Tuesday, November 24, 2009

UCIRA Conference: Highlighting Linda Gambrell

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!

Before you head off for feasting, I thought I'd share the HIGHlights of the Utah Council of the International Reading Association (UCIRA) conference that I attended on Friday and Saturday. WoW! What a conference ~ one of the best that I have attended here in Utah. The keynote speakers were informative AND entertaining - always nice! The authors were inspiring AND humorous - always appreciated! And the breakouts helpful AND funny - NOT always! 

Because I'm basically Pollyanna Salisbury, who believes participants can ALWAYS dig SOMETHING out of the most dismal presentation, I won't examine lowLIGHTS - tempting as that sometimes is. Here goes:


  • Mission Possible: Reading All Readers - Keynote Speech, Friday morning
      •  During SSR students should have a CHOICE of reading materials, so give each one a large ziplock bag, and instruct them to place 3 books inside: 1. the book he/she is reading now; 2. the book she/he will read next; 3. some easy or escape reading like a favorite magazine - People? Hot Rod? Horse and Hound?
      • At the end of SSR, students should be able to take a few minutes to share what they read that day with a partner. Such sharing expands background knowledge of both partners AND previews another book for each as well.
  • Text Clues: An Intervention for Struggling Readers - breakout session
    • Retelling is a good assessment tool to check comprehension, but students need to learn how to retell and summarize. Learning this strategy helps memory retention. 
      • Retelling: 
        • Provide words or lines from the text in the order they appear in the story or article, and then have students use those clues to help them retell.
        • Move them to creating their own retelling clues.
      • Summarizing:
        • Students need to know characteristics of a good summary, so show them 3 different summaries and discuss which is the best and why.
        •  After learning characteristics, teach students to write good summaries through modeling and then sharing text clues.
          • Give them the first and last line of the summary and then direct them to fill in the middle 3 to 5 sentences.
          • Next provide the first OR the last line and instruct them to complete the 4-6 lines the follow or precede those lines. 
I have lots more to share, but rather than write too lengthy of a post, I'll add more later. I KNOW I always write that, and then you never see part 2, but maybe this time I'll surprise you!

ENJOY your LONG weekend, and leave SCHOOL at SCHOOL.

Best wishes,