Why Students Love CIA: Letters From Students

rsbsadmin Uncategorized 1 Comment

A special envelope arrived in the mail several weeks ago. Inside I was delighted to find 17 handwritten letters from 5th grade students in Auburn, WA. On top of the pile was a letter from their teacher, explaining the reason for their correspondence. “After writing letters to Louis Sachar, my class started talking about the C. I. A. reading program …

How Research Explains the Design of the Read Side by Side Reading Program

rsbsadmin C.I.A. Approach, Comprehension, Comprehension strategies, Motivation, Peter Dewitz, Reading, Research, Text structure Leave a Comment

What should you be looking for in a research based reading program?  In this blog, learn about how motivation, comprehension strategies, text structure, and transfer of training make the Read Side by Side Reading Program the perfect choice for your next reading adoption! Once a reader has developed fluent word recognition skills and begins to encounter harder and longer pieces …

Using Turn and Talk Stems Across the Globe

rsbsadmin C.I.A. Approach, ELL, Sarah Collinge, Turn and Talk 2 Comments

Earlier this month, Bethany and I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Macau near Hong Kong to work with teachers and English Language Learners in Hou Kong Premier School to learn many of the strategies of our C. I. A. curriculum. While there, we learned the power of turn and talk stems—a major part of the Read Side by Side …

Reading Test Prep: 6 Things You Are Already Doing

rsbsadmin Additional Activities, C.I.A. Approach, Sarah Collinge, Testing 1 Comment

  This is the time of year when teachers start to feel anxious about reading test prep for the upcoming high-stakes state assessments. No matter how effective your teaching has been all school year long, testing season raises doubts in teachers’ minds about whether or not they have done enough to prepare their students for state tests. So first, let …

Reading Stamina: The Wrong Goal

rsbsadmin C.I.A. Approach, Fluency, Independent Reading, Peter Dewitz, Testing 1 Comment

  I recently received an email from ReadWorks with the subject line, “Build Reading Stamina With Longer Passages.” My next email was from the Fantastic Mr. Fox advertising newly designed chicken coops. This blog is not a specific attack on the website ReadWorks, or other sites offering passages for reading instruction, but an examination of reading stamina and its place …

Happy 5th Birthday, Read Side by Side!

rsbsadmin Sarah Collinge, Uncategorized 1 Comment

Did you know that only half of small businesses survive at least 5 years? (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.)  This is why I am so happy and proud to announce the 5th birthday of my growing company, Read Side by Side Publications LLC.  Why have we made it to year five? 1. Our company is defined by these three goals: …

Hooked on CIA: Reflections on the Year

rsbsadmin 4th Grade, Ryan Painter, Year End Review Leave a Comment

My CIA experience this year was AMAZING!  My students are hooked on the CIA reading program!  Here are our teacher and student reflections on the year: Teacher Reflection One of the biggest things I have noticed from my students this year is their confidence in reading and writing.  They have all made huge strides in my classroom this year.  I …

looking back

Janet’s Year End Review – Looking Back

rsbsadmin 4th Grade, Janet Erickson, Year End Review Leave a Comment

Looking Back It’s hard to believe another school year is complete.  This year will be one that I always remember with fondness; the students in my class were exceptionally kind, eager to learn, and attentive.  Pretty much a dream class… So I’ve been thinking back about the things that really stood out this year.  I started Shiloh, the first CIA …

Sarah’s Year End Review

rsbsadmin 3rd Grade, Sarah Linington, Year End Review Leave a Comment

The students and I know our classroom would have been a very different place without CIA this year. I know: CIA determined our reading block structures (we missed it when we had breaks between). CIA set a social studies theme that helped us with our actual social studies big ideas. CIA helped me facilitate student independent work habits in a …

writing letters to augusta scattergood

Writing for Glory Be

rsbsadmin 3.4 Glory Be, Dawn Smith, Writing Leave a Comment

My class has just finished reading our final CIA book of the year, Glory Be. As always, it is always bittersweet when we finish a book, but even more so with this book as it is the last time I was going to listen to the great discussions and ideas that my students have about a wonderful book. Spring seems …

book clubs 3rd grade

Book Clubs in 3rd Grade

rsbsadmin 3.2 The War with Grandpa, Book Clubs, Dawn Smith Leave a Comment

Forming the Groups When I heard that there were going to be book clubs that partnered up with the CIA books, I was more than excited to have my students to have a similar experience with book clubs that I’ve had. I decided to begin the book clubs the second week after Spring Break.  This gave me plenty of time to …

charts glory be

Glory Be: Charts and Vocabulary

rsbsadmin 3.4 Glory Be, Charts, Sarah Linington Leave a Comment

“But it was so much fun!” This was in response (from my most busy girl) to a very long catch-up reading session, after which I drooped and said, “Thank you for sticking with it today. That was a lot of work!” When she said that, I perked back up. She was right—it was fun! We co-created charts (we’re old hands …

City of Ember Writing

rsbsadmin 5.5 The City of Ember, Lynn Boze, Writing Leave a Comment

The last 5th grade CIA unit is the City of Ember written by Jeanne DuPrau.  It is about a futuristic society that was built underground to save the human race from extinction. The people who live in Ember do not know any of this.  All they know is that everything in their environment relies on electricity.  But, the generator that …

Charts with Children of the Gold Rush

rsbsadmin 4.4 Children of the Gold Rush, Charts, Janet Erickson 1 Comment

This is my first time teaching 4.4, Children of the Gold Rush, and I’m really enjoying it! My students love the topic so far, and all the background knowledge-building has led to great questions about the time period, people, and geography of the Klondike/Alaskan gold rush. Prior to starting the unit, I made arrangements for a field trip to the …

Teaching Genre with Glory Be

rsbsadmin 3.4 Glory Be, C.I.A. Approach, Dawn Smith Leave a Comment

Glory Be Has Begun! After we came back from Spring Break, we started our final CIA unit of the school year, Glory Be. I was afraid that my students would have forgotten some of the important ideas that we had learned about segregation and the Civil Rights movement from our Martin Luther King Jr CIA unit. My class proved me …

Background Knowledge for Streams to the River

rsbsadmin 4.3 Streams to the River, River to the sea, Background Knowledge, Ryan Painter Leave a Comment

We are starting Streams to the River this month just as we are finishing our Native American unit in Social Studies.  This year we studied the Pacific Coastal People in a Story Path.  This curriculum leads the students through an interactive story about the Native Americans in our region of Washington.  At the beginning of the unit the classroom creates …

4th Grade Writers

rsbsadmin 4th Grade, Ryan Painter, Writing Leave a Comment

Writing is a big part of the CIA program as it gives students a chance to think deeper about a text.  I love how the quadrants all end in a writing assignment.  After reading multiple units students know what to expect when they reach the end of a quadrant.  This year I will complete three units whole class with one …

Kids at Work

rsbsadmin 5.4 Kids at Work, Lynn Boze, Writing 1 Comment

My students are reading the fourth unit of study, Kids at Work by Russell Freedman.  Like the other Units of Study Sarah Collinge has written, Sarah has chosen a book that speaks to kids and gives them important issues to think and talk about.  Many of my students said they knew nothing about child labor and are glad they know …

Historical Fiction – Chains

rsbsadmin 5.3 Chains, C.I.A. Approach, Lynn Boze Leave a Comment

My class will begin reading Chains in January. There are a couple of things I think about, one the genre is Historical Fiction and two, it will be the longest book students have read so far during the school year.  I know from past experience that the length of the book will, at first, intimidate them.  In order to help …