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Bring the Science of Reading into Your Upcoming Nonfiction Units: Tap the Power of Text Sets, Vocabulary, Close Reading and a Few Under-Emphasized Nonfiction Reading Skills

Oct 30, 2024
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Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2024

Time: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM ET

Location: Online, via Zoom

Who Should Attend: Grades 3-8 teachers and coaches

Cost: $150 per person

The science of reading has implications for 3-8 as well as for K-2, and especially for reading in the content area. This day will help you ramp up your upper elementary and middle school reading instruction, especially when it comes to nonfiction. 

We will suggest digital and print text sets that will allow your kids to wrestle with different perspectives on a topic and to be critical thinkers. You’ll come away with collections of texts that can be cobbled together in ways that support kids using their part-to-whole skills, and that will sustain them in content-area learning–whether this is in science and social studies or in informational and argument writing. 

The day will also help you to tap the power of research on morphology, vocabulary, and knowledge-building. You’ll practice conceptual vocabulary sorts, both digital and analog, using Jamboard and reading notebooks as places where kids can collect and sort vocabulary, and then use these collections to deepen their content knowledge and make their partner talks and writing more academic and specific. 

You’ll also explore deep critical reading practices, such as comparing conflicting ideas and information across texts and noticing connotative language and what it suggests about the author’s perspective and sympathies.  Part of this work includes teaching an awareness of how the internet functions, so that kids begin to add to text sets with an understanding of how the internet shapes what they see and don’t see. Expect to get help teaching your students about bias, including confirmation bias, anchoring bias, the halo effect, and the echo chamber. Your students will be energized as they learn the importance of critical reading. 

Across this day, expect to:

  • Look across digital reading platforms and AI technologies, and think about ways to increase accessibility and ensure that the kids are doing a high volume of reading across a nonfiction reading unit.

  • Discuss the role text sets can play in helping kids build knowledge, and consider ways you can build text sets and incorporate work with those text sets into your nonfiction reading unit.

  • Learn how to curate and sequence text sets to help kids build knowledge on a topic, considering a mix of physical and digital resources and other ways to modify your reading instruction when you don’t have access to a high volume of relevant books on a topic of study.

  • Begin planning nonfiction shared reading that reinforces work with fluency, word solving, vocabulary, and comprehension.

  • Consider ways you can angle read aloud time to provide support and practice around foundational skills, while giving all kids access to grade-level content.

  • Consider the role of vocabulary instruction, prioritizing which words you might teach explicitly and imagining ways you can get kids interacting with words multiple times and in multiple contexts, so as to deepen their understanding.

  • Deepen your understanding of how students’ skills might progress around central idea and summary, so you can pinpoint where your students are and teach responsively.