I so enjoyed all of the link-ups last week and can't wait for more this week! I have all kinds of books on my wish list now that it is overflowing!! I will be reading through next summer at this rate!
Anyway, it is time for another Book Talk Thursday!
Comprehension Connections: Bridges to Strategic Reading.
Our literacy specialist in the district gave me a copy of this wonderful book that opened my eyes to comprehension as we know it!
Tanny McGregor opens up the book by comparing reading instruction to concrete bridges and the New Deal. We, as teachers, need to empower our students through concrete reading instruction that will lead them to becoming better readers.
Throughout the book, she refers to using concrete objects to help teach about reading, a not so concrete subject. Students have to be able to visualize to be really good readers, and some really struggle with that. We have to lead them to getting the meaning through reading. She has a launching sequence that scaffold the reading strategy from concrete learning to reading books. Each chapter focuses on a different reading strategy: metacognition, schema, inferring, questioning, determining importance, visualizing, and synthesizing.
In each chapter, she gives a concrete example for the children and then a list of books to help with that strategy. Here are some of my favorites.
Every beginning of the year while the teachers work on their reading assessments, I teach their classes. I usually choose one strategy from the book and teach it in its entirety. As they move through the grade levels, the kids get them all at some point.
When teaching metacognition, thinking about thinking, I have the kids make a "Reading Salad" as we read a specific book. It helps to show them that reading a book is not just the book itself but the thinking they are doing.
When teaching about schema, I love using the lint roller to help them understand the concept of having background knowledge. We write ideas about our family on little pieces of paper and then roll the lint roller over them to show how all of our background knowledge (schema) together works together to help us understand a book.
Naturally, children like to ask questions, and they should really think about questions as they read to help them better understand the content. She offers questioning stems to guide the process and uses a simple rock to help them start to think about asking certain questions.
When doing all of this reading, children need to be able to figure out what is important in text. By determining importance, they can pick out the main ideas and details to weed out what they really need to focus on. I love to use the little finger lights to allow students to locate what is important in their reading when they can't write in a book. Then I can also see if everybody is where I want them to be.
This toilet paper roll holder is perfect for helping students look closer and visualize. By using these, students can "see" everything more clearly.
And then we can tell the whole story and watch as it all unravels. She uses nesting dolls to help unfold the story. Think about how each doll is a little different and the stories they can tell. This is a great way to help students tell about a topic or a story through their own thinking.
So, how do you teach comprehension strategies to your students?
And don't forget to link up this week for another chance at a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble! I can't wait to add to my list of books to read!