Chapter 3 – Comprehension at the Core: Building Knowledge Through Thinking Intensive Reading
Welcome back to week 2 of our Summer Book Study! This week we are covering chapters 3-5. I know that this may seem like a lot, but in order to finish the book before Greg and I go back to school, we have to combine chapters! 🙂 But on another note, you can go at your own pace and always come back to read what you need!
Chapter 3 reinforces the common thread of this book, which is that reading requires thinking. And in order for readers to comprehend, they need a plethora of strategies to aid them. So far the first few chapters of this book has laid a foundation of how important thinking is to reading and to move away from generic questions and questioning. Here are a few of my take aways from this chapter.
Here’s a great example of using environmental print in the classroom!
Classroom Environment and ‘culture’ matters! Much of this chapter speaks about students being given ample opportunities to be exposed to language and to be able to talk, question, and wonder. How is this accomplished in a classroom where the teacher demands/prefers silence or only controlled questions/answers? Let’s all be honest with ourselves and reflect on what REALLY happens in our classrooms.
- Surround students with compelling content, so they are motivated to read, learn and gain knowledge. (pg 26)
- Times change and are changing even faster than what we realize. We need to make sure we are preparing our students with 21st century skills!
- Curiosity is KEY! Let’s promote curiosity and give more attention to student’s interests and questions.
- Close Reading is not a ‘new’ concept. Work to make sure students get in the habit of connecting the new to the known. (pg 31)
- Don’t commit ‘Readicide: noun, the systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools.’ (pg 32)
- Listening to reading is powerful for EVERYONE! This aids in promoting close listening, which is also valuable!
- See-Think-Wonder is a great thinking routine to explore images, videos, objects and help students to generate questions, observe, and prompt some thoughtful interpretation. (pg 33)
- Text complexity should be about ideas and not merely words. (pg 35)
- Knowing your students is the most powerful tool, we as teachers have available to guide our students. All other assessments are guides/measures, but not the end all, be all.
- Critical thinking is imperative to being able to survive in our 21st century world. This helps to ‘read between the lines’, which happens alot in our society.
Chapter 4 – Twenty-First Century Reading: Books and Beyond
Chapter 4 has been one of my most favorite chapters! There were so many ideas in this chapter that I wholeheartedly believe in and think should be shouted from every school rooftop! While I am just sharing a few of my takeaways, please read the chapter in it’s entirety and then come back and comment with your thoughts and ideas!
Reading can NOT happen without books!! As classroom teachers, we need to stop limiting WHAT our students can read!! Make your classroom library the center of your room and accessible to EVERYONE!!
- Every classroom should have a library, regardless if you teach reading or not.
- Make sure your classroom library has lots of genres & topics that your students are drawn to.
- Text in ALL forms matter!
- READ OUT LOUD to your students, regardless of their age or grade level!!
- Short text is important and surrounds us all daily. Ie: twitter, news articles, social media, cookbooks, brochures, newsletters, etc.
- Always do what works BEST for YOUR students!
- Let’s move away from ‘textbook’ reading…kids do not have to all read the same book to gain knowledge and information on a topic.
- Spending time to collect books and compelling texts will never be in vain!!
- Infographics are everywhere!! We need to give students the tools to read them and even create them themselves.
- Questioning, Inferring, Visualizing, and Determining Importance are all strategies that can help students become thought-intensive readers.
- Digital reading is a part of everyday life, but let’s give students strategies to help them comprehend all of this digital content.
- Technology is here to stay and educators need not ignore it. Let’s use it to our advantage!
- Podcasts, audio books, smart-pens are all amazing ways to integrate 21st century tech, into our classrooms.
- Books still matter! But you can’t beat technology and devices for instant and current information and access.
- PICTURE BOOKS MATTER and are not just for elementary students!!
- It’s okay to use, read and LOVE books…just because!
- Reading is about SO MUCH MORE than a LEVEL!!
Summer Book Study Chapter 5 – Effective Comprehension Instruction: Teaching, Tone and Assessment
Chapter 5 is again reinforcing that PURPOSEFULLY teaching comprehension strategies is the key to kids comprehending text. Read on for a few of my takeaways from this chapter.
- Strategy instruction is all about teaching the reader, not merely the reader. (pg 58)
- Explicit instruction, along with using the gradual release model is the key to effective instruction.
- When we model for students, we are showing them how we think.
- Modeling is INVALUABLE!
- Choice should be a TOP PRIORITY!
- Kids need TIME to practice…regardless of the subject matter.
- Let’s teach students to use strategies purposefully and not just for the sake of completing the task.
- A launch lesson is different than a mini-lesson.
- Strategies build on each other over time and offer a range of options for students to choose when applying comprehension.
- Teaching kids to monitor their comprehension comes first!
- Teach students to listen to their inner voice.
- Teach students to leave tracks of their thinking
- The above actions are important, but what matters is that students use them flexibly.
- ALWAYS consider the students NEEDS FIRST!!
While there was a lot of information in all 3 of these chapters, I definitely gained some amazing nuggets to aid me in teaching, and not just in reading. I am looking forward to the next part of the book, where the authors focus on the comprehension strategies.
What were your takeaways and thoughts on these chapters? I would love to hear them! Feel free to leave your comments here at the end of this post, or meet myself and Greg for our Live chat on FB and Instagram!
Don’t forget to check out Greg’s post here and come back again next week for chapter 6 !!