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Synthesizing Butterflies: Teaching Reading Strategies to Kindergartners

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Catalogue Number:  CL0000
Producer:  Choice Literacy
Subject:  Professional Development
Language:  English
Grade Level:  Educators
Country Of Origin:  U.S.
Copyright Year:  2006
Running Time:  30


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"Synthesis is the beautiful way you live through a book." With these simple words, children are introduced to the concept of synthesis in Andie Cunningham's diverse kindergarten classroom. Viewers will see that even the youngest learners are ready, even eager, to take on the challenge of using strategies to deepen their reading experience. This workshop kit takes viewers into Andie's reading workshop during three consecutive days of instruction. The curriculum is integrated: reading, writing, science, talk, and movement all come together through the study of butterflies. Andie's students speak six different first languages, and they have a diverse array of home experiences. The reading workshop features multiple readings of the book The Prince of Butterflies and response activities designed to enrich the children's understanding of the book and their own learning processes.

The print materials on the companion Workshop Guide CD provide step-by-step instructions for eight different professional development workshops in a variety of formats. Student writing samples, practical explanations of literacy and learning theories, and children's book suggestions linked to different strategies are all provided.

The Workshop Kit includes a CD with print materials for eight workshops, featuring student writing samples, advice from Andie, and further background on the research supporting strategy instruction.

This program is appropriate for grades K-2 teachers who are integrating strategy instruction into thematic units. Andie Cunningham is the co-author (with Ruth Shagoury) of Starting with Comprehension: Reading Strategies for the Youngest Learners (Stenhouse, 2005). Andie was a kindergarten teacher for five years at Harold Oliver Primary School in Portland, Oregon, and currently works as an instructor at Lewis and Clark College.

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