Sunday, April 3, 2016

Reading Non-Negotiables

During the course of the last few years members of WCSU have been working on a variety of curriculum areas.  Many committees have formed to create lists of "non-negotiables" in the areas of reading, writing and math.  Committees are also at work in the areas of science and social studies. I have to admit, I don't like the term non-negotiables at all, it just has a negative connotation for me, but alas, I'm coming to grips with it, as I have had to with many things in my 30+ teaching career.  I've concluded that non-negotiables are the same as "bottom lines" for me, the necessities in a strong learning environment where all students can learn, and be nurtured.

Just this week I came across an excellent blog post by Russ Walsh that addresses reading non-negotiables. Russ Walsh has been a public school teacher, literacy specialist, curriculum supervisor and college instructor for over 45 years.  It's a comprehensive, to the point list that I totally agree with, this guy might be one of my new heroes!  The post in it's entirety can be viewed here Russ on Reading.  There are wonderful links within the post that support each of his non-negotiables.  Here are his "big ten" for your consideration.

  • Daily Read Aloud
  • Sharing Reading
  • Self-Selected Reading
  • One-to-One Conferring
  • Direct Instruction in Reading Strategies
  • Small Group Instruction
  • Rereading
  • Talk about Text
  • Writing in Response to Reading
  • Word Work


I'm not sure if Russ put his list in order of importance or not, but it might be the case.  I took a stab at what my "top ten" order might be, in David Letterman style...it wasn't easy, but here goes.   Honestly, #1 and #10 were easy, after that, they seem pretty interchangeable!  I'm really not sure why I made myself do this...but that's another story!  It might be a great activity for an upcoming PD session, I'd love to hear the conversation!

10.  Word Work-sorry word work, I know you're important, but something needs to be #10!
9.    Sharing Reading
8.    Small Group Instruction
7.    Writing in Response to Reading
6.    Rereading
5.    Talk about Text
4.    One-to-One Conferring
3.    Direct Instruction in Reading Strategies
2.    Self-Selected Reading
1.    Daily Read Aloud-oh yeah!

What would your top ten order look like?  Please comment and share if you'd like!

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