In the new school year ELA teachers are looking for fresh ideas to encourage students to read closely and think deeply. Here are five adaptable activities from teacher-author and NBCT Marilyn Pryle to add to your toolbox and keep students creatively interacting with texts.
6th grade teacher Amanda Xavier was skeptical when colleague Rose Reissman suggested a Mary Poppins book study, but their multimedia approach was a hit. “If a very old fashioned nanny can bring smiles and make modern kids sit up in class and take note, I say, ‘Cheerio’!”
Responding to the current dust-up on leveling books, literacy consultant Patty McGee explores a few common questions about cultivating a responsive class library and shares some great ways to immerse your students in a “bookstore” experience, as both customers and staff!
Could this be the year our students begin to discover their all-time favorite books? Jennifer Serravallo, literacy consultant and bestselling author of The Reading Strategies Book, shares 10 “back pocket” techniques that can help teachers match kids with great stories.
Most guided reading programs emphasize daily ability grouping with too little emphasis on developing self-directed readers who love to read for pleasure or enrichment, says literacy leader Regie Routman, who points out equity issues revealed in recent research.
To level, or not to level? Like many educational dilemmas there is no simple right or wrong answer. Literacy coach and author Regie Routman explores the limited role book leveling might play in supporting students to become engaged, deeply comprehending, joyful readers.
Shared reading has the potential to be a useful vehicle for learning IF it’s implemented effectively. Literacy consultant Sarah Tantillo looks at the benefits and drawbacks of investing time in two students reading together and suggests strategies to increase retention and communication skills.
By differentiating reading choices and inviting students to discuss diverse texts using student-led conversations, you can heighten their ability to analyze texts and hone their critical thinking skill. Reading expert Laura Robb discusses set-up and assessment.
Many students over-annotate text to the point where they are noticing everything but not determining what’s MOST important. Literacy expert Sarah Tantillo shares tested strategies to help students detect “the purpose of reading,” including her What’s Important Organizer.
ELA co-teaching team Rachel Wysocki Kent & Genevieve Federick share a successful independent reading strategy they designed around a challenging group goal (read 500 books) and a teen-friendly focus question: “What does it mean to be a young person in 2015?”