Monthly Archives: October 2010

the turnip reemerges

I love my turnip space so much that I just couldn’t leave it lingering on its own out in cyberland.  This post signals a small change in focus: I need a place to organize/think/ponder about the work I’m doing for my final project in Teaching Literacy and Critical Thinking.  Luckily my final project is closely linked to work I need to be doing in my classroom already, namely working on reading comprehension strategies and assessing their effects on my students’ performance on reading comprehension tasks.  It all sounds very exciting :)

Two summers ago I read Kylene Beers’ book When Kids Can’t Read, and all the thinking and reacting I did with that book forms the basis for where I want to start with my students.  I actually looked back at the wiki I created with my inquiry group and pulled some basic ideas from there.  Hooray for creating a tool that really does apply to my job!  I’ve also pulled out Mosaic of Thought and flipped through it a bit, but I need to spend a bit more time with that text.

What I’m really thinking about right now is the second edition of Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension for Understanding and Engagement (Harvey and Goudvis, 2007).  I just got it in the mail a couple weeks ago and this weekend I’ve finally had a chance to spend some quality time with it.  I already flagged many pages, and I’m just quickly listing the ideas here so I can come back and explore them more in-depth at a later date.

  • Four kinds of learner/readers: tacit, aware, strategic, and reflective (p.26)
  • Leaving tracks of thinking: “In the same way as animals leave tracks of their presence, we want readers to leave tracks of their thinking.” (p. 28)
  • Anchor lessons and anchor charts (p. 50): launch a strategy using our most effective mini-lessons, allowing us to easily reference them when talking to students later (“remember when we talked about _____ in the book _______?  Try to find some places in your book today where you connect in the same way.”)
  • Knowing when you know and knowing when you don’t know (p. 81). Teaching kids to monitor their comprehension should probably come before teaching other strategies.  Start with lesson about clarifying confusion…using post-it notes that say “Huh?” next to confusing parts of text.
  • Anecdotal recording of conversation with students is a form of assessment.