Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Reading Strategies that Work!

One of my favorite professional development books is Strategies That Work by Stephanie Harvey and Ann Goudvis (FYI Amazon has many used copies of this book for CHEAP and the Kindle version too!).  I read and reread this book my second year of teaching and it really resonated with me.  It presents 6 simple strategies that we can teach our students to drastically improve reading comprehension.  If you haven't read this book, I HIGHLY recommend that you do! It is filled with amazing shared reading lessons that you can use to explicitly model the 6 strategies. It's one of the books that will instantly improve your teaching!

When teaching reading strategies, I always started off with a shared reading lesson using a picture book (there is a great list of titles and lessons in Strategies That Work).  During these lessons I model the strategy and elicit responses from my students.  After two to three shared reading lessons, students would then practice using the strategy with instructional level text during guided reading.  Each student would use a laminated Strategy Card and sticky notes.  

We spend about 2-3 weeks on a strategy before focusing on a new one.  Once all six strategies are taught and practiced, the strategies are used in combination throughout the rest of the year.  After the initial direct-teaching phase of all the strategies, it's amazing how the students just "take off." They have such ownership over these strategies and are using them everyday; they become second nature to the students!

Another helpful tip is using visual cue for each strategy.  These posters are perfect for reminding students of the 6 strategies when they are reading independently or during guided reading.  You can download them for free {HERE}.

I made these posters to "match" the free ones I made for the Common Core Mathematical Practices, which you can grab {HERE}.