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Reading (Upper & Lower Elementary)

Total reading is defined by Montessori educators as the ability to interpret the totality of the meaning expressed by a writer. This includes understanding the subject matter, as well as the opinions and feelings expressed, and the style used by the writer. At Tobin Montessori, comprehension is the ultimate goal of reading. We expect all of our students to have the ability to simultaneously extract and construct meaning through interaction and involvement with written language. In these classrooms, students learn that reading is thinking and they become metacognitive; using strategies to make meaning of a wide variety of genres

Interactive Read Aloud
Students are exposed to a common body of texts through interactive read-aloud. Reading aloud to students allows them to experience a variety of quality texts in different genres. During the read-aloud, the teachers pause at significant points, ask students for comments, and invite discussion. Teachers also share their own thinking to demonstrate how experienced readers engage with and think about texts as they read.

Independent & Guided Reading
In Lower and Upper Elementary, students engage in independent reading as well as participating in leveled guided reading groups. Students learn what it means to be a reader--how readers select books, set goals, think about texts, and engage in meaningful communication about what they read. Teachers meet with guided reading groups based on student need or with small literature groups where students read and discuss common texts; teachers also confer individually with students about their independent reading. Students are expected to read their independent reading books every night at home.

Content Area Reading
In Lower and Upper Elementary, students not only learn to read, but they also read to learn within the content areas. Students interact with expository texts during presentations of the science, history, geography and general cosmic education curriculum. Students may use a variety of graphic organizers to help them organize their thinking or express their learning in writing.

Talking & Writing About Reading
Talk is an essential element to reading instruction at Tobin Montessori. Comprehension conversations are integrated into all reading lessons to help enhance the meaning of a text and to help prepare students to respond to texts in writing. Written responses to various genres are explicitly modeled and taught through shared writing with the intent to gradually release responsibility to students to then do this work independently. Through this instruction students learn how to use talk as a tool to organize their thinking.