Reading About Reading

Although widely thought of as a math geek, at least as far as elementary math pedagogy is concerned, I am spending some time this summer researching literacy.

The first book on my “must read” list happens to be Richard Allington’s What Really Matters for Struggling Readers. It will come as no surprise that many of my readers struggle, and so far I’ve found Allington’s work very informative and affirming.  Maybe that has a lot to do with the Daily Five and its structures; many of these are based on Allington’s work.

When I think about fluency, I know rereading an appropriate level text is important.  Allington advocates for a couple of strategies that have enormous potential with my readers: Tape, Check, Chart and Tape, Time, Chart (Allington, R. What Really Matters for Struggling Readers. (2012). Boston: Pearson Education. p 110-111).

When I take a running record of a child’s reading, I always share what the checkmarks and codes mean. In Tape, Check, Chart, students read a short text into a tape recorder, mark it up using child-friendly markings, and over the course of multiple readings (Allington suggests 4 with a different color pen for each mark-up) increase fluency and accuracy.  Tape, Time, Chart provides similar practice with fluency.

As I think about Daily Five activities for the coming school year, I know that the addition of these two choices will be powerful, not only for the students but for me.

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