First-grade teacher Debbie Miller chronicles her work teaching reading comprehension in her popular book Reading with Meaning. In this three-tape series, Debbie takes you beyond comprehension instruction, and shows how she sustains a thoughtful primary reading program that challenges and supports readers of all abilities and needs.
How does Debbie create a learning environment that fosters such sophisticated talk around texts? How is comprehension instruction balanced with teaching decoding skills? How does she help students develop the skills in independence and collaboration necessary for successful reading workshops? Debbie and her students tell this story through a wealth of classroom segments as Debbie reflects on the reasoning behind her instructional decisions and the connections between her practice and the theories that inform her work.
While many examples of Debbie teaching comprehension and students practicing reading strategies are presented, they are only part of a larger portrait of how she carefully organizes the classroom environment and designs effective instruction. You will see her assessing students in the midst of teaching, tailoring instruction to emerging needs, and taking the time to build a community of learners.
Tape 1: Essentials: Tone, Structure, and Routines for Creating and Sustaining a Learning Community
This tape documents how and why the room is organized to support readers; the basic components of readers' workshop; how to get started with students who have few decoding skills; and the rules and procedures for whole-group sharing, conferences, and small-group work.
Tape 2: Explicit Teaching: Portraits from Readers' Workshop
This tape presents explicit teaching in a variety of contexts, including word study, scaffolding individual readers in conferences, and using observations to assess students; whole- and small-group instruction in comprehension; and small-group guided practice in decoding.
Tape 3: Wise Choices: Independence and Instruction in Book Choice
Informed student book choice is essential to a successful reading workshop. Students need a balanced reading diet of different types of text, and when we teach them how to make good choices it fosters independence and engages and motivates them to read for longer periods of time. Nonfiction is key, and teaching students how to access it broadens their choices and helps them become successful in a variety of texts with varying degrees of difficulty."