Showing posts with label reading comprehension. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reading comprehension. Show all posts

Spring Books that Will Make You Flip


One of the most important requirements of us as teachers is to know kid books. You can not have conversations with your students about books they might like, know what books to use for your lessons, or know where to go for supplemental materials if you don't know what's out there. Plus, there are new authors publishing great stuff all...the...time, right? If you only know what you've used for the past ten years, you might be missing great books that your kids would love. Today, I'd like to explore with you titles that work well this time of year for skill modeling
0

Summarizing... Getting to the HEART of the Story

Summarizing gets to the heart of the story.  Starting with stating summaries orally, students can be instructed to write independent summaries with ease.

SOMEBODY...

Another Reading Comprehension strategy that can be used in all primary classrooms is Summarizing.  Too often students think summarizing is retelling.  In order to get a quick summary you need to get to the heart of the story.
1

Setting Up for Close Reading {and tons of FREEBIES!!}

Hello Everyone!

 Laura here from Where the Magic Happens Blog.  A few weeks ago I was invited to present at the 2016 South Eastern Reading Recovery Conference in Myrtle Beach. I was actually invited by my favorite professor (and mentor) from grad school. To say that I was humbled and honored is an understatement.
I have HUGE respect for Reading Recovery teachers because they are the real deal.
They know the nitty- gritty.
The understand the reading and writing process better than anybody else.
Every single RR teacher that I have ever met radiates knowledge and wisdom.

So my initial thoughts were:
What do I have to offer to such a knowledgeable crowd?
What will I share with them if they already know it all?

Close reading. Yes, that was my topic.


Anyhow, one of the most recurring  questions in my sessions had to do with the things that I do to set up close reading routines with my firsties.
Well  let me ya...
According to  Fisher & Frey:
Close reading  is purposeful, and careful  repeated readings of a complex text.
As a result, it is important to remember:
Close Reading is challenging. As a teacher you need be able to model and show your students the differences with guided reading.

The very first time I attempted  close reading with my firsties, one of my sweet students told me that close reading is like peeling an onion because you uncover layers and layers.


Genius! Truly genius!

My wheels were turning.

Then, my sweet teacher friend Krystal from next door also mentioned that she had seen something similar on Pinterest where a teacher used an Oreo cookie to introduce close reading to her students.

 The wheels kept on turning. Then I figured I would do this:


Of course I thought about this like at 9:30 at night when I was taking a bath with calming oils.
I usually keep tangerines in my house for me and  my boys, but I was out. People at my school may have thought that I was going coo-coo when they received my text messages asking if they had tangerine oranges in their homes. My beautiful and stylish literacy coach even offered to stop by the grocery store to get fruit. So sweet. I ended up going to the closest Harris Teeter before school and I purchased a big bag of  "cuties."

But why a tangerine? And what does a tangerine have to do with the phases of close reading?

Let me begin by  showing you the phases of a close read:



Some researchers may use terms like cold read, hot read, or warm read to name the phases of close reading.
I particularly like how Fisher & Frey "spell out" the phases of a close read.
Anyways...


For stage one or "what does the text say" I took the tangerine out and asked the children questions like:
What is this?
What do you see?
And others that I don't quite recall at this moment.  I have reached  and age in which I forget a lot of things. You just cannot tell because I use really good skincare
Anyways...
Each pair of students got to hold one tangerine. After I asked each question, I gave my firsties 30 seconds to do a "think-pair-share." What is important to consider here is how all the questions are grounded on the  things that we can "see"  about the tangerine, just like the questions of a first read in a  close reading.


For stage two or "how does the text work" I asked my students to get the tangerine ready to eat. They had to peel it, get the pieces ready, and some of them even had to take some of those white strings off.
I asked questions like:
What would happen if you didn't peel your tangerine?
Why do we have to pull the little pieces apart?
What are your observations?
Just like in the second read where we discuss vocabulary, author's purpose, and my favorite: text structure.


For stage three or "what does the text mean" I asked the pairs to eat their tangerine. I asked them questions related to their thoughts about the tangerine:
What did it taste like and why?
For example.


For stage four or "what does the ext inspire you to do" I asked for their personal opinion about the tangerine using evidence from their experience.

Pretty neat. Kids loved it and made true connections to our goal: understanding the phases of close reading




But why going to all the trouble about finding tangerines for this activity in the middle of the night?
Very simple:





A couple of years ago I  decided that I was going to start a vegetable garden.  I bought books,  seeds, Honey Graham built two raised beds, and he ordered some manure enriched soil. This was close to our anniversary, so when my mom asked what gift I had received, I openly told her that he had given me a pile of sh.
Anyways...
Here I am with all this stuff in front of me and no tools. Not. A. Single. One.
Not a little shovel, nothing.
I had to go and find some little plastic shovels out of the boys' beach toys pile.
So what if I had done this wonderful tangerine lesson and my firsties had no idea what to do when I asked them to read closely.
Well first, let me tell you:
In the primary classroom, a close reading MUST be guided by the teacher the whole time. There is no sit over there with this paper and answer these questions. That is NOT a close read. I would call that a worksheet.
Isn't  our job to prepare kids for anything? Aren't we supposed to give them the tools to do so?

Well... same thing with a close read.


What is inside this jar?

  • Three markers: each marker is for the first three phases of a close read. I put these labels on each of the markers so the kids know what to do and when.

I am so sorry I do not have pictures of the labeled markers.

You may download this set of labels by clicking HERE!!! the labels are Avery 5160.

There is also a cool pencil, a cool eraser, and these bookmarks:





Yes! These three think marks are what research considers appropriate for a close read. You can download them by clicking on the picture



 These are the labels that you can put on the jars. You can get them by clicking HERE!
Oh, BTW... the jars came from Oriental Trading Company.



Oh anchor charts and Thinking Maps... how I love you so.
I am going to let these pictures of this anchor chart speak for themselves.





I am an anchor chart aficionado.  In my experience, they offer an opportunity for my students to process deeply when they are offered as an initial experience.


 In case you are interested, you can stop by my TPT store and check out  my close reading packs.
I hope that you have found these tips useful and they can help you set up classroom routines for your students.
Until next time!






6

Apps to Support Reading Comprehension


Hey everyone!  It's Bex here from Reading and Writing Redhead. There are SO many apps out there to wade through so I wanted to take a look at a few that could support your students as they work on reading comprehension skills. It is easy to find apps for phonics and vocabulary but trying to find apps for comprehension or ways to use apps to support it is not such a piece of cake. 

And of course as with an app or technology, it won't work for everyone in every circumstance so please comment and let us know what you like and what works for you and your kiddos! Additionally, for most of these I have the free versions but there are paid versions so if you have the paid versions let us know what additional features you can access!

First here are a few apps that are straightforward and your child should be able to use it independently.

Inference Ace

Inference Ace is one of a series of apps from Happy Frog. Inference Ace has a cute and simple interface. In it, students are presented with a series of situations and asked to think about "when", "where" etc.

Here are the levels and as you finish level one, yes you unlock level 2. A level can be repeated so a student who needs more practice could do that or this app could be used by multiple students.


Here is an example of  situations and the options for students to decide when it is happening.


I like that if the student gets it wrong, they prompt her, much like a teacher would.


Occasionally I think you would get a situation a student might be confused by like this one. If you have no background information about camp, you might be stumped, but cafeteria is a big clue here and might make up for that.

The only thing with this app is that it does not give an option where the question/responses can be read aloud so your student needs to be a pretty fluent reader. Also of course, no app like this can ever replace skilled instruction from a teacher, but this is a nice option to supplement what you might be doing in the classroom.

Inference Clues is of course another one of the series of apps from Happy Frog. It has a similar interface. On this app, if you click on the person icon, you can sign in so students can play under their names.



Inference Clues asks students to look for clue words or phrases that help them figure out when or where things or happening. Oh, and by the way, the circles on top fill up as students answer questions right. 


There is a user management tool with these but it is not passcode protected so students might access it; however this could be handy for a teacher! 


Here are some apps that may involve more support from you, the teacher and a little more management and supervision but are still possible uses in small groups, independently or even whole class.

Story Creator
I am new to this app but it is great and has a lot of possibilities! If you want to try it, I highly recommend you search for videos on all the ways to use it because I will barely be able to scratch the surface here. But in any case, you can have students read a story - for example an ebook, and respond to it in in this app. 

So let's say you had your students read the ebook Tuggy and Friends (free by the way) in iBooks.  Have them snap some screenshots while they do this. Then you can have them open Story Creator and start by having them either post their name on the cover or post a screen shot of the cover of the book and their name. See how they can add text, images from the camera roll, take pictures, or do drawings? Neat!


Then they can turn the virtual page and add pictures,  text etc. in whichever way you direct them. You can have them summarize the book, respond based on character and setting and so much more. Sky's the limit with this one!


Want your students to have a virtual version of notetaking when they read an ebook, like when you give them post its to take notes? Or maybe note taking on  a tablet is more motivating for reluctant readers? Here are a few apps that may help!

Mental Note
Mental note allows you to type notes, (it gets saved under the first few words of the note so students should type their name first) and then also draw pictures or handwrite notes. The notes can be saved as PDFs, pictures, text, or just in the note app.


       




Note Master

This is a favorite because students choose a title for their notes and then can type and insert pictures from the camera roll. So if  your student read Tuggy and friends and took some screen shots, she can type a response (here she is giving evidence of how she knows Tuggy is friendly) and then paste a picture! These notes can be uploaded right to dropbox, icloud, emailed, or opened in word or a a .txt file.

      


Popplet
I love Popplet. Right now I have the lite version on my phone but my iPad which is at school has the full version. This would be a great way to create a story map, character maps, and endless other reading responses - Cause and Effect, Setting....

I don't have tons of screen shots but when you start a new one you can type text or insert images.
You can add a lot of popples and you can set them up in all kinds of way. This is a very basic one!

       

And when done, students can save as a jpeg, or email it. There are lots of ways  to customize them too with colors and  themes!



BONUS: Reading Island #1 
I couldn't put it with the others because it is not really for reading comprehension but it is really fun and teaches lots of different reading skills in a fun way.
Here is part of its short vowel sounds section! It has a combination of videos and games. I ran through it for a while and did short vowel sounds, initial, medial and final sound replacement, and spelling. 



So again, these are not thorough descriptions but i just wanted to give you all an idea of what is out there. And not all of these will work for everyone. Comment and let us know below what apps you like for comprehension and  how you use them. Have a great blog post or have you seen a great youtube video for an app? Let us know! Thanks so much!




4
Back to Top