Conferring with Readers Part 1
Today we had our first Teacher Assistant Workshop. Our topic: Conferring in the Reading Workshop: Learning to Read.
Here are some big ideas we came away with:
~ Reading is a highly complex process. The single most important thing that we can give students is access to a good teacher. We teach our hearts out to make sure that there is no single child left behind.
~ Quality compliments are important: As we are focusing on assessing students through conferring and moving each child forward we realized that our COMPLIMENTS need to be SPECIFIC. For example, rather than giving hollow compliments like “Good job”, or “Well done”, we need to give specific feed back such as “I see you are pointing to each word. That’s a smart move that readers do.” or “You made it make sense and look right. That’s a great reading strategy.”
~ A second big idea was we need to teach multiple strategies for learning to read. Many of us focus on the VISUAL cues (”Sound it out”) which is how the word LOOKS. However there are two other important cues that we use to decode words. They are STRUCTURE, which is whether we can say words that way in our English language. We can ask questions such as, “Can we say it that way?”, “Does that sound right?”, and finally MEANING (isn’t this the main reason we read? To gain meaning from a text?) which can be asked, “Does that make sense?”
~ Finally, we looked at a great resource by Fountas and Pinnell, Prompting Guide. This resource gives simple teaching points, prompts, and reinforcement for specific skills in learning to read, such as; Early Reading Behaviors, Searching For and Using Information, Solving Words, Monitoring and Correcting Errors, and Maintaining Fluency. There is a copy in the Literacy room if you would like to check it out.
Here’s what we know about reading:
- Learners need teachers who demonstrate a love of reading.
- Learners need explicit teaching to develop the skills and strategies necessary for proficient reading.
- Learners need time to read
- Learners need opportunities to read high-interest, accessible books of their own choosing
- Learners need authentic opportunities to interact with texts
- Learners need support to develop at their own level and pace
What do you agree with? What big idea did you take away about reading? What still puzzles you?