Embedded Reading

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Archive for the category “Using Readings With Students”

Embedded Reading for Tumba by Mira Canion

The school year passes so much more quickly than we plan.   So, before too much time goes by,  here is a short embedded reading for the short novel Tumba written by Mira Canion.  ( Please note that Mira has given clear consent for us to post this reading.  If you wish to re-post in any way, however,please contact Mira or the owners of this site for permission.)

Tumba is a story about a boy in Mexico who explores the life of his deceased grandfather…and find himself in a great adventure.

An embedded reading for an entire novel?

Yes!  It doesn’t give away the entire plot, the excitement or any great details.  What it does is provide the students with a framework to hang a great story on.

Working with the embedded reading before reading the novel can also create a perfect opportunity for wonder, speculation and prediction.

So here is the Embedded Reading for Tumba!

Base reading:

Es el 31 de octubre.   Alex está nervioso.  La familia de Alex celebra el Día de los Muertos.

El abuelo de Alex está muerto.  Al abuelo le gustaba explorar cuevas.  Alex quiere explorar cuevas también.

¿Hay un espíritu malo en la cueva?   ¿Es posible?

Version 2:

Es el 31 de octubre y el primero de noviembre es el Día de los Muertos en México .

Alex es un estudiante de México.  David es un amigo de Alex.   David y Alex no tienen clases.  Alex está contento.

La familia de Alex celebra el Día de los Muertos.  El abuelo de Alex está muerto.  La abuela de Alex habla mucho del abuelo.  Al abuelo le gustaba explorar cuevas.

Alex quiere explorar cuevas también.  David y Alex van a explorar una cueva.  Alex piensa que un espíritu malo está en la cueva.  Alex está nervioso.

¿Hay un espíritu malo en la cueva?   ¿Es posible?

Version 3:

Es el 31 de octubre y el primero de noviembre es el Día de los Muertos.  El Día de Los Muertos es una celebración popular en México.   A Alex no le gusta celebrar el Día de los Muertos

Alex es un estudiante de México.  David es un amigo de Alex.    David y Alex no tienen clases.  Alex está contento.   Quiere jugar videojuegos en casa.

La familia de Alex celebra el Día de los Muertos.    El abuelo de Alex está muerto.   La familia prepara celebrar la vida del abuelo.   La abuela de Alex habla mucho del abuelo.  El abuelo se llamaba Félix.   Al abuelo Félix le gustaba explorar cuevas.     Actualmente, le gustaba explorar una cueva especial.  Alex quiere explorar esa cueva especial también.

Alex encuentra un mapa de la cueva especial.  David y Alex van a explorar la cueva.   Alex piensa que un espíritu malo está en la cueva.    Piensa que el espíritu defiende la cueva.  Alex está nervioso.     Cuando caminan hacia la cueva, oyen una voz.    La voz grita, “¿Quién entra?”

¿Hay un espíritu malo en la cueva?   ¿Es posible?

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

Embedded Reading in Action PowerPoint

This PowerPoint shares ideas on how to use Embedded Readings with students.    It is here so that you can use it for yourself and so that you can share it with your colleagues who may be interested in learning more about Embedded Readings.  Please feel free to share your questions and comments!

Embedded Reading in Action 2013 Basic

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

NTPRS 2013 Lighting Up Literacy!

Thanks to everyone who attended the session at NTPRS13 in Dallas, Texas!!

Here is a basic version of the PowerPoint from that session that you should be able to follow and share, even if you were not able to attend the session!!

(If you attended the session, you will note that some things were changed in order for the PowerPoint to stand alone and be comprehensible.)

Lighting Up Language Acquisition NTPRS 2013 Basic

Here are the handouts for that presentation.  The first two pages are small posters, reminders of important concepts.  The remainder of the handout is a compilation of reading activities that can be used with Embedded Readings.  Hope that they are useful!!

HANDOUT 1 NTPRS 13

Reading Activities Chart

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

“Best Idea Ever” English version

Here is the English version.  Thanks again Tana Krohn for sharing your work and your ideas!  (look for her ideas after the readings!)

English #1:

There is a man. His name is Sir Newton. Sir Newton is under a tree. An apple falls on his head. Sir Newton studies the apple. He studies more apples. He has an idea.

Sir Newton makes pies with the apples. He wants to sell the pies. No one wants the pies. Sir Newton is sad.

There is a bird. The bird poops on Sir Newton. Sir Newton has another idea!

English #2:

In a town there is a man. His name is Sir Newton. Sir Newton is under a tree. He is under a tree when an apple falls on his head. Sir Newton looks at the apple. He looks at the tree. He looks at the apple. He looks at the tree. He looks at the apple and throws it in the air. He studies more apples… and has an idea! He runs to the town with a lot of apples.

Sir Newton makes a lot of pies with the apples. He wants to sell the pies. No onw wants the apple pies. Sir Newton is sad. He throws an pie on the ground. Suddenly, a bird poops on his head. He looks at the bird…. and has another idea!

English #3:

 

There is a town where the weather is good. It’s sunny and cool. It’s fall. In the town there is a man. His name is Sir Newton. Sir Newton is tall and thin and has white hair (truly he has a white wig).

Sir Newton is under a tree. He has a telescope and five books. He is under a tree when an apple falls on his head. Sir Newton is confused. He looks at the apple. He looks at the tree. He looks at the apple. He looks at the tree. He takes the apple ant throws it in the air. He studies more apples. He eats the apple… and has an idea! He runs to the town with a lot of apples.

Sir Newton makes apple pies! He likes apple pies. He makes a lot because he wants to sell the pies. Unfortunately, no one wants the apple pies. Sir Newton is sad. He throws a pie on the ground.

Suddenly, a bird poops on his head. Sir Newton is confused. He looks at the bird… and has another idea! He makes wings in order to fly!

This tied in nicely with the kids’ current physics unit!
In addition to the readings, I also had students complete some of the following activities:
1)  Add their own details to the story based on known vocabulary:  weather, season, colors, physical/personality descriptions of characters, etc.
2)  Write their own True/False statements about the story.
3)  Give them a pre-quiz and “quiz” on the story based on their own true/false statements.
4)  Illustrate a scene from the story. Have the kids exchange drawings and write the a sentence about someone else’s drawing. I had other activities I wanted to do around these drawings…. Have students walk around the room and write sentences about multiple drawings of their choice (each drawing has a number and students write down the numbers of the drawings that hey write about). There is also a fun activity that involves drawing a picture and passing it to the next person who has to write a sentence about the drawing. Then you fold the first drawing down and have the third person illustrate the second person’s sentence. I’ve this at parties, but haven’t tried it in class yet.
Much of the vocabulary in this story (included and omitted) was obviously based on what I know my students know. You will definitely want to tailor it to your own students’ needs!

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

“Best Idea Ever” Spanish Version

A fantastic contribution from Tana Krohn.  Thank you so much Tana!! (The English version will post next.)
An embedded reading exercise based on Arpan Jolly’s animation:

“Best Idea Ever”

This tied in nicely with the kids’ current physics unit!
In addition to the readings, I also had students complete some of the following activities:
1)  Add their own details to the story based on known vocabulary:  weather, season, colors, physical/personality descriptions of characters, etc.
2)  Write their own True/False statements about the story.
3)  Give them a pre-quiz and “quiz” on the story based on their own true/false statements.
4)  Illustrate a scene from the story. Have the kids exchange drawings and write the a sentence about someone else’s drawing. I had other activities I wanted to do around these drawings…. Have students walk around the room and write sentences about multiple drawings of their choice (each drawing has a number and students write down the numbers of the drawings that hey write about). There is also a fun activity that involves drawing a picture and passing it to the next person who has to write a sentence about the drawing. Then you fold the first drawing down and have the third person illustrate the second person’s sentence. I’ve this at parties, but haven’t tried it in class yet.
Much of the vocabulary in this story (included and omitted) was obviously based on what I know my students know. You will definitely want to tailor it to your own students’ needs!

La mejor idea #1

Hay un hombre. Se llama Señor Newton. Señor Newton está bajo un árbol. Una manzana se cae en su cabeza. Señor Newton estudia la manzana. Estudia más manzanas. Tiene una idea.

Señor Newton hace tartas con las manzanas. Quiere vender las tartas. Nadia quiere las tartas. Señor Newton está triste.

Hay un pájaro. El pájaro hace popó en Señor Newton. ¡Señor Newton tiene otra idea!

La mejor idea #2

En un pueblo hay un hombre. Se llama Señor Newton. Señor Newton está bajo un árbol. Está bajo un árbol cuando una manzana se cae en su cabeza. Señor Newton mira a la manzana. Mira al árbol. Mira a la manzana. Mira al árbol. Mira a la manzana y la tira en el aire. Estudia más manzanas… ¡y tiene una idea! Corre al pueblo con muchas manzanas.

Señor Newton hace muchas tartas con las manzanas. Quiere vender las tartas. Nadie quiere las tartas de manzana. Señor Newton está triste. Tira una en el suelo. De repente, un pájaro hace popó en su cabeza. Mira al pájaro… ¡y tiene otra idea!

La mejor idea #3

Hay un pueblo donde hace buen tiempo. Hace sol y hace fresco. Es el otoño. En el pueblo hay un hombre. Se llama Señor Newton. Señor Newton es alto y delgado y tiene pelo blanco (realmente tiene una peluca blanca).

Señor Newton está bajo un árbol. Tiene un telescopio y cinco libros. Está bajo un  árbol cuando una manzana se cae en su cabeza. Señor Newton está confundido. Mira a la manzana. Mira al árbol. Mira a la manzana. Mira al árbol. Toma la manzana y la tira  en el aire. Estudia más manzanas. Come la manzana… ¡y tiene una idea! Corre  al pueblo con muchas manzanas.

¡Señor Newton hace tartas de manzana! Le gustan tartas de manzana. Hace muchas porque quiere vender las tartas.  Desafortunadamente, nadie quiere las tartas  de manzana. Señor Newton está triste. Tira una tarta en el suelo.

De repente, un pájaro hace popó en su cabeza. Señor Newton está confundido. Mira al pájaro… ¡y tiene otra idea! ¡Hace alas para volar!

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

Epilogue Casi Se Muere

Below is the epilogue that Andrea Bush (Marcus Whitman HS, Rushville, N.Y.)  created with the help of her students.  (see previous post) Casi Se Muere is one of the novels written by Blaine Ray for emerging readers in Spanish.     This story, entitled,  One Year Later, is the epiloque written by Andrea’s students.    The idea of the story is that one year later, Ana (main character-student from California) returns to the city of Temuco, Chile where she had been a participant in an exchange program.  (Storyline of Casi Se Muere).  While she is there the first time, she saves the life of a student and they become interested in each romantically.

The idea of “one year later”  worked beautifully for repetitions!!!   At the end of the novel, the community was celebrating Independence Day.  When she returns a year later,  it’s Independence Day again!  Because of this,  Andrea was able to have the students reuse scenarios and structures from the book to create the reading.

Andrea also encouraged them to recycle other events (and therefore vocabulary and structures) from the novel in creating the story.   At the same time, they were asked to create a NEW situation or scenario.    What a great example of an upper-level task!

Below is Andrea’s 4th period class’ epilogue…first in Spanish and then in English so that those of you who do not read in Spanish can enjoy.    Thanks for sharing Andrea!!

Un Año Después

Base Reading

Un año después, Ana regresa a Chile.

Ana va a la escuela, y se siente muy feliz porque Teresa está en la escuela también.

¡Ana ve a Pepe Ayala!  Otra vez, ¡Pepe no puede tomar aire!  Ana pone los brazos alrededor de Pepe y presiona muy fuerte.  Un pedazo de empanada sale de la boca.

Ana mira a Pepe y Teresa.  De repente, Pepe la da un beso a Teresa.  Ana grita “¿QUÉ?” y se siente muy enojada.

Ana quiere ir a una de las fiestas para celebrar el 18 de septiembre.  Ana decide ir a la fiesta de Jaime porque está enojada con Teresa y Pepe.

Ana está sorprendida que le gusta pasar tiempo con Jaime.  Después de dos días, Ana no se siente enojada.

Después de dos semanas, Ana vuelve a California.

Version 2

Un año después, Ana regresa a Chile.  Primero, Ana va a la casa de Teresa, pero Teresa no está allí.

Ana va a la escuela, y se siente muy feliz porque Teresa está en la escuela también.  Ana habla con Teresa.

Ana y Teresa van al parque. ¡Ana ve a Pepe Ayala!  Ana grita, “¡Hola!” y camina hacia él. Otra vez, ¡Pepe no puede tomar aire!  Ana pone los brazos alrededor de Pepe y presiona muy fuerte.  Un pedazo de empanada sale de la boca.

Ana mira a Pepe y Teresa.  Algo es diferente, de repente, Pepe le da un beso a Teresa.  Ana grita “¿QUÉ?” y se siente muy enojada.

Ana quiere ir a una de las fiestas para celebrar el 18 de septiembre.  Ana decide ir a la fiesta de Jaime porque está enojada con Teresa y Pepe.

Ana está sorprendida que le gusta pasar tiempo con Jaime.  Ana piensa mucho en Jaime. Están enamorados.  Después de dos días, Ana no se siente enojada.

Después de dos semanas, Ana vuelve a California.

Version 3

Un año después, Ana regresa a Chile.  Ana llega en Temuco.  Primero, Ana va a la casa de Teresa, pero Teresa no está allí.

Ana está emocionada por ver a sus amigos porque tiene ropa nueva. Va a la escuela, y se siente muy feliz porque Teresa está en la escuela también.  Ana habla con Teresa.

Ana y Teresa van al parque.  De repente, Ana ve a una persona que conoce.  ¡Ana ve a Pepe Ayala!  Ana grita, “¡Hola!” y camina hacia él. Pero, Pepe tiene un problema.  Otra vez, ¡Pepe no puede tomar aire!  Ana pone los brazos alrededor de Pepe y presiona muy fuerte.  Un pedazo de empanada sale de la boca.  Cae al suelo.  Pepe dice, “Otra vez, estoy vivo gracias a tu buena acción.”

Ana quiere pasar tiempo con Pepe.  Ana mira a Pepe y Teresa.  Algo es diferente, y Teresa le da un abrazo fuerte a Pepe. De repente, Pepe le da un beso a Teresa.  Ana grita “¿QUÉ?” y se siente muy enojada.

Ana quiere ir a una de las fiestas para celebrar el 18 de septiembre.  Ana decide ir a la fiesta de Jaime porque está enojada con Teresa y Pepe.  Está enojada porque Pepe le dio un beso a Teresa. En la fiesta muchas personas comen empanadas y beben soda.

Ana está sorprendida que le gusta pasar tiempo con Jaime.  Ana está muy feliz, y piensa mucho en Jaime. Están enamorados.  Después de dos días, Ana no se siente enojada.  Está feliz porque Teresa y Pepe están felices juntos.

Después de dos semanas, Ana vuelve a California.

One Year Later

One year later, Ana returns to Chile.

Ana goes to school and feels very happy because Teresa is in school too.

Ana sees Pepe Ayala!!  Again, Pepe cannot breathe!  Ana puts her arms around Pepe and applies every strong pressure.  A piece of empanada flies out of his mouth.

Ana looks at Pepe and Teresa.  Suddenly, Pepe gives Teresa a kiss.  “What?!”, Ana shouts.  She feels very angry.

Ana is surprised that she likes to spend time with Jaime.  After two days, Ana doesn’t feel angry.

After two weeks, Ana returns to California.

Version 2

One year later, Ana returns to Chile.  First she goes to Teresa’s house, but Teresa isn’t there.

Ana goes to school and feels very happy because Teresa is in school too. Ana talks to Teresa.

Ana and Teresa go to the park.  Ana sees Pepe Ayala!!  Ana shouts, “Hello!” and walks toward him.  Again, Pepe cannot breathe!  Ana puts her arms around Pepe and applies every strong pressure.  A piece of empanada flies out of his mouth.

Ana looks at Pepe and Teresa.  Something is different.  Suddenly, Pepe gives Teresa a kiss.  “What?!”, Ana shouts.  She feels very angry.

Ana wants to go to one of the parties to celebrate September 18th.  She decides to go to Jaime’s party because she is angry with Pepe and Teresa.

Ana is surprised that she likes to spend time with Jaime.  They are in love.  After two days, Ana doesn’t feel angry.

After two weeks, Ana returns to California.

Version 3

One year later, Ana returns to Chile.  She arrives in Temuco.  First she goes to Teresa’s house, but Teresa isn’t there.

Ana is excited to see her friends because she has new clothes.  Ana goes to school and feels very happy because Teresa is in school too. Ana talks to Teresa.

Ana and Teresa go to the park.  All of a sudden, Ana sees a person that she knows.  Ana sees Pepe Ayala!!  Ana shouts, “Hello!” and walks toward him.  But Pepe has a problem!  Again, Pepe cannot breathe!  Ana puts her arms around Pepe and applies every strong pressure.  A piece of empanada flies out of his mouth.  It falls to the ground.  Pepe says,  “Again I am alive thanks to your good deed.”

Ana wants to spend time with Pepe.  Ana looks at Pepe and Teresa.  Something is different and Teresa gives Pepe a big hug.  Suddenly, Pepe gives Teresa a kiss.  “What?!”, Ana shouts.  She feels very angry.

Ana wants to go to one of the parties to celebrate September 18th.  She decides to go to Jaime’s party because she is angry with Pepe and Teresa.  She is angry because Pepe kissed Teresa.  At the party, many people eat empanadas and drink soda.

Ana is surprised that she likes to spend time with Jaime.  Ana is very happy and thinks about Jaime a lot.  They are in love.  After two days, Ana doesn’t feel angry.  She is happy because Pepe and Teresa are happy together.

After two weeks, Ana returns to California.

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

These Are The Guidelines

A gifted new teacher tried out Embedded Reading for the first time this week with great success.  Andrea gave her students a chance to write an Epilogue to a novel they had read.   She didn’t ask them to write the entire thing, just a piece of it.  She then combined all of the ideas from one class period to create an Embedded Reading in three levels for her students.    She discovered, like most people do, that the students do not get bored reading the “same” story several times!!    Their feed back to her was that it was exciting to know that a) they were going to understand each piece   b)  something new was going to be in each piece and c) something they had written would show up somewhere!

Then…she was able to repeat the reading pieces by switching fourth period’s reading with ninth period’s reading and they got double the input!!

Then….she could lead discussion comparing the two versions.

Her first foray into Embedded Reading was successful because she is a caring and gifted teacher who has worked hard to establish positive relationships with her students.   She also followed several important guidelines:

1.  Less is more.

The base reading was clean, minimal and right on point for the level of her class.  Every student was able to understand it.

Then, she added just enough detail to each succeeding reading that students were interested to discover more without being discouraged by the length or difficulty.

She also kept the reading to three versions: perfect for the reading level and the amount of time that these second-year students can stay focused.

2.   Variety is the key.

Andrea added a variety of items to the new levels.   Some words and phrases were short and highly familiar.   Others were more complex or contained less familiar vocabulary.   Information/language was added to the beginning and middle of each level, as well as to the end.

She made sure that each student had contributed to the final piece by taking at least one word, phrase or idea from each student.  (This isn’t as challenging as it seems…..)

The students approached each level differently.   There were verbal questions for one, illustrations for another, discussion for the third.   This is KEY to keeping students from feeling like they are doing the same thing over and over again.

3.    Teach  For  Success

Because Andrea had already laid a foundation for success with steps 1 and 2 above, she could approach the lesson with an extremely positive outlook.   This attitude spilled over into her students.  Because she had worked hard to create an atmosphere of trust, they were willing to address material that was progressively more challenging.

It doesn’t mean that the readings didn’t require advanced skills.  It doesn’t mean that some pieces weren’t challenging.  It means that despite increasing difficulty, the scaffolding created the opportunity for students to be highly successful and they believed that they could be.

4.  Open Doors for Students to Connect with the Text.

Obviously, being able to comprehend the text is the first, best way to connect students with what they are reading.  Without that, nothing else happens!!

This particular exercise allowed students to contribute as authors.   That is the beauty of creating a “Bottom Up” reading.   As authors, they are infinitely more interested in reading.

Even if the students had not authored the text, they had numerous opportunities to interact with the text on a personal level.    The story was a continuation of one that they were already familiar with.   The location, some details, and more importantly, the characters were familiar.   By illustrating, they were able to create their own visualization of the story.

They also made a number of observations about the piece that Andrea allowed them to “own” for themselves.   Their discovery of a story within a story made them feel as if they had uncovered a surprise created for them by their teacher.   After that, every new detail was like a new little gift that she had arranged just for them to unwrap.

Four simple guidelines that, when followed, help all of us to create and use Embedded Readings successfully with our students.

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

 

Embedded Storyboard 100th post!!

It’s quite fitting that this, the 100th post, comes from the blog of Martina Bex, Michele Whaley’s Alaskan colleague.   Tomorrow we’ll post a corresponding chart that aligns with the Common Core strategies.   This is just brilliant.  Thank you Martina!

Click here : Embedded Storyboard

100

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

The Practical Question: How Do I Use An Embedded Reading?

One step at a time.

Step 1: Tell them what it is.

We are asking students to read several versions of a text.  Some students would prefer to not even read one.  We need to be transparent about our goal:  to make this reading comprehensible and accessible because _____________________________________ (you fill in the blank for the piece you’ve chosen.)

Promise them that if they stay with you, that this is going to work.  It has worked for hundreds of students across the world and it is going to work for them as well.

Step 2: Make the base reading as clear as possible.

 

The base reading is the magic ticket.  If the students really get this, the rest is easy.  Go slowly.  Make sure that each word, each phrase, each sentence is understood.   They need a clear visual of what is going on in this reading.  Crystal clear.  They may have questions about what happens next, or why something is happening (Great! We want them interested and curious!) but what is in the text should be solid.   Ask questions.  Check for comprehension.  Get a summary.  Act it out.  Illustrate it.  Whatever it takes to make sure that everyone has the same view of what is in the base reading.

Step 3:  Continue now or continue later?

Whatever is best for the students.  Other than that, it doesn’t matter.  Really.  If they are still with you, you are prepared and you have enough time, goon to the next version.  If not, wait until you meet again.

Step 4: Introduce the next level.

If time has passed since using the base reading, review or reread it.  It won’t take long.  It will also let you see if everyone really understood it.   How?  You know the age level, reading level and temperament of your students.  Silently, read-pair-share, ask questions….you choose.

Step 5: Read the next level of the reading using a different approach or followed by a different activity.  

 

The goal is to have repetitions of the reading, not to repeat the activity.   That is a sure-fire way to lose student interest.   As you read, make sure to have students identify new language and new information.   Check for comprehension.  Engage in conversation with your students about the piece.  Encourage them to ask questions, note plot twists,make predictions.

Make sure that you have a short follow-up activity for this version.  As long as it is concise, connected to the goals and students will be able to do it successfully, it is a good activity!!   Questions, a quick game, a story board, a summary, etc.   Start with the activities that have already brought your students success.   Look for other ideas to add to your repertoire…you will many more opportunities to use them!!!

Repeat Steps 3, 4 and 5 until the students have read all of the versions of the piece.

The key is to go back to the questions you started with during planning.    If the reading has been scaffolded well, and the activities chosen align with the goals, your students will be able to do this very sucessfully!!!

Teachers have successfully read all of the versions of a reading in two days, or over the course of two weeks.  For more examples of activities, read through the entries in the Category: Using Readings With Students on the right hand side of the page.

Hint: Do not force an unwilling and resistant class too far.   It won’t be worth it.  It would be great if they read all five versions of _____________.  But if they only get through three versions, so be it.

Hint:  If a class has students with a variety of reading levels, allow faster-processing students to read the most advanced version independently while you work with students who need support through a less-strenuous version.

Next post:  Feedback from other teachers who use Embedded Readings.

 

All content of this website © Embedded Reading 2012-2014 or original authors.  Unauthorized use or distribution of materials without express and written consent of the owners/authors is strictly prohibited.   Examples and  links may be used as long as clear and direct reference to the site and original authors is clearly established.

The Philosophical Question: How Do I Use An Embedded Reading?

Any way that your professional experience and your knowledge of your students tells you to.

Seriously.

 Ask yourself a few questions about the reading before you get started:

1. Why do you want your students to work with this piece? (This is good to know. You may have to defend your choice.)

2. Why will your students want to work with this piece? (If you cannot come up with a good reason, it will be hard to convince them to do it.)

3.  What do you want them to be able to do when they are finished working with this piece? (Use that piece in whatever ways necessary to make that happen.)

4.  What activities do your students already do that help them to achieve the goal(s) identified in #3?  (adapt those to use with a version of the reading.  The things that you ALREADY DO SUCCESSFULLY are the best place to start.)

Connect your activities to your goals.

My goals as a teacher, and my goals for my students, are not the same as yours.

I’ll share mine so that you can understand the activities that I have mentioned for the readings that I use, but you will have to connect your goals to your instruction. ( If you are not about how to do that, please ask.  Many people read this blog and will happily share ideas!)

My Goals:

I teach for comprehension.

Students acquire language when they understand it.   Every time I ask students to read, it must BECOME comprehensible.

I teach for success.

I plan for my students to be successful.   I ask them to focus, to think, to take chances, to adapt, to stretch, to learn from mistakes but every single activity is geared towards success.

I teach so that my students will have a better understanding of the world.

We live in an ever-changing world full of constants.  Love.  Hate.  Challenge.  Triumph.  Laughter.  Tears.  The deeper their understanding of the constants, the more skilled they will be to work with the changes.

I teach so that I can sleep at night.

I try very hard not to mislead, misuse, misjudge, mistake, misread or mismanage my students.  When it happens, because I’m very human, I try to apologize, and to change what I am doing.

Problem #1: It is so easy to get caught up in having my students read a particular piece so that I am happy.  That is in direct opposition to my goals.  What makes me happy?  For a “Top Down” reading it’s beautiful literature, literature that has an emotional connection for me, literature that will impress other educators or parents, literature that makes me feel like a great teacher, articles that native speakers would read, fascinating cultural pieces.  For a “Bottom Up” reading it’s when I love the story that I created, or because I love creating Embedded Readings, because I am proud of how I used every single student contribution, or because I want to show off how well my students have written the stories that eventually became the reading.  But,  teaching should not be about me.  It should be about my students.

The Solution: Examine, realistically, the benefits FOR MY STUDENTS of reading a particular piece.  If the benefits align with my goals, then I have chosen a good piece.

Problem #2:  The piece is too difficult for my students.  It doesn’t matter how perfect the piece is, if I have to destroy it to make it comprehensible it is not the right piece for my students.  If I have to pre-teach a structure for every sentence, it is not the right piece for my students, NO MATTER HOW MUCH I LIKE IT OR WANT TO USE IT.

The Solution:  Choose, very carefully, the pieces to adapt.  Can a piece be scaffolded to BECOME comprehensible within 5 versions?  If not, re-think it’s viability for your students.

Enjoy the journey!!

 

 

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