Friday, July 17, 2015

You Can't Take Command!

Best laid plans....right?
On Sunday morning, I planned to start my posts about my summer bedside stack. And then, life so got in the way of life. So did 50 or so episodes of Scandal!  It's been handled.  I really need my own Olivia Pope and Associates. That's another post for another time.

So first up...I AM Reading: Nurturing Young Children's Meaning making and Joyful Engagement with Any Book by Kathy Collins and Matt Glover.
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Hello!  Remember the days of Developmentally appropriate practice? Uh huh, this book will remind you of  a time when when we actually planned reading for enjoyment.  Shhh! I know the Common Core secret service is likely to start bugging anyone who agrees. Seriously, I AM loving this book. Early childhood people and parents alike will find it to be a resource for genuine ways we can help our children naturally develop a love of reading as well as meaningful ways to understand books even before they are reading the words. It's emphasis is on making meaning from a all kinds of texts, including those can cannot yet "read."

It's vital that we support young children's reading in ways that nurture healthy reading identities, that foster an attraction to books and a love of reading, and that teach them how make meaning in any text they choose, whether or not they can read the words.

                                                                                       -Kathy Collins and Matt Glover

And a few words from our friends at Amazon...
What do we see when young children interact with books before they can read the words?
Kathy Collins and Matt Glover see real reading, characterized by purposeful meaning-making and opportunities for reading growth and language development.

"One of our biggest hopes," write Kathy and Matt, "is to help you see and value all of the powerful work young children do as readers." With I Am Reading you'll see that fostering what little ones do before they can read the words is important early instruction.

Kathy and Matt show how to nurture, nudge, and instruct young readers to make meaning in any text, whether or not they are reading the words. 
They share:
  • observation guides for children reading any kind of book
  • specific descriptions of language and independence development
  • sample reading conferences and whole-class mini-lessons
  • suggestions for creating reading opportunities in preschool and reading workshops in K-1
  • action plans to get you going
  • 25 online video clips of children making meaning and teachers supporting them.

I Am Reading pairs two important voices in early literacy to remind us that we're teaching children, not reading levels. "In the rush toward ever higher reading levels in the early years," write Kathy and Matt, "we may fail to value the strategy use and high-level thinking children do before they are reading conventionally." Join Kathy and Matt and look anew at your young readers so you can provide the kind of support that gets them off to a great start.(Amazon)

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Recipe for Reading-The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo

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As a self-proclaimed professional book hoarder, I have, well, a lot of books about doing the work of supporting readers. I have to say, Jennifer Seravallo's The Reading Strategies Book is one of the most useful, easiest to use resources I've seen in a while.  It reads like one of those popular recipe websites where you enter the goofy ingredients you have and it prescribes a variety of tasty dishes you can make to satisfy your needs. Only these "tasty dishes" are going to spice up your students abilities!

If you haven't ordered your copy of  The Reading Strategies book, RUN to Amazon or Heinemann and get yourself a copy!  While you wait, head on over to Heinemann and watch the video Jennifer made that explains how the book is laid out, how you use it.

You can also click your way to ChartChums to read their take on it as well.  Here's an excerpt from their May 27 post;
Jennifer’s book teaches you how to develop your own expertise. Jennifer’s book doesn’t just teach you about reading, it teaches you how to think about readers.
~The strategies are sound teaching.
~The suggested visuals are clear and engaging.
~The lay out is practical and accessible.
~The book is pretty much genius.
                                                           Marjorie Martinelli & Kristine Mraz
If you're addicted to the Two Writing Teachers blog as I am, you'll want to reread Betsy Hubbard's post. "The book is broken into thirteen goals and from there Jen explains why the goal is important and how to know if it is the right goal at the right time. From there she shows the list of skills and strategies that build to each particular goal. Did I mention there are 300 strategies?"

Seriously! Do not pass GO, do not collect $200. Go directly to your favorite book supplier and get yourself one!