Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Strategies That Work

About 7 years ago, reading comprehension instruction became a primary focus of our staff development at our school. As part of our professional reading our Principal purchased Strategies That Work for the entire staff. The aim of comprehension instruction is to get our students to interact more completely with their reading. To help our students not only think about what they are reading but what they are learning. As a teacher with lesson plans to do, papers to correct, common formative assessments to create you might think this is just another thing to do. But when it comes to reading, comprehension is probably the most important thing.  This book has been very helpful in teaching these comprehension strategies to our students. Just the Resources that Support Strategy Instruction pages at the back of the book are worth looking at. It lists Great Books and Author Sets to Launch Strategy Instruciton as well as great books for teaching content by area. I found this book so helpful I went ahead and purchased the second edition.
   The second edition differs in that it has samples of student work.  After all reading is connected to writing. Using these strategies with double entry journals during guided reading gives me as a teacher great insight to my students thinking, prior knowledge and weaknessess as well as strengths in writing. Both these books suggest author charts. The second edition has a section in the appendix that depicts what these charts might look like. The teachers at our school adapted these charts to fit the grade as well as English language level of our students. Each strategy has its own chart.
Because we are a dual language school these charts then had to be translated into Spanish.The wonderful dual language teachers at my school translated and or created some of these charts.

As dual language teachers we have to make instructional decisions about which strategy to present in which language. The great thing about these are that you can use one in Spanish during whole class instruction and then use the English version during a small group guided reading lesson. (I'd like to note that some of these charts were created and laminated without correcting errors such as missing accents).
At our school we have also broken these strategies down by grade level. In Kinder we focus on Visualizing Making Predictions and Connections.  In first grade we review these as well as add Retelling and Inferring.


  1. Thanks for posting these anchor charts in Spanish- very helpful :) Another good read that some of the teachers at my school did a book study on this year is "Comprehension Connections" by Tanny McGregor. It has a lot of the same ideas and different ways to teach them that are super hands on!

    The Second Grade Superkids

  2. This is great! The original Strategies that Work book changed my teaching life when I first read it. You make me want to buy the second edition. Thanks for sharing these charts!

  3. I love your posters about reading strategies.

  4. I cannot see the anchor charts. Are they unavailable now?