Adventures in Literacy Land: Retelling

Showing posts with label Retelling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Retelling. Show all posts

Retelling in the Early Years

Hi Everyone!  It's Jennie from JD's Rockin' Readers.

I wanted to talk a little bit today about comprehension and more specifically retelling.  I am going to just share with you what I have been doing recently with one of my little 6 year old friends who has really been struggling with basic comprehension skills.  In fact, on his last reading benchmark, I was thinking, "What story did you just read?"- That's how inaccurate his retelling was.  He read the book with 98% accuracy but that is about as far as we got.  So- now it's up to me to get "Tyler" to really make reading meaningful rather than word calling.  My first thought is… How can "Tyler" retell a story if he has no idea what he read?  My answer… he can't.  I need to go way back to his strategies while he is reading rather than jumping into how to retell a story.

These were the steps that we have worked on so far…

#1  I had a very direct conversation with "Tyler" about his reading.  I praised him for all of the hard work he has been doing with his reading and his phonics skills.  He has definitely made great improvements since the beginning of the year.

#2  I told him my plan and that our goal is for him to be able to tell about what he has been reading.  It went something like this…

"You are doing a great job with your reading.  But, we need to make sure that when you are reading you are really thinking about what is going on in the story.  I am going to show you some ways that will help you think about the story so that you can enjoy the books that you are reading.  If you are only reading the words and not thinking about what is happening then reading isn't very fun.  Do you want reading to be fun?"  Of course his answer was yes:)

#3  During his guided reading group, I have implemented a couple of activities specifically tailored to "Tyler".  First, while the other kids start reading their story I have been working with "Tyler" page by page.  He reads a page and we talk about what has happened.  As we turn the page I make a quick comment about something related to the story.  For example, "Wow, I wonder who they are going  to meet next?"  This is a great way to get "Tyler" continuously thinking about the story.  Next, I encourage him to reread the page if he can't tell me what happened.  I have tried to have him "picture" it in his head and use the pictures of the book to help him "put it all together".  This has helped.

#4  We did this for a couple of books.  He REALLY struggled with it at first and we were rereading a lot.  Now, he has been doing much better.  We have slowly increased how many pages he reads before giving me a quick retelling of those pages.  We are still working and it isn't going to be an overnight switch but we are making gains.

My next step is going to be working on retelling the entire story after reading.  We are going to be using my Retelling Bookmark so that he has some visual support.  I will also start out by allowing him to use the book- page by page to help him retell.  We will slowing back off on the amount of book support that I give him depending on how he does.  Here is a FREEBIE bookmark for you to use with your little ones.  It has really helped many of my kids.

The reason I wrote this post is to encourage you to really look at your struggling readers and find out both their strengths and weaknesses.  Devise a plan and let that student know exactly what you expect and what you are going to do to work toward your goal. 

What do you do to help students with basic retelling and comprehension skills?  I would love to hear more ideas!