The New Norms for Learning in HPL

Previewing Texts

Building Background. Raising Questions. Constructing Meaning.

Sample Anchor Chart for Previewing Informational Text

In HPL, we teach a two-step previewing process. After demonstrating how to preview a text, the teacher has students try it themselves. Then they anchor the experience together. The Anchor Chart becomes both a scaffold for students as they are practicing and building independence, as well as a guide to the teacher who now carefully observes individual students to determine what they have taken over on their own and what they still need help with. Anchors are posted where students can use them; teachers and students add to them as they learn more. This is an example of a single Anchor Chart for Preview 1 & 2.

Sample 2-Step Anchor Charts for Previewing Informational Text

This photo shows a collection of Anchor Charts built to lead students through the 2-step previewing process. After demonstrating Preview 1 and Preview 2, and exploring the text features we use to build background in Preview 2, the teacher builds Anchor Charts that help to scaffold students toward independence as they preview texts to build background. Notice that the question for Preview 1 leads students to explain what they noticed that they will use to build background in Preview 2. The question for Preview 2 scaffolds students to explain what they know so far before they move into a close reading of the text.

Sample Anchor Chart for Previewing Literary Text in a Kindergarten or First Grade Classroom

In HPL, we teach a two-step previewing process, even in kindergarten. After demonstrating how to look quickly through a whole book, the teacher has students try it themselves. Then they anchor the experience together. Then she demonstrates how to preview again, this time going slowly, using narrative language to tell a tentative story. Then the students try it, and they anchor their experience together.

Every day, with every new text they encounter, students orient themselves to texts before trying to read them. They enter into every text with a good idea about what the story is about and what is going to happen, And they learn how to do something they can do with just abut any text any time they read. 

Previewing Assessment Guide

This document (still in draft form) guides teachers through the process of assessing previewing by providing a list of “Look-for” behaviors outlined on the Anchor Chart, and in the Previewing Spiral. Teaching for independence means that we have to assess frequently to determine what students have taken over and where they still need instruction.

Essential Reading Behaviors for Previewing

This document provides a list of essentials to be taught and learned, organized by grade level. If you are teaching Previewing as a New Norm, start by observing for the behaviors listed for kindergarten. It may surprise you that your fifth and sixth graders are not (yet) independently taking these simple steps to building better comprehension!

Assessing for Independence: Preview 1

This document guides teachers through the process of assessing for student independence during Preview I. It includes an assessment form for observing and recording the look-for behaviors that indicate that students know what to do, know how to do it, and do it without help or prompting.

Assessing for Independence: Preview 2

This document guides teachers through the process of assessing for student independence during Preview 2. It includes an assessment form for observing and recording the look-for behaviors that indicate that students know what to do, know how to do it, and do it without help or prompting.

Previewing Checklist-Elementary

This checklist guides assessment of previewing behaviors expected of students in the elementary grades. Note that some student behaviors are easily observed during the course of the workshop, while others require students to write or require a short conference/conversation between teacher and student to gather data.

Previewing Checklist-Primary

This checklist guides assessment of previewing behaviors expected of students in the primary grades. Note that some student behaviors are easily observed during the course of the workshop, while others require students to write or require a short conference/conversation between teacher and student to gather data.

Sample Teacher-Made Observation Tool

Teaching for independence requires that teachers carefully observe and gather data regarding key “look-for” behaviors that indicate that students are taking over what they have been taught. After determining what she expects to see students doing independently, the teacher looks for these behaviors to ensure that each student knows what to do and does it.

Previewing Self-Assessment

Part of developing independence is teaching students how to honestly self-assess and reflect on their own learning. This self-assessment can be used in any classroom where teachers are establishing Previewing as a New Norm. Students have an opportunity to reflect on what they are learning to do as well as what they still need to work on, collaboratively planning with their teachers to set specific goals.

Watch a Video

These kindergarten students are working to take over the processes of Previewing in order to make sense of stories before reading them. Learning to independently preview texts will allow them to construct a tentative narrative about a text before reading it, so that meaning-making guides problem solving during the first read. 

Similar to what we do to make meaning before reading informational texts,  Preview 1 with narrative fiction involves a quick look through the pictures of the whole story (usually accomplished without talking). Then, in Preview 2, we guide readers to tell the story by feeding them bits of narrative language, such as, “One day…” “and then,” and “what happens next?” The emphasis in Preview 2 is to encourage students to use the pictures to narrate, or tell the story, connecting events from one picture to the next.  

This is by no means a “perfect” demonstration of Preview 1 and 2 in kindergarten–which is one of the reasons we love this video! The teacher has to work hard to focus their attention on the story. But little by little, and day by day, these readers learn how to independently preview texts because their teachers expects them to do so before they read a new book. 

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