Three years later, this is now a daily routine for my classes. I pass out Reader's Notebooks as soon as they kids enter my room. Read-aloud is expected each day (usually at the beginning of class) and if, for some strange reason, I don't do it then, there is basically a mutiny in my room and they're ready to throw me overboard and one of them will pick up the book and gladly read to the rest of the gang. Therefore, we always do read-aloud. This year, I've read-aloud six books so far (The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Horton's Miraculous Mechanisms, Liar and Spy, The False Prince, Wonder, and True (...sort of) ). For each of these books, my students know they have to proffer up some type of response that goes deeper than "I really like/dislike this part...". We've shared lots of our thinking and have responding to classmates responses.
Because it was test prep week last week (a favorite time for all educators), I thought it would be fun to give each student a sticky note and have them respond. Before I read aloud, we talked about all of the ways you could respond to a text. I made a quick graphic organizer on chart paper. As I read aloud, kids wrote or drew. When I was finished, they had to stick their response on the graphic organizer. Here's what it looked like:
Pretty cool, huh? I was so impressed that the chart had a wide variety of responses. Personally, I anticipated only prediction and visualization to get all the glory, but they proved me wrong. We talked about why predictions and visualization get so much attention and is was agreed that those two reading strategies are the easiest for them to "get." But, we've come a long way this year, as evidenced by the amount of stickies on other areas of the chart.
I've been leading a book study group after school with some fellow teachers, and we're reading a book by Tanny McGregor (a Cincinnati local!) called Comprehension Connections (find it here). She's suggests offering up concrete examples to get kids better understanding these reading strategies. So, of course, the old mind is always cranking. Next year, I anticipate starting the year by spending a few days on each of these strategies, providing some concrete examples to refer back to throughout the year, and then expecting a wide variety of responding and making meaning to be occurring throughout the year. In the meantime, I'm pretty darn happy with what we've done this year and how our thinking has truly grown. I don't know that any test can really measure that.
Here's some up-close and personal shots of our responses:This is always a favorite! Funny how they mostly drew the same things, though.
|Wondering is a little more than one question. These kids really talked it up!|