Talking to Kids About What Strong Readers Do

Talking to Kids About What Strong Readers Do

Yesterday we set aside a good chunk of time to talk about what strong readers do.

I teach Grade 5 … & I make a point of reading at least one picture book to my students every day.
During each reading I serve as the “model” and we talk about reading with fluency and expression. As we read we stop along the way to reflect & relate. We talk about the author’s purpose, the pictures, the vocabulary, even the choice of font … Picture books are inviting, entertaining, clever, rich, meaningful, bite-size pieces of literature … and serve as a fantastic springboard into any and every topic under the sun … Anyway, during our read alouds there’s certainly a lot of learning that goes on along the way.         

So yesterday, after our read aloud, we made our list of everything that we feel strong readers do. I posted our list on the Smart Board and it looked something like this:

(A) Setting the Stage:
– Set a purpose for reading
– Look at the cover and the pictures inside – make predictions
– Survey: Read the table of contents & the back of the book.
– Survey: Take a good look at and think about the illustrations found inside, the headings, charts, graphs, etc.
– Think about what I already know about the topic
– Think about what might happen in the story
– Think about the author’s purpose

(B) During Reading:
– Think about the author’s purpose
– Stop along the way to “smell the roses”: to comment, discuss
– Think: question, consider, predict, infer, make connections, relate, evaluate,
– Visualize

(C) We decided to save the concept of “After Reading” for another day ;-)

Following an energetic discussion I gave my students four graphic organizes to choose from.
Once each child had chosen the one that appealed to him/her they set to work.
Their task was to choose the strategies that they found the most helpful/useful. They were to indicate (using jot notes) why as well.
They also had to identify two strategies to focus on, either because they hadn’t actively done so as yet, or because the strategies work for them and they want to improve.
We glued our graphic organizers into our Learning Logs to be returned to next week.

As their teacher it was a wonderful lesson to engage in … I was so very proud of, and happy for them. I hope that they all see (or will come to see) the benefits of these discussions as well … anyway, only time will tell.

Cheers,
Ally

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2 responses to “Talking to Kids About What Strong Readers Do

  1. >Congrats on your first post! I enjoy hearing about what is going on in other classrooms. I think picture books are a great resource for all ages because you can read the book in one sitting. I look forward to reading about After Reading suggestions.

  2. >Thanks so much! I also wrote a little blog about using picture books with upper elementary students here: http://bit.ly/c8DbKZ& "After Reading Suggestions" will come in two weeks once I feel that the "Pre-" & "During-" Reading strategies are a little more ingrained ;-)

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