Teaching Reading To Elementary Students

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A new literacy curriculum in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 elementary schools has shown signs of growth for the district’s youngest readers, with nine out of 10 schools exceeding the state average when it comes to student progress on 2019 state reading tests.

The curriculum is in its third year of implementation. In that time, it has transformed how elementary schools teach reading, introduced essential social/emotional learning (SEL) elements into the classroom, and increased student interest and engagement in reading.

Teaching Reading To Elementary Students

Moreover, it is an example of how District 191—or any district—can find success in implementing new programs by putting teachers first in the process that began about six years ago when the district assembled a reading leadership group. The committee consisted of two teachers from each school as well as digital learning specialists, intervention teachers, special education teachers, EL teachers, Continuous Improvement Coaches and principals.

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“The people using the materials need to be at the heart of the decision-making,” said Bethany Van Osdel, former Systems Improvement and Student Achievement (SISA) coordinator, who facilitated the reading steering group. “This team became leaders in the district and champions in their buildings.”

They wanted to teach. Two priorities emerged from that research: that the curriculum would support the district’s work to create classrooms that are culturally competent, and that teachers could focus less on designing their own lessons and more on how their students responded to what they learned. . Based on these priorities, the teachers selected curricula from the Center for the Collaborative Classroom.

“What we want is for every student who walks into our classrooms to feel like they’re part of that community; that they belong.”

In Tracy Hiebert’s first grade classroom in Hidden Valley, students participate in independent reading time – 20 minutes each day, allowing students to read a book of their choice based on their skill level. Electives are an important part of this curriculum. As students read during this time, Hiebert connects with individual students to assess their progress. She asks questions about the book they are reading, why they chose that book, and if they think it is the right one.

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After individual reading time, students are divided into groups. Some meet with English teachers, others work on literacy on a tablet, and about five meet with Hiebert at a semi-round table to learn new skills. They read the same book aloud. Hiebert sometimes helps with vocabulary and sounds. Different groups are differentiated as needed, ensuring that all students read at the same level and learn the skills they need to improve their reading.

This was an instructional change that teachers found important: creating opportunities for multiple levels of instruction, including individual reading, small group lessons, and whole-class reading. Among these different teaching strategies are various SEL strategies that aim to promote positive interactions between students. For example, during “Turn and Talk,” students have a framework for learning about their peers’ point of view in one-on-one conversations about what they are reading. They learn to disagree respectfully, ask follow-up questions, and maintain eye contact with the speaker.

“We have the gift in [District 191] to have many different students come into our classrooms every day,” Van Osdel said. “What we want is for every student who walks into our classrooms to feel like they’re part of that community; that they belong.”

Between the SEL strategies and the consistency of learning this curriculum provides—every class in every class works on the same lesson every day, in every school—creating a sense of community in every classroom is as simple as learning a name.

Teacher Reading Story To Elementary School Pupils Stock Photo

There have been several stories, including a fourth-grade classroom at Rahn Elementary School where a student who transfers from one district school to another midyear immediately engages with his new class during literacy instruction.

“One of my teammates just had a new student that day,” said Alissa Tofte, a fourth-grade teacher at Rahn. “[The student] said, ‘Hey, we read this book at my old school,’ and he had no problem jumping into that conversation as a brand new student … and sharing what he had to say.

Hiebert observed the benefits of the new curriculum and the impact it has on students almost immediately. “I remember we got our kindergartners the year after they had it for the first time,” she said. “We couldn’t believe how many skills they brought to the first class. They were the highest readers we’ve ever had since I’ve been teaching [at Hidden Valley]. That’s when I said, ‘this works.'”In this post, I share my teaching strategies for reading comprehension in my upperclassroom. These effective reading strategies are easy to implement and have been great in helping my students become better readers.

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Must Have Resources To Improve Reading Fluency Right Now

This post is part of a series on useful content aimed at teaching literacy in upper elementary classrooms. Here are the other posts to check out after you’ve read this entire post:

Disclaimer: Students who have barriers to their learning – whether cognitive or behavioral – or students who still struggle with fluency and decoding skills can still benefit from these strategies, but you should still refer to their IEP or learning plan for to know what is best for them. .

A major setback for students who have difficulty understanding what they read has to do with whether students ask themselves questions before, during, and after reading.

The My Read Aloud with Rigor series includes printables, guided teacher questions and more—all tailored to build reading comprehension. Click HERE or click the image for full details.

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Don’t underestimate the simplicity of this approach. And please don’t assume that older students are “beyond” being read to. No matter how cool they try to act, ALL kids love a good story!!

As students become more confident using these questions, they develop a habit of stopping while reading to ask themselves things like:

It will force students to ask even more questions and provide more descriptions with their answers. It will also require your budding readers to go back into the story for context clues and textual evidence. ALL of these are skills that the CCSS and TEKS require.

These 4th graders are looking for evidence from their novel to prepare for our upcoming literature discussion. Click the image for a list of good chapter books for 4th and 5th grade.

Teacher Reading Kids A Story In An Elementary School Class Stock Video Footage 00:17 Sbv 307698039

These discussions stimulate deeper thinking skills. Students then rely on these skills after you have freed them to read independently. Trust me, when you see the process in action, you’ll be a believer too!

These nonfiction readings from my Teachers Pay Teachers store are aligned to informational text reading standards for the upper elementary schools. Click HERE or click the image for more details.

Teaching students to take notes on what they read is like pulling teeth for teacher and student when you first start!

This color-coding tip is a 2-for-1 deal: Have students read the questions FIRST, which is a reading strategy that research has shown to improve comprehension. Then they go back to the text to mark the proof/answer with a color.

Reading Comprehension Strategies For Upper Elementary Students

Object lessons don’t have to be time consuming or complicated. However, they connect building background knowledge and increasing reading comprehension in amazing ways.

I once used this emoji flash for a character analysis lesson on the novel The Watson’s Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis.

Because we were discussing sensitive issues about race relations AND the time frame of the story was difficult for some of the students to relate to, the emojis made the reading lesson fun and relatable.

My favorite book Full of ideas for building background knowledge through object lessons is Understanding Connections: Bridges to Strategic Reading by Tanny McGregor.

Female Teacher Reading Story To Group Of Elementary Pupils Wearing Uniform In School Classroom Photo By Monkeybusiness On Envato Elements

Be sure to give your students and children at home a variety of reading materials! Click the image for a FREE trial. I LOVE this deal!

Let’s face it, if we are boring teachers, we can have all the reading comprehension pedagogy and effective skills in the world and our kids will still hate reading.

Click the image to get this pennant/banner for an easy way to track reading points in your classroom. This friendly reading competition adds fun to reading!

These are just a few of the fun reading comprehension times I have had with my students. One search through Pinterest and you’ll be ready to rock and roll.

Elementary School Teacher Reading To Kids Sitting On Floor Stock Photo

The point is: find ways to keep the fun infused through your reading. Your students will be motivated to use all the reading skills you’ve worked hard to teach them.

If so, I’d love to hear about your beautiful struggles to turn your children’s learning into reading. Share in the comments below!Kindergarten teacher Michelle Brooks works on letter sounds with her class at Nichols Hills Enterprise Elementary School on February 11th. (Whitney Bryan/Oklahoma Watch)

Reading experts and brain researchers pretty much agree

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