Summer Book Study: Getting Started

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Hello!  It’s the beginning of our summer book study!  I’m linking up with my friends from Teaching Little Miracles to share my thoughts on one of my all-time favorite books, The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo.  I did a book study with this same book last summer and I’m so excited to dive even deeper into it this summer!

Today, I am just going to take a few minutes to briefly share some of my thoughts from the “Getting Started” portion of the book.  Serravallo uses this section to provide a quick introduction to the book, including research behind the strategies and ways to use the book.  Here are a few facts about this book:

1) It includes more than 300 reading strategies!

2) The book is divided into sections by goal.  I LOVE that it’s goal-oriented!

3) Each strategy is highlighted on its own page, and many pages include visuals, suggested prompts, and lesson language.

4) The strategies can be utilized with various literary frameworks that you may be using in your classroom, including The Daily Five™/Literacy CAFE™, guided reading, and more.

5) The goals included in the book are aimed at readers in grades K-8.
Serravallo includes a hierarchy of potential goals that you may want to use for your students.  As a kindergarten teacher, I’m looking at the goals aimed at emergent readers.  The first goal is engagement.  It’s important that emergent readers want to read books and want to learn how to become good readers.  Then, they’ll be ready to move onto print work, fluency, and comprehension.

Another important takeaway is that we want students to outgrow using the strategies we’re teaching to them.  Once a student masters one strategy, it’s time to move onto a new strategy.  Serravallo says, “The strategy is a temporary scaffold, and like any scaffolding, it needs to be removed.” (Pg. 9)

Another helpful part is a note about using supporting visuals with our readers.  Serravallo has some great guidelines for visuals that you can create that will support your readers, such as making sure they are clear, simple, and low on text when possible.  We’ve all seen examples of fancy anchor charts on Pinterest, but it’s always important to remember that when coming to visual aids, sometimes less can be more appropriate.
The last great thing that I want to point out is that this book is really easy to navigate.  After reading the introduction to each goal, it’s pretty simple to scan the strategies and see which ones apply to readers at the approximate level of your students.  I certainly suggest reading all of the strategies if you have time, because many of them are extremely flexible!  
Here’s the schedule for our book study.  We’ll be reading two goals each week in order to make it through as much of the book as we can before back-to-school craziness begins.  The book is available to rent or buy on Amazon and is Prime-eligible if you have Amazon Prime, so you’ll have plenty of time to join in!  Click here to buy!
Be sure to check out the link-up to read everyone else’s thoughts!  Feel free to leave a comment as well!

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