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The case for Literature Guides?

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  • KF2000
    replied
    Originally posted by ChristinaC View Post

    I can see this. We are new to MP and I was hesitant to use the literature guides for fear of killing the love of reading. For this reason, I have explained to my kids that we are going to be working through 4 books per year - only four - in this way. We will read the books slowly, carefully, and purposefully in order to learn how to really read and appreciate great books. We reserve such analysis to ONLY those four books and often have two or more other "fun" read-alouds happening at the same time. I also allow my kids to have full say (within reason, of course, based on appropriate content ) in what they read for fun on their own. The reading the selections three times is new to me and I am not sure how we will go about this yet. I need to ponder and digest...

    -Christina
    Christina,
    You know, kids are funny. Because the concern you bring up here, if asked, my kids would probably have a knee-jerk reaction of "YES! It takes the fun out of it to go so slowly and fill in the guides." They are kids, after all, and they will go by their first reaction to work - which is dislike. But as soon as they all start complaining, they will bring up specific examples from books they have all done - "remember THIS from THIS book?" And that leads them to continue on into a lengthy discussion about stuff they have all read. They very soon forget that what started the conversation was a complaint about their school work. But I know that the reason they are able to have this sort of conversation is because they have been trained by their guides to have this sort of conversation! They have become thoughtful, argumentative readers and I know it is from the progress they have made through their literature guides. It is hard to see when your kids are new at it, or when your oldest is only in grammar school. But as time goes by, and as your children get older, the value of the gradual training in this becomes a lot easier to see. And your point about the number of books we use each year is spot on - my kids are constantly reading in their spare time. If we were to work it out proportionally, the number of books we "study" is ridiculously small!

    AMDG,
    Sarah

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  • VAmom
    replied
    Originally posted by ChristinaC View Post

    The reading the selections three times is new to me and I am not sure how we will go about this yet. I need to ponder and digest...

    -Christina
    We often enjoy listening to the audiobook as one of our readings. I am surprised at how a different voice can give a new perspective to a text.

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  • ChristinaC
    replied
    Originally posted by Emilylovesbooks View Post
    Re: The case for Literature Guides?

    I feel the same way as the OP, no matter how many threads I’ve read or participated in about the guides! I just sense that having to go through it formally does take away some of the joy of reading, especially for little ones. I realize this isn’t how everyone experiences it! And the reading it three times sounds so unappealing. I’m just not convinced that the academic value gained in three readings or even two is worth leaving them not enjoying the reading experience as much. Maybe I’ll change my mind!
    I can see this. We are new to MP and I was hesitant to use the literature guides for fear of killing the love of reading. For this reason, I have explained to my kids that we are going to be working through 4 books per year - only four - in this way. We will read the books slowly, carefully, and purposefully in order to learn how to really read and appreciate great books. We reserve such analysis to ONLY those four books and often have two or more other "fun" read-alouds happening at the same time. I also allow my kids to have full say (within reason, of course, based on appropriate content ) in what they read for fun on their own. The reading the selections three times is new to me and I am not sure how we will go about this yet. I need to ponder and digest...

    -Christina

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  • Michelle T
    replied
    You are welcome, Shawna!

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  • ShawnaB
    replied
    Thank you, Michelle! Very helpful as always. And I don't want to put another thing on your list! Maybe I'll make a reference list and send you a copy!

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  • Michelle T
    replied
    Shawna,

    1. Gauge the time a student reads aloud to his stamina. A student who frequently struggles with decoding will not benefit from reading an entire chapter. We typically switch after each paragraph but students may get several turns. Everyone should have their finger on the spot and be following along in their book. By switching after each paragraph keeping students engaged is easier. Students are watching for any words covered in the phonic lessons prior to reading. This activity also helps keep attention.
    2. Flashcards that are used for the literature lessons can be introduced during the morning calendar time or other morning activity. Show a card, ask if anyone knows the sound, say the sound aloud with the clue picture (ex. ou as in round), have students repeat the sound. Introduce next card. Then go through the stack showing the card and having class say sound/clue picture. If class gets stuck on a card just tell them, have them repeat and move on. Go through the stack a couple of times. FOR SPELLING: pull the designated cards. Introduce in the same manner but keep these on display for the week as they are the phonograms used in conjunction with the phonics for mastery.
    3. There not one currently available but I will put it on my list.

    MBentley,

    By second grade the reading selections become lengthier. Sounds like you have a system that works for you. My only comment would be to remember you have one student rather than a class of 18. Our reading sections are completed by classes. You might consider taking turns by paragraph if shorter segments of reading are needed or page by page if your students is willing able to read that long and maintain comprehension.

    Blessings,

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  • MBentley
    replied
    I'm working through the study guides for 2nd grade with my son who has some reading challenges (he sounds like he reads well, but doesn't retain what he reads). I've started doing this and it has helped a lot.

    Day 1 - I read it completely, commenting on some things. Then I make him read it quietly. (I read much faster, so it doesn't take that long). That same day, I make him quietly move his finger along the words and read (or at least, he pretends to). We do vocabulary.
    Day 2 - i make him read it out loud to me. Then we do a few comprehension questions.
    Day 3 - I bought the book on Audible.com. I give him headphones and have him listen to someone else read it while I keep an eye out to make sure he's following along with his finger. (This started with The Courage of Sarah Noble) I think having a different voice besides mine might help him pull more out of it. He's able to answer more of the questions with independent answers that I'm not having to really help with.

    The Audible.com is really helping as a final reading. Looking ahead, I see that The Little House is also on Audible. I imagine most of the books from now on are. I will probably keep with this pattern because it seems to be working well for the literature and his comprehension.

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  • ShawnaB
    replied
    Michelle and Tanya, thank you. I am learning so much from both of you.

    I am working this out right now in my small group of 1st graders, and just when I think I've got it, I have another question. I hope you don't mind? Again, I'm transitioning from a one-to-one homeschool situation to a traditional classroom.

    1. During your read-aloud times, how long do you aim to have one student reading? And while that student is reading and being coached, what is your strategy for managing the other students who are waiting?

    2. Can you explain your methods for using the flashcards in the classroom? I've been pulling out the ones related to the lesson, saying the sound "/ou/ says ow like round", having the student repeat back, and then flipping the card and having them read the example words individually--each student reading a word and working around the room. I also keep a section of cards highlighted in previous lessons and will review at least some of them every day in the same manner. However, I'm not really sure how the cards are intended to be used for instruction, so I'm kind of winging it!

    3. Do the flashcards happen to come with a "quick reference" list, where I could see a list of all the phonograms and words, in order and numbered, on one sheet? Sometimes I feel so awkward looking for the right card. I always pull out the cards needed for the lesson ahead of time, but sometimes I'd like to be able to pull a card on demand, like in your example above with the word "trouble", or if I'm putting together my own pre-reading checklist for a book that does not have a literature guide.

    Thank you again!
    Shawna

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  • Michelle T
    replied
    Christine,

    The pre-reading phonetic work is key. Maybe you could have parents cover this prior to the class. This way when you get together, do a quick re-read of the literature words, not necessarily the phonics flashcards as those should be included in the pre-reading work. Since the decoding of the pronounce and say words as well as the additional literature guide words should be gone over before as well, this quick read-through should only take about 5 minutes. Spend the majority of your time reading then do a few comprehension questions as outlined in the TG.

    This way you have the words syllabicated on the board already if there are problems decoding. You might also consider having some flashcards there for introduction or review of advanced phonograms that you know will need reinforced and seen in isolation.

    By having the parents cover the pre-reading with their child rather than everyone doing their own thing you can be assured the phonics needed for that day's reading is being covered well so rather just studying phonics- the phonics has an immediate purpose and built in practice. This allows everyone to be ready for the days lesson as well!

    Blessings,

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  • howiecram
    replied
    Thank you! I'm not sure if this is exactly the right post to be asking the next set of questions, but since it is on the topic of Lit guides, it feel appropriate over starting a new thread! I meet 1 day a week with 3 girls to do the literature. At the beginning of the year, we did a lot of the pre-reading exercises and were even able to read aloud the whole selection. We are now at Little House and this is no longer realistic. (We have two separate groups and a toddler running around, so we really only have 30 min that I keep everyone going. We tried longer sessions but no one (including the teacher!) had the patience for it. 30 mins seems to be the greatest benefit. One child is still struggling with decoding, but her mother bought her a phonics program that her brother, in speech therapy is using. She has been using it a month and I can tell it is already benefitting her. The other two girls in my group do not need the specific phonics practice (they always know the sounds the cards were making when we did this earlier), so it seems that we should leave the phonics to the home instruction. (Please let me know if this is in error). I talked to the mothers and we agreed that the point of getting tighter was more in the discussion. WE don't necessarily need 30 min to discuss, at this level, so I would still like to provide some sort of instruction and read aloud time. Do you have any suggestions for how to structure our 30 mins together?

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  • Michelle T
    replied
    Christine and Shawna,

    For decoding issues lets look at the word trouble: If the student is reading the sentence "Peter got in trouble." and they stopped at the word trouble, step in and walk them through the decoding. "What do the letters tr say? As in train? (If the extra clue word from the phonics flashcard is needed.) Now look at the letters ou, what sound do they make? Yes, sometimes they say ou as in round (flashcard reference) but they can also say ou as in young (fc reference). Blend those- trou now add your b sound. Le says le as in apple. Now blend those sounds. At this point I'd underline this word in my book to be sure and add a quick review next time we read and also note to review the word and phonograms within the word each day that week. With much practice and familiarity with the flashcards this process goes much faster. You can always use other words familiar to your child that contain the same sounds as well. Also many times the word they get stuck on is one that is covered in the pre-reading phonic material. It is good to have these on a board for the lesson so you can point to them to remind the student you went over this before reading. Typically they will recall these words when they are thoroughly reviewed prior to beginning to read.

    For fluency, as Tanya said we slow the student down to be sure they pause at commas and give the correct expression with question and exclamation marks. For a student who read a question with no expression, I would often repeat the question with exaggerated expression as an example. Many students need to hear the fluency and expression examples. This is one reason we promote round-robin reading in our classrooms.

    The accomodations for strugglers would be smaller sections to read aloud and/or giving the student the material to practice beforehand, as Tanya outlined above. They do need to have the practice of reading aloud as this is the only way to improve oral reading skills. The reason your child has great comprehension is that our listening level is typically two levels above our reading level. It is not surprising therefore, that your daughter's comprehension is great. When we ask comprehension questions in K, we suggest you ask the reader the question. This reinforces the fact that reading must have meaning to really be reading and not just decoding. It is more difficult to answer the question if you've done the reading than if you have just listened not having to use brain capacity on decoding, word order, left to right progression or any other skill incorporated when reading aloud. For the struggler, keep practicing and they will be able to handle lengthier sections of text. But remember the scheduled selections for reading are also for classes of students. As a home school reader only expect a selection for them to read outloud that is in porportion to their ability and in relation to what one student's section would be, usually a couple of paragraphs.

    Sorry this took so long to address. If you have other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

    Blessings,

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  • tanya
    replied
    Hello, Christine and Shawna.

    Michelle has been traveling, so I am going to try to answer your questions. We stop students when they run over punctuation or mispronounce words. And it also helps to remind students that a comma means to pause and a period means to stop before they even begin reading. Then, as they read and run over a period, they can self-correct pretty easily. As for students who aren't as fluent as the rest, they still need to practice reading out loud, but you might give them shorter and easier passages to read (be deliberate about what you give them to read so that you are encouraging success). Also, when I was teaching older students, if I had a struggling reader, I would send home the reading for the next day and tell the parents what I would be assigning that student to read out loud. This gave the student the opportunity to practice at home the night before. I found that this made all the difference in the world - and it helped the parents by singling out a specific passage. It became more of a partnership between the school and the family with everyone working for success for the student.

    I hope this helps!

    Tanya

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  • ShawnaB
    replied
    Echoing Christine's questions! Thank you.
    Shawna

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  • howiecram
    replied
    Originally posted by Michelle T View Post
    Shawna,

    For the grades you mentioned, our classrooms have anywhere from 15 to 21 students. All desks face the focal point of the room which is the teacher/ whiteboard. When it is time to read, everyone gets out their book and is following along as each reads aloud when called upon in turn. Sometimes they sit at their desks to read and sometimes they sit in a circle on the floor.

    The teacher typically has her class chart ready to give a daily reading grade (+,-, or check)and draws a students name on a popsicle stick or calls a name. The student reads a paragraph or until the teacher says stop. Any decoding issues are worked through coaching style and students are encouraged to read with fluency and expression.

    No groups. Whole class instruction from the pre-reading vocabulary introduction and phonic work to the post reading comprehension questions is teacher led. We do suggest some modifications for students with diagnosed reading issues such as assigning their oral reading section the day before allowing the student to practice their section or to have that student team read with the teacher or classmate.

    Blessings,
    Can you describe the “coaching” process? I am working with 3 girls. Two of the girls tend to run right over punctuation. Also, what do you do when a child mis-reads a word or has trouble sounding it out? Lastly, what are the accommodations do you make for children who are not quite up to the reading aloud? I have one gal that has greatly improved, I mean come a long way since Sept, but I know she really does not want to read aloud. Her comprehension is the best of the group though. (We are doing 2nd grade literature with 9/10 year old girls all with various challenges!

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  • ShawnaB
    replied
    Ah...I see it now. Thank you! I think I need to be a note-taking fly on the wall on your classrooms. So much of teaching is management. I was trained in a student-centric public school classroom, then spent many years around my kitchen table and on the couch as a homeschooling mom, and grew more classical as the years went by. Now that I am re-entering the hybrid-homeschooling world and working with a group of children, I find there is so much I must learn again.

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