Digging Into - Reading Comprehension

I am FINALLY done!!  The last two week have a BLUR of excitement, work, and longing for the summer.  And now it is here!  We spent the weekend BOUNCING in our rented bounce house and eating hotdogs in the sun!  WOO HOO!

Now I am settling in to do a little work and share some things about reading comprehension with you.  As always the good, the bad, and the UGLY.

  I also have a HUGE update to my classroom organization post – remember those HORRIFICLY messy games?

Check them out now…

All they needed was a little DUCK tape LOVE!  Much easier than I thought and the boxes are reinforced, so hopefully they will last!

Reading comprehension is an interesting component in a first grade class.  Most of my kids come into my room at a B or C reading level, so they are really mostly focused on the decoding piece of reading.  At the beginning of the year, we do A LOT of whole class reading comprehension.  We start the year teaching the 5 core values of our school (respect, responsibility, cooperation, friendship, and learning).  While teaching these we read favorite “getting to know you” picture books and do a lot of talking about the parts of the story.  We do some FUN crafts too…
 (from Kim Adsit's pack!)

We then move on to story mapping (whole class and in guided reading).  We spend a week teaching each component – characters, setting, problem, and solution.  Then we spend a few weeks putting all of the pieces together with a book.  The length of this unit truly depends on the needs of out kiddos. 
(also from Kim Adsit!)

Now that CCSS has entered out lives and we need to teach 50% fiction/50% informational text, we spend the next two units focused on informational text – what it is, how to compare it to fiction, text features, main idea and details.  This is done whole class and in guided reading as well.  Students complete responses on their own and in guided reading, so we are able to assess their progress as we go – don’t worry I’m coming back to this one in the what I want to change part. 

The spring is spent using many of the reading strategies we have talked about all year in different genres (fairy tales, biographies, realistic fiction, Cynthia Rylant author study).  This, again, is done whole class and in guided reading.

 So…what do I want to improve on??  I want to find time to confer with kids as they read independently.  I want to know if they are able to use the skills and strategies that I am teaching whole class and small group, when they are reading on their own. 

Our literacy block is 90 minutes.  We have a 15 minute focus lesson (whole class strategy/skill/genre lesson), a 15 minute phonics lesson, and 60 minutes for stations which we rotate every 20 minutes.  I take groups for the entire 60 minutes and am teaching for the first 30 minutes – This is the structure from my district. 

So, I NEED some help from all of you AMAZING teachers.  How do you know whether or not your kiddos are internalizing and using what you are teaching when they are reading on their own??? 

OK – So week #4 and I don’t have any great products for Y’all, but yet again I have some IDEAS…I would like to fancy up our story mapping unit for sale.  Adding that to the to-do list… J

Happy summer to you all!  Hope you are all having some fun in the sun!  Keep on hopping – I know I will be – to get some more reading comprehension ideas. J

1 comment:

  1. Abby, I have also struggled with having time to check in with first graders about their independent reading. Last year I decided to try a book review page toward the end of the year. I found it in Reading with Meaning, but I'm sure there are lots out there. I was pretty amazed by how much my kids enjoyed doing this. Since I started it so late, I didn't have time to really improve it, but I think it could become a good way to at least get a glimpse about what they're doing and thinking during independent reading. Another thought I've had is to use the sharing part of my morning meeting to share about awesome books they've read. We'll get it figured out! :)
    Deb @ Not very fancy