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Guided Practice for Reading Growth, Grades 4-8

Guided Practice for Reading Growth, Grades 4-8
Texts and Lessons to Improve Fluency, Comprehension, and Vocabulary

Foreword by Timothy Rasinski

October 2020 | 168 pages | Corwin

Use these lessons to build developing readers’ skill and desire to read, read, read!

This book will be your guide as you support middle grade students who are reading two or more years below grade level. The lessons enlarge students’ vocabulary and background knowledge and engage them in meaningful discussions and writing about their reading. As students’ reading skill and desire to read increases, you’ll watch them complete more independent reading and ramp up their reading volume—the practice they need to improve!

Guided Practice for Reading Growth provides all you need to get started. Laura Robb and poet David L. Harrison have collaborated to design twenty-four powerful reading lessons using original poems and short texts that interest your students and encourage them to think deeply. The opening chapters offer background knowledge for the lessons and teaching tips, then the bulk of this book consists of lessons—with full texts and suggested videos provided. Guided practice lessons are the instructional piece that can move developing readers forward by building their self-confidence and the reading expertise needed to read to learn and for pleasure.

This unique book shows you how to:

·         Build students’ background knowledge by watching and discussing videos.

·         Use the poems to improve reading and to improve fluency through practice and performance.

·         Invite students to write about their reading and increase comprehension and recall.

·         Ask partners to discuss before, during, and after reading as meaningful talk enlarges students’ analytical thinking and understanding.

·         Design your own lessons for students with extra texts by David L. Harrison in the appendix.

Use this book to develop students’ self-confidence and the reading skill they require to become lifelong, joyful readers!

List of Videos
Skill Lesson Chart
Foreword by Timothy Rasinski
Chapter 1. What Developing Readers Need
Characteristics of Developing Readers in Middle Grades

Developing Readers Need Skilled Teachers

Developing Readers Need Four Key Literacy Experiences

Developing Readers Need Guided Practice

Developing Readers Need to Experience the Benefits of Rereading

Developing Readers Need to Talk About Texts

Time to Reflect

Chapter 2. Organizing for Guided Practice
Independent Reading Increases Volume

Daily Interactive Read-Alouds Benefit All Readers

Vocabulary Instruction Increases Fluency and Comprehension: Teach Words in Groups

Teachers’ Notebooks Model Writing About Reading

Readers’ Notebooks Boost Comprehension

Avoid Cognitive Overload

Time to Reflect

Two Types of Guided Practice Lessons: Partner Discussion and Shared Reading

The Structure of Partner Discussion Lessons Using Poetry and Short Texts

The Structure of Shared Reading Lessons

Guided Practice and the Gradual Release of Responsibility

How Can Guided Practice Lessons Lead to Reading Growth?

How Are the Lessons in This Book Organized?

How Many Lessons Should Students Complete?

How Do I Know When to Intervene?

Why Should Students Self-Evaluate?

How Do I Choose Texts?

How Do I Introduce Texts So Students Want to Read Them?

What Materials Do I Need for Lessons to Run Smoothly and Successfully?

Reminders for the Guided Practice Lessons

Chapter 3. Partner Discussion Lessons
Lesson 1: Partner Discussions Using the Poem for Two Voices, “What Was She Thinking?”

Lesson 2: Partner Discussions of the Short Text, “Jorge Muñoz: An American Hero”

Lesson 3: Partner Discussions Using the Poem, “Escape Artist”

Lesson 4: Partner Discussions Using the Text, “What Was Early Humans’ Greatest Invention?”

Lesson 5: Partner Discussions Using the Poem, “Before I Could Write This Poem—”

Lesson 6: Partner Discussions of the Short Narrative, “Manhunt”

Lesson 7: Partner Discussions of the Poem, “The Explorers”

Lesson 8: Partner Discussions of the Short Text, “The Day I Started Becoming an American”

Lesson 9: Partner Discussions of the Poem, “Ode to the Skunk”

Lesson 10: Partner Discussions for the Text, “I Am Not a Number”

Lesson 11: Partner Discussions of the Short Text, “Now . . . and Then”

Lesson 12: Partner Discussions Using the Poem, “If Stones Had Tongues”

Chapter 4. Shared Reading Lessons
Lesson 13: Shared Reading of the Poem, “The Man for the Job”

Lesson 14: Shared Reading of the Short Text, “Jane Goodall: A Portrait of Determination”

Lesson 15: Shared Reading of the Poem, “Rain, She”

Lesson 16: Shared Reading of the Short Text, “The Service Dog: Man’s Best Friend”

Lesson 17: Shared Reading of the Poem, “Lost and Found”

Lesson 18: Shared Reading of the Short Text, “Johnny Appleseed—Jonathan Chapman: One Man—Two Stories”

Lesson 19: Shared Reading of the Poem, “George Washington Carver”

Lesson 20: Shared Reading of the Short Text, “The Masters of Pollination”

Lesson 21: Shared Reading of the Poem, “Amazon Rain Forest”

Lesson 22: Shared Reading of the Short Text, “Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Dancer”

Lesson 23: Shared Reading of the Poem, “Who Were They—Those First People to Walk Upon This Land?”

Lesson 24: Shared Reading of the Short Text, “Solving an Ancient Cave Mystery”

Improve Fluency: Practice and Performance Using Guided Practice Texts

Benefits to Students of Practice and Performance

Transfer Learning From Guided Practice to Instructional and Independent Reading

Teaching and Learning Reminder

Time to Reflect

Appendix A: Suggested ELA Schedule for 45 Minutes
Appendix B: Suggested ELA Schedule for 60 Minutes
Appendix C: Literary Elements Handout for Students
Appendix D: Self-Evaluation Questions/Prompts for Students
Appendix E: Compare/Contrast Handout for Students
Appendix F: Guidelines for Planning a Shared Reading Lesson
Appendix G: Guidelines for Preplanning a Partner Discussions Lesson
Appendix H: Magazine Resources for Short Texts for Guided Practice Lessons
Appendix I: Additional Short Texts and Poems by David L. Harrison
Short Greek Myth for Guided Practice: And Zeus Said (Maybe) . . .

Short Informational Text for Guided Practice: Going . . . Going . . . Gone?

Poem: Wanting to Be Needed

Poem: The Last Northern White Rhinoceros

Appendix J: Books and Poetry for Instructional and Independent Reading
Appendix K: Picture Books for Interactive Read-Alouds

With special consideration on our students who are developing as proficient readers, this book unpacks an essential step in skilled teaching – the guided practice component. So often, we leapfrog from modeling to independent practice; Robb and Harrison’s thoughtful inquiry into guided practice helps us understand the power and promise of guided practice, the essential components of guided practice, and model lessons to enact guided practice.”

Molly Ness, Ph.D,

“The power of intriguing texts, purposeful reading, and development of independence in reading are the keystones of this book. Teachers will find guidance on how to snag the interest of middle school students with content texts especially written by David L. Harrison and woven into compelling lessons by Laura Robb. The authors provide teachers with a powerhouse of lessons that nudge students along in becoming independent readers who can infer, summarize, discern cause and effect, and much more. Not only will students gain skill in reading, but they will also have multiple opportunities to write, discuss, and broaden their vocabulary. An outstanding resource!”

Mary Jo Fresch, Ph.D.,
Professor Emeritus at the College of Education and Human Ecology, Ohio State University

This book shows teachers how to apprentice developing readers into knowing and doing the secret things that expert readers know and do.  Laura Robb and her co-author have nailed the very core of the kind of cognitive apprenticeship that transforms student engagement and capacity: provide guided practice into the use of new stances and strategies (in ways tailored to meet the needs of the whole class, small groups and individuals), and then move to deliberate independent practice that consolidates, extends and explores these moves of expert readers. “

Jeffrey Wilhelm

“Laura Robb and David L. Harrison's new book is a great practical guide to help teachers provide more effective reading instruction!"  

Larry Ferlazzo
high school teacher, author, and Education Week columnist

Laura Robb is a legend in the field of literacy and the years she has dedicated to serving and educating shine through in this gem! Robb’s optimistic tone and steadfast belief in learners permeate each page of this practical professional resource. The included lessons are a tribute to student-centered, scaffolded learning. These thoughtfully-spiraled lessons build confidence in problem-solving and spotlight the importance of literary conversation. I greatly appreciate the focus on using real, relevant, and accessible texts to drive classroom learning. As such, Harrison’s writing amplifies the “engagement factor” of each lesson— I imagine classroom readers will get lost in the rhythm and melody of his words. Thank you, Laura and David, for sharing your knowledge, wisdom, and expertise with us all.”

Pamela Koutrakos

What is essential for reading growth?  David Harrison and Laura Robb provide guidelines and tips for schedules, routines, instructional practices and lessons that increase students’ reading skill and self-confidence with proven sustained growth by real students in real classrooms. The authors use the research and their classroom work to provide evidence that students working below their grade level do not need pre-made programs or one-size basals but do need knowledgeable teachers who know their students and align and craft guided practice that encourages students to work hard to meet their goals. This book details how guided practice reinforces and enhances independent reading, interactive read-alouds, vocabulary building and writing about texts in a reader’s notebook in manageable instructional practices.The implementation of the ideas in this book will help EVERY teacher develop effective and efficient targeted instruction that capitalizes on their knowledge and relationships with the students in their own classrooms.”

Fran McVeigh
literacy consultant, adjunct instructor, and Assistant Academic Coordinator for the Graduate Program, Morningside College

One of the hardest parts of helping developing readers can be finding texts that support them.  In this compendium of intermediate and middle grade reading lessons, Laura and David suggest one great text after another, making offering readers the practice they need to become stronger, more proficient readers even easier!”

Kim Yaris
literacy consultant and co-author of Who’s Doing the Work?

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ISBN: 9781544398495

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