Friday, July 5, 2013

Catching Readers Before They Fall Book Study-Chapters 3-5

Linking up again with Kimberley at :

For her book study on: 

So I have a confession to make--I don't think I was every really taught how to teach reading. I don't remember specifically taking a class on it through my certification process at all. I do remember my first year teaching Kindergarten and buying lots of books that would explain different methods and I think I learned by watching other teachers in action.

What I really like about Chapter 4 is it asks us to examine the dialogue/modeling we do when students are reading a sentence. I am teaching summer school right now and one of our promotion standards for 1st and 2nd grade is reading 80% of the words from their high frequency word list. Do you want to know how many kids are still just trying to sound out those words? One is own or on, said is sayed. I know it's their go-to strategy, but as the authors point out in the English language, as I am fond of telling my kiddos, many words do not follow the rules (much like Kindergarteners!).

This chapter definitely gave me ideas to start that dialogue and incorporate other strategies in their toolboxes.

Chapter 5-I completely agree that all kids need to be read to and am often surprised at how many enter Kindergarten without ever having been read to. I worked in an office years ago when I was working toward my certification and asked a friend to "borrow" her 4-year old son for a study-I was supposed to work with an emergent reader. Now Erica was by all appearances a great parent, that child was her world. But I couldn't believe he was holding the book upside-down when we began. I asked her what his favorite stories were and she said "he only likes movies". So the teacher in me bought him the Giving Tree as a gift at our last session and he literally threw it on the ground and said "I don't want this". It just makes me wonder how many homes today do the video games and DVD players take time where kids used to be reading and read to.

Anyway, I even go so far as to record stories on mp3 players (thank you Donorschoose!) and let them take home the books and recordings to listen to. So I am giving them every opportunity to hear someone read to them at night. I also believe that children should be given time to read independently-I struggle with how to do this with my very emergent readers in K though. I also believe writing is very tied to learning how to read. You can tell a lot about a child's literacy level by looking at their writing!

Chapter 6 -The Interactive Read-Aloud

Definitely lots of good tips for how to get those discussions started. One thing that struck me was the quote from Junko Yokota: "Mirrors let readers see the reflections of their lives; windows let them see others' lives". It's a struggle even with those kids that have innate abilities in reading sometimes to get them to make those connections to a story.

Thank you Kimberley, for encouraging us to read this book-I am getting a lot out of it!


  1. How nice that you can practice some great reading strategies on kids in summer school right now while the book is still fresh on your brain. Your story about the little one you borrowed made me jaw drop. How very sad.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. I know-I'm so glad to start trying some things out on my little guinea pigs! :)

  3. That story made me so sad. My own siblings don't read to their children. It breaks my heart. I feel like there is a whole world out there that kids aren't getting to be a part of and it means they won't get to find out some other things about who they are as well. Thank you for sharing this, you brought new perspective to the chapters. Thank you for being a part of this study, reading your thoughts helps me craft and re-craft my own.

    First in Maine