Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ready, Set, Read (and Respond)!

In my years of teaching (this will be number 9) I am usually trying new things (or improve things that work) and easily get tired of the same thing year-to-year. The one exception to this would be Read and Respond. The first school I taught at used the Success for All (SFA) reading program. It was a phenomenal program that really helped students make huge gains in reading and writing. It especially benefited the students of that particular school, which was nearly all English Language Learners, because students quickly became proficient in English too. One of the requirements was that students, of all grade levels, read for a minimum of 30 minutes everyday, even weekends. They were also not to write a summary of what they read, rather they were to respond to what they read in a meaningful way. And so I have kept Read and Respond over the years although due to my current school district's policy I have had to reduce the minimum time and days (20 minutes Monday through Thursday).

Last week we put together our Read and Respond notebook which consist of pasting the directions and grading rubric in the cover of a composition notebook. Then we practiced writing responses using the book I read aloud to them. They have only been doing this for a few days but some of them are already doing a extraordinary job! 

For Read and Respond students can read fiction or non-fiction and I require them to.....
* write the title
* write the date they read
* write the pages they read
* write the genre
* respond to what they read in 5 sentences
* get a parent signature to verify their reading

This is a model entry that blew me away! It says: 

"In this section India Opal Buloni found out that Winn-Dixie is afraid of thunderstorms. I can relate to that because my dog Graham is afraid of thunderstorms too. He whines and scratches at the door just like India had described of what Winn-Dixie did. Graham is also like Winn-Dixie because he won't lie down during the storm because he gets too nervous. After the storm is over Winn-Dixie calmed down just like Graham does."

At the bottom of her entry you can see the score she gave herself for Reading and Language Arts. I will grade these periodically, and I will also ask students to score themselves and score each other too. 

Ready to use Read and Respond in your classroom too? The Read and Respond Journal pages are available in my TpT store. You will receive a teacher direction page, student direction page and rubric to paste into a notebook, alternate blackline master for photocopying, and Read and Respond passes to use for incentives/prizes. 

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