Tag Archives: Reading Success Network

READING: Two presentations complete and I’m still learning!

This week I presented the new PM Benchmark Reading Assessment RAR for Cengage Learning and other resources which support comprehension. I’ve always loved PM for many reasons. The PM Assessment RAR impresses me because it provides ‘point of need’ information. I’ve snipped a few of my slides to share here.

My first presentation was for a small group of teachers and I thank them for coming. I enjoyed chatting to them and ‘soaking up’ their commitment and passion for what they do!

My second presentation was to a much larger audience and I had the opportunity to speak to a number of them after the presentation. They were amazing and inspiring! Some were working in special education settings and I loved the commitment they had to maximizing the potential of all students.

Teacher Judgement and Student Learning: There will always be a need for teacher judgement. We know our students! Regardless, we must have accurate assessments to plan for future learning.

Teacher Judgement


I love the fact that the philosophy of PM starts with success and enjoyment. We want our students to love reading and understand what they’re reading at their point of need.

Core skills

These six core skills are the main skills and I’m saying it.  We need to unpack and build a deep understanding of what each means in terms of teaching and learning.


Given how busy teachers are we need to be…

blog effective

effective definition

Allocating our time carefully to make sure what we are doing will be effective in our classrooms is vital. Being constructive, productive can mean evaluating what we are doing and making changes.

How can it be used.

What I really love! This is just an example of a few future learning goals for a student I assessed. There is so much more! And the assessment and online RAR gives me this information about the student so I can plan. This is just a snippet…


Planning teams

Unpacking future learning goals in teams and what it means at different stages of reading is powerful and effective use of our time. The online program can have as many students as you want – whole school data.

I’ve snipped a copy of a document I’ve printed which will guide my future planning for this student. It contains recommended learning goals for reading behaviours, retelling and comprehension and I can also add my own. I’ve also printed a document which tells me what the student is doing. Effective!

Emma RAR

There are so many amazing resources which I’m loving which support comprehension!


Next week I’m in QLD! Above photo: Love the NLD Comprehension…

Tuesday 10/5 – Robina: Improving Comprehension Skills

Wednesday 11/5 – Camp Hill: Assessing and Teaching Reading Comprehension

Thursday 12/5 – PM Benchmark and New Digital Software

Cheers Nina



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The Bigger the Book the Better!


Big Books engage young and older students alike. The reading of Big Books is included in my daily program. It’s a time to model reading aloud to children, or simply enjoy a story. It’s a time for shared reading. Reading aloud to children can be lost in the ‘crowded curriculum’, so like everything it needs to be planned.

Big Books support Inquiry and many companies are writing Big Books to support curriculum.

Reading Big Books enables the children to be involved, as many of these books encourage movement e.g. where it says ‘stamp, stamp, stamp or ‘wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, the children can do the action. Our Big Book reading can be very active! Many authors have realised this and have included action words.

The beauty of Big Books is they can be read over and over again. The text becomes quickly familiar to the children and they can read along.

Big Books encourage children to explore a text as a group. They can share ideas and learn from each other.





Using Big Books is essential when teaching the, Concepts of Print (Marie Clay)

Read about Concepts of Print at the Reading Success Network– it’s an interesting paper.

Reading Big Books is when I focus on, front and back, where to start?, reading left to right, first and last letter/word, reading from top to bottom and the difference between a word and a letter.

I also use Big Books to focus on writing skills e.g. we discover, what a sentence is? We learn about punctuation and rhyme. The opportunities to teach reading and writing skills through the reading of Big Books are endless.


Strategy: Big Books & Guided Reading

I use Big Books for all reading groups during the year. Guided Reading is introduced to my students only when they are able to read a RR Level 3 book at an instructional level. The children need a good understanding of ‘how books work’ before they can really benefit from Guided Reading. It’s hard to do Guided Reading when you can’t turn pages in order. So roll out the Big Books, they work!

Hint: If possible have a Big Book stand in a specific area of your classroom dedicated to Big Book reading. It makes it easier! I know from teaching young children that they need to move, and having different teaching areas, where the focus has changed helps them to re-engage quickly for a new teaching activity.

It may just be a different corner of your classroom. It’s the re-focusing on a new learning activity that’s important.




As my children’s reading ability grows, they love to sit in the Big Book reading seat and lead the activity. My goal with most learning situations is for the teaching activity to become student lead. I love being a participant. I had many future teachers in my class last year and it’s enjoyable and a little scary to hear them ‘speaking like me’. Posters are equally important and can be used in the same way as Big Books.  

Cheers Nina



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