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Jennifer Serravallo
Old 02-04-2018, 03:52 AM
 
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Anybody used her writing and/or reading strategies books? Are they worth the money? Our ELA curriculum has become so much work for teachers and I'm looking for something that will focus my teaching. We are given a rough guide and have to come up with all the lessons, activities, and assessments. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Happy Sunday


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Old 02-04-2018, 04:21 AM
 
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I'd like to hear from others who've used her books more extensively. However, I can say that I have the reading strategies book, and I thought it turned out to be an anchor chart book, nothing more. She does boil down each concept to a bite-size chunk, no more than 1-2 pages on anything, which is nice if you're wading through stuff in your teacher manual. But I found I just didn't use the book as much as I thought I would.
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Old 02-04-2018, 07:01 AM
 
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I wasn't crazy about the Writing Strategies book. The Reading Book had some good information, and it's broken down nicely into different stages. However, I feel like if you've been teaching reading for awhile, 75% of it will be stuff you already know about. I think it would be an awesome book to give new teachers as they set up their first reading groups.
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Thank you
Old 02-04-2018, 03:18 PM
 
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I guess I probably won't get either book. I've been teaching 21 years. I'm just having a hard time sequencing my lessons. Without a basal it's difficult to piece everything together. I will keep searching.
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Old 02-06-2018, 05:06 AM
 
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I love the way it is organized and find it very helpful for strategy group instruction as well as individual conferring. After completing and analyzing either formal or informal running records you can go to the section in the book that pertains to the area of need and pick and choose strategies that may be applicable. Granted, many are not anything brand new or earth shaking, especially for experienced teachers, but serve as a springboard for ideas on next steps for your students.

I added tabs to my book for each section to make it easier for me to flip to the part I need more quickly. Many teachers have created a binder with the strategies and mini versions of the anchor charts to use as a reference during conferring. Unlike other posters, I guess I am a fan of her reading strategies book

Combined with F&P’s Continuum you have some pretty solid guidance in planning for reading instruction.

What grade do you teach and are you bound by any set type of instructional practices? Resources I relied on for teaching reading included Debbie Miller, Stephanie Harvey, Jan Richardson, and the Two Sisters. Using ideas I gleaned from them formed the basis of my reading instruction.


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Reading Strategies
Old 02-06-2018, 04:12 PM
 
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I have the reading strategies book, and I think it is a helpful reference. I switched grade levels this year, moving to a grade I haven't taught in several years. I look up ways to teach different concepts in small group when kids are struggling, but it hasn't been a must-have.

I do like Serravallo's approach to teaching comprehension to a variety of ability levels in the same classroom, but I wouldn't be allowed to do it at my school. We're all expected to be using the same materials and teaching the same thing the same way at the same time.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:36 AM
 
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Cat woman- We are not bound by any instructional practices. That's what I'm having such a hard time with. We have an ELA guide for what the children need to know by the end of the unit (9 weeks). Our task is to plan lessons using various books that teach certain standards. How we do it and what materials we use is completely up to us. I was looking for something logically organized in small chunks to use as a guide.

This is our first year so it has been rough. I was thinking that Daily 5 would fit in nicely with what we are doing. I've used parts of it before but with a basal and with the structure we had it was difficult to fit in.

By the way I teach second grade.

Thank you so much for the added information.
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Old 02-08-2018, 05:46 AM
 
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I also taught second grade and was given the ok to abandoned the basal. I used the CAFE strategies, Stephanie Harvey’s Primary Comprehension Toolkit and ideas from Debbie Miller’s book, Reading With Meaning. I also found ideas from Tanny McGregor’s Comprehension Connections very helpful. I guess I created my own hybrid. I also did Guided Reading groups based on Jan Richardson’s Next Steps in Guided Reading. I love teaching reading! Now if you asked about writing.......that is a whole ‘nuther story!

Is your administration ok with you using informal running records as asssessments?

Oh, another useful tool if you are teaching CCSS is The Common Core Lesson Plan Book. I realize all these resource books add up to a lot of money, though. Our Curriculumn Coordinator had a pretty nice collection for us to borrow from.
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Old 02-10-2018, 01:35 AM
 
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Wow! That's a lot of resources to piece together. Reading is my favorite subject but it has become so complicated to come up with a meaningful sequence of presenting the material and following up with practice. I will probably choose 2-3 resources and use those as my focus adding more if needed.

For assessments we have a rigid number of reading and English tests to administer. There are a few teacher's choice grades. We are trying to all use the same assessments.

Thank you for your input. It really means a lot that you took the time to explain what you do in your classroom!
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I love the Reading Strategies Book
Old 02-11-2018, 09:44 AM
 
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I use it everyday when I plan guided reading lessons. I feel I am using my time with my groups more effectively and my guided reading groups are making a lot of progress.


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Old 02-12-2018, 02:32 AM
 
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Despite my previous statement to not buy these books I decided to take the plunge. I figure that without a basal they would help me choose strategies and focus lessons that the students really need. I think that even examples of anchor charts would help. We literally have nothing. I guess something is better than nothing!

Thank you so much for all your help!!
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