Friday, March 9, 2012

Lit Coach Recommends...

Happy Friday TC Teachers!
The Lit Coach Recommends has been getting consistent daily views from all over the district!  We hope that the information we're sharing is making your lives easier and most importantly helping our students see success in literacy.  Please share resources, videos, or formative assessments with your literacy coach.  We're all in this together!

More Nonfiction Articles
Teachers and coaches are on the look-out for great nonfiction articles and we've been collecting some great ones throughout this unit!  If you have collected some newspaper articles, magazines or articles from the web and would like to share with the district, please do so!  Here are some more sights for nonfiction texts:

Middle Level Texts These texts are identified as different text structure types. 
Nonfiction Texts Grade 3 - 8  These texts focus on different comprehension strategies (main idea, inferring, etc.) 

Check out the Lucy Calkins' Units of Study for Teaching Reading CD ROM for additional texts to be used for analyzing main idea and text structure.
Decoding Help
We've been having many conversations with teacher about AIMSWeb data.  We've been encouraging teachers to really dive into the analysis of the assessment and additional running records to truly find where the break down is for individual students.  Many teachers are looking for ways to assist students in decoding.  Here are a couple of resources to help:
The Resource Room  This site has multiple word lists for teaching decoding skills and also includes some great articles and lessons for small group instruction! 
The Daily CAFE's interactive menu can help you with a variety of decoding strategies under Accuracy.  I especially like Flip the Sound! Members (K-5 Teachers) can check out the video here:  Flip the Sound 
Secondary Folks - If you'd like to see this strategy please see your lit coach!  This strategy can definitely be helpful at the secondary level as well - especially with small group instruction!
Informational Writing
Classrooms across the districts have showcased many approaches to the informational writing unit.  This week we're featuring an idea from the classroom of Jenny Schmitz.  Her amazing organizational system for writing All About Books in first grade is explained below.  

Each student has a folder that consists of a book they have chosen to match their topic of choice, a table of contents page, a template page for 4 different chapters, blank pages for diagrams, illustrations, and maps.  There are also extra pages on hand to use for revison. Each student also has 4 different colored index cards to correspond to the 4 different chapters (pink:  what the animal looks like, blue: where the animal lives, green: what the animals eat, yellow:  wow facts.)   When the project is completed, the pages will be taken out of the folder and bound together to make a book.
Professional Reading
One of our supporting websites, Choice Literacy,  has a collection of a professional articles in forms of lessons, strategies and reflections.  I've chosen a couple articles this week that connect to our current unit of study.  Feel free to read and explore the sites:  

Article - Integrating Nonfiction into the Morning Meeting 
In this article by Andrea Smith she shares some ideas in how to integrate those nonfiction goals into a community-building setting like Morning Meeting.  These strategies will also work with the Share component of workshop.  She also shares some great templates for implementation.  

Article - Ready for Guided Reading? 
Shari Frost shares her thoughts on why some kindergarteners aren't ready for guided reading at the start of 2nd semester.  This article helps teachers focus on students as individuals.   Small group instruction is a key component in the workshop model and may not always involve a guided reading book.  These small groups can focus on letters and sounds as well!  
Recommended Websites 

Teachers have been out surfing the web and are using some great workshop sites to help them find resources to support their instruction.   When surfing the web for resources make sure to ask yourself:
  • Is this a credible source?  Are these strategies research-based?
  • How can I modify or adapt these resources based on the needs of my students?
  • How much time will the preparation of this resource take?  
 Here are some websites recommended by your colleagues and coaches: 

The Reading Lady
Teacher Resources
Jennifer Myers Readers and Writers Workshop
Ms. McDavid's Reader's Workshop

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