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Conferring Tip #3: Ask a simple question to check comprehension

“What did you just learn on this page?” for nonfiction and “What happened in the story on this page?” for narrative texts. I start with one of these two questions If I’ve leaned in to listen to a transitional stage reader and they do not have any word solving issues (and their fluency is adequate). …Read more

Conferring Tip #2: Assess Fluency

Truth #1 – When a student is reading nonfiction, their rate may slow down when they are making sense of harder parts and speed up when they are making sense of easier parts. THIS IS BEAUTIFUL! It means they are attempting to monitor for meaning making!!!! Truth #2 – A student may never read as …Read more

Three Books – Same Facts But…

Three books about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Three different authors. Each shape the facts to reveal distinct insight. I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark (Levy, 2016) Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of R. B. G. vs. Inequality (Winter, 2017) No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Krull, 2018) Here are two examples of how …Read more

Helpful Predictions vs. Not

“That’s not enough,” I said. The students’ mouths dropped open. The look on their faces said “Whaaat???” We’d just watched the first dozen seconds of the video “Baby Elephants.” I’d paused the video and asked them to make a prediction. “Based on the introduction, what do you think you’ll be learning about in this video?” …Read more

3 Steps – Launching Students into Reading Multiple Sources

Kids FALL IN LOVE with reading multiple sources on a topic–once we introduce them to the idea. So how do we get them hooked? In a way that’s manageable for us? Could it be as simple as these three steps and a set of 2-3 books on the same topic? (Attached as a word doc …Read more

Got Striving Readers? Recommend Series Nonfiction

Snakes. Dinosaurs. Rocks. I remember tutoring a young striving reader who would not come into the room until I showed him the book I wanted him to read that day. He had one condition. It had to be nonfiction! I’m pretty sure this student’s reading would have been on-track the previous year if he’d had …Read more

Nurturing Informed Thinking – Two New Books, One Big Question

TWO NEW BOOKS. ONE BIG QUESTION. A grand opportunity to nurture informed thinking. Below, see suggestions for an interactive read aloud as well as notes on the similarities and differences between these two books. Sisters and Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams (Bryant, 2018) Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena …Read more

Preparing Students for Joyous Summer Reading

Are you getting that “WE’RE ALMOST DONE” feeling? (Speaking to many of my peers in the northern hemisphere who are almost out of school for the summer 😉 So sorry if you’re not!) This is a great time to host lots of space and time for students to JUST READ FOR ENJOYMENT, hoping this time …Read more

It’s ok to confer about just a word or phrase

Do you have students who blow through texts, getting just the gist, but not really thinking through specific details that might make a difference in their understanding? Recently when I leaned in to confer with a student, he had just read this sentence: Surf lifesaving clubs are Australian institutions dotted along the country’s coastline.  This …Read more