Using the Materials
This book was not created to be a prescribed set of lessons. Rather, it is meant to be a set of suggestions you may use for your specific classroom needs. Although each reading is shown in a set order from pre-reading to post-reading activities, many of the recommended activities and ideas do not need to be done in this order. Likewise, not all activities need to be utilized. As the instructor, you may decide which of the suggestions you would like to incorporate into your own lessons. The main elements of each passage are the text itself, the comprehension questions, and the discussion questions.
If you would like to use these readings first for reading fluency, you might consider utilizing different reading activities to target fluency development. Then, have students read the text with a timer and answer the comprehension questions without referring back to the text. Then you may include any other activities you find appropriate and relevant to your class context, especially the discussion questions since these are targeted towards positive psychology interventions.
A personal suggestion would be to allow students to see the original passage of each text as you introduce the materials so that they can better understand that each text came from a more authentic-looking source.
Calculating WPM Scores
To find the WPM score, first find the word count for the passage. This should already be included at the bottom of the text. The word count includes the passage and all titles/subtitles, etc. Next, multiply the word count by 60. Convert the time recorded into seconds. Divide the word count by the seconds. This number is the WPM.
Here is an example using the Mindfulness Intermediate Mid passage:
Word count: 483 Time: 2:35
Word count: 483X60=28,980 Time:155 seconds
Here is an example of how the Intermediate Mid Experiencing Gratitude passage was used as a repeated reading for several different purposes throughout the week in an IEP (Intensive English Program) Intermediate Mid level reading class:
Monday: The students first read the passage as a reading fluency activity. They timed themselves trying to read the text as quickly as possible while still maintaining comprehension. The text was then taken away, and students had to answer the comprehension questions based on what they remembered. The comprehension questions were gathered and analyzed. Additionally, the WPM score for each student was calculated, and their results were recorded in reading fluency charts.
Tuesday: The students received their passages back so they could look at their results. They completed the vocabulary activity to guess from context and use the dictionary. They also used the vocabulary list to review the concepts of word families, roots and affixes, and phrases. Then, the students did a group activity. One person in the group was assigned to write down 5 events that happened in the last week. The second person wrote 5 negative events. The third group member wrote 5 positive events. They shared what they wrote with their group first. After, the class discussed together their various answers and how they felt about their specific assignments. The students were then introduced to the basic components of research–a research topic/question, participants, methods, and results. They practiced identifying these components in both of the research studies mentioned in the text. This practice also allowed the students to review organizational patterns for comparison and cause/effect. The class concluded with a discussion on the benefits of being grateful.
Wednesday: The students used the first paragraph to practice and record for oral fluency. They also took the reading home as an assignment to increase their rate by reading the text again until they were able to finish the passage at least 20-30 seconds quicker.
Thursday: The students brought the text back to class for the teacher to collect and review their timed reading.