Or make a frequency table, line plot, percentage pie chart, etc.
  • Name grid art activity (see below). Review terms: row, column, grid, array.
  • Use some type of strategy to determine total number of letters in first names in the class (repeated addition, multiplication). Using the example graph, students could add 3 + (4 x 5) + (5 x 8), and so on. Let students think of the strategy though!
  • Determine most often and least often used letters.
  • Determine the mean, median, mode, and range using length of names.

Name grid art activity Continue reading

Early Childhood Resource

Here is a resource I think early childhood educators will love. Click on the link and it will take you there. If you subscribe to this sight,  you will have access to dozens of free activities. Looking for activities dealing with letter sounds, blends, digraphs, cvc words, sight words? This is where you will find them. They are perfect for small group instruction, individual, or centers. I will also add this link to my reading resources.

http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/

Alphabet Letter and Sounds Research

by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

I was browsing through some research on reading and came across this article about instructional practices concerning alphabet letters and sounds. Click here for a pdf of this article: Enhancing alphabet knowledge instruction: Research implications and practical strategies for early childhood educators.

This article discusses the concept of letter-0f-the-week instruction vs. another researched method. I know many KG teachers who implement the letter-of-the-week method with great success. During most of my teaching career, I know this was a pretty common method – even my own children learned this way. However, as research became more prevalent and relied upon to make instructional decisions, this method of teaching one letter a week came under fire. I kept hearing this, but never read any research which supported it, refuted it (or advised what to do instead) until seeing this article. So please have an open mind KG and 1st grade teachers. I like this quote by Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

Here is a summary of the article:

  1. The letter-of-the week method is largely based on tradition rather than research.
  2. With a letter per week, it takes 26 weeks of school (often until March) to complete the cycle, which disadvantages at-risk students.
  3. Many students don’t need a whole week to learn a letter.
  4. With 26 weeks for one complete instructional cycle of the alphabet, this only leaves 10 weeks to review the letters, sounds, and symbols.

The research suggested the following 6 cycles of alphabet learning (meaning each cycle is completed in 26-30 days) and repeated with a different focus for up to 5 more times throughout the year. With each cycle,  the order and reason in which letters are presented is varied. So students experience 6 different opportunities (instead of one) to focus on unique features of the letters to learn the letter name, sound, how to write it, and locate it in text.

1st 26 days: By frequency of initial letters in students’ names. Determine the letters used most often in your students’ names and start with those first. Example:  You have several students whose name begins with M, L, and K. So begin with those letters with your daily instruction. This is very motivating for students and helps with name recognition. Continue reading

Guided Reading and Literacy Stations Part 6: Final Summary

by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

Well, I have finally come to an end of this series on the topic of Guided Reading and Literacy Stations. This last part will be short (I promise) and will hopefully tie it all together . . . along with some of my ideas on what should go on at your teacher station. Here’s the summary:

  1. Build and sustain your classroom community.
  2. Assess students to determine instructional reading level (90-95% text accuracy).
  3. Practice procedures for the activities which students will be doing.
  4. Decide how to group students.
  5. Decide which type of scheduling system you will use (rotation, flexible).
  6. Organize materials: book sets, activity materials, teacher materials

Another important aspect of making your guided reading program work is collaboration and professional development. Talking and working with others is a way to share ideas and problem solve. Yes, you can find plenty of activities via TPT and Pinterest (and via me), but just because you find it on the Internet, doesn’t mean it’s the most effective materials / methods you should use. The same goes for instructional videos. If you are reading this , it means you ARE seeking out professional opinions and resources – THANK YOU! I base my posts on researched methods and advice from the leaders in the field, plus some practical application and personal experience thrown in the mix. Please see my resources section (home page in black bar at the top) for those I consider to be the most helpful.

Teacher Station

Do you have the following materials handy?

  • Basket for each group to keep books and materials organized
  • Letter tiles / magnetic letters
  • Small whiteboards and markers
  • Teacher aides such vowel patterns chart, alphabet chart, sound box template, and sorting mats
  • Pencils and erasers
  • Writing journals
  • Blank cards for adding sight words or vocabulary cards to each group’s basket
  • Writing surface for teacher (table-top easel, chart paper, white board)
  • Strategies chart for teacher and student reference

Suggested 15-20 Minute Schedule for Each Group:

Day 1:  Introduce the book and reading strategy. Then provide children opportunity to silent read (while teacher taps in and listens to each child softly read 1-2 pages).

Day 2: Discuss the story. Praise strategy use. Provide another opportunity to read the story – via discussion or partner reading.

Note: If the books are at the emergent level (A – C), you may be able to combine Day 1 and Day 2 together in a 15-20 minute session. If the book is a higher level (late 2nd and up), you may want to read and discuss a few pages at a time over a 2 day period. Example:  Intro part 1, highlight tricky vocabulary or language structures, give a purpose or strategy, silent read until specified page, listen in to individual students, then discuss that section. Repeat with other sections. This works well with non-fiction books divided by sub-headings too.

Day 3: Word work — phonics and/or vocabulary practice related to the book or to needed skills

Day 4: Writing related to the story. This can be guided (K-2) or independent types (3rd – 5th). It can very easily complement your whole class comprehension skill such as main idea, summarize, sequence, cause/effect, character analysis, story elements, etc. Plus the teacher can monitor and informally assess all sorts of writing (mechanics, spacing, spelling, ideas, punctuation, letter formation).

Day 5: Familiar or independent reading practice. Reread previous books or independent level books  to build confidence and fluency.

Watch for future posts which expand on the above teacher station lessons (book introduction, strategy lessons and prompting, silent and oral reading, word work, and writing in the guided reading session).

 

Guided Reading and Literacy Learning Stations Part 5: The Flexible System

by Cindy Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

In part 4, I discussed the most common literacy station organization system – what I call the Rotation System. This week I will focus on one I refer to as the Flexible System. After reading this article, you should see why I gave it that name. Many of the points I made in the previous post about Organization, Management, and Behavior still apply to this Flexible System. I know several teachers who switched to this system and absolutely love it. Read on . . .

Flexible Station System:

  • Students can start out at their desks with a “must do” assignment of your choice. This provides a staggered start to center time. Then as they finish, they go to a station of their choice – but they can only visit it once a week. They stay at the station until it is complete, then go to another as time allows. The student chooses from whatever is open at the time. The idea is to complete as many stations as possible during the week.
  • Students can work independently, in pairs, or small groups of up to 3-4 students. They can work with the same or different students each day.
  • Teacher calls their small group for instruction daily from wherever they might be in the room. For example, if you call Group A – they might be at different locations in the room. They come to you for their lesson and return to their work station when you are finished with them. You can determine the amount of time you need to spend with each group since your time is also flexible.

Continue reading

Guided Reading and Literacy Learning Stations Part 4: The Rotation System

by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

So you have established a respectful classroom community, practiced procedures and expectations for independent work stations, assessed your students, and decided on how to group them. Now you are ready to implement your literacy learning stations – but how? In this Part 4,  I will focus on the rotation system. In Part 5, I will focus on a more flexible system.

A successful rotation system means your students are divided into groups, and each group rotates to a different learning station at a set time (usually 15-20 minutes, longer for intermediate). The teacher table is one of the learning stations. Others can be computers, listening, silent or partner reading, letter or word work, writing, comprehension, etc. See my Literacy Station Ideas pdf. In this article, I will focus on organization, management, behavior concerns, and pros / cons of the rotation system. Continue reading

Guided Reading and Literacy Learning Stations Part 3: Stations and Grouping

by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

This is part 3 in my series about Guided Reading and Literacy Learning Stations. In Part 2 I focused on creating a classroom community and making preparations for stations by going over procedures in depth – introducing 1 or 2 at a time.

Today I will focus on two other steps: 1) Deciding on what types of stations would be beneficial, and 2) Deciding on how you will be grouping  your students for small group teacher instruction.

Stations should:

  1. Be differentiated and engaging to allow for different abilities and learning styles.
  2. Have signs and anchor charts for each one. The anchor charts serve a dual purpose: To introduce your expectations of their behavior and procedures for the station, and to remind students while actually working at the station.
  3. Address the 5 areas of literacy: Phonemic Awareness (K-2), Phonics, Vocabulary, Comprehension, and Fluency.

Click on the link for my list of Literacy Stations Ideas. While I always advise teachers to start easy and begin with activities that require little preparation (listening center, smartboard, boxed activities, computer station), I hope you will gradually work toward more rigorous, differentiated activities that suit the learning needs of your students.

One station I think is critical is a silent reading / library / magic carpet reading center. Students need to practice the strategies you have been teaching. Here are my suggestions on having an organized classroom library. Continue reading

Guided Reading and Literacy Learning Stations Part 2: Classroom Community and Procedures

by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

Part 1 gave a brief summary of setting up your guided reading and literacy stations program. On this post, I will go into more detail on a couple of the points: 1) building a classroom community, and 2) establishing procedures and practicing activities.

When you release your students to work with partners or in small groups, you need assurance they are going to work together harmoniously, at least most of the time anyway! This is critical to the success of your small group instruction, because you don’t want to be interrupted with disputes while you are working together.

So what can you do? Starting from Day 1, you must work on creating a classroom community; one based on mutual respect, collaboration, kindness, a positive atmosphere, and a feeling that each one is a valued member of the class. There are many ways to accomplish this, of course. But I will share my favorites. Before Great Expectations came to SW Oklahoma, I became familiar with an organization called Responsive Classroom (click to link to their website). They are similar to GE, but primarily train teachers in the NE part of the U.S.  Like GE, they also focus on a strong link between academic success and social-emotional learning. You can subscribe to their newsletter and order wonderful books via their website. I started with one of their books called “The Morning Meeting Book” (click on title). It promotes ways to create a classroom community by having a daily “Morning Meeting.” We formed a circle every morning and greeted each other by name in fun ways. Through this circle, we shared successes and concerns for one another, began discussion topics about how we should behave and respect one another, welcomed new students, made group decisions, and set the tone for the day. Every student was acknowledged and felt valued every day. Students don’t want to disappoint a teacher or classmate they respect, and it almost eliminated the need for time consuming behavior charts. Continue reading

Guided Reading and Literacy Learning Stations Part I: Getting Started

by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

I work with many teachers who are in various stages of implementing small group instruction in reading, so I decided to devote the next few posts to address this topic. I will address the benefits, organization, and how guided reading, whole group mini-lessons, and literacy learning stations go hand-in-hand. This information comes from first hand experience, research, reading from the experts, workshops, and observation of successful implementation.

Steps to setting up a guided reading program:

  1. Build a classroom community. It is important to build trust, respect, and relationships. Teamwork activities are recommended.
  2. Decide what the students will do when the teacher is with a group. The success of this aspect is critical. You will want to devote your complete attention to your small groups. So procedures are very important. What types of literacy activities? Introduce 1-2 at a time and practice before expecting students to do them independently.
  3. How will my students be grouped? By strategy needs? By instructional level? What assessments will you use to gather this data? These first 3 steps should take 4-6 weeks (ideally at the beginning of school).
  4. How will students move or rotate to different stations? Will it be a timed rotation system or free choice? How long? What signals will I use? How will I instill responsibility?
  5. Provide teacher and student resources. These include your guided reading sets of books, books for familiar reading, magnetic letters, individual white boards, teacher chart or board, writing journals, sight word cards, etc.
  6. Be part of a collaborative group. Ongoing professional development is important.

Recommended schedule:

  • 30 minutes whole group mini-lesson daily: Instruction of comprehension and phonemic awareness and phonics skills.
  • 60 minutes small group daily:  If you are grouping students by level, then you are focused on their instructional level. This means they can read the book with 90-95% accuracy (missing no more than 10% of the words). If the book is too easy, there are no strategies to teach. If the book is too hard, there are too many strategies to teach. While teaching your small group, your other students are engaged in literacy activities in these areas – phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary.
  • 15 minutes read aloud daily: This helps build listening comprehension and can connect to your whole group reading focus.

Here’s a 2-page guide to help you prepare your students for guided reading: Guided Reading: The first 6 weeks of school

Stay tuned. I will share more details about each of the above in future posts.

Literacy Stations

by Cindy Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

What is the purpose of having literacy work stations in your classroom? If you answered, “To provide meaningful, engaging, rigorous, differentiated opportunities for students to learn” then you are on the right track!! Aside from the task of deciding on the literacy station procedures and routines you want for your classroom is the problem of actually providing and organizing those quality activities.

Literacy Station Activity

Literacy Station Activity

I know most of you regularly visit the TPT store and Pinterest for ideas.  There are a TON of great things out there. However, not everyone has a color printer or has the means to drain their bank account to pay for these items.

So, here is a resource I think you will like which is FREE, does not require a color printer, and addresses pretty much every literacy skill you need to teach and/or provide practice for (KG-5th grade). It is the Florida Center for Reading Research (www.fcrr.org). Click on this link: Student center activities which takes you directly to the K-5 reading center activities page.  The following are available — all for FREE!!

  • Sections clearly labeled Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency, and Comprehension — with multiple activities for each sub-skill
  • One page overview for each activity (objective, materials list, and directions with illustration showing the activity in use)
  • Flexibility options to use materials as a teaching tool and/or as a practice or review activity

These are some of the types of activities:

  • Tons of letter and picture cards for sorting, matching, pocket charts, concentration, rhyming, word work, etc.
  • Game boards
  • Recording sheets – to record results of activities when appropriate
  • Graphic organizers – especially for grades 3 and up. These can be used with any book.

A teacher’s guide is also available with more detailed directions, background information, and literacy station organizational ideas.

I also bookmarked this site in my Resources section (top of the blog in the black band) should you need to refer to this site often. Enjoy!!! Let us know about your favorite FCRR activity or how you are using them in your classroom! Just click on the comment speech bubble.

 

Concepts About Print (PreK – 1st grade)

By Cindy Elkins – OK Math and Reading Lady

A child’s concepts about print (CAP) shows his/her understanding of how to orient text and their readiness to read. Click on the following link for a printable version of this CAP article. The last page of the article is an assessment which I found on MS Clip art (free). It was designed by Jen Jones @ www.helloliteracyblogspot.com. Click here for a free copy of the following 2 CAP posters (8.5 x 11″ each).

Concepts about Print include:

  • Title
  • Author and illustrator
  • Front and back cover
  • Where to start reading
  • Directionality: left to right, top to bottom, return sweep
  • One-to-one correspondence (voice-print-match)
  • First and last part (of sentence or story)
  • Difference between letter, word, and sentence
  • Capitals / Upper case vs. lower case letters
  • Punctuation (Please call them by their correct names – not “Mystery Mark” or “Happy Mark”)
  • Pictures (which help determine meaning)

How to teach and practice CAP: Continue reading

Listening to Your Students’ Reading Part 3: Visual Cueing System

by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady

monkey-visual-cuesThe third cueing system is the use of visual cues (V) to decode words. This means the reader is mostly focused on how a word looks.  A best-case scenario is when the student is cross-checking by using meaning, structure, and the visual aspects of the word to make a correct response. See previous posts regarding Part I (Meaning) and Part II (Structure).

 If a child mainly relies on this visual cueing system, he/she may become slower and lose comprehension because he/she is so focused on the pronunciation and not the meaning.

 In an earlier post from “Listening to Your Students Reading Part 1,” I referred to this sample sentence: Jack and Jill had a pail of water.

If the child said pill or pal instead of pail, then that child was primarily using visual cues because those words look very similar. Unfortunately, neither of those examples makes sense. Continue reading

Listening to Your Students’ Reading Part 2: Structural Cueing System

By C. Elkins – OK Math and Reading Lady

See Part I – Meaning (posted Sept. 17th)

The second cueing system is the use of (S) Structure or Syntax of our English language. Much of a child’s knowledge about language structures comes as a result of speaking or listening to how language naturally sounds. A reader attempts to make it sound right. Here are 3 possible scenarios: Continue reading

Resources

See the menu bar above for a list of math and literacy resources. For now, I have listed some of my favorite websites which emphasize instructional strategies. Do you have favorites you would like to share? Click on the speech bubble and let us know!

Listening to Your Students’ Reading Part 1: Running Records and Meaning Cueing System

 

By C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady – with adaptations from Marie Clay and Scholastic

As an undergraduate, I know I had coursework in reading related to Miscue Analysis. I remember having a whole book devoted to this study. However, I don’t remember really applying this knowledge until after having taught for 15 years. I attended a Reading Recovery workshop at that time, and heard from two teachers who described how to take a running record and then analyze the results to determine which strategies students were using or neglecting. That one workshop forever changed how I listened to my students read, and how I talked to parents about their child’s reading successes or difficulties.  About 8 years after that I had formal training in Reading Recovery methods (after my kids were grown and I could go back to school) and completed a Masters in Reading all because of that workshop!

So, what is a running record?

  • Written documentation of a child’s oral reading
  • Identifies accuracy of reading (independent, instructional, or hard)
  • Provides a record of strategies, errors, corrections, phrasing, fluency
  • Helps teachers identify cueing systems the child is using / neglecting
  • Documents progress over time

Continue reading