The Literacy Teacher's Playbook - Book Study Week #1

Welcome everyone! I am so thrilled to be joining up with A Teacher Mom and a several other terrific teacher bloggers for this book study/linky! Being a second grade teacher and reading specialist means I am always looking to up my game. How can I do better? This book, The Literacy Teacher's Playbook by Jennifer Serravallo seemed to be calling to me and when Abbey suggested the book group, I bought the K-2 version (it also comes in a 3-5 version) and got going! Although honestly, we have 4 more days of school and I did think, "What am I doing!? I have no time right now to read!" But I made it work!

Chapter 1 is called "Collecting Data-Assessment Lenses and Tools" It is broken down into sections:

1. Assessing Reading Engagement
2. Assessing Reading Fluency
3. Assessing Print/word Decoding
4. Assessing Reading Comprehension
5. Assessing Conversation
6. Assessing Writing Engagement
7. Assessing Quality of Writing
8. Wrap up
9. What's next

I felt this book started right where it should - answering the question of how we collect data, but as the author says, "This book is about being empowered by data and assessment, not bogged down by it". Too often we get lost in data. There is too much and some of it does not seem to help us. I liked how Serravello not only gave specific ideas for how to collect data but she also gave real life examples using her own experience and there were many samples of student work and records of data collection to make it even clearer.

One part of this chapter that stood out for me was the section  called "When is it Time to Begin Taking Running Records (And Move Children into Leveled Books)?" As a teacher of students who can all read leveled books, it offered some good advice for how to approach collecting data from very young readers whose skills are emerging. I notice she gave specific advice and tips several times to PreK and Kindergarten teachers. I hope she continues to highlight the needs of these students (and their teachers)!

The other part of the chapter that made an impact was the section on phrasing. I did a little work with phrasing this year when I did fluency buddies but I could do a better job of assessing how students are doing with phrasing during read alouds. Then I could better plan instruction for fluency lessons and help get rid of "robot reading" as I call it!

Overall, Serravello is off to a strong start here and I am excited for the next chapter and the next post! Please visit the other teacher bloggers who are participating in this book study and see what they have to say!

If you're looking for this book or other similar books, check these out. Clicking on the links brings you to Amazon where you can get more information.


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