Monday, July 10

The Reading Strategies Book: Goals 1 & 2


I have to be honest and say that it's been so long since I shared on this blog that it gives me a little bit of anxiety to write, so forgive me.

Today, I'm participating in a book study and sharing some of my favorite strategies from the first 2 goals. I must be crazy. Seriously! I'm already taking 2 classes towards my Masters this summer. Why not add a third book to my weekly reading list, right? Ha! It's a great book, though, that I will feel challenged to include in my basal repertoire this year. (I'm not sure that I mentioned last year, but last summer, I moved from one district to another. It was a positive change.) I'm the veteran teacher now on my 2nd grade team, a position I'm not used to having, so maybe it'll give me some great ideas to suggest as my team is planning this year.

Goal 1 is supporting pre-emergent and emergent readers. Coming into 2nd grade, most of my students are either early fluent readers or almost in the early fluent stage, so I probably won't use most of the strategies included in this goal.

I did wonder if strategy 1.2 The Whole and the Teeny-Tiny Details could be used as a very quick, basic way to introduce main idea to my early fluent readers. The teaching tip said that the strategy helps with informational text structure. It could also maybe be used to introduce the structure of informational writing.

In strategy 1.7 Act It to Storytell It I really liked the visual and think it would be good for higher readers too. In this strategy, the students are basically acting out what is happening in the text, so one option on the poster is to match the character's voice. Another option is to match the character's facial expressions. The last option is to match the character's body movements. I think this is a great strategy to add some engagement and movement to a shared reading activity. I will definitely be using this one in my classroom!

Goal 2 is teaching reading engagement which focuses on focus (LOL), stamina, and building a reading life. I loved this quote in the beginning of the chapter, "Engagement is everything. Research has shown that the amount of time kids spend participating, on-task, with eyes on print, makes the biggest difference to their success as readers, and across content areas" (p.44). Amen, sister!

I loved strategy 2.1 A Perfect Reading Spot because it causes students to self-reflect on what's best for their needs to help them make better choices. I really think that this strategy can be used in all parts of our day, not just during reading. I mean, don't we want our kids to always be proactive in choose the best environment for themselves? Heck, yeah! I especially loved the poster where students add their names on sticky notes when they realize a preference between bright or dim lighting, noisy or quiet, hard or soft seating, and vertical or horizontal sitting.

Another strategy I thought was good for all parts of our day was 2.4 Keep Your Eyes and Mind in the Book. It's all about staying self-monitoring and staying focused. I especially loved the third bullet on the poster, "If you notice your attention shifting... rethink your book choice or rethink your environment." Of course, on the flip side, is strategy 2.13 Mind Over Matter, which I was really happy to see, because kids absolutely need to learn how to stay focused when it's a required reading, something you didn't choose but need to read for an assignment. That's a life lesson. How to work through something you don't want to do.

There were a lot of really good visuals in this goal helping readers learn how to monitor themselves for when they start to lose focus or lose comprehension. I also was able to make a lot of connections to real world applications in many of the strategies throughout this goal.

Anyway, it's a great read so far. I love the ideas and am excited to get into the next goals to see what Serravallo has up her sleeve. I'm sure it'll be good!

And Crystal, thanks for hosting this book study!

Happy reading, 

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