Posted on 12/17/2018 at 11:14 AM by Blog Experts

December 2018 Reading Blog





In a recent class for literacy educators, a very good question was asked in relation to what the teacher was noticing/observing in her running records.  It was noted that students were doing exceptionally well on their running records (reading the text in independent ranges of 95%+ accuracy), but the first read seemed to tell a very different story in terms of the problem-solving and action being taken or not taken by the student(s).  


In reflecting upon this situation, I think it is important to ask ourselves "How much support are we providing during the first reading?"  "Are we doing for the child what he/she can do for him/herself?" With that in mind, what do we do to know if we are providing the correct amount of support and gradually releasing responsibility to the student(s)?



We formally progress monitor with cold reads when we are benchmarking students, but is that the only time we should be doing "COLD READS" with our students?  The answer: No

I strongly encourage you to be doing cold reads more often especially with your intervention students.  I would suggest 1-2 times monthly at a minimum. Keep in mind this can be done within your intervention teaching.  



For example, during a Guided Reading lesson (GR) a very minimal book/text introduction (orientation) can be done (similar to that done in progress monitoring).  Then a cold read can be completed with a student (1 or more students) in the group.  The other students in the group should engage in the reading of the new text (if not doing a cold read with them during this text/portion of the text).  OR...they should engage in familiar rereading (if wanting to do a cold read on this text for more than 1 student). Keep in mind that a running record only needs to span approximately 100-150 words.  Of course, early text may not have 100 words and that is okay too.

During the next GR lesson complete a regular running record (warm read) with the other students who did not do a cold read for this text/portion of text.  Then engage all students in Writing About Reading as usual.



Doing cold reads on a regular rotating basis will give you knowledge of how your students are transferring their literacy skills and strategies (see literacy behaviors) as well as gaining independence as self-extending readers.  


Keep in mind fidelity with an intervention is not only about teaching the "components" of the framework.  It is equally important to think about our decision-making within each component. How are we making decisions, what data is guiding our decision-making?  Our goal is to create independent readers and writers and we know that the teacher is a crucial factor in this process.


Keep up the great work and please consider incorporating a cycle for "COLD READS" into your teaching!!


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