ACE Literacy Newsletter
Elementary Literacy | April 2018 YEAR 3: VOL. 4
In this Edition:
Balanced Literacy Focus: Whole group reading
STAAR Prep: Differentiating instruction
Instructional Resources: 6th Six Weeks Instructional Calendars
Building readers: Independent reading stamina
Preparing great readers
This month’s instructional focus in balanced literacy is Whole group reading. With testing season upon us, let's keep our focus on developing great readers and critical thinkers.
Teach a SKILL not a passage
Data and Curriculum maps
I study the SE's from my curriculum model and plan my model for all students. Additionally, I study my data and determine SE's of need for my various skill groups in class (Masters, Meets, and Approaches).
Model the skill
- Ensure the learning objective is clear and aligned
- Hook the readers to the text and introduce or define the reading strategy
- If continuing a book or story from a previous day- summarize the reading
Model the skill for students exactly as you would want them to practice it.
- Think aloud using precise language
- Use an anchor chart to show thinking
- Break down each step
Check out the video below of a mini lesson related to making an inference.
Notice these things:
- economy of language- Is the teacher clear and direct with her learning objective? How long does this entire mini lesson take?
- model- Does the teacher model her thinking aloud just as she would want the students to do?
- model- Does the teacher utilize an anchor chart to provide further clarity?
- release- Is the teacher clear with her instructions so that students will be successful when they begin to practice?
Guide them through practice
- Utilize turn and talk
- Continue to think aloud
Continue to practice
- Aggressively monitor the classroom to identify misconceptions and re teach in the moment
- Have your exemplar prepared to provide feedback that will support students to rise to your level of exemplar expectation
- Use show call technique to model exemplar student work that the entire class can emulate
- Students may practice the skill in the same text or a different short text
- Practice could be open ended- For example- If students are working on comparing across texts (fig 19F), students could be completing a T chart with details from passage 1 and passage 2 which will be a strategy they can directly apply when answering future multiple choice questions.
Check for understanding
See below: multiple choice question with strategy from direct model applied.
As you study your data and consider your groups, use this differentiation tool to plan high leverage re-teach instruction.
For some students it may be higher leverage to drill down and work toward success on particular skills before moving on to others.
For example, in third, fourth, and fifth grades, we can be certain that there will be a high frequency of questions assessing the understanding of main idea in non fiction literature. In contrast, we know that summary (fig 19E) would not be asked more than one time for that genre. For students struggling to achieve "approaches" it would be of greater benefit to master the skill of main idea, before reteaching the skill of summarizing.
- Identify the more complex questions in a passage in order to give instruction and feedback to 'masters' and 'meets' level students.
- Help narrow your focus for 'approaches' level students so that they can master high leverage skills.
- Ensure that your instruction includes a range of question complexity and is representative of the complexity at which students will be assessed.
Hot off the press: 6th Six Weeks curriculum calendars
When reviewing these calendars, pay close attention to the genre for the week. Select a great mentor text in line with the genre for the week and practice the SE’s listed for each day with that model text. Also- use the STAAR aligned question stems in the document to write your DOLs and plan your questions during your lesson!
Check out the Reading Strategies Book from Jennifer Serravallo from your campus instructional coach and consider these fresh ideas:
- Lesson 2.8 Set a timed goal
- Lesson 2.10 "Party Ladder"
- Lesson 2.14 Track Progress on a Stamina Chart