Melissa Pedraza Accountable Talk Inclusion Mentoring

For their reading curriculum, Melissa and Nikki adapt units from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. The Reading Block generally runs 90 minutes and includes the key reading activities Read Aloud, Guided Reading, Book Talks, and Independent Reading. This page documents a two-day period of Reading curriculum within the last month of the school year. To compare students' abilities to have conversations and make text-to-text connections, see a video clip (FAST / SLOW) from a week later.

"We are continuing to have a lot of book talks, focusing on the goals of accountable talk, comprehension, and reviewing story elements."

Day 1: Reading Block
Today's schedule: All key components of the reading curriculum

10 a.m.
Read Aloud

View 5:48 min. quicktime (FAST: 18.7 MB; SLOW: 1.3 MB)

Melissa reads the book Jamaica's Find, by Juanita Havill, to the class. She stops reading in the middle of the story and asks the students to turn to their "pair-share partners" and discuss the problem in the story and to think of ways to fix it. She and Nikki listen to their discussions. Some partners share their ideas and predictions for the story among the whole group. Melissa finishes reading the book, and asks students, in their pair share groups, to discuss how Jamaica fixed the problem.

11 a.m.
Guided Reading


View 5:25 min. quicktime (FAST: 13.5 MB/ MED: 7.7 MB/ SLOW: 2.6 MB)

Melissa and Nikki break the class into reading groups and teach Guided Reading. The above-grade-level group reads a chapter book and makes predictions. The on-grade-level group reads Frog and Toad and writes down the words they don't know on wipe boards, so that they can go over them with Nikki when they are finished reading. Melissa guides the early emergent readers in reading I Went Walking. She first asks her group if they have any predictions for what the book will be about. Then the group takes a "picture walk" through the book, so they can find out more. After sharing more ideas about the book, they read it together. Melissa reads with them, monitoring the children closely.

11:30 a.m.
Pair-Share Book Talk

View 7:40 min. quicktime (FAST: 17.9 MB/ SLOW: 3.6 MB)

The teachers bring the children back to the group for another Book Talk. Melissa and Nikki model a Book Talk by comparing the problems in a Junie B. Jones book with the problems in an Amelia Bedelia book. Then Melissa asks children to talk with their pair share partners about the similarities and differences between the problems in the books Peter's Chair and A Chair for My Mother, books the class had recently read. This is Melissa's introduction to text-to-text connections.

12 p.m.
Independent Reading

View 4:47 min. quicktime (FAST: 15.6MB / SLOW: 2.3 MB)

The teachers ask the children to find their "Just-Right" books for Independent Reading. Children go to tables where they read books out loud and silently to themselves. Melissa and Nikki work individually with children, performing reading assessments and making reading strategy suggestions.

Day 1: After School


1 p.m. (the end of a half-day of school)

PART I: 7.25 min. quicktime video (FAST: 24 MB / SLOW: 3.5 MB)
PART 2: 5:23 min quicktime video (FAST: 17 MB / SLOW: 2.5 MB)

After school (today is a half-day, so immediately following the reading block), Melissa and her mentor, Leslie, discuss what happened during the day, and plan for tomorrow. They discuss text-to-text connections and targeting accountable talk as the objective for the next week.
Day 2: Reading Block
Today's Focus: Book Talk

9 a.m.
Introduction: Modeling a Book Talk


View 5:30 min. quicktime (FAST: 17.8 MB / SLOW: 1.2 MB)

The Book Talk begins where it left off yesterday: the children to talk with their pair share partners and compare the problems in Jamaica's Find and Peter's Chair. Melissa has written examples of questions the children can ask each other in their "book talks," and she refers to them as she talks with Nikki. Melissa focuses on an overarching goal of having the children listen to each other and to jump into their partner and group conversations with appropriate responses, without the help of a teacher, while focusing today on the feelings inherent in the problems within stories, all the while leading her students to think about text-to-text connections.

9:30 a.m.
Pair-Share Book Talks


View 6:15 min. quicktime (FAST: 20 MB / SLOW: 3 MB)

Melissa breaks the class up into Pair Share Partner groups, so that they can have a Book Talk about the problem in Jamaica's Find. The children have one discussion, then Melissa asks them to start another discussion based on the question, "How do you think the character felt about the problem?" considering both Jamaica of Jamaica's Find, and Peter of Peter's Chair.

10 a.m.
Whole group Evaluation of Book Talks

View 4 min. quicktime (FAST: 15 MB / SLOW: 2 MB)

Melissa asks the group to make a circle, so that they can talk about what they discussed with their partners. The children mention the feelings that they had discussed that the characters may have had, including fear, anger, happiness, sadness and jealousy. Melissa reminds the students that they don't have to raise their hand, but can just talk to the group.

Watch 5:14 min video (FAST: 17 MB / SLOW: 2.5 MB) of Melissa's reflections about this day's class.]