Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Dreaded "Repond to What You Read"

I am a strong believer in having kids write about the strategies that they use while they are reading. I like this not only because it encourages the actual use of strategies, but because it is a great launching pad for discussion during groups and/or conferring. The problem I struggled with was if I asked the kids to stop and write each time they used a strategy it made their reading very choppy and unnatural, not like real reading at all. Last summer I found a product at Really Good Stuff that really inspired me.

The "verbiage" didn't really fit with what we are using in Reading Workshop, so I created my own bookmark. This year during Read to Self, each of my students used Post It flags to mark where they used reading strategies. The flags were stored on a bookmark color coded for each strategy.


While the students read, they put flags into their books to show where they used reading strategies. The ones we worked on were  checking  for understanding, questioning, making connections, making mental images, and predicting.  This system worked well because they could mark the strategies quickly without much break in their reading.

After our reading time, students shared about their strategies in a reading response notebook. The flags in the book reminded them of when and where the strategies were used, making it easier to write about their thinking. (And less likely that they would  make up things just to have something to write about.) We coded the responses with a “?” for questions we asked, a “C” when sharing a connection, etc.

 I have tweaked the bookmark a bit for next year by changing Predicting to Inferences and replacing the Check for Understanding section with one for Tune Into Vocabulary.
If you would like to see a copy of my bookmarks check out the following Google Docs link.

Today I was inspired, while talking to a friend who teaches 2nd grade, to create a bookmark using only pictures that she could use with her second graders.  If you are interested, check out this link.

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