We continued to work on building good habits for our reading workshop.
We talked about how important it is to TAKE A SNEAK PEEK before we read. We know to look at the pictures and think about what might happen in the story, but we also focused on thinking about what words would go along with the pictures that we saw in the book. The kids were able to predict words they thought they might see in the book. Then, when they went to read the story, they were able to read words that may have been tricky, but because they had predicted those words might be in the story, their brains were ready to read them.
Good readers take a sneak peek before they read, but they also DO SOMETHING after finishing. Readers can choose to reread a book, think of their favorite part of the story, or retell what happened in the book.
We also started directing our students toward books that might be closer to their just right level. We will have a chance to read with and assess each student’s reading level in the near future, but for now, we are using information that we have from the end of Kindergarten. We added a sticker to their book box that reminds them which books would be the best for them to read.
This week, we began readers’ workshop. This is such a wonderful time in our classroom. We have enjoyed reading some great stories together and we have started building the foundation of our independent reading time. Readers get better at reading by practicing reading, so we focused this week on building their independence for reading by themselves (read to self time). We are working together to figure out the best routines that will help us be successful during this time. So far we have the following:
I found a great opportunity to help supply our classroom with new, inspiring books for the kids to read. We are on our way to our goal toward funding these new books. My project only has 30 days to go and we need your support. If you chip in to help my students, you’ll get awesome photos and our heartfelt thanks.
If you know anyone in your family or community who would be interested in donating, please spread the word to them to help us reach our goal. Thanks so much for your support!
This week our readers learned that when you love a book, you recommend it to others! In order to recommend a book, we should be able to introduce the characters, setting, and retell the story. Sharing these details gets our friends excited about trying out the books we love to read.
For the reminder of the year, I will be recommending some of my favorite books to our class. We will enjoy some new chapter books series and picture books that I love. I want your child to be excited to continue reading throughout the summer! Look for some books lists, with books at your child’s just right level, to come home next week. To keep your child’s skills fresh, reading everyday over the summer will be essential! Our school library will also be open on Tuesdays from 10-12 in June and July!
Our first grade readers continued to work on discovering the lessons that our characters can learn in some of our favorite picture books.
As we talked more and more about the “big ideas” from our stories, we noticed some similarities and differences between our books. We tried to really dig deep and make connections between the same lesson and trouble. Sometimes, our characters experienced the same trouble, but the lessons that they learned were different.
At the end of the week, we reorganized part of our classroom library and grouped many of our favorite books together by the lessons they teach: believe in yourself, speak up, be polite, stay with the group, etc. Then, we were able to pick books to read from these piles already knowing the lessons the characters (and ourselves) were going to learn. We can’t wait to read more books and learn more lessons from so many amazing characters!
This week our readers worked on changing their voice to match their characters’ feelings. We noticed a lot of little clues in the text that help us know when and how to change our voice like: ellipses, bold print, italics, CAPITAL LETTERS, quotation marks, and more. The kids had so much fun looking for these clues in their own books!
We also learned to hold on to the lessons in our stories. In our fiction books, our characters are always facing some sort of trouble and have to figure out ways to solve these big and small problems. We can learn from our characters, and can even act the same way they do, when the same kind of trouble happens to us!
This week our readers really got to know one of our favorite characters: Mr. Putter.
We learned that as we read fiction books we need to study the main character. When we do, we can figure out what he likes, dislikes and how he acts. In our book, Mr. Putter Drops the Ball,we learned that Mr. Putter really likes to nap and he’s worried he might be too old to play baseball!
We should pay attention to all the other characters too! Each character is so different. Understanding all the characters helps us to make better predictions about the story. In our book, we also met Mrs. Teaberry, who is brave and confident. She is sure that Mr. Putter is not too old to play ball.
Later in the week, we remembered how important it is to go back and reread. When we reread, we usually notice something new about our characters that we may have missed during our first read.
Finally, we talked about noticing our character’s feelings and when those feelings change. If our character’s feelings change, we can “take action” and change the sound of our voice. Our first graders are becoming such expressive readers!!!
This week, we continued on our “reading adventure” and packed our suitcases full of strategies to help us understand our reading.
Earlier in the week, we remembered to retell the important parts of our stories. We used sticky notes to mark the pages with the most important events and retold each part to our reading partner.
We also reviewed how important it is to reread our stories. When we reread, we notice things in the pictures and words that we might have missed during our first read. The more times we reread our books, the better we understand our stories.
Finally, we chatted about connections. We learned about text-to-text connections and text-to-self connections earlier in the year, but this time around we noticed connections between different parts in the story. The events on one page may show the trouble and another page shows the solution or one page might be the cause and another page shows the effect. We had fun discovering and sharing about the parts of our stories that go together… like a puzzle.
Next week, our first grade readers will be studying on of our favorite characters: Mr. Putter!!!