Short reading block - advice

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by otterpop, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Aug 25, 2018

    Our reading block got shortened this year.

    Can anyone advise on the best way to divide a reading lesson up, making the best of a less-than-ideal schedule?

    The goal of the lesson, and what used to fit into one day but now does not, is to read a five to ten page story and answer questions. This is really simplified but it is the general routine for the curriculum. Sometimes the curriculum uses stories for multiple lessons, but it usually says to reread the story at the start of each lesson/day.

    Here are two options to split it up:

    <Option 1>
    Day 1: Read the whole story, discussing and taking notes as we go. Day 2: Answer more in-depth questions at the end of the story. (Worries: Students are not going to remember the story when they answer the questions on day 2.)

    <Option 2>
    Day 1: Read half of the story. Answer the questions we can answer in writing at that time. Day 2: Read second half of the story. Answer the rest of the questions. (Worries: The story will be less enjoyable if it's split into pieces. Some questions, such as explaining the theme, require pulling evidence from the whole story and not just certain parts.)

    How would you break this up?

    I teach upper elementary.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 26, 2018

    Honestly, I have no idea. That seems like the worst way to teach reading. I’m guessing you are required to use this basal reader instead of letting kids choose their books while you meet with small groups? How much time do you have each day?
     
  4. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Aug 26, 2018

    My district has done multi day read aloud for years and kids seem to do ok getting into the stories. We don’t use a basal, just various picture books. But I’ve found that if I look beforehand for a good suspenseful point to stop, my kids are more eager to read it the next day. I’d say you’ll be able to get more done in terms of comprehension by splitting up the story over two days.
     
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Aug 26, 2018

    Sending you a PM... Yes, it's a basal.
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Aug 26, 2018

    Thanks, that's good to hear. It's interesting that the whole district has decided to do multi-day read aloud, and that it's not an individual teacher choice. I always think that consistency like that is a good thing for students.
     
  7. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Aug 27, 2018

    If the students are reading orally and you have multiple reading groups, one possibility might be to have the students read in cooperative groups. That way, each group could be reading simultaneously while you monitor. It might even be beneficial to have the groups answer the questions together, too, with one student recording the answers, then having a day or two of independent work for assessment and application of skills learned through the cooperative learning. The disadvantage to this is the distraction factor--some students have difficulty adjusting to the multiple auditory and visual activities occurring throughout the room.

    If the students are reading and answering independently, perhaps it would be helpful to just give them a 2-day assignment to work on at their own pace. Those who finish early could do extra reading of their choice. Those who do not complete in time perhaps could squeeze in time during another subject. Another possibility is to assign unfinished work as homework. The problem with that, I find, is that it adds extra homework for the student which squeezes out other essential at home activities, the parents sometimes over assist, it can become a nightmare for the teacher to assess, and it lengthens the time for a teacher to assist with students encountering difficulties. Another idea is for the teacher to choose which questions to answer or for the teacher to choose which entire lessons to skip (and assign as optional extra credit).
     
  8. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Aug 28, 2018

    Another way to approach this is do the class reading and discussion on day 1. On day 2, students jot down their draft answers to the questions, then independently or buddy read the story, or part(s) of the story. At this point, they can revise their answers to the questions.
     
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  9. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Aug 28, 2018

    This is a good idea, thank you.
     

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