Building Blocks of Reading Key Components:

  • The importance of a strong leadership team
  • Teacher modeling and demonstrating the teaching to help guide the kids toward “cracking the code”
  • Parental involvement, teachers and principals checking in with families
  • Importance of valuing school, reading and learning

6 Reading Strategies, Key Components:

  • When you use these strategies, it will aid in reading, it will help students in understanding what they are reading from the beginning to the end.
  • Prediction- Do a picture walk or skim over material and see if students can make predictions on what will happen in the story
  • Connection-Connecting pervious knowledge to what you’re reading
  • Asking Questions- About the reading, wondering
  • Self-monitor- if there is any issues or confusion, be aware of this and use strategies such as sounding out, blending or using words around the word to give context clues
  • Visualize- Allow the pictures to help pen the story, think of other images that could create another ending
  • Summarize- Use 5 W’s

Reading First

  • Came into effect when the No Left Behind motion started
  • It required all states to assess student progress in reading and schools were penalized if they failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress
  • Required that the curricula had to be based on “Scientific” research
  • This was highly ineffective and put immense pressure on teacher’s, they were being monitored to make sure they were implementation this material
  • Reading First failed and it can probably be attributed to two factors- the narrow scope of the instruction and the scripted nature of that instruction

Classrooms that had the highest achievement gains teachers did what:

  • Emphasized higher-order meaning construction more than lower-order skills
  • Maximized opportunities to read
  • Integrated reading and writing with other subject areas
  • Provided opportunities to discuss what was read


Basic principle of effective instruction

  • Instruction in a safe environment, full of reading intertwined in every subject, consistency, high/reasonable expectations. Material that is engaging, interactive, and providing accessible materials to all students.


Characteristics of the most effective classrooms

  • Skills were explicitly taught and related to reading and writing
  • Books were everywhere and used in a variety of ways- read aloud by teacher and read and listened to on tape by the children
  • Children did a lot of reading and writing throughout the day and for homework
  • Teachers had high but realistic expectations for children and monitored progress regularly
  • Self-Regulation was modeled and expected. Children were taught to check and reflect on their work and to make wise choices
  • Cross-curricular connections were made as children read and wrote while studying science and social studies themes
  • Classrooms were caring, positive, cooperative environments, in which discipline issues were handled quickly and quietly.
  • Classroom management was excellent and teachers used a variety of grouping structures, including whole class, one to one teaching and a variety of small groups.
  • Classrooms showed high student engagement.


Effective teacher qualities

  • High pupil engagement
  • Provided more small-group instruction
  • Provided more coaching to help children improve in word recognition
  • Asked more higher-level comprehension questions
  • Communicated more with parents
  • Had children engage in more independent reading



What do we know about effective classrooms:

  • They provide huge amounts of balanced, comprehension instruction
  • Students do a lot of reading and writing
  • Science and Social studies are taught and integrated with reading and writing
  • Meaning is central and teachers emphasize higher-level thinking skills
  • Skills and strategies are explicitly taught, and children are coached to use them whild reading and writing
  • Teachers use a variety of formats to provide instruction
  • A wide variety of materials are used
  • Classrooms are well managed and have high levels of engagement


Common core:

  • Standards implemented throughout instruction and grade levels to encourage college and career readiness in students.
  • Rigorous and require elementary students to engaged in higher-level thinking, synthesis and analysis as they read of listen.



  • I think just taking multiple of the strategies and characteristics listed above and implementing them into my classroom would be very helpful.
  • Specifically, I like the idea of cooperative learning and incorporating this into my classroom someday. Through small group discussions, reading circles, students working together to edit their writing (after teacher has modeled how to edit), etc.