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 Brookview Instructional Coach: "Reading is Thinking!"

3/5/2020 3:00 AM

​Teaching children how to read must involve passion and wonder! When we learn new things from life experiences, it must involve inquiry. Children will learn when they inquire how to read by thinking and questioning what they are reading while connecting to life experiences. Children must read extensively in a text they can and want to read by being exposed to a variety of genres at their reading level. Students in our classrooms who are not engaged with their text might need a minor adjustment in their mindset: to remember that reading is thinking.

In my role as instructional coach, I have had the opportunity to support third grade teacher, Amanda Milazzo, and her students. She noticed early in the school year that her students were not able to read or write about their reading. The reason, she figured, was that they did not have a just right text they could read on their own, and they did not know what to ask themselves as they read independently.

Mrs. Milazzo and I started a coaching cycle to address that. The plan was to help her students learn that reading is thinking. That has made independent reading time in her classroom more engaging and beneficial in learning how to implement reading strategies.

As we co-teach a reading strategy lesson, we choose mentor texts that give the students opportunities to have a small win and practice the strategy taught, as well as learn how to apply them in their independent text.

Since working through each strategy lesson, Mrs. Milazzo has seen her students more engaged in the texts they are reading. Independent reading time is now one of her students’ favorite times of the day. They are excited to share with us what is happening with the characters in their fiction texts, and they are always wondering what will happen next. They also are more intrigued to inquire and learn more facts about the nonfiction topics they read.

We just started another coaching cycle together, and our focus is to continue to create lessons her students can continue to implement and review how to implement each reading strategy into their daily work.

Mrs. Milazzo is a wonderful, talented and supportive teacher who wants to see her students succeed. Her students will tell you that “reading is thinking,” and they are understanding that reading occurs in everything we do!

Working together has given us an opportunity to guide and show her students that comprehension is not simply learning how to answer questions, but an ongoing process. It involves thinking that continues to evolve as we learn how to think, respond and listen to what we are reading and learning. We always start and end each lesson with the phrase “reading is thinking!”

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