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Probably the single most important factor

in a childs initial reading instruction is his

or his teacher. No books, no curriculum, no
computer can replace the enormous value
of good human-to-human teaching.

Think-Along / Think Aloud

Thinking is the essence of reading!
Reading is more than just saying words!
Reading is thinking!

Guided Reading:
Four Blocks Style

Always focused on comprehension

Teachers choose the material and purpose
Students are guided to use reading strategies
All types of reading materials are used

Guided Reading:
Four Blocks Style

Teacher driven (Bossy Block)

Lots of rereading reading a different way

for a different purpose!

Arranged this way only because of the other

three blocks as support.

National Reading Panel Research

(December 2000):
Fluency is one of several critical factors needed

for reading comprehension.

Fluency is gained by way of two instructional
approaches: guided repeated oral reading and
independent silent reading.
Both approaches had significant positive impact
on word recognition, fluency, and comprehension
across a range of grade levels.
Results apply to good readers as well as those
experiencing reading difficulties.

National Reading Panel Research

(December 2000):
Less than 1/3 of fourth graders are reading

adequately (April 1995)

Now we know that reading must be taught
systematically and explicitly.
Research has been systematically analyzed and the
most effective methods for teaching reading skills
have been identified.
We must have balanced literacy in our classrooms!
Reading is an enormously complex activity!

Four Blocks Research:

Comprehension is what its all about!
Reading comprehension and how to teach

it is probably the area of literacy about

which we have the most knowledge and the
most consensus.
It is also probably the area that gets the least
attention in the classroom.

Effective Guided Reading:

Three Segments
Before Reading

During Reading
After Reading

Students need to begin

thinking about the text before
they begin reading the text.
This time is brief, leaving the
majority of the time for actual
(Allington, 2000)

Before Reading:
Building/Accessing Prior Knowledge
Connecting to personal experiences
Developing vocabulary
Taking a picture walk
Making predictions
Setting purposes for reading
Graphic organizer:
Story map, story frame, story web,
Lotus, Fishbone, KWL chart

During-Reading Phase
While reading, students must:
question and monitor what they are
reading and thinking about
make inferences
continue to make connections
continue to set predictions

Students need uninterrupted

periods of time to read and think,
so this phase should be the longest
of any Guided Reading lesson.
For every minute spent talking
about reading (including before
and after), students should spend
at least one minute actually
(Pearson and Fielding, 1991)

During Reading:
Choral, Echo, Shared Reading
Partner Reading
Small, flexible groups
Three-ring circus
Book club groups
Sticky note reading

Formats for Grouping Students

during Reading
Plan for students to participate in various

grouping formats.
Exemplary teachers were found to teach
lessons to the whole class, to small groups,
and to individual students.
(Pressley, Allington, Wharton-McDonald,
Block, and Morrow, 2001)
Guided reading formats should vary based
on the purpose of the lesson.

Partner Reading

Carefully assign partners.

Decide how often you need to change partners.
Decide where partners will meet.
Decide how to handle absent partners.
Decide how partners will read each selection.
(Variations in partner reading)
Make sure partners have a purpose for reading.
Set a time limit.
Provide a filler for partners who finish
before the rest of the class.
Model the expected behavior.
Be visible.

During Reading:
- Partner Reading

During Reading:
- Partner Reading
Take turn days
Ask question days
Sticky note days
You decide days


Three- Ring Circus
(Big Blocks p. 108)
This is a wonderful way to allow students to

read a common selection in the most

efficient way for them. In three- ring
circus, some students read by themselves,
some students read with partners, and
some students read with you. These
groups are not static and change with the
reading selection.

During Reading:
- Three-Ring Circus

During Reading:
Small Flexible Group

Graphic Organizer - first, next, finally

Reading Teams
Think of reading teams of two carefully
selected partnerships making a foursome.
The same concerns apply as with partners.
Each team has an assigned team leader who
ensures that all members participate.
Teams may also need a recorder or a speaker.

Book Club Groups
(Big Blocks p. 109)
Three to five titles chosen
Titles area connected in some

Managed choice (book passes)
Groups meet daily to read and
discuss their books

After Reading:
Teacher helps the children with:
Discussing the text
Connecting new knowledge to what they knew
Following up predictions
Acting out the story
Discussing what they have learned and how
they are becoming better readers using
Completing the graphic organizer (KWL Chart)

Literate Conversations:
Increase the number of people with whom

your students can have conversations

through use of Questioning the Author
and Oprah Winfrey strategies.

Oprah Winfrey Strategy


Several students read the same book.

Teacher plays the role of Oprah (initially) and
interviews them about their lives and roles.
Invite the students to appear on your show.
Arrange chairs and welcome them.
Begin with broad questions (tell me a bit about
What seemed to be the problem?
Ask others if they agree with her.
You may even ask the audience questions.

Questioning the Author

We do not just understand what the author

is saying, rather we figure out what the

author means.
If you have you ever found your students
cannot answer the questions because the
passage didnt say! then you know why
students need their reading guided by a
strategy called Questioning the Author.

Planning a QTA Lesson:

The teacher carefully reads the text and decides:
what the important ideas are what problems students

might have with the ideas

how much of the text to read before stopping for
what queries to pose to help students construct meaning
The teachers job is to pose queries that can help
students use what they know to figure out what the
author means.
QTA continues with the teacher telling the students how
much to read and posing both initiating and follow-up
Figure out what the author means.not just what he

Big Blocks - Variations:

Sticky Notes
Reciprocal Teaching
Two Word Strategy
Word Theater
Good Reader Strategies

Question: What do I do about

worksheets and workbook pages?
as little as possible
Three criteria for a good worksheet
Must involve some reading and/or writing
Majority of my class (75-80%) must be able to
do it
Students must need work on that skill

Errors and Misunderstandings:

Teachers express anxiety about their redefined

Primary purpose is to improve comprehension.
Other Blocks provide an appropriate context for
skills instructions such as phonics, grammar, and
Round-robin reading is not a part of this model.
Non-prescriptive every classroom looks

What we know
We know a great deal about how good readers

comprehend, what the comprehension strategies

are and how to teach them. Our job now is to
implement reading comprehension instruction in
every classroom.
Dr. Lola May
Know your stuff
Know whom you stuff
Stuff them elegantly