This week, we received notice from the SUPER SECRET DETECTIVE AGENCY that our first graders had earned their badges for all their hard work solving hard words. They delivered the badges and sent us off with a new mission. We are focusing in on SNAP WORDS (words we know and can read quickly, without having to slow down – we know them in a snap). We’ve worked hard to grown the number of snap words we know and have practiced recognizing these words in our reading.
This week, we started a new unit of reading focused on figuring out tricky words. Our classroom received a mystery envelope from the SUPER SECRET DETECTIVE AGENCY! 🙂 We’ve been busy on missions all week, to help us be the best word detectives we can be.
Each new mission has given us a new tool to help us carefully figure out new, tricky words. We’ll keep working on new missions as we grow as word detectives.
When we read with our first graders, there are three areas that we look for growth throughout the year: comprehension, accuracy, and fluency. This week, we introduced a tool to aid the students in strengthening their reading comprehension.
This tool helps guide the students in retelling the events of a story in order. When we use this tool, we start by reading a story. When we finish reading, before moving on to another story, we see if we can remember the events of the story. The kids practiced retelling the events across their fingers.
We talked about how good readers think about their books as they read. We focused on how when they finish reading one book, before moving on to their next book, they can stop and think. This week, we focused on making connections to our books as we read. As we read, we stopped to think, ‘Would I feel the same way, if that had happened to me?’ or ‘Do I know of any other characters, from different books, who have felt this way before?’ Connections help us to understand how characters feel and infer why they are acting the way they are acting in different parts of a story. Making these connections will help your child to have a deeper understanding of story events and prepares them to be able to talk about character traits.
This week, the kids had fun sharing some of the books they’ve been reading on their own. We practiced giving book introductions where the kids share the WHO, WHAT, & WHERE from their stories. This skill helps build our first graders’ ability to summarize, while also giving them a chance to share their excitement over a book with friends in the class.
We also talked about how good readers think about their books as they read. We focused on how when they finish reading one book, before moving on to their next book, they can stop and think.
This week, we added to our collection of strategies to use when we encounter a tricky word.
We focused on checking to see if our guess makes sense within the context of the page we are reading. Then, we double check to see if the guess matches the letters/sounds of the word on the page. When we are stretching out the sounds in a tricky word, we can try more than one vowel sound to figure out the new word. We spent a lot of time talking about vowels and some of the different sounds they make.
We continued to build on our strategies for figuring out tricky words. So far, we’ve talked about sneaking a peek at the picture for clues to the words on the page. The kids also got good practice studying all the parts of their tricky words for chunks of the word that they knew. And, we ended the week by practicing using the context of the rest of the sentence to help them figure out tricky words. So, when you are reading with your child at home, if they come to a tricky word, encourage them to look at the picture, look at all the parts of the word, and to take a running start and try rereading the sentence.
This week, we continued to work on building good reading habits. We worked on rereading to build fluency. We focused on reading with a smooth voice and scooping up phrases as we read, instead of reading one word at a time. These strategies will support higher reading comprehension.
Then, we began a new bend in our first unit of reading and focused in on strategies for figuring out tricky words. We first talked about taking a sneak peek at the pictures to look for clues that might help us figure out some of the words on the page. We then labeled some bad habits that readers pick up and encouraged kids to try strategies from our good habit poster.
This week in reading, we focused on reading more and more every day. We used a reading mat to help us keep track of which books we had read and be able to count how many we read at the end of our reading block. After keeping track of our books, we started setting goals to see if we could read more and more each time.