Collaborative Circle Blog

Preparing for Making Meaning Instruction

In the Making Meaning program, students are taught the reading comprehension strategies that research shows good readers use to make sense of text. The students learn and practice the strategies with guidance and support during the strategy lessons before using them in their independent reading.

Collaborative Classroom offers many resources to help you get your year of Making Meaning whole-class and Individualized Daily Reading (IDR) instruction off to a great start.

Tips for Planning for Whole-class Instruction

In the Introduction of your Making Meaning Teacher’s Manual, go to the “Teaching the Program” section and locate “Planning and Teaching the Lessons.” Use the suggestions below to guide your reading of this section.

Unit Overview

Read the unit overview summary and identify the learning goals. Review the unit overview chart to gain an understanding of how the learning goals are taught across the weeks and days of the unit.

Week Overview

Review the week overview and identify the comprehension and social development focus for the week.

Daily Lessons

Determine the purpose of the lesson: Read Aloud, Strategy Practice, Guided Strategy Practice, or Independent Strategy Practice (grades 1–6). Identify the daily learning goals listed under “In this lesson, the students:”.

Tips for Planning for IDR

The practice that independent reading provides is critical if students are to strengthen the reading comprehension skills and strategies they are learning. To provide the independent practice needed for students to become truly proficient at comprehending text, Making Meaning includes a structured independent reading time called Individualized Daily Reading, or IDR.

In the Introduction of your Making Meaning Teacher’s Manual, go to the “Teaching the Program” section and locate the “Individualized Daily Reading (IDR)” section. Read the following subsections:

  • Independent Reading in Grade…
  • The Teacher’s Role
  • IDR Conferences
  • Setting Up a Classroom Library
  • Building Stamina
  • IDR Mini-Lessons
  • Tips for Managing IDR

To prepare for conferring, locate the IDR Conference Note (CN1) for Unit 2 in the Making Meaning Assessment Resource Book and mark it with a self-stick note. The questions in this conference note can help you gain an understanding of your students’ ideas and feelings about reading, reading habits, and reading interests.

Blog Posts to Support Your Implementation

We regularly publish blog posts, which address specific questions or topics of interest to teachers implementing Making Meaning.

  • Review more Making Meaning blogs here.
  • Review more IDR blogs here.
  • Learn more about book clubs by reading this blog series.

Here are a few of our curated favorites!

As you continue your journey, stay connected with us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and resources. Consider joining our Facebook Collaborative Classroom community group, where educators ask questions and share their experiences implementing their own caring communities. Learn more here.