Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Reading Strategies Book: Teaching Fluency and Comprehension in a 4th Grade RTI Group

One of my favorite books is Teaching or Comprehension and Fluency Throughout the Day: Thinking, Talking and Writing About Reading, K-8.  Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell have written a fabulous text that gives strong teacher talk and truly emphasizes that we do not teach fluency in isolation; rather, we need to embed this in our comprehension instruction.  This book is one that is always off of my bookshelf and by my side when I plan lessons and look at alignment between grade levels.

Add in The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo and you have my "dynamic duo" of resources for planning universal instruction and targeted small group/RTI groups.  We call our targeted groups, WIN (What I Need) groups.

Currently, I am team teaching with a brand new fourth grade teacher who has AMAZING teacher bones.  Team teaching helps me keep current with kids and their needs and allows me to model best practice strategies in an environment where we both facilitate learning.  The current group that we are working with has had a decoding deficit that, at the beginning of the school year, was more than one  year delayed.  We chose to utilize Corrective Reading by McGraw-Hill to systematically teach kids the process of breaking multi-syllabic words into parts to read AND apply these strategies into controlled stories.

The Reading Strategies Book Strategy #1:
Because I don't "love" the dry format of the presentation style, we chose to put the word study patterns on Google Slides and spruce this part of the teaching up a bit.  We chose to embed syllabication rules through The Reading Strategies Book as our first instructional focus area.

The Reading Strategies Book Strategy #2:
After the first week of WIN, it was apparent that these kids do not yet self-monitor during reading, nor do they phrase groups of words. When you spend SO much time on decoding and timed reading, (previous WIN Cycle),  metacognition and internal dialogue are secondary.   These kids need strong strategies to facilitate their growth in comprehension skills.  We modeled SCOOOPING and pausing at punctuation several times and had kids repeat back to us with inflection and intonation.  I drew in the "scooping" marks on the anchor chart so kids could see what I was talking about.

We combined two strategies from The Reading Strategies Book to incorporate this format.  The words under "How can I THINK when I READ" are taken from the teacher talk and all credit goes to Jennifer Serravallo.  My anchor chart is just cutesy.

We also "frontloaded" questions for each section of the story so that kids would know what to look for when we read.  The format for reading includes frontloading key questions, read the story, and then go back to find evidence to answer questions.

This focus cycle will be infused into every WIN time for the next eight weeks.

HERE is the video we watched the first day of introducing these skills.

Finally, after the format of frontloading, reading, finding evidence, students were given the questions on question cards to read in partners and TALK about the story as they read.  Pictured left:  picture vocabulary.  Two questions to focus on during reading are pictured below.

This group is a Tier 2 reading group that is GROWING.  That means I have a little more wiggle room as far as "fidelity of implementation" because we aren't progress monitoring beyond running records and Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark assessment.  Both of these formative assessments are showing good growth.  As the Reading Specialist for our district, it is nice to have that autonomy to work with teachers to make these decisions.

I highly recommend purchasing BOTH of these books!


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