Managing #ClassroomBookADay with Mentor and Anchor Texts
BY NICOLE STROUP
While we have all that on our plates, we must figure out how to make learning engaging for all our unique students and meet individual needs, interests and choices. We have to provide differentiated instruction and somehow get students to take ownership of their learning so they can soar to new heights.
I believe that #ClassroomBookADay brings back some of that engagement for students with a time in your day when you can simply read for pleasure and engage them in a fascinating text letting their minds take in all the benefits of reading aloud.
However, as we continue our new commitment to read 180 books in a year, along with the curriculum we are expected to cover, we find ourselves back to that always-challenging management piece. Some of us may be feeling like we are reading five books a day to our students, for various mentor and anchor text lessons, while feeling bad that we are adding these stories to our #ClassroomBookADay count and not providing the students with those opportunities to just listen without engaging in a strategy.
Here is a secret: Flip the way you introduce the stories in your classroom. Use your mentor or anchor text towards your #ClassroomBookADay count, but read the book for enjoyment first. Then pick the book back up a day or so later – heck, pick it up in the afternoon – and point out those great things that tie in new learning opportunities.
The students will already be familiar with the story. You won’t necessarily have to read the whole book again! Just find those few places in the story that you want to pull out specific information to model the strategy you are using or introducing.
Now, your students will really soar to new heights because they won’t be trying to listen for comprehension while being exposed to some new strategy when really they just want to hear the plot of the story. Their imagination will be able to run wild, creating all those great questions, making connections on their own and visualizing the story without you interrupting their thinking along the way.
They will actually enjoy the story first and then be able to go back to the book when you’re ready for your next lesson, modeling and practicing along the way!
Go ahead give it a try!
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Nicole Stroup Regional Office of Education, Lake County IL
With over 10 years of experience in education, Nicole Stroup has been instrumental in supporting staff development, leading teachers, and developing curriculum for districts throughout Lake County. She has rich experience as both an instructional coach and ELA Content Facilitator. She has enhanced the professional learning experience of teachers throughout our area and brings both enthusiasm and a passion for instructional coaching and literacy to her new role. With a Master’s Degree in both Reading Instruction and Educational Leadership, she is committed to serving Lake County schools and districts as a support for English Language Arts curriculum, school improvement, and professional development. Nicole’s broad experience includes teaching at the elementary level as well as supporting school library media staff on library improvements. She emphasizes flexible learning environments, passion for content, and a desire to support the professional learning needs of Lake County educators. Nicole resides in Volo, IL with her husband and young daughter. In her leisure, Nicole enjoys golfing and supports her local girl’s gymnastics team as a coach.
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