This past week in reading, we talked about a few more strategies to use with tricky words. We talked about how important it is for readers to check the endings of our tricky words to make sure they look right, sound right, and make sense. When we tried all our strategies and still can’t find a good guess for a tricky word, then good readers mark those pages with a sticky note so that they can get some coaching on that word. We worked together as a class this week to coach lots of readers with their tricky words.
Later in the week, we talked about how important it is to stop at confusing parts when they read. So many time our readers are reading so fluently and they make small errors on words without noticing. And then get further along on the page before they notice that something isn’t making sense. When this happens, it is so important for our readers to stop and fix up the confusing part. One of the ways to ensure that they are checking to make sure they understand all that is happening in their books is to use their CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING CHECKMARK! We practiced using our checkmarks after each page or two in our books to make sure that we aren’t confused about any parts. If we were confused, we practiced going back and rereading to make sure that we are reading the words accurately.
We had so much fun practicing with some of our higher level comprehension books that force the kids to figure out tricky vocabulary words and really infer beyond the text to understand the story.
We first read the book The Stranger (Chris Van Allsburg). This story really puts the kids to the test to see if they can be careful to pay attention to all the small details that are on each page and put them all together to figure out who the stranger is. We stopped on each page to check for understanding about the WHO? and WHAT? and by the end, the kids were so proud of all the thinking they were doing to figure out who this stranger really was.
Then, we spent time reading the book The Sweetest Fig, by Chris VanAllsburg. The kids shared so many questions and connections, it was easy to see the thinking they were doing in order to figure out what was happening in this story. We had lots of vocabulary questions to figure out in this book. One of the questions was, ‘What is a fig?‘ I made a stop by the grocery store and found out that figs are often in fresh supply during the winter months and always stocked in the dried fruit section. I brought in some dried figs and the kids were enthralled with them. We had many adventurous first graders who were willing to try one and most of the kids loved them. I am pretty sure they taste like raisins, that’s what they looked like at least. I didn’t try one (not quite as adventurous as they are). In the story, when the characters ate the sweet figs, their dreams came true. So, if your child was adventurous and tried a fig on Friday, don’t forget to…
Ask your first grader if their dreams came true!!!
There were a lot of questions that we needed to look outside of the book to find our answers (the story takes place in Paris, so there were lots of references to French things that the kids needed support with). They wondered what the word franc meant and by some weird coincidence I happened to have quite a few French francs in the room that we were able to pass around. We also talked about the Eiffel Tower and Great Danes. The kids had such a blast with these books. You should check some out at home!!
We ended the week talking about fluency. We noticed that when we read a book, the first time we read for accuracy and comprehension and the second time we can read for fluency. Our first graders are focusing on three different fluency strategies: scooping up their words, using our storytelling voice, and paying attention to punctuation. When the students use these strategies, they are able to comprehend the story so much better and they are able to read their stories aloud for others to understand better, as well. Next week, we will focus on reading with fluency to share our stories with friends.
Fun thinking from this week…check out some of these tricky words!!