33 teaching points to establish and strengthen reading identities
January 24, 2018
It is helpful to list possible teaching points that we can make during daily read-aloud times, shared reading times, or within minilessons. Of course, we know that these same teaching points can be made during one-on-one conferences and small group instruction, too.
The list presented here has been adapted from I Am Reading by Kathy Collins and Matt Glover. While these aren’t the only things readers need to know, these lists make visible the knowledge that successful and voracious readers have, knowledge that can be explicitly stated to create a strong foundation for all students’ identities as readers.
We often talk about the teaching points below as “early-in-the-year” possibilities, particularly for grades PreK-1, but it’s never too late to teach them. In fact, as you get to know your students and identify what they already know and still need to learn, you will discover that many of these teaching points bear repeating throughout the year.
Readers take care of their books—and other readers
- We can carefully turn the pages and put our books back so they’re not on the floor.
- We can use bookmarks to reserve our place for the next time.
- We can invite others to read with us.
- We can ask others about what kinds of books they like to read.
- We can appreciate all our differences as readers because the differences make us a strong community.
Readers find books they want to read
- We can find books we want to read by looking at the covers and saying, “This looks interesting…”
- We can find books we want to read by looking for books someone has read to us already.
- We can find books we want to explore because no one has read them to us yet.
- We can find books that match our interests.
- We can read books our friends love.
- We can find books that have characters we know.
- We can look through a book once to see how it works and then read it again.
- We can find interesting stuff in books.
- We can choose the same book over and over and become experts at reading it.
Readers can share books with each other
- We can find a friend to read with.
- We can find a book that our friend might like and invite our friend to read with us.
- We can read the book together by looking closely at the pictures.
- We can pick the same book over and over and become experts at reading it with a friend.
- We can read the book by saying as much as we can about the pictures with a friend.
- We can act out characters or parts of the book.
- We can recommend a book to someone who might like it.
Readers have lots of ways to read, besides just looking at words
- We can read the pictures by looking at them closely and telling what we see (making meaning).
- We can read the pictures and describe what is going on (determining importance, summarizing).
- We can read the pictures and say what the characters are doing (noticing and naming).
- We can read the pictures and figure out what is happening (inferring, predicting, and making meaning).
- We can read the pictures and think about why things are happening (inferring, interpreting, and activating schema).
- We can read the pictures and think about why characters look like they do and do the things they do (inferring, connecting, activating schema).
- We can remember how the book goes and say what we remember (recalling, retelling, activating schema).
- We can remember whatever we can about what’s in the book (recalling, retelling, activating schema).
- We can look closely at characters’ faces and talk about how they are feeling (inferring).
- We can say more than one or two words for a page (elaborating).
- We can connect one page to the next by using words like and then, after that, and so on.
- We can read informational books and make it sound like we’re teaching something (genre distinction, determining importance).
Now try this
Spend some time observing readers (including yourself!) in your classroom and thinking about what you’ve seen readers do. Based on your experience and observations, what would you add to this list to help establish a community of readers, help students find books they want to read, and read books even if they can’t decode the words? Brainstorm and talk about your ideas with colleagues. Expand the list above and keep it where you can refer to it often.