Thursday, February 11, 2016

Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary - Chapter 13 Reading Aloud

A Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary Grades by Lucy Calkins
        *This review includes content from the chapter and content from the discussion

Our last Primary Book Study session was led by 2nd grade teacher Christy Constande.  What a perfect choice to lead a session about Read-alouds!  Christy is a lover of books and exemplifies the type of teacher that Lucy Calkins writes about. This beautiful poster above is taken from Christy's Chets Creek Teacher of the Year celebration.  She was also a finalist for the Duval County Teacher of the Year.

 BIG ideas in Chapter 13
Reading Aloud

"Together with our children - we gulp down stories..."
"Read to them. Take their breath away."

Choosing texts - choose carefully to read aloud several times a day
Use the read-aloud to teach the skills of proficient reading -  20 minutes, several days a week is specified read-aloud time
  • Choose the skills to teach - spy on yourself as you read and select the sequence of skills to teach
Reading aloud across the curriculum - read fiction and nonfiction
Making read-alouds more interactive
  • Use your hands, eyes, posture, voices and heart
  • Let the students take the wheel -"stop and think" and then leave a pool of silence or "turn and talk," "stop and jot,"  "stop and sketch," "stop and retell."
  • Some day "be quiet" and "don't talk the experience to death."
Supporting a whole-class conversation
  • At Chets Creek, we call this accountable talk  where the students talk to each other without raising their hands and  without the teacher facilitating the entire conversation                                                                                                            

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary - Chapter 11 Word Study

A Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary Grades by Lucy Calkins
        *This review includes content from the chapter and content from the discussion

This session was led by Kindergarten teacher Maria Mallon
who often teaches our demo lesson for Skills Block.
Our Book Study might not be exactly like sitting with Lucy Calkins (above),
but we get as close as we can!
BIG ideas in Chapter 11
Word Study
What, when and where
  • Word Study includes phonemic awareness, letter-sound work, spelling patterns, high-frequency words, strategies for solving words, and vocabulary.  At CCE word study is used included in Skills Block which is a 30-minute block (Calkins suggest a 20-minute block) in addition to the one hour Reading and Writing Workshops.  In first grade we also include hand writing.
  • At CCE Skills Block teaches the skills in isolation and then those skills are reinforced in context during the Reading and Writing Workshop.

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness

  • can be assessed informally by caring a checklist on a clipboard and only  needs to be formally assessed if the student is having trouble 
  • Sequence: rhyming, syllables, phonemic isolations and identity, blending and segmenting, phoneme manipulation
  • At CCE many Kindergarten teachers use the Nursery Rhyme unit to reinforce these skills and to give extra practice in phonological awareness at the beginning of the year.  This can also be small group work.    
Letter-Sound Knowledge
  • can be assessed informally with a checklist on a clipboard and only needs to be formally assessed if student is having trouble
  • assess students having difficulty by asking them to name the letters and sounds
High-frequency Words
  • assess a month or two into school
  • check TCRWP website for resources
Word Study in Kindergarten
  • Word study will be longer at the beginning of the year and then shorter towards the end
  • The first six weeks word study includes name study and letter-sound identification daily, the second six weeks high frequency words are added and name study completed, and from then on phonics three days a week and and high-frequency words two days a week.    
    • Name Study -Begin with Patricia Cunningham's "Star Name" (This looks familiar to CCE teachers since it was taken directly from Teachers' College)  
      • Shared Reading - Put names into shared reading poems and rhymes 
      • Interactive Writing - Use names such as drawing picture of what the star student likes to do
      • Writing Workshop -  Use the name chart for students to write friends' names and also for thinking about words that start with the names
    • Phonics: Letters and Sounds - Includes letters, sounds and spelling patterns  - start with consonants, the ones found is student names - first teach continuant sounds (/m/, /s/...) and then stop sounds (/b/, /t/...) -  teach one letter/sound a say, about three a week but continue exposure to entire alphabet
      • Interactive Writing - use the tools created in Word Study as strategies for writing new words
      • Writing Workshop -use these same tools created in Word Study as strategies for writing new words
    • High-frequency Words - teach 2-3 each week - choose one or two letter words to start and words that look different - use Marie Clay's "three ways to remember" (visual - looking at the word and features, movement - write the word or make it with play doh, magnetic letters, etc. and use their voice by saying the letters of the word) - use the word in context
      • Interactive Writing - introduce words like I and see immediately in predictable charts Writing Workshop     
      • Writing Workshop - students write their own predictable/pattern books with high-frequency words   
    • Spelling Patterns - "Making Words" combines approaches and could be used twice a week (to manage the letters for this approach many teachers at CCE have students do this whole group with a white board with only a smaller group -Tier 2- manipulating with magnetic letters )
      • Interactive Writing - Display charts such as alphabet ,name and short vowel chart for students to use in writing
Assessing Word Knowledge in First and Second Grade
  • Phonics -
    • use a Formal Spelling Inventory (such as the one in Words Their Way - children who miss a concept one of two times will need review but who miss the concept three or more times with need explicit instruction- this is how small groups are pulled for differentiation
    • samples from writing also provide information
    • Running Records provide valuable insights - pay attention to visual errors
  • High-frequency Words - check TCRWP website
Word Study Instruction in First and Second Grade - one phonics concept a week and extend to a second week if needed - engage with spelling patterns first cvc followed by CVCe and CVVC or vowel teams and last ambiguous vowel patterns
  • Phonics
    • sorts for spelling patterns, both closed (teacher provides the parameters) and open (inquiry based) - if sorting by sound, provide pictures but if sorting visually, provide word cards
    • "Guess the Covered Word" by Cunningham
      • Interactive writing - After working on words in isolation (above) use the words in context- one variation is interactive editing with Game On!
      • Writing Workshop - Put a number at the top of the page and play Game On! to transfer what is going on in Interactive writing to individual work
    • High-frequency words - beginning with three words a week and building to five - check words in writing because they have learned the word when they use it correctly in writing
      • Snowball and Bolton's "look-say-spell-cover-check" - Do each word three times for each word using white boards
      • Practice finding the words in their writing
Vocabulary - Vocabulary is casually mentioned in this chapter but CCE teachers teach it explicitly using a curriculum written in house to go with the Kindergarten "Star Books" and using Text Talk for first and second during their Skills Block time

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary - Chapter 10 Conferring

A Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary Grades by Lucy Calkins
        *This review includes content from the chapter and content from the discussion

Today's session was led by the very talented 2nd grade teacher, Laurie Justo.  This was my last Book Study session at Chets Creek as I will be retiring at the end of the year (The book study, however will continue for two more sessions).  I missed getting a picture of the group because they surprised me by each presenting me with their own "conference notes" - so many sweet sentiments from some very talented and thoughtful friends and colleagues.

 BIG ideas in Chapter 10
Conferring with Readers: Intense, Intimate, Responsive Teaching
"... it  is through one-to-one instruction that all of us learn to teach."

The Big Goals of a Conference
"...providing a learner with feedback accelerates skill development."

Two Kinds of Conferences
  • Research-Decide-Compliment- Teach Conference
    • Research - listen to the student read (running record or observing), review previous work with student, check in by asking, "What have you been working on as a reader? What strategies have been the most useful? How's it going? What feels tough?" 
    • Decide - make a decision about the one thing that will most help the reading - don't need to finish the story
    • Compliment - offer a specific compliment of something you want the student to continue always
    • Teach - Name your teaching point and teach explicitly - tell the student to sue the teach often giving him a reminder such as a bookmark, giving the student a sticky note to note where he tries the strategy
  • Coaching Conference
    • Intervene lightly as the student reads
    • Decide-teach-link

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary - Chapter 9 Small-Group Work

A Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary Grades by Lucy Calkins
        *This review includes content from the chapter and content from the discussion
Today's session was led by Tammi Sani, our Special Education specialist, who shared things that work in her small groups.  We met in her small group intervention room.  She shared a video from Teachers' College which we debriefed.  Tammi shares a document camera with another teacher, so when it wouldn't work,
we just switched to watching the video on her laptop!

BIG ideas in Chapter 9
Small-Group Work

Chart from
A Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary Grades
Kinds of Small Groups
  • Guided Reading
  • Strategy Groups
  • Small-group Shared Reading 
  • Small-group Interactive Writing  
Word Work Inside the Small Group  
  • Look at the phonics skill needs that the small group has in common and warm up with something related in context 
  • We basically have moved word work to the Skills Block, but discussed how sometimes a certain need just jumps out during  the small group work and is appropriate to do right then      
Coaching Tips
  • Choose what and how to teach. Discussion included how poor our guided reading selections are.  
  • Keep your teaching short. Discussion included teachers discussing how to work on keep the small groups shorter - 10 minutes or less.
  • Use familiar texts when demonstrating. Discussion included  how it would help to spend a day going through the guiding reading books that we do have and identify the best skills for certain books instead of trying to do it on the fly, which lots of teachers admitted  to doing.
  • Effectively demonstrate - name the teaching point, enact it, and name what they've seen.
  • Coach kids in their work.
  • Make an appointment to check in and follow up. 
  • Discussion also included teachers agreeing that in kindergarten, they do more one-on-one than small group but more small group work in 1st and 2nd.
Plan with Reading Development in Mind
  • Think about a developmental pathway                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary - Chapter 8 Management Systems

A Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary Grades by Lucy Calkins
                             *This review includes content from the chapter and content from the discussion

Led by kindergarten teacher Sarah Hawas - to see Sarah's video

BIG ideas in Chapter 8
Management Systems?
"Why do so many people assume that classroom management is a concern for novice and struggling teachers but not for master teachers?"
The importance of structures and systems
  • Reading and Writing mirror each other.  If the structures are predictable, the children can concentrate on the content.
Learning classroom management systems and strategies
  • "The best way I know to learn classroom management strategies is to visit well established reading and writing workshops to study the infrastructure that underlies this kind of teaching."
 Managing the mini-lesson: The beginning of each day's reading instruction
  • Convening the class for the mini-lesson
    • Build a "set up" before asking the children to join you
    • Develop your own signal to get the students' attention and use it consistently
    • Demonstrate -act out- procedure of pushing in chair, make a beeline to their spot. sit, handle materials the way you expect, and begin reading the anchor charts while waiting.
    • Do not repeat yourself.  Expect first time listeners.
  • Establishing long-term partnerships and reading clubs
    • We drew so many different pictures
       and took photographs to identify
      independent and partner reading -
      who knew we could just draw circles?
      Pair students at similar reading levels
    • Back-to-back for Private reading and knee-to-knee-shoulder-to-shoulder with book in between for partner reading
    • K &1 start with private reading and switch to partner reading at the halfway point
    • Clubs are usually two ability grouped partners
    • Club conversations take part during share
  • Management during mini-lessons
    • Mini-lessons are more teacher talk
    • What to do when your partner is absent - join another group
    • Teach turn and talk explicitly 
Managing reading time
  • Sending students off to work: transitions from mini-lesson to work time
    • Teach dismissal explicitly
      Confer app
      Transitions are smoother if children always know where they will sit during reading time
  • Nature of children's work during the Reading Workshop
    • Never done reading
    • "Ask 3 before me"
Managing conferring and small group work: Making one-to-one conferences and small group instruction possible
  • See about 3 children a day for individual conferences
  • Consider table conferences
  • Need a system for who to meet with
  • Develop a system for recording conferences
  • Digit apps were suggested for note taking, Confer and Brightloop
Brightloop app

Managing the share
  • Never skip the share - the brain remembers the last thing
Managing the classroom library
  • Make it easy to find just right books with letter and genre labels
  • Manage how students change out books
  • Gather enough books
Next assignment: 1-14-16 at 8:20 - Chapter 9:Small-Group Work: Developing a Richer Repertoire of Methods, Tammi Sani's room

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary - Chapter 6 Tracking Kids:Progress and Using Assessment to Support Instruction

A Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary Grades by Lucy Calkins
Session led by Kindergarten Team Leader, Debbie Harbour

BIG ideas in Chapter 6
Tracking Kids: Progress and Using Assessment to Support Instruction

Which assessments will you use at the beginning of the year?

Who is this assessment for?
What will you find out?
Emergent Readers

Concepts about print

Emergent Storybook Reading Stages (Sulzby)

Foundational Skills & Reading Levels

Letter-Sound Identification

Spelling Inventory

High-frequency words

Running Records

Volume, Stamina & Comprehension

Tallies or book logs

Writing about Reading

How will you get to know your readers at the start of the year?
  •  a list of reading levels for incoming students
  •  last running record from the year before
  •  last letter sound identification and/or spelling inventory and high frequency work assessments from the year before
  • end-of-the-year writing (on-demand from Units of Study) from the year before

How will you use running records to inform classroom instruction?
  • Committing to  TCRWP’s QRI system for running records
  •  Making running records an on-going part of Reading Workshop

o   Prepare in bulk ahead of time
o   Create a running record station
o   Have students sit in a line so you can progress quickly
o   Avoid doing more than one running record at a time with the same child
o   Use the old DRA as a back-up text when you are not sure                                      
  • Accuracy -Using MSV for analyzing what systems a child is using – work from what a child can do and use this a jumping off point for what to teach
  • Fluency - At level J begin checking for first reading fluency (accuracy, automaticity, prosody or expression)
  • Comprehension – retelling and answering inferential questions
  •  Use this data for guided reading and strategy groups and also to tailor shared reading, read alouds and Skills Block 
How will you keep notes and anecdotal records? Let me count the ways!

How will you assess volume and stamina?
  • Running graph of the number of minutes the class reads each day
  • Goals with tally book logs for K-1
  • Reading logs in 2nd grade
  • Pulling back as the year goes along to get rid of reading too quickly and fibbing and then bringing them back periodically just to check

How will you assess writing about reading?
  •  Keep student work in their portfolios or your assessment system
  • Begin writing about reading at levels H/I
  •  Use read aloud time for writing about reading, e.g., stop and jot, stop and sketch 

How will students self-assess, making reading goals visible?
  • Talk explicitly in conferences giving students words for what they are doing
  • Use anchor charts
  • Leave a reminder , e.g., sticky note                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary - Chapter 4 Knowledge of Reading Development

A Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary Grades by Lucy Calkins

BIG ideas in Chapter 4
A Knowledge of Reading Development Can Power Your Teaching

1. Emergent storybook reading
  • research of Elizabeth Sulzby gives 4 major levels to support
  • develop concepts of print
  • do the work of phonemic awareness before conventional reading 
2. Work of A/B books
  • work at this level is about meaning
  • should recognize 12-20 high frequency words, one-to-one matching
  • do not hold students at this level, 2-4 weeks is appropriate
3. Work of C/D books
  • introduction of visual clue (phonics)
  • integration of M(meaning) S(syntax) V(visual)
  • transition to book language, introduction of said and prepositional phrases
  • addition of consonant blend and digraphs
  • continuous teaching of high frequency words
  • stop and think about the story
4. Work of E/F books
  • stories with clear beginning, middle, end
  • commas and questions introduced
  • compound words and inflectional endings are introduced
  • not ready to skip a word and read on and need better problem solving (M+V-looks at first group of letters and then next group) to stamp out "first letter guessers"
5. Work of G/H/I books
  • monitoring for self-regulation
  • more episodes (longer books, chapter books) requiring synthesis to retell
  • full range of phonics
  • multi-syllabic words (chunk and blend)
  • addition of Tier II words
6. Work of J/K/L/M books
  • longer, chapter books with illustrations disappearing
  • greater variety of genres
  • more character work
  • figurative language
Channeling Lucy!
Try this activity to see how well you know the levels:

How well do you know the text levels?
Place the level or levels  (A-M) by each skill or strategy that you would want to see the student using consistently at that level. 
1. Retells and summarizes, making inferences, and commenting on story events
2. Matches spoken words to printed words.
3. Uses parts from known words to read unknown words.
4. Envision the story to compensate for low picture support.
5. Solve difficult words with relative ease.
6. Moves from left to right when reading.
7. Word solve with control and independence at the point of error.
8. Makes a return sweep.
9. Begins to monitor, cross-checking and self-correcting at the point of error.
10. Begins to integrate sources of information: making sure it makes sense, sounds right, and looks right (Meaning, Syntax, Visual).
11. Independently integrates all sources of information during reading.
12. Thinks about more abstract themes and universal themes.

Next assignment:  1-7-15
Chapter 6 "Tracking Kids' Progress and Using Assessment to Support Instruction"

Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary - Chapter 3 What does research say that all readers need?

A Guide to the Reading Workshop: Primary Grades by Lucy Calkins
Trying to understand what Lucy would want us to understand today!

BIG ideas in Chapter 3
 What does research say that all readers need?

"It has become clear that investing in effective teaching - whether in hiring decisions 
or professional development planning - is the most 'research-based' strategy available."
-Richard Allington

Task:  Teachers were asked to read the research on the left hand column and then to work in small groups to discuss how they think we apply the research at CCE, and if they thought we didn't or needed work in that area, to list it under Barriers/ Concerns.
What the research says
How we apply the research at CCE
Barriers/ Concerns
Above all, good teachers matter.  It is important to develop teacher’s ability to teach by providing professional   development and a culture of collaborative practice.
·      Weekly Teacher Meetings (PLCs)
·      WOW days
·      common planning
·      Curriculum Councils
·      Early Dismissal learning
·      Book of the Month
·      Book Studies (school purchases books!)
·      demo lessons
·      finding additional time to meet during busy days for collaboration
·      getting every teacher involved
Students need enormous amounts of time in actual reading.
·      using Lucy Calkins’ Reading Units
·      sending books home nightly
·      Readers-to-Leaders incentives
·      working on stamina
·      reading in the hallways before school
·      reading in the content area
·      shared reading
·      encouraging young readers to partner read, choral read, repeat read, echo read,
·      too many competing activities (making a class pumpkin, class pictures, assemblies…)
Students need access to books that allow them to do a high volume of high-success reading.
·      large fiction and non-fiction classroom  libraries
·      students self-select books
·      sending home books-in-a-bag nightly
·      teachers buying their own books
·      Scholastic book orders
·      more Science books on multi-levels for the required topics
·      need more Media time
Students need to read increasingly complex texts appropriate for their grade level.
·      providing good range of books in every classroom
·      nonfiction libraries growing
·      many genre and nonfiction books leveled
·      using DRA/Teachers College and running records to continually move students up in level
·      reject one size fits all mandates
·      still need more books
Students need direct, explicit instruction in the strategies of proficient reading.
·      using Units of Study with focused mini-lessons
·      data driven instruction
·      demo lessons
·      not teaching strategies in isolation
·   gaps in the curriculum (Lucy just announced new units being developed and we need to make better use of If…then units
Students need opportunities to talk in response to texts.
·      encouraging book clubs
·      using “turn and talk”
·      using partner reading and partner talk
·      teaching accountable talk
·      offering inquiry groups and book clubs
·      enough books
Students need support reading nonfiction books and building a knowledge base and academic vocabulary through information reading.
·      Nonfiction classroom libraries are growing
·      all old Science series books were leveled
·      teaching text features
·      need more Science books on required topics and high interest/low readability
Students need assessment-based instruction, including feedback that is tailored specifically to them.  Children who struggle with reading especially need instruction tailored to their specific strengths and needs, as well as extra time and extra help.
·      using DRA/Teachers College and running records to listen to students read as formative assessment
·      keeping anecdotal notes to be shared between co-teachers so they know what the child has been working on
·      working with small groups and individuals
·      providing Tier II interventions in the classroom
·      providing Tier II interventions
·      need better technology (wi-fi)
·      too much testing
·      not enough time in the Pacing Guide to teach students new question stem strategies
·      not enough time in the Pacing Guide to try other non-Calkins strategies such as those by Beers, Laminack
Readers need teachers to read aloud to them.
·      most teachers have large numbers of read alouds of their own
·      Star Books in kindergarten offer great read aloud opportunities
·      read alouds are available through Text Talk (vocabulary)
·      both new and older Books of the Month offer excellent read alouds and are available in every room
·      Author studies
·      Lucy’s touchstone texts offer great read aloud opportunities

Next assignment:  12-10-15
Chapter 4 "A Knowledge of Reading Development Can Power Your Teaching"