Saturday, May 31, 2014

100 Minutes Book Study - Chapter 3 Reading Around the Literacy Block Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

Thinking of Teaching

I am late for my chapter post - I am so sorry!  But last night was Palmer's graduation.
Photo: Congrats Palmer!

I obviously knew this ahead of time and planned on pre-scheduling my post but this happened...

Photo: Cody sporting his new cast.  He's rocking the pink!  He says pink is the new black.

and we had to have an unexpected surgery and follow up appointment.  He fell off some playground equipment during one of Tyler's baseball games :(
He is handling it well, but needless to say, I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off since this was our last week of school!

I hope you forgive me, but I have a giveaway to make it up to you!

Now, onto my chapter of 100 Minutes -Making Every Minute Count in the Literacy Block.

 If you haven't bought the book yet, you still can - it will be a great summer read! Keep reading to see how you can win a $25 Amazon gift card to help you purchase the book : D

 You can read my previous posts below:

Chapter 1
Chapter 2

My thoughts on Chapter 3:

Lisa Donohue opened this chapter with a blog post she had written about the magic of the read aloud.  I also have fond memories of read alouds with my own teachers during my childhood.  Like Lisa, there are STILL days when I say that I want to move to Australia when I have a bad day because of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  Read alouds are also a sacred time in my classroom today.  If we have to let go of anything during the day due to special occurrences (assemblies, fire drills, etc.) I will NOT give up my read aloud.

This year I experimented with using whole group novels for some of our read alouds.  I still was the one reading, but each student had a copy of the text to follow along with as I read and to look back through when answering questions to refer to text references.  Many teachers I talked to disagreed with the use of a whole class novel, especially because of differentiation needs.  I love that Lisa Donohue addressed that you could still use whole group instruction, but still provide for varying needs.

Whole group lessons are a time to model reading strategies.  She notes that the purpose of reading strategies is not to give students a checklist of activities to accomplish, but rather is to provide them with a tool kit of strategies to use as they work to comprehend a given text.

It is also important for students to have an opportunity to talk through texts.  I have often heard it said that we do not allow students enough opportunity to talk in class, but instead as teachers do most of the talking.  I always try to keep in mind, that the person doing the work is the one who is learning.  If I am talking, i am learning - if the students are talking - they are learning.  Donohue recommends several ways to develop a talk-centered classroom with sample talk partner success criteria, and sample questions to ask students to encourage deep thought.

I also love that she provided web site resources and sample questions to use with these resources.  Our students are growing up in a digital world, and they need to be able to navigate these resources  as well.

I think one of the most valuable portions of this chapter are the suggested questions.  I love how just a small modification can result in such deeper thinking.  For example, she says:

"instead of asking... How did the main character feel at the end of the book?"
"try asking: How do you know that the main character learned an important lesson through the book?"

I am going to really think about the questions I will ask during read alouds next year.  

If you are reading along with this book, feel free to join in the discussion by linking up below.  I am looking forward to reading everyone else's thoughts and reflections!  

Next up- Chapter 4: Reading Around the Literacy Block

Be sure to visit Jen from teaching, life, and everything in between on June 4th to continue this learning journey with us. She is hosting chapter 4.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. "If I am talking, I am learning - if the students are talking - they are learning." Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I absolutely adore this!! Thanks so much for sharing. I loved reading your post!

    Have a great weekend!!

    XO, Kelly Anne

  2. My main struggle was that of time...reading, spelling, writing, poetry and more in a short block that most teachers would be amazed at. Next year our schedule is changing, and I am looking forward to more time!

  3. My biggest struggle is time as well. Making sure to get it all in for each kiddo.

  4. I missed my read aloud time this year as I was sucked into the vortex of all the other "things" that had to be touched upon. Thanks for reminding me how important reading aloud to the kiddos is!
    Mrs. Samuelson's Swamp Frogs

  5. My biggest challenge is scheduling and consistency. At 5th grade, we have so many "extras" that come into play (band/lessons, DARE, Jr.Achievement, etc.) that it becomes a nightmare trying to get a consistent schedule in place.

  6. I LOVE the comments on read a loud. I will not give them up.even as I move 3rd grade. They capture so much rich vocabulary and text and time periods. Thanks for sharing. I need this book!

  7. Time crunch as well. So many other things to fit in for testing. Thanks for the wonderful post and opportunity to win! :)

  8. My biggest challenge is implementing a new curriculum that is supposed to align with CCSS, but has many gaps.

  9. Great post! Thanks so much for co-hosting. I am learning so much from reading your posts and seeing the book through another set of eyes!
    Don't forget to link yourself up on the linky.

    Thinking of Teaching

  10. I struggle with fitting everything in during our block! I want to do phonics, phonemic awareness, read aloud, guided reading centers, poetry, writer's workshop, aahh! So much to do and so little time!


  11. Struggle with time, and keeping it fun!

  12. I struggle with time...fitting everything in during the time scheduled.

  13. As all the others have said TIME! At least we all agree. Thanks for the giveaway :)

  14. Fitting everything in! Whew! Thank you for a wonderful giveaway. Love all the comments.

  15. What to leave in and what to take out. Share this role with a writing teacher though. Thanks so much for the great post!

  16. Our block of scheduling change next year (again). More time for all that needs to be done. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  17. Congrats to Palmer! :) Time of course! Than you for the chance to win this.

  18. Interesting book. In agreement w/ most. Hard to get it all done. How proud you must be of your son! Thank you!


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