Monday, April 27, 2015

Understanding the Reading Process … Sources of Information, Strategies and Prompting, Oh My! (part 1)


Before diving into “doing” guided reading in your classroom, it is important to learn about, or reacquaint yourself with, the reading process. I’ve had many years of learning about the reading process and teaching reading, however, I often go back and re-read some of my favorite professional books and new books so that I can keep my thinking grounded in research. 

The act of reading is much more than just decoding; it is a complex process of making meaning from a variety of symbols and conversations (Clay) … it is a combo of decoding, fluency, and comprehension … it is about the behaviors and strategies readers do and use at any particular level in order to navigate through a text with success and understanding.  


MSV … and the Process of Reading

If you are a teacher who uses running records, DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment), mClass TRC (Text Reading Comprehension), QRI-5 (Qualitative Reading Inventory 5th edition) etc. then you have heard of MSV! I have had teachers ask me, “Why do I have to MSV this running record?”  I have also had teachers tell me that they have a love/hate relationship with MSVing … well don’t we all!!?? 

So … let’s get reacquainted with MSV.  Readers use three primary sources of information or cues when reading text: Meaning, Structure and/or Visual cues. Readers use meaning to monitor and make sense of the text they are reading. Readers use their knowledge of language structure to verify that what they are reading sounds right … this is often considered the grammar or book language. Readers use visual cues to make sure that what they are reading looks right … Does what they said match what their eyes see on the page? (grapho-phonics or letter/sound association)

Graphics and Fonts by Graphics by the Pond and Hello Fonts

It’s important to help our students understand the reading process right from the start.  The best way to do this is by using the gradual release of responsibility model and explicitly model through showing and telling how to use all three sources of information and strategies. The heart of this model is student engagement and having time for application with a teacher’s scaffolds and support.  Guided Reading is the perfect vehicle for this!  I always remind myself that it is important to give thoughtful attention to the level of help a child needs and then decide if I need to model/teach of prompt for an action.  Remember … you can’t prompt for what you haven’t taught for and they haven’t demonstrated knowledge of the behavior.

Grab the PDF of this graphic here

As adult readers, we use all of these sources without thinking about it.  The ultimate goal for our readers is to use these cues (MSV) quickly and automatically.  We also want them to understand that when one source of information breaks down, we immediately try another to gain meaning from the text.

Happy Reading, Marie

For more information on Running Records and MSV got Learn NC


Follow Me on TpT

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Diving In To The Teacher Blogger World


  Welcome to my blog … The Literacy Spot!! I am excited to join the 21st century of teaching … blogging! I look forward to sharing my reflections, ponderings and filling you in about my professional reading and professional development sessions I deliver and attend … oh, and sharing the literacy activities I use when modeling in other teachers’ classrooms!

  I am in my twenty-third year of teaching.  I have taught first through fourth grade and Reading Recovery.  I was a literacy coach for a k-2 school and I am currently a literacy specialist for the county I work in, for K-2 classroom teachers and Title 1 teachers in Eastern North Carolina.  I love teaching literacy and integrating reading and writing in to the content area.  I love working with beginning teachers and empowering them with an I can do this attitude during their first years of teaching. I love reading professional books and journals and staying current with literacy teaching. 


  The Literacy Spot
… the title of this blog spot …was inspired by my blogging and teaching friend over at Where the Magic Happens … We have had endless “literacy discussions” that led me to thinking differently about how to share resources with teachers outside of the district I work in. We discussed literacy standards, shared ideas and even talked about plans for future TpT projects and professional development sessions.

  I am happy to have a “spot” to share my thinking and reflections about literacy teaching and learning, to share resources and professional books about literacy and to share ideas about classroom literacy teaching. 
My goal is to post something… even if it is just a picture or quick thought … each week. Come back often to The Literacy Spot and see what I am blogging about.  Follow me on Facebook too!! 

  I have also opened up a a TpTstore … do a little bunny hop and hop... hop ... hop on over to my spot on TpT and check out my free products!! 

Happy Easter,

Marie