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Literacy Tip of the Week: Week of February 3rd

posted Feb 4, 2019, 4:48 PM by Courtney Richardson   [ updated Feb 4, 2019, 4:48 PM ]
Teaching Comprehension During Whole Group Instruction
As an instructional coach in an urban school with a student population that is 100% free and reduced lunch, teachers constantly ask, “How do we remediate students who score consistently below expectation on formative and summative assessments that measure comprehension. Everyone at my school has had extensive training using Jan Richardson’s Guided Reading plan. So I created “Model Monday” that utilizes the comprehension modules from chapter 7 in The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading.
What is Model Monday?
Model Monday follows the gradual release model. First the teacher selects one of the modules described in chapter 7 of Jan’s book. Once the teacher chooses the Module that fits the standard they are trying to remediate, the teacher then chooses the progressive step that fits the needs of their students and prints off the comprehension card that goes with that Module. During the first five minutes, the teacher explicitly models the thinking behind the strategy. The next five minutes is the “we do” portion of the lesson. Students work in pairs to practice the strategy and discuss the text as the teacher listens to the students’ conversations. The last 10 minutes is where the teacher releases the students to do the work independently. While the students do this independent work, the teacher walks around and takes notes on individual students, rating each one on a scale of 1-5.  durpose of the conferring notes is to rate their students’ understanding of the skill taught to see if further remediation needs to occur.  After the Module has been taught, the comprehension card can now be used at a station and, or, independent reading activity.  
How to implement Model Monday at your school
To start implementing Model Monday I would suggest going through the stages below: 
Stage 1:
Use grade level text to model the lesson, to practice the strategy, and for students to work with independently. 
Students would be using the same text that the teacher modeled with or a text that was provided in the grade level units that the county provides teachers.  The teachers will read the entire text for the primary grade and the intermediate grades will read the text on their own. 
This is an excellent opportunity to use scaffolding for students that struggle with grade-level text.  For example, there is an ESE student in third grade reading at level C.  The teacher in this room would need to read the text to him, while practicing a retelling strategy.  
Stage 2: Looks like stage 1 but now you differentiate the text.
Use grade-level text to model and practice the lesson, then differentiate the text to match independent reading levels for mastery.  Use the Model Monday Conferring Notes to decide next steps for the following Model Monday. 
Since you only have 20 minutes, familiar articles and excerpts from books that teachers have already shared with the class work best for Model Monday. But when the students go to their seat to practice the strategy, they read a text at their independent level.  I feel, that if you put the students at a grade- level text you are no longer remediating the standard through the strategy, instead you’re helping them decode the text to understand what they are reading.  
Stage 3: Looks like stage 2, but now you use the Conferring Notes sheet. 
Use grade-level text to model and practice the lesson, independent reading levels for independent practice to look for mastery.  Use the Model Monday Conferring Notes to decide the next steps for the following Model Monday, the next step for guided reading groups, and the ELA block. 
Note, the stages above are suggested ways to gradually ease staff and teachers into implementing Model Monday.  Each stage is a new week.  By week three, Model Monday will be running with fidelity by having the following components:
• Teacher is using "I do", "you do", "we do" within the 20 allotted minutes.
• Teacher is using grade level text for "I do" and "you do"
• Teacher is differentiating text so each child has his/her independent reading level text in front of him for the "you do"
• Teacher is using Conferring Notes to set next step goals for the following Model Monday and for guided reading groups
• Teacher is using conferring notes to conference with students about their individual next step goals
• Teacher has a station with differentiated texts for students to practice the Comprehension Card again on their own with a different text 
My ultimate goal is to have the teachers confer with all students in the room using the Conferring Notes to set individual next steps and goals for each learner
The teacher should confer with every student by the end of the week.  
Teachers will confer with their on-or-above grade level students first on Model Monday.  Since teachers will be seeing the below-level students in small group instruction and the conferring notes from guided reading can be used.  
Through the course of the week, the other students will be conferred with during independent reading time of the ELA block. 
It is important to keep good notes on the conferring sheets.  This way you can see if 80% of your class has scored a level 3 or 4 on the conferring rubric and you can move on from that standard. At the same time, if only a handful of students need remediation on that standard the teacher could then group those students together for Jan Richardson’s Guided Reading to remediate the standard once again.  This would take place after analyzing anecdotal notes to see where the gaps are occurring.  
If you have further questions on Model Monday, feel free to email me at

Written by: Jesstina Bushery 

Courtney Richardson,
Feb 4, 2019, 4:48 PM