Category Archives: Professional Development

Procedural or Functional Texts

Procedural texts inform the reader about how to do something. Sometimes it’s presented in a step-by-step format like how to make a recipe or put a toy together. The higher level procedural texts inform the reader about how to carry out goals such as how to begin a new career or learn or perfect a craft.

I often have teachers asking me for books to teach this skill. Here are a few that I have used that show the reader how to synthesize information from procedural or functional texts.

This one is good for kinder, first, and second and students will connect with learning to ride a bicycle.

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The Gift of Reading

What will reading for twenty minutes a day do for children? What a great chart and comparison table! When you think about the investment in time, why not model reading at the same time your kids are reading? Imagine the impact of that over the years, and to make it even better, begin a dialogue about what you are reading and what they are reading. Talking about reading is something that makes thinking visible to kids by showing them how good readers think while reading. For young readers to be able to share how what they are reading impacts their thinking is a great way to help them synthesize what they have read. So many times in reading with children, I have had aha moments that I would not have had if I had not been sharing my thinking about what we were reading together. To give a child the gift of time by listening to them with your full attention and responding to their thinking is priceless. How lucky am I that I am an elementary school librarian!

Gearing up for Summer Reading

Gave away 500 new paperback books to kids at school today for their first “summer reading” assignment in elementary school! I’ll be starting the year talking about characters, plot and theme with grades 2-6 in September next year. Second grade is reading Thaler’s Black Lagoon’s Summer Vacation or Black Lagoon’s Reading Challenge or Allard’s Miss Nelson Has a Field Day. Third grade is reading Sachar’s Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger. Fourth Grade is reading Riordan’s Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters, and Fifth grade is reading Paulson’s Hatchet or Fletcher’s Flying Solo. With our gently used book giveaway and these brand new paperbacks and checking out books from our library, my students should have plenty to read this summer if they want to. Hoping they can hang on to the top of that “Summer Slide.”

Connections All Year Long

Reading With Meaning: Teaching Comprehension to the Primary Grades by Debbie MillerTeaching kids to think while reading is a goal I continue to reinforce all throughout the year. We talk about the text to text, text to self, and text to world connections that are explained fully by Debbie Miller in Reading With Meaning: Teaching Comprehension to the Primary Grades.

I would recommend this book to all librarians and teachers of primary children. Demonstrating how to make the connections while reading is a very valuable tool that can be shown and practiced every time books are read aloud to children.

I tell the kids that when they run and play they are exercising their bodies, but when they think and make connections while reading, they are exercising there brains.