Reading

The teaching of reading is of the utmost importance in the primary grades.  Not only do students need to be able to decode words and develop fluency, but it is even more important that they are understanding what they read.  This is the stage in which a child moves from learning to read to reading to learn.  It is my goal this year to teach my students strategies to help them comprehend what they are reading.

 

 

We have focused so far this year on 3 main strategies:

Making Connections

Making text-to-self conections and text-to-text connections while reading helps students to internalize the story and relate to the characters or the problem.  Students are encouraged to use sticky notes to make sure that they are consciously making connections as they read.


Summarizing

When we summarize information we pull out the most important information and put it in our own words to remember it.  We have been using a "Sum It Up" graphic organizer to keep words to a minimum deleting unecessary information.  We will add "Alphaboxes" to our "toolbox" that can be used with  several of the comprehension strategies.

Visualizing

When we visualize while reading, we create pictures in our minds.  Visualizing helps us to relate to the characters in a text.  We imagine what they look like and how they act.  When children hear a well written text, they can mix the author's words with their own ideas to create a visual image.  The child adds his/her own experiences to the words above to create a picture of the event.  Children can describe these visual images or draw a picture to illustrate the images.

When we first began practicing the strategy, students drew a picture about what they were visualizing when I was reading.  We call our visualizations "Mental Images or Motion Pictures in our Minds."

Questioning


Good readers constantly ask questions before, during, and after reading.  Questioning provides a purpose for reading and keeps the reader engaged in the text.  It propels the reader forward to search for answers to their questions.  Questions are answered in different ways: in the text, from prior knowledge, inferences, and further research.  There are also some questions that are not answered. 

We will be using the "I PICK" method of choosing books in our classroom.

 

1.  I choose a book.

2.  Purpose - Why do I want to read?

3.  Interest - Does it interest me?

4.  Comprehend - Am I understanding what I am reading?

5.  Know - I know most of the words.

 

All students have been assessed and their independent and instructional levels have been determined.  We have practiced choosing "good fit books" and I encourage them to follow the same procedure when choosing a book at the library or any reading materials at home.  Please click on the reading page to learn more about the strategies we have been learning and ways you can help them at home.

 

 



 

Has your child been talking about "The Daily 3+1"?  Building Stamina?  Read to Self?  "Good Fit Books?"

Well....


    The Daily Five is a way of structuring the reading block so every student is independently engaged in meaningful literacy tasks.  These researched based tasks are ones that will have the biggest impact on student reading and writing achievment, as well as help foster children who love to read and write.  Students receive explicit whole group instruction and then are given independent practice time to read and write independently while I provide intense instruction to individuals and small groups of students. 

When up and running smoothly, students will be engaged in the Daily 3+1, which are comprised of:

     Word Work

     Read to Self

     Work on Writing

     Read to Someone/Listen to Reading

     Due to the time factor students will not get to this everyday.  That is why we have renamed Daily 5 to Daily 3+1.  

There are very specific behavior expectations that go with each Daily 5 component.  We have spent these first weeks working instensely on building our reading and writing stamina, learning the behaviors of the Daily 5 and fostering our classroom community.  I have also spent time, (and will continue) learning about your child's strengths and greatest needs as a reader in order to best plan for each student's instruction.

    One thing you will notice is a direct decrease in the number of worksheets your child brings home.  Instead, your child will be taught to select "Good Fit Books" or books they can read, understand and are interested in, which they will read during Daily 5.  They will be spending most of their time actually reading, which research supports as the number one way to improve reading.  I anticipate the motivation and enjoyment of reading will skyrocket when this gift of choosing their own books is accompanied by extended practice and specific reading instruction for each individual child.

    Please feel free to join us during Daily 3+1!

 

Literature Circles

Currently under contruction.

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Literature Circles.

Daily 5