Thursday, May 7, 2015

Lori Oczkus' Last Chapter on "...Close Reading & Comprehension of Informational Text"

Alas, our last chapter! If you are posting comments for college credit, it's due by May 30. 

If you still want a college unit for $60, but missed out… let us know. We can continue to offer college credit through our book blog in the summer along with Luci Calkins' latest 5 star book: Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions, Gr. K-8.  But blog and let us know you're interested!

Now for Ch. 5 on p. 145- Interactive Strategy Lessons for  Informational Text: Comprehension Strategies for Common Core State Standards (CCSS)!

Lori says using the proven strategies along with the CCSS framework (inferring, predicting, questioning, clarifying, summarizing, synthesizing & evaluating) in "a variety of increasingly complex text" is giving  students a flexible toolbox of support.
Where do we start?
  • use strong mentor texts (Which ones? Eureka award nonfiction booklists on CRA's web site under awards will help along with Lori's chart 5.1 on p.148)
  • interactive think alouds (e.g. see #3 and 4 on p. 165-166)
  • cooperative guided practice (see lessons)
  • try the lessons on p. 147-155 to help students set a purpose for reading
  • lessons on p. 159-165 support students to find key idea & details
  • lessons on p. 168-178 scaffolds students in understanding text structure
  • lessons on p. 182-188 facilitates students' integration of knowledge & ideas
  • get your volunteer Moms, Dads, grandmas, etc. to run off the great student work & book marks on p. 232-251
Know what QBTTT means? Try Lori's fabulous modeling on p.165- #1! Just like the kids, you'll never forget it!

Hope you've had as much fun with this book as I have. Thanks Lori! please join me in hearing lori keynote at cra's institute at riverside's convention cntr. on october 23-24, 2015!

Wishing you a strong finish to your school year, quarter, semester, or spring!
Lynn Gurnee,
CRA Past President
CCRA President 


  1. Chapter 5:
    • I like the sentence frames and whole brain movements suggested on page 165 to help students answer questions.
    • QBTT -Question Back To The Text. This is great scaffolding. The materials in appendix B will help students to determine their purpose for reading non-fiction text.
    • In the QBTT the students will love making up their own text dependent questions and then challenge the other groups with the paper wad toss. The stroll line is also a great activity to use so that the students can practice the strategy.
    • The text walk is great because students are guided through the text for different purposes. I talk to my students about their wonderings and questions. We talk about the fact that sometimes as they read it may trigger a question that is not answered in the text, but might then we can do further research to find the answer
    • I love the text structures chart on page 169. That will make a great chart for my classroom. The clue words will be a great help to students. I can see using the text structure graphic organizer as part of a center activity. There are so many great resources in the appendix.
    • I know I can use these lessons to support the curriculum in my classroom and feel more confident with these scaffolds, my students will be able to meet the more rigorous standards.

    1. Great comments, Margaret! Glad to see you were motivated by these strategies, tools, and lessons! Hope you have a strong end of the year finish and a fabulous summer! Also hope to see you in Riverside in the fall! Looking forward to seeing Lori and hope you are as well.

  2. Hi, I'm not sure if I'm doing this correctly (I have never done a blog before). I am interested in the summer reading book club on Lucy Calkins' book. Could you let me know how to join up and what I need to do? Thank you!