Burr Buzzes About Books, Volume 2– from Language Arts Specialists, Gail Felberbaum and Lisa Henkel

This year we have begun looking deeply into setting goals for all our students in reading. In order to do this well, we have to know our students really well. What are their strengths? What are their areas of challenge? How can we choose just one thing for them to work on over a period of weeks? How do we get them to “buy in” to this goal? If you want to know more, click here to go to our website.  (enter url here)

Goals can range in areas such as:

·         specific comprehension skills, i.e. predicting, summarizing, inferring

·         phonological awareness and/or phonics

·         vocabulary

·         fluency or rate

·         engagement/stamina

·         writing about reading

·         asking and answering questions

·         decoding

It is important for the teacher and student to identify a goal together. In this way, both teachers and students can “progress monitor” together to make sure the student is making the necessary gains. Each class or each grade level may have its’ own method of displaying a student goal (a note card, a section in a notebook, a picture, etc.)

We are working on giving students a strategy to use to achieve their goal. Often the strategy may be very concrete. An example of this for developing expression while reading nonfiction might be “Read like you are teaching me something.” There might even be a picture reminder to go along with a new strategy.

You can help us by asking your child what his/her goal is in reading. Check in every few weeks. You can then practice this goal or this strategy when you read together. We appreciate your help!



Burr Buzzes About Books

by Language Arts Specialists, Gail Felberbaum and Lisa Henkel

Welcome to our first column about Reading and the Home School Connection.

Did you know that all of us (students, staff, and parents) are really working on “engagement” in reading? This means that we want really want our kids to enjoy books, stay focused on them, and build a quality reading life. Walking down the halls we often see kids with their noses in  books . This makes us very happy! “Engagement is everything.” states Jennifer Serravallo in The Reading Strategies Book. Research has shown that the amount of time kids spend practicing, on-task, with eyes on print, makes the biggest difference to their success as readers, and across contents areas.

Sometimes students have trouble finding a “just-right” book. Reading interest Surveys can help all of us find out what kinds of books to suggest to particular students.

You might want to give your children/students one to find out what they really think about their reading. Here are some questions you can have students/children answer or fill out. It is a great way to get to know your child/student better too!

·             Do you like reading? Why or why not?

·             How much time do you spend reading? What are some of your favorite books that you read recently?

·             Do you use a library card? Do you use the school library? What kinds of books do you check out?

·             About how many books do you own? What are some books you would like to own?

·             Put a check mark next to the kinds of books you like best and the  topics you might like to read about.

·              _history, _adventure _biography _humor _art _cooking _detective stories _travel _mysteries _plays _poetry _folktales __sports _science fiction_ how to books_ animals

Please join with us to boost student engagement in reading. If you have any questions/comments,  please feel free to contact us.



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Gail and Lisa