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Loving to read and reading what I love!!!

I am a book addict! Bookaholic!! Obsessed with books! This includes professional teaching books! I taught Kindergarten for 6 years and read books about Kindergarten. Now I teach 6th grade and read books about intermediate students! I decided to create a list of my Top 10 (or more) professional teaching books that I have read or started reading  in the past year that I think are the BOMB!!! I plan on going back through each book this summer and taking notes for the upcoming year. I will use all of these books to plan by for this year! Ready……….Set………….Go!

They are not in any particular order!

1. The Book Whisperer-Donalyn Miller

2. The Daily 5-The Sisters

3. The Cafe-The Sisters

4. Readicide-Kelly Gallagher

5. The Reading Zone-Nancie Atwell

6. 7 Keys to Comprehension

7. Guiding Readers and Writers

8. Strategies That Work

9. Comprehension Shouldn’t Be Silent

10. R5 in the Classroom

11. Reading Essentials

12. Mosiac of Thought

13. Notebook Connections

14. Notebook Know-How

If only I could visit the classrooms of some of these magnificent authors!! 🙂 What’s on your list of best reads?


Reading skills and strategies

I decided to count up the reading skills and strategies that are taught through our Scott Foresman Reading Street reading program since I am REALLY wanting to implement the CAFE literacy structure and Daily 5 in my classroom.

Strategies in Scott Foresman Reading Street                            





Monitoring and Fixing Up-3                                                               

Using Prior Knowledge-3                                                                    

Using Graphic Organizers-3                                                               

Using Text Structure-3                                                                          




Skills in Scott Foresman Reading Street




 Author’s Purpose-3

Cause and Effect-3


Main Idea/Details-3



Draw Conclusions-3


Graphic Sources-3

Wouldn’t it be interesting to talk to the authors of this reading program (or any reading program for that matter) to find out what their thoughts were when creating the program???? They pretty much evenly distributed the teaching of the strategies/skills with the exception of questioning (it is taught 6 times) and then plot, character, and setting only get taught 1 time. I believe they decided that plot, setting, and character had probably already been taught in previous years enough that the kids should have internalized them by now. However, plot in the 3rd grade is very different from plot in the 6th grade-problem, rising action, climax, resolution, etc. is pretty complicated! 🙂

I have only taught this Scott Foresman for 6th grade 1 year so far so I am still learning LOTS of things about it, but their setup/structure is not too appealing to me. Soooo…. I am going to TWEAK it for next year. 🙂 I will definitely still teach ALL of these strategies/skills, but in a different format. For example, prior knowledge can be a focus for all that we read-not just 3 times during the year! 🙂

Also, even if I decide to have a focus strategy/skill like the reading program is setup to do-we will still use more than that one each week with our texts.

How to use fresh reads

I REALLY want to use the fresh reads that go along with our weekly units in the Scott Foresman Reading Street 6th grade reading program.

Here are the drawbacks:

1. The fresh read passages themselves are pretty boring

2. I don’t have a lot of time in my schedule to plug them in

3. Some of them are hard to understand

4. The questions are HARD!

Here are the good things:

1. They are a great preparation for state testing because of the passage formats

2. I could easily use them to teach different strategies since they are short texts

3. I could use some of their questions, but also make up my own

Here is one plan that I have come up with-not sure if it is workable or beneficial, but I’m game for trying it out!! This would be if I used the fresh read every other week instead of weekly. I could use an “article” from a newspaper or magazine the 1st half of the week-then the fresh read for the 2nd half of the week.

Monday- High interest article-introduce reading strategy-read and practice reading strategy

Tuesday-High interest article-read again practicing reading strategy

Wednesday-Fresh read-read and practice reading strategy

Thursday-Fresh Read-read again practicing reading strategy

Friday-Assess using the fresh read and questions about fresh read

Anyway, this is just a thought! I’ll probably change my mind again over the summer! 🙂