Connecting Teachers and Other Literacy Leaders to Reading Education at UVA through Off-Grounds Professional Development and Courses.
- Upcoming Dates of Note
- Meet our new PALS Director: Dr. Anita McGinty
- Reading Strategy Teaching Tip
- Professional Development News
- Professional Development Opportunities
- Books We Love
Upcoming Dates of Note
- February 25- March 29: Dyslexia Course Fall Session (1 credit, Online)
- Virginia State Reading Association Conference: March 14-16 in Norfolk, VA
Meet Anita McGinty, PALS Director
Dr. Anita McGinty is a Research Associate Professor in CISE with a primary affiliation in PALS. Dr. McGinty’s professional tenure at UVA has been in many waves. She received her doctorate from UVA in 2009 in Risk and Prevention (now Educational Psychology- Applied Developmental Science) as an IES-funded fellow. Dr. McGinty also had the honor of being recognized as the national IES Fellow of the Year. Between 2009 and 2012, she served as a research scientist/assistant research professor within the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), leading a federally-funded literacy intervention across Appalachia. After leaving the University in 2012 to work within non-profit and philanthropic sectors, she returned to UVA in 2017, with the support of the Strategic Initiative Fund (SIF) program. She began as Director of PALS in August 2018 upon the retirement of the founder of PALS, Dr. Marcia Invernizzi.
Dr. McGinty’s focus is on how systems in early childhood (Pk-3rd grade) can support the prevention of reading difficulties and enhance the equality of reading achievement for young children. PALS is a unique academic-state partnership with a long history and Dr. McGinty is thrilled to have the opportunity to build upon such an amazing effort. PALS continues to be a source of literacy expertise and data to those around the state and is also playing an increasingly visible role in work related to early childhood. The growing connection of PALS to collaborators across the Curry School of Human Growth and Development has supported an interest in PALS data within research aimed at applied and policy audiences.
At a personal level, Dr. McGinty enjoys engaging with and giving back to her community and is active with the Blue Ridge Boys and Girls Club and Ron Brown Scholar Program. She enjoys trying to keep up with her three children (12, 8, 7) and husband on the ski slopes, exploring local hiking trails, and taking full advantage of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
From the Reading Coach's Toolbox: Using Text Copies
"Memorize the words on our ____ grade list."
"Put the tricky words they need to learn on a ring".
"Drill flashcards of words daily".
"Send home a list of words to practice".
These are common strategies that teachers report using to teach high-frequency words before taking our noncredit trainings and diagnostic reading courses, but is there a simpler and more efficient way to practice sight words besides isolated drills and memorizing lists of words?
In our clinical and coaching sites, students begin intervention with re-reading carefully selected texts. Their teachers understand the value of children seeing the same words over and over again to build their knowledge of new words (Johnston, Invernizzi, Juel, & Lewis-Wagner, 2009, p. 82). After children have read a book 3-5 times over several days, the teacher provides what we call a "text copy" for re-reading.
WHAT is a text copy?
WHY use a text copy?
Learning sight words or instantly recognized words, can't be boiled down to teaching lists of high-frequency words. Sight word learning requires lots of chances to practice mapping letters and sounds via pronouncing and spelling the words (Ehri, 2005; Metsala & Ehri, 2008). As Rawlins & Invernizzi (2018) remind us, "Automatic word reading, or sight word reading, gives students the gas in the tank to propel the reading machine forward' (p. 1). Text copies give children repeated practice mapping words during an authentic task: reading!
WHO benefits from text copies?
- read DRA 4-14
- point accurately to words in guided reading
- find and identify words in print
- spell with beginning middle and end placeholders (cat = CtA or CaT or KTU)
in other words, use text copies with beginning readers
HOW do I teach with a text copy?
When to Use a Text Copy
- At the beginning of small group instruction or Tier 2 intervention
- During independent reading time
- Show children the physical book's cover to jog their memory
- Discuss 1-2 taught strategies to use if they get stuck
- Ask them to read it
- If a text copy is too hard: show the corresponding page or return to reread the book!
Making Your Text Copies (see Figure 1)
- Retype a familiar book, poem, song, jingle or rhyme
- Use big fonts and wide line spacing.
- Comic Sans MS or Franklin Gothic are common fonts
- Choose an EASY book OR be sure to reread the book 3-5 times over the week
- Collect text copies weekly into folders. Staple together to create personal readers.
- Cut apart into sentences. Ask students to cut, mix and fix.
- Highlight targeted words (Word Hunt)
- Use for word hunts
- Use for additional at-home reading material..
Where Can I Learn More?
Read more about teaching sight words:
Rawlins, A. & Invernizzi, M. (2018). Reconceptualizing sight words: Building an early reading vocabulary. The Reading Teacher. https://doi.org/10.1002/trtr.1789.
Professional Development News
Virginia Beach Literacy Academies
Professional Learning Opportunities
Literacy Academy for Teachers of Struggling Readers
Noncredit: 30 hours for successful completion on your UVA transcript
If you are interested in learning more or arranging for an Academy in your district/school, contact Susan Thacker-Gwaltney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions? Contact Susan Thacker-Gwaltney at email@example.com
Books We're Reading
For Professional Development
Follow 14 spunky rocks and one wise little ladybug in a funny and heartwarming story about the importance of friendship and the power of perseverance. Targeted for children ages 3-11, this is the first of a series of books featuring the "You Rock Group" that kids are sure to cherish as they grow, and learn from empowering, motivating and fun-to-read stories.
As he did in his bestselling book Chasing Lincoln's Killer and "THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN SHOT!", Swanson transports readers back to one of the most shocking, sad, and terrifying events in American history. As violent threats cast a dark shadow over Dr. King's life, Swanson hones in on James Earl Ray, a bizarre racist and prison escapee who tragically ends King's life.
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Location: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, United States