Awhile back I had a reader ask how I teach reading. I could talk forever about reading. I LOVE teaching reading. However, I thought I would sum up my favorite resources and my reading block for you in one little post. Please remember…Reading Block is dynamic (as it should be) so I say this with the idea that it can change. As you know, this is my 2nd year at home with my new baby (well, not so new anymore) and although I am not teaching reading in a classroom to 2nd or 3rd graders, I am now teaching reading to a preschooler (my older kiddo just dying to learn to put letters and sounds together). I love it! However, by no means am I the end-all-know-all. I am going out of my comfort zone today (which I love by the way) and am so honored to be answering this question.
My reading block has mostly been a reading workshop model with a Daily 5 type of environment. During the last 3 years of my teaching, my team and I integrated reading and writing together. It was a challenge and was just getting off the ground but it was good. Good for the kids and good for time management. So, to begin the literacy block I always started with some sort of read aloud…a picture book. During this time I modeled whatever skill I wanted them to learn. I never tell them “today I’m going to teach you….” After years of doing this (and when the Texas Objectives first came out, I would post the objectives right away)…not anymore. We have moved away from that. I first just start reading…model, model, model and then after they start contributing I say “you know what you just did….you _____” then I can stress the skill or objective. There has to be some sort of buy-in. Usually the first day of the week I started with the ‘To’ approach…gradually moving into the ‘With’ and then wrapping it up with the ‘By’. This meant I scaffolded the learning. Lots of anchor charts were used…no pre-made charts though. I wrote the words the kids actually said and organized them in a way to teach the skill. We then went into some sort of Daily 5 routine, or some sort of partner practice, or an individual practice. Some weeks we had ‘book clubs’…a term I used for ‘literature circles’ during this time. After this, we always had self-sustained reading, during which time I pulled guided reading groups. Usually I met with 2 groups a day. On a really, really good day, I would meet with 3. We finished up with a sharing component.
Then, during the writing block (every day), we had more concentrated word work at the beginning of the block. I used whichever book I read during reading time to model the writer’s craft. I completed a very short model of the skill and then we went into writing workshop. Kids write—I pull students (sometimes individually, sometimes in pairs, and sometimes in small groups)–then we share. I would find a couple of students who did exactly what the lesson for the day was and highlighted their work. This was in addition to the students who got to share.
In a nutshell, this is my literacy block. I hope I didn’t forget anything and I hope this helps! I tried to make this as concise as possible.
Really these resources are what have formed my literacy time:
Guiding Readers and Writers and Guided Reading by Fontas and Pinnell
Reading with Meaning by Debbie Miller
The Daily 5 by Boushey and Moser
And I forgot an important one:
Strategies That Work by Harvey and Goudvis
The Nuts and Bolts of Teaching Writing by Lucy Calkins
Writing Workshop by Ralph Fletcher
Notebook Know-How by Buckner and Fletcher
A Writer’s Notebook by Ralph Fletcher
Craft Lessons by Ralph Fletcher
Again, I hope this helps. Thanks so much for asking. You all are the BEST! So, your turn! What is your favorite reading or writing resource? I would love to hear from you!