You all know that I adore Franki Sibberson’s work with “middlers” – those kids who are already readers, but not yet sophisticated in their reading. In our school this starts somewhere in second grade for most of our kiddos and continues right through fifth grade.
Many of you read Franki’s book Still Learning to Read . She does a beautiful job of describing her third grade classroom. I know that many of you used her work with organization and notebooks from this book. She also has a “first six weeks” section in the book. It is from her work that I get my autumn mantra “slow it down, slow it down, slow it down”. This book is filled with booklists, ideas and quirky little things that make teaching the middle grades that much easier and more fun. If it hasn’t been on your reading list already, make it a “must read” for this summer.
When you come back in the fall, remember that we have the video that she and Karen Szymusiak made that goes with the book. We can plan a video party in the fall again this year.
If you’ve already read Still Learning to Read, I want to recommend another Franki Sibberson book to you. Definitely check out Day to Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop. In this volume, Franki will share with you how she balances district requirements for assessment with the information gathering that she needs and values for daily instruction. Again, there’s a “first six weeks” section, but this time its filled with ideas for getting to know the kids as readers, and getting the instructional information that the teacher needs in the Reading Workshop. There is an assessment web on page 60 that is nothing short of brilliant. What I wouldn’t give to be able to use this concept when we’re bringing students to SAT. It gives the entire literacy profile in one easy to grasp graphic organizer. I would think this would be an invaluable organizer for report card conferences also.
Check here for a review of this book by a sixth grade teacher.