TDS January Newsletter

Readings from Reed

Choose Your Tools

I like to collect whisks. Shiny, pointy, swirly.....

They're little pieces of functional art.

Drew smirks when I wander into the gadget aisle of Crate & Barrel. He knows what I'm "wandering" toward. He laughs as he asks, "What's that whisk for?" knowing full well that I will have a smart reply. I'll have a plan for exactly how I intend to use this tool. ("Look, honey, this whisk has super slim loops so that the mixture will glide right through." or "This flat whisk will be great for using with the saute pan.")

They're attractive tools each with a specific purpose - just like the pieces of our Balanced Literacy Block.

Lucy Calkins' wise words remind us: Just as a doctor, architect, or mechanic reaches for a particular tool to accomplish particular purpose, teachers of reading also make choices among available tools.

Keep adding tools to your toolbox and choose wisely, my friend!



Strategy Group Reading (One Piece of the Balanced Literacy Puzzle)

Strategy Group Reading is especially effective for:

  • helping students develop more skill in using a particular reading strategy
  • students may be reading at different guided reading levels

Strategy Group Reading is especially effective when:

  • it's short and sweet - approximately 15-20 minutes
  • readers get an opportunity to apply the skill/strategy in their own, independent reading
  • strategy groups meet consistently for a few days to build on teaching points… think of this like a teaching “cycle”

What does it look like?

  • Readers may be using a shared text for the mini-lesson OR Readers may be using their independent texts for the mini-lesson
  • Each Reader has a text in their hands
  • Teacher connects today’s learning to previous learning
  • Teacher clearly states the teaching point
  • Teacher models the teaching point in their own/shared text or with a student’s text
  • Students try the skill/strategy while teacher observes, scaffolds, guides
  • Teacher might then make a second teaching point based on observations
  • Students go off and practice skill/strategy in their own, independent reading

Strategy: Attacking Tricky Words (all students can work on these skills, no matter what book they bring to the small group table...)

Do you have students who are starting to read chapter books? Jennifer Serravallo has some words of advice...

Upcoming Professional Development

    • January 16- REACH ELA Mapping Committee from 4:15 pm - 5:45 pm @ CO
    • January 17- District Professional Development 1/2 Day
    • January 21- District Kindergarten Math Book Study from 4:15-5:15 @ CRE
    • January 23- REACH ELA Mapping Committe from 4:15-5:45 @ CO
    • January 28- Math Curriculum Mapping from 4:14-5:45 @ CO

    Katherine Reed

    Teacher Development Specialist @ CRE, FES, and LRE