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Reading Instruction
Old 08-06-2006, 06:16 PM
 
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I am so embarrased to admit this, but am so clueless when it comes to reading instruction. Here is my issue. I keep reading about how people organize their reading instruction so that the first part they teach the whole class a 'skill', then they have some of the kids work on this 'skill' during independent reading/centres while they take another group for guided reading. Now, I understand the idea of guided reading in the sense of working with a small group and providing some individualized instruction, but it is the 'skill' to the whole group that throws me. What 'skills' do you teach? How do you ensure they kids work on that 'skill' during their individual reading time and not just 'read'? How many skills do you work on in a week? Month? Perhaps that is because I am a new grade 5 teacher who just got bumped from K and am feeling a bit stressed. Now, I have bought some guided reading books to get some help from (Harvey/Goudvis, Fountas and Pinnell, but could you PLEASE give me some help???? I am drowning, here!


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take a deep breath...
Old 08-06-2006, 06:26 PM
 
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clueless,

It must be very stressful moving to a new grade level. I've taught the same level for 9 years. You have a right to feel nervous about this.

Now that you've taken a breath. Let's brainstorm some solutions. First, are you the only 5th grade teacher at your school? I'm going to assume that you are not alone and suggest that you find a mentor in one of your colleagues. Second, does your state have a Grade Level Expectations document? Again, I'll assume so and suggest that you go find it online and print it out so that you know what skills are expected to be taught/learned at 5th grade. Use that document to "map" out your year. We've just spent the better part of 2 days doing that in my grade level team. It's a rough guideline, but we'll fine tune as we progress through the year. Last, I'll hope that you have a team approach at your school in delivering instruction. Our grade level works very hard during a shared planning time to map out our week and what we will be teaching during that week. Will you have benefit of a shared plan period with your colleagues?

edited to add: As far as your question about how to ensure that the students are doing their individual work, I'm told that it is all in the setting up of your classroom procedures and expectations for behavior. My school is changing from a whole group instructional style to a leveled reading group within the classroom style. I'm a little concerned about the issue of students staying on task also, but my trainer insists it is all in how you train your students.
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Old 08-06-2006, 07:17 PM
 
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Chalkdusty has given some good sound advice. I too would recommend a mentor and looking at your state course of study. I am not sure about the skills that you would teach as I am a second grade teacher, but I am sure that they would include things such as main idea, character analysis, drawing conclusions, creating mental images, etc... I generally use a good piece of literature to introduce the skill that we are focusing on. During center time I may have a game at a center on main ideas, at independent reading they may use sticky notes to write the main ideas of paragraphs on and stick it to the page, they may match main idea to the story on the overhead at another center.

I made a file for each reading skill that I am to teach and when I come across an idea or page or activity that covers the skills I just put it in the folder. That is where I get my center ideas. Internet is a good resource for this as well.

I usually focus on one skill per couple of weeks. Depends on the skill. Main idea would take about a month. I would start with non fiction since it is easier and then move to fiction which is much more difficult.

My advice to you is to not be embarrased about this. Even after 9 yrs of teaching I am learning new things and trying to perfect my reading instruction. Keep us posted and good luck.
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Old 08-06-2006, 07:49 PM
 
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Is your Harvey/Goudvis book Strategies That Work? Even before I finished reading your post, I thought of that book. It will give you an idea of the skills, and how to have the students work on them. Good luck!
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Old 08-06-2006, 08:18 PM
 
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the skills that fall under a few different reading subtests on our state test (NCLB-mandated) are what drive my reading instruction.

i think these subtests and skills are pretty similar nationwide.

totally off the top of my head, here is a list of reading categories and the skills under them (for my state)--and there are lots more, this is all i can remember at the moment:

literary analysis
*literary techniques (simile, metaphor, etc)
*story grammar (character, setting, etc)
evaluative reading
*categorize/classify
*fact/opinion
*bias/persuasion/validity
interpretive reading
*prediction
*inference/draw conclusion
*cause/effect
*compare/contrast
*summarize
literal reading
*main idea/supporting details
*locate info (table of contents, index...)
*following directions (labels, etc)
*sequencing
word analysis
*prefix/suffix/base
*word origins
vocabulary
*synonym/antonym
*homophones (same sound, different spelling)/ homonyms (same spelling, different meaning)
*context clues

hope that helps!


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