If we’ve carefully chosen a book for our struggling readers, we’ve laid the groundwork for a strong book introduction. We have considered what the child/children can do in text, what they need to practice, and where they’re headed, and we’ve identified how the book supports that journey. We have found a few specific places where we expect the children to work, and lots of places to practice what they have been gaining control over, e.g., high frequency words, crosschecking, taking words apart, being flexible with their problem-solving, etc. Now our task is to plan the details of our introduction to provide just enough clear, succinct support for the children to successfully learn and enjoy their reading.
How do we introduce a new book to help struggling readers maximize learning without being overwhelmed?
What additional insights can we gain to make our book introductions most effective with struggling readers?
Supporting Documents: Mushrooms for Dinner text transcript
Book Introduction: Choosing Places to Problem Solve; Transcript
First Grade, Level 11, CC Bates
How do our book introductions support our early emergent readers?
Kindergarten teacher Tracie McGovern has 28 students and 7 guided reading groups in her classroom. She meets daily with the first group of two children (Video 7 – one child was absent), who both started the school year not recognizing any letters of the alphabet. In Video 8, Reading Recovery/Intervention teacher Emily Garrett meets daily with a group of two kindergarten children. In October, when the videos were taken, in both groups the children knew over 20 letters and were just beginning to learn how books work, e.g., tracking print left to right, making a 1-1 match of voice to word, and understanding that stories carry meaning through print as well as pictures.
Supporting Documents: Busy Dad and Baby text transcripts
Video 7: Book Introduction with Early Emergent Readers 1;
Kindergarten Level 1, Tracie McGovern
Video 8: Book Introduction with Early Emergent Readers 2;
Kindergarten Level 1, Emily Garrett
How do we choose and introduce vocabulary in our book introductions with transitional readers?
By levels 16-20, children will encounter many more words in text that have unfamiliar meanings, unusual spellings, or both. It would be ineffective, as well as detracting from precious reading time, to define numerous vocabulary words in our book introductions. However, we need to support our struggling readers in acquiring new vocabulary and not getting lost in higher level text. The following segments explore how Reading Recovery/intervention teachers with groups of second graders approach these concerns.