Teaching Reading: 3-5 Workshop
Building Comprehension Put It Into Practice | Building Comprehension
In this section, you will build on what you have learned and develop strategies you can use in your own classroom. The following activities are designed to help you develop instructional practices for developing students’ comprehension. Choose one or both of the activities from the list below.
Activity 1 – Develop a Home Reading Program
In this activity, you will develop a home reading program to encourage reading at home and to support students’ reading skills.
Activity 2 – Foster Authentic Reading and Writing
In this activity, you will identify and develop authentic reading and writing activities that support comprehension and active learning.
Develop a Home Reading Program
Reading at home is an essential component of your reading program. It provides students with extended practice and engagement in comprehending texts they can read and want to read. In this activity, you will develop a home reading program to support students’ reading development and foster a positive home/school connection. When you have finished, save your written work to submit as an assignment. To do this, you will need to:
- Decide on an appropriate amount of time for daily or weekly home reading.
- Discuss books found in the classroom and school library that students may be interested in reading.
- Teach a lesson on how to choose a “just right” book for independent, home reading.
- Write a letter to parents and students explaining the Home Reading Program. Include in the letter the value of home reading, expectations for time, and procedures for recording/monitoring reading.
- Create a Home Reading Log for students to record the amount of time they read each day and to write a response to their reading two to three times per week. You may want to include a place for parents to indicate they were aware of and/or involved in their child’s reading. Include this chart with the parent/student letter.
- Set aside time each day to confer with students about their home reading.
- Set aside time each week for book sharing. Students should sign up to share a book they are reading or have completed.
- Design a form for students to record favorite books (“Must Reads”), and post it in a designated area of the classroom. The form should include the name of the book, the author, and the reason why others should read it.
Foster Authentic Reading and Writing
Authentic learning is based on students’ use of reading and writing for purposes other than satisfying the teacher’s assignments. Authentic tasks are those that students might do even if they are not trying to improve their reading or writing. In this activity, you will develop a list of authentic reading and writing activities that support comprehension and active learning. When you have finished, save your written work to submit as an assignment. Think about five topics, themes, and/or books you will be teaching this year. What reading and writing activities will promote successful learning of these topics/themes? Now make a list of at least two authentic activities/experiences for each topic or theme. For example, you may want to include:
- writing a letter to the author of a book, asking for clarification of a question that arose during reading
- reading books or other texts in order to understand concepts or develop background knowledge for a field trip
- reading information in texts or on the Internet to help answer a specific question discussed in class
- researching a specific aspect of a book in order to gain insight into the story or characters (for example, Bud, Not Buddy takes place during the Great Depression; students may want to research life during that time to understand the challenges the characters faced in the story)
- preparing a list of questions for an upcoming interview with a relative or citizen of the community, highlighting the important information desired
3.2 Analyze the Video | Building Comprehension
Watch the video, "Building Comprehension," taking notes as you watch. After you watch, jot down your answers to the questions below. If you prefer to watch the video in segments, pause the video when you see the next chapter heading.
Workshop 1 Creating Contexts for Learning
This session examines how classroom organization, routines, and grouping practices can enhance literacy skills in the middle grades. Literacy expert Jeanne Paratore discusses teaching strategies that foster reading and writing skills. Classroom examples illustrate the research.
Workshop 2 Fluency and Word Study
This session focuses on how students in the middle grades develop vocabulary and reading fluency. Literacy expert Richard Allington discusses specific teaching strategies that help build fluency and vocabulary, illustrated by classroom examples.
Workshop 3 Building Comprehension
Comprehending text is one of the main goals of reading. In this session, literacy expert Nell Duke discusses what good readers do and strategies teachers can use to help students build comprehension skills. Classroom footage provides examples of comprehension strategies.
Workshop 4 Writing
This workshop examines the relationship between reading and writing in the middle grades. Literacy expert Nadeen Ruiz discusses the connections, conventions, and inventions that provide a framework for teaching writing, illustrated by classroom examples.
Workshop 5 New Literacies of the Internet
This workshop focuses on the evolving use of networked technology in education. Literacy expert Donald Leu discusses strategies that help students effectively read, write, and communicate on the Internet. Classroom examples illustrate strategies for using Internet resources in the classroom.
Workshop 6 Teaching English Language Learners
Changing classroom demographics call for a range or teaching strategies. In this session, literacy expert Robert Jim�nez discusses strategies teachers can use to create a successful learning environment for all students, while supporting English language learners. Classroom examples illustrate the research.
Workshop 7 Teaching Diverse Learners
In this session, literacy expert Dorothy Strickland discusses how teachers can meet the diverse needs of readers and writers in their classrooms. Classroom examples and teaching strategies address different aspects of diversity, including culture, language, background, ability, and learning approaches.
Workshop 8 Assessment and Accountability
This session explores assessment, standards, and outcomes. Literacy expert Kathy Au discusses the strategies teachers can use to assess students' understanding in reading and writing. Classroom examples illustrate how students can participate in their own assessment.
Supplementary Workshop 6 - Teaching English Language Learners
Professional Development Workshop Guide