This chapter really hit home for me, as students reading independently is probably the most important element of the D5. I gleaned from what Regie Routman said in the book, that there is so much more to independent reading than just solely adding the time and space for it. We teachers need to help our independent readers by demonstrating, teaching, guiding, monitoring, evaluating, and goal setting. Unfortunately, some teachers out there (I know none of you are in this group!) see independent reading time as an opportunity to do other work like check email, grade papers, or heaven forbid check pinterest or TPT!
Three Ways to Read a Book
I love that we teach three ways to read a book.
1. Read and talk about the pictures
2. Read the words
3. Retell a previously read book
I've had several parents over the years demand that their student is not reading well because they are looking at the pictures as they attempt the words. With D5 we teach that reading the book and talking about the pictures is a wonderful reading strategy. In my Art Studio class that I recently taught, one of the artists that we spotlighted was David Wiesner who is also and author and illustrator for many award-winning children's books. He has some wonderful wordless books. In Art Studio, we had the students create their own wordless picture book as well and then share it with the class. This was a favorite activity among many students. I thought it would be a good way to introduce the 3 ways to read, by introducing Wiesner's books and let the students really see how just the pictures can tell a story. (I also thought this would be a great introduction to writing as well.)
Having the students retell a story is a great way to see how much the students comprehended as well.
Creating Anchor Charts
"The sisters" suggest creating anchor charts again and referencing them daily as you launch D5. What I like about their anchor chart suggestions is that they describe what the students are doing at this time and what the teacher is doing as well. Therefore, the students will know that the teacher is also very busy during this time working with small groups of or individual students, and hopefully they will not be coming up to you at this time asking silly questions, etc.
Practicing Read to Self
I love the idea of practicing "Reading to Self." I think so many times, we as teachers expect our students to perform with 100% after we have only given a quick explanation of what we expect. At least, I know I've been guilty of this. Practicing independent reading gives the students the opportunity to know what our exact expectations are. When they don't meet them, we stop and try again later. Adding minutes each time we practice is another great idea because we are slowly building our students stamina up. I can see where this practicing is going to be crucial in first grade! I'm so anxious to see how this works in my class this fall because as I think about my independent reading time in the past, it really has not been as productive as I would've liked.
After practicing independent reading, we need to gather our students together and reflect how things went. Modeling both examples and non-examples are a key ingredient to this reflection.
Hop on over to the following blogs to see what they have to say about Chapter 4 as well.