Monday, August 25, 2008

Gearing Up

Just noticing that I haven't blogged in awhile. I guess I have been busy entertaining out of town visitors and taking a few short trips myself (must find a picture). Right now I am putting things together for a summer intermediate later literacy institute for this Tuesday and Wednesday so the professional materials have been out! My latest professional reading has been a new International Reading Association publication, Quality Comprehension: A Strategic Model of Reading Instruction Using Read-Along Guides, Grades 3-6 by Sandra K. Athans and Denise Ashe Devine. There are many things I like about this book. I like the specific reading guides that can be used with any text especially those on monitoring comprehension (fix up strategies) and finding word meaning and building vocabulary using context clues. When we look at assessing our students' reading using the RAD, this is still an area that somehow just doesn't get taught sufficiently in many cases. These read along guides provide a good way to do this. By going to the website that I just gave you, you can easily look at and download the study guides. In the book you have specific examples of how these can be used.

Non professionally, I just read an excellent adult novel which is a nice fit for teachers (now is it a coincidence it was a gift from Adrienne Gear?). The novel is Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones, another Commonwealth Prize winner. It is set in Papua New Guinea in the 1990's in a very difficult time when civil war breaks out and the village that Matilda, the 13 year old protagonist lives in, is basically cut off from the rest of the world. All the expatriots have left, and the one remaining white man in the village agrees to be the teacher. His text is Dicken's Great Expectations. I think I will leave it there, but a great read.