As part of my current Grad School Work, I recently had to create a literacy coaching experience about a particular literacy strategy. The strategy I chose was from Rachel Billmeyer's text Strategies to Engage the Mind of the Learner. First, I can't say enough good things about this text. It is VERY teacher-friendly and includes the blackline master of any graphic organizers needed to implement a strategy on the page immediately following the strategy's description (including step-by-step directions), reasons to use the strategy, when to use the strategy, and how the strategy can be linked to assessment. I love it and have loved getting to explore some of the strategies this summer. It will be kept handy as the school year begins!
The strategy I worked with for this lesson was called the Learning Log Format. It is a relatively simple, 4-square graphic organizer that includes a prompt in each box for students to respond to either before, during, or after reading. I love that it is customizable for the text/age/content you are working with, that it includes writing with reading, and that it prompts deeper thinking. Most importantly, I love that it guides students in how to do this deeper thinking while they are reading. The skills strong readers utilize are not ingrained within us automatically - they have to be cultivated.
This is the digital text I created for this assignment. It includes a link to a Wiki Space set up to host the sharing of Learning Log Formats. Hopefully this will be added to as the year goes on - I am certainly excited to see about modifying this strategy for use with my little kindergarten learners! I'm sensing large-group versions and pictures rather than words initially when students attempt it independently. Certainly a possibility though!