Reading AQ Part 1

Summer 2013

My Reflection Journal -- Highlights of the Course

For the past 5 years I have been teaching Visual Arts but in September I will be teaching Language Arts for the first time to a grade 3/4 class. I decided to take Reading Part 1 to help me to prepare for this new challenge. Some of the highlights and ideas I will take with me to my new school are as follows.....


Comprehensive Literacy Model

Gradual Release of Responsibility

  • Read Aloud - teacher in total control, reads story to class
  • Shared Reading - start to develop questions about the story as a group
  • Guided Reading - give questions to students - come back to discuss
  • Independent Reading - giving students full responsibility to demonstrate learning

  • Literature Circles - groups of students reading and discussing the same book
  • Reader's Theatre - read aloud plays for students to perform

Literacy Circles

Examples of different student roles for Literacy Circle

(4-6 students per group)

  • Discussion Director - ask big questions
  • Cool Connector - in charge of making connections with text
  • Word Wizard - finding words they don't know or words writers have used well
  • Passage Picker - highlighting a part/paragraph for a reason
  • Illustrator - draw or illustrate part of the story
  • Travel Tracer - use if story has a lot of different settings
  • Researcher - finds information about the story
  • Powerful Profiler - looks at character development


  • Fishbowl -- one group of students demonstrate how a successful Literature Circle works while the rest of the class observes
  • Class discussion about "What works well?" "What does it look like?" "What does it sound like?"

Field Trip to Another Story Book store in Roncesvalles, Toronto

A great bookstore with a wide variety of books to use with our students.

Here are some of the books I purchased.....

Classroom Strategies and Building Activities I Will Use With My Class

  • Just Like Me
  • Diversagories
  • Inside/Outside Circle
  • Two Truths and a Lie
  • Beyond Every Name
  • Zip/Bong!!
  • I have .... Who has ....
  • Dotmocracy
  • Air Traffic Controller
  • Performance Poetry

Literacy Website Shares

Some great websites to use with my class

Website NameWebsite link

Padlet/Wallwisher and Teaching Kids News, class dojo

Education World

Raz Kids


Reading Rocket



Into the Book

eWorkshop Dr. Seuss

The Teachers Corner

Freundlich Teaching


Laura Candler

starfall/ Phonics on youtube


Reading Eggs

ABC Mouse

Colour Matters


Balanced Literacy Diet


A list of favourite picture books chosen by teachers taking Reading AQ

You Be You by Linda Kranz -- Gr K-5

Mr. Wolf's Pancakes, Mr. Wolf and the 3 Bears, Mr. Wolf and the Enormous Turnip by Jan Fearnley --- K-8

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson --- K-6

Alexander Who Use to be Rich last Sunday by Judith -- K-8

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Have You Filled a Bucket Today by Carol McCloud --- K-8

One by Kathryn Otashi --- K-8

Voices in the Park by Browne --- K-8

Parts by Tedd Arnold --- Kindergarten +

Why Kids Can't Read by Kylene Beers

Fairwell to Featherwagons by Beckie JasaK Gr 3-6

The Way I Feel by Janan Cain --- Grade K -3

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle --- Grade K -3

Not My Fault by Leif Kristaisson --- Grade K-6

Uglies by Scott Westfield --- Grade 7-9

Picture A Tree by Barbara Reid --- Kindergarten

What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page --- Grade K-3

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer --- Gr.3 - 8

Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth --- K-6

If by Sarah Perry --- Primary/Junior

All the Colors of the Earth by Sheila Hamanaka --- Primary/Junior

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon --- Primary (K-3)

On the Day You Were Born by Debra Frasier --- Gr. 1-4

Mr. Peabody's Apples by Madonna --- K-8

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney --- Gr. 1-8

ThePaper Bag Princess by Robert Munch --- K-5

The Monarch Butterfly by Elizabeth Castro --- K-8

Lily Brown's Paintings by Angela Johnson --- Primary (K-3)

Iqbal by Francesco D'Adamo --- Intermediate

Dear Peter Rabbit by Alma Flor Ada --- Primary/Junior

Inspiring Talk from Rita Pierson

Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion

Successful Ways for Accountable Talk!

Looks Like ...

  • making eye contact
  • keeping hands and feet to yourself

Sounds Like ....

  • quiet conversations
  • taking turns talking
  • asking questions
  • speaking in a friendly way
  • explaining your thinking


"I think ___________ is saying that ..........."

"I think ___________ is thinking that ..........."


"I agree with __________________ because ........"


"I would like to build on or add to that idea of ........."


"I disagree with _____________ because ..........."


"This makes me think about .........."

"Another way to think about this is ........."

What is Critical Literacy?

  • to question, examine or dispute the realations that exist between quthors and readers
  • to challenge kids to think

Todays learners are:

  • driven
  • engaged
  • diverse
  • creative
  • global rights
  • wired
  • collaborate
  • fast paced
  • team players

Having students examine text from different perspectives challenges them to expand their thinking and discover beliefs, positions and understanding.

Process of Thinking

Information is ....

knowing the tomato is red

Knowledge is ...

knowing the tomato is a fruit

Wisdom is ...

Knowing a tomato does not belong in a fruit salad


Thanks to all of you for giving out valuable information about how to set up a Reading program! I have purchased "The Daily 5" and "The Cafe Book" after seeing your presentations. Thanks!


Despite the heat I have enjoyed spending the beginning of my summer learning ways in which to successfully teach Reading to my students. Thanks for the memories!