Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Literacy Teacher's Playbook Book study

I am so excited to be involved in this book study! 

I love book studies because we learn so much from our colleagues! What is so amazing is the different views and products that are created from each participant! That is what makes a book study such a wonderful learning tool! The book I am reading for this study is The Literacy Teacher's Playbook written by Jennifer Serravallo.

This week we are talking about Chapter 1- Collecting Data (Assessment Lenses and Tools). 
What I really liked about this chapter was the way the author broke it down for us. The author broke down the assessment of reading into 5 lenses.

1. Reading Engagement

First what is engagement? The author states that engagement is the readers motivation and their desire to read. This can be assessed through book logs, reading interest inventories and engagement inventories.

The book logs are a great way for the reader to keep a running list of the books they have read. Each log varies. Some are more detailed then others.

The reading interest inventories ask the students questions about what they like to do, their interests and what they like to read. This will assist in helping the student find books that they will find to be engaging.

The engagement inventories are tools that keep track of their behaviors while they are reading. This provides the teacher with information that allows them to assist in finding appropriate and engaging reading material for their students.

2. Assessing Reading Fluency

First, we must know what fluency is. This is a big conversation maker amongst educators. Fluency is not only rate of which they read but also includes their understanding of what they have just read as well.

We can assess this through fluency records ( can be a part of a running record) or a list of high frequency words to test rate of speed and the accuracy of the reading.

3. Assessing print work/decoding

This assesses what the child does when they come upon unfamiliar words. What strategies do they use to read these words or use to attempt to read these words.

When readers are at the beginning stage, they will look at the pictures to be able to read the story. using their knowledge of the letter-sound relationship, they will use this to try to sound out and decode unfamiliar words. A record of oral reading and a running record can be used to assess this.

4. Assessing Reading Comprehension

As we all know, if there is no comprehension then all a story is is words on a page. the reader must be able to comprehend what they are reading. Comprehension is taught before the students can actually read a text on their own. It is important for them to understand the story and be able to discuss it and give their own thoughts about the story.

Beginning in Kindergarten, we can assess comprehension through questioning. they can write down their thoughts and responses to questions as they are reading or being read to.

Of course, we can use the running record to assess comprehension. Turn and talk is another method used. Have them jot down a thought on a sticky note. These will tell you what they did and did not understand about the story.

5. Assessing Conversation

A valuable and nonintrusive method of assessing is through conversation. By listening to the students discuss the story, teachers can gain alot of valuable insight into the levels of their students. Conversation is a skill. It is a common core standard. The students are to be able to converse with one another in a meaningful manner.

Anecdotal notes are a great way to assess conversation. The teacher can just sit back and observe. As she is observing the turn and talks or other conversational activities taking place, they can take notes on what is going on. This will provide them with meaningful information. Will they need to work on the art of conversation?

Not only does the author discuss reading and the lenses used to collect data but they also discuss writing and the lenses used to assess it.

Writing has only two lenses to assess it with.

 1. Assessing Writing Engagement

As with reading, there needs to be engagement on the part of the student in order for this process to be successful. When assessing engagement, we are looking at the volume of writing, the motivation of the student, and whether or not the students uses and understands the process of writing.

An engagement inventory can be used. Writing journals are another way to assess engagement. This will keep all of their writings together and allow the teacher to see not only the volume of their writing but also the quality of their writing.

2. Assessing Qualities of Good Writing

Assessing writing is more accessible. We have a visual to keep and to send home. When we are assessing the quality of the students' writing, we must take into consideraton the type of writing they are doing. Is it an opinion piece? Narative? How to? Informative? This is important so we can insure that they have the correct information in their writing.

Another item we are assessing is the conventions, sentence structure. The spelling is also assessed.

Quality writing can be assessed through journals, spelling inventories as well as minilessons and/or conferencing.

One must remember that students' go through the stages of writing at different paces, depending on developmental issues as well as what grade level they are in.

This book had a lot of visual examples for us to see. As an educator, it is important to have a variety of tools on hand to assess reading and writing of our students.

Please click on the buttons below to see what other awesome educators had to say about Chapter one!

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