When I am asked to assist teachers with any kind of training it usually raises more questions in my head than can be addressed in the -3 hours I am given to present. For the “Red System” in Leveled Literacy, Fountas & Pinnell, I have been asked to assist RSP and SDC teachers and their teaching assistants with implementing this work. Or, more specifically, to raise the comprehension levels of the students they serve. Questions. Many, without clear ways to address them.
- When do we assess elementary readers, how do we decide what we will teach in light of the assessment?
And, what are some of the differences in this elementary program from what we know in primary reading? i.e. the “Green System.”
- What should happen every day in reading time? What would true “program fidelity” look like, based on the need of your students? How do you build a rich literary culture in a classroom where students are EL and have not experienced much success with books?
Are you coaching students to pause and review; to question the text, to summarize as they read…to picture what they are reading. Do you show them “think-aloud?”
How much time do we expect kids to attend to instruction? When do you stop and talk about it, or draw – to do something cognitive with what they’ve read at a stretch?
Have you tried building book talks? I can share some prompts and the teacher role. I found it the hardest, but most effective thing to teach my emotionally challenged struggling readers.
- Fluency: What it isn’t. Question: What were you taught is important about reading?
Are you modeling it? Do you have a raft of read alouds that you LOVE?
Do you know that you can be teaching phrasing while students are reading for content? And that for EL students in particular, getting the syntax and cadence of English is a big help to their understanding of what they read? Can be.
- Helping students know how to read more complex (bigger) words. So many upper elementary students get into longer texts with no instruction on how to deal with longer words and challenging vocabulary. Did you know that F & P provides regular, effective games to address word work? All it takes is pre-prep on your part…
Is there anything that I can show in my teaching, as I take participants to be my sample class that would inspire them to teach reading with all their heart? There’s something to be said for understanding what it is and not relegating reading to another academic subject.
Sigh. This is not getting my demo written, is it? (rhetorical question).