choosing texts

What texts do I use for the lessons?

You’ll use the texts you have on hand from your reading curriculum, chapter books or novels–science, social studies, and even math. Each round of every play includes specific guidelines for selecting appropriate text for the skill being taught. The Playbook does not come with texts.

How does the Playbook work with my reading series/basal?

The Playbook provides what to tell the children during mini-lessons. Your basal/reading curriculum gives you grade-level texts for them to practice the skills you’ve taught. You’ll still use the other components of your curriculum to teach other elements of reading (e.g., phonics, phonemic awareness, word study, etc.).

When during a lesson do I reveal the text?

Each mini-lesson follows the 4-step process. Step 1 lasts only about a minute where the skill is simply introduced/named. Step 2 is the main part of the lesson, lasting about 10 minutes. Break Step 2 into two parts: Step 2A and Step 2B. In Step 2A, you’ll tell the students the specifics and details of the skill–the instructional points included in your Playbook–and you’ll build the anchor chart. Step 2B (I do, you watch and listen) is when you will model that skill using an excerpt of text (usually one previously read). The portion of text you select is specific to the type of thinking you told them about in Step 2A. In Step 2B, you demonstrate how you do that thinking with the text. And then, you do another one in Step 3 (We do), and you ask students to help you if they can. Step 4 brings closure and their reading-time task.

Why should I use previously-read texts in my mini-lessons?

Each round of every play includes a Text Considerations column beside the instructional points. Most rounds will require previously-read text to allow the focus of the mini-lesson to be on you, the coach, modeling the thinking you’re teaching about. If you are teaching about main idea or theme or text organization, the students need to be familiar with the text to help them understand the thinking you model. Exceptions to this would include the Ask & Answer play for K-2. You need new text in order to model predicting authentically. But, in most instances, you’ll select an excerpt from a text you’ve already read.

When do I pre-read texts I want to use in a round?

Any time before a lesson is taught is when to read a text. You could read a text earlier in the day, week, or year. Something to consider is the idea of compiling a repository of texts–mentor texts that you’ll go back to over and over again for different skills. One text could lend itself to several different skills, making it unnecessary to look for new texts all the time.

Aren't we supposed to use new and different texts?

Yes, new and different texts are essential. However, new and different texts are for students to practice the skills you’re teaching.