The last two weeks have been a blur…

My youngest daughter had an operation last Thursday,  July 4th and my mommy became ill on Sunday, July 9th. Just as my daughter was beginning to feel slightly better, my mom was admitted to the hospital, had surgery (abdominal hernia) and after a 14 day hospital stay is thankfully recovering in my home. It’s a good thing that we are in the middle of our summer break because I’ve been free to be with them without worrying about my students, substitute teachers and drafting extended emergency lesson plans. I am extremely grateful for all the calls and prayers sent by friends during this stressful time, indeed we are blessed. Both my daughter and mom are expected to make full recoveries and I should be catching up on sleep in another couple of days. Today my sister is covering for me here at home for a few hours, so I was able to finish reading and update my post.

AHHH! I actually feel relief in reading and reflecting on D5 if you can believe it!

Here it goes:

This week’s host is Kelli from Castles and Crayons Blog and like the other hostesses, she has some good insights and freebies available on her blog. I am just clicking away and downloading all of them! They are so adorable and with all the planning that I will need to do in order to launch D5- why waste time making my own when so many fantastically creative teachers are giving them away for FREE! 

Chapter 5 is titled, Read to Someone and Listen to Reading. It is written in a very descriptive matter making it easy to teach in the right order, while also teaching the students the strategies they need to use to be successful in reading to someone and listening to reading. I  had already started reading the chapter and as I was re-reading it,  I laughed at a note that I made myself about how teachers get frustrated when students get so loud during buddy reading.

“The Sisters wrote in their book, “Some teachers, believing in the benefits, have tried partner reading only to feel frustrated with the noise level and accountability issue. ” (p. 61)

I wrote a giant YES! right beside that quote and after reading the rest of the chapter I realized that it was because I haven’t spent enough time teaching my students the behaviors that are needed for them to enjoy reading to their partners without getting the teacher (ME!) angry at them. After all, I allow for buddy reading so that they can discover the pleasure in reading and sharing it with a friend.  If I get frustrated within 20 minutes of the activity and stop it because they have gotten too loud then it’s not really having the positive impact I wanted. BUSTED! It is up to me to teach, model and practice with the students so they can truly enjoy their partner reading and gain the benefits from it.

Now, while teaching the students the appropriate behaviors that they should demonstrate in Reading to Someone it is also very important to teach them where and how to sit while reading to someone. I really didn’t think that this was important until I reflected and realized that part of the reasons that my students weren’t behaving like I expected them to was due to the absence of the parameters that would keep them “on track.”  The Sisters, have this little acronym, “EEKK” which represents, Elbow to Elbow, Knee to Knee, to help students remember how they need to sit during Read to Someone.  I really like the poem that Kelli shared on her blog and I’ll probably use it myself. It’s a quick and easy way to teach the students and explains how to sit and listen while reading. There are a couple of other important lessons that I need to make sure to include when launching Read to Someone and those include, Voice Level and Checking for Understanding. Another lesson that I must not forget is how we Read to Someone. It’s important that the students understand that that this will help them with their fluency and it’s important that they choose a partner that will help them. This is a separate lesson  and deserves being taught explicitly to avoid problems.  Once they have chosen a partner, they can choose from these three ways:

  1. Check for Understanding, reading one book.
  2. I Read, You Read, reading one book as well, but taking turns.
  3. Read Two Books, reading two books varying in difficulty levels.

I really like option #3 because it exposes less fluent students to stories that they wouldn’t be able to read independently while also allowing the more able student gain self esteem and practice. I also like how the students must remember that when listening to their partner, they need to remember to not intervene too much to allow their partner increase their fluency. This is a separate lesson as well and I believe is the essence of purposeful listening to reading. I especially like the guidelines recommended in the Coaching Sheet on pg. 74.

I really like the Anchor Charts that are included in the book to create with my students. Whew! NO THINKING REQUIRED, the Sisters have it all ready for me to implement this fall. All I really have to focus on is teaching the lessons and keep my D5 book handy!

The next part discussed in Chapter 5 is Listening to Reading and these entail four focus lessons that are very well explained in the book too. In a nutshell, it’s offering the students a variety of listening to stories read aloud from different resources, such as books on tape or CD’s, on-line book sites, e-books downloaded from the Internet to computers or I-Pads, etc.  In fact, I can even record my own stories to go with the books in my library! Woot! Woot! I’ve got to get so much done before we go back to school!!!!

Well, after nearly two weeks of being absent from the blog hops I better head over and do some reading and gather some insights to what the other bloggers have shared about Chapter 5!

Mrs. P