This past week in reader’s workshop, we looked at words that were important to our topic. We practiced with a non-fiction book about Earth Day. We found the words recycle, pollution, electricity, and conserve to be important words. These words helped us learn and teach others about what we read about. We kept track of our book’s important words on a reading bookmark.
We remembered how important it is to understand what we are reading and with some of these new topics and tricky vocabulary words, we needed to use some of the tools that nonfiction books provide for us to figure out what the new words mean. We checked out the glossary for definitions, but also looked at the pictures, checked to see if there were any captions on the page, and reread the words in that section to look for clues. We also remembered that we should think about our topic, use our accuracy strategies, try spot and dot, and check out the word ending when we come to a tricky word.
This week, when we picked out our books, we picked a topic with our partners. It made it really fun to meet with our reading partners this week and share what we already know and then to touch base throughout the week and see what new things we had each learned and compare our books with each other.
Mrs. Stadt :)
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.
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.
Mrs. Stadt :)
This week, we jumped back into focusing on figuring out tricky words as we read. We reviewed all our decoding strategies and then we talked about the importance of really checking our accuracy as we read. I talked with many of you at conferences about the importance of making sure that when our first graders read, they are checking to make sure that their good guesses MAKE SENSE and also MATCH the letters and sounds in the word. We worked on that as a class this week.
We also introduced two new ways to help get our brains ready to be the most accurate readers we can. One of those ways was using each page of the book to warm us up for what words might come on the next page. When we read a page, we would turn to the next page of the book and really look at the pictures and think about what we had already read in the book previously and then try to predict what the next page might be about. That helped our brains get ready for some of the new words that were on each page. The other strategy that we used was paying attention to the feeling we had when something we read wasn’t right. The students practiced by listening to me read and noticing when something didn’t make sense and made them have that “huh?” reaction. When we notice ourselves having that same feeling while we are reading, it is important for us to STOP, go back, and fix up the part that didn’t make sense.
I could tell the kids were working hard on their accuracy this week, because we had a lot more kids submit ‘tricky words‘ when they were tracking their thinking. Way to go first graders!!
On top of that, we focused on learning some new vowel chunks to help us with tricky words. We learned the different sounds the letter W can make when it works with vowels.
Mrs. Stadt :)
We started off the past week of nonfiction reading by focusing on making pictures in our minds. We are learning so many new things from our nonfiction texts and part of that comes from slowing down after each new section of reading and really picturing in our minds what the book was describing.
We also talked about how when we are reading nonfiction books, we come across tricky words. Sometimes the words themselves are tricky to decode and sometimes the words can be decoded, but it is a new vocabulary word that we don’t know. If we have a tricky word to decode, we reviewed all our animal friend decoding strategies:
But, we also talked about how nonfiction books are a little different from fiction books when it comes to decoding. To help with tricky words, it is important to focus on what that section is trying to teach and then reread the section, look at the picture, and even check the glossary for clues!
As always, sometimes when we try all the decoding strategies, there are still going to be words that we can’t figure out without help. So, we added a new section to our tracking app and the kids now have the option to record the sentence that has their tricky word in it. Then, when we come together as a class, we can all coach the student through the word or see if we have any schema that might help explain their tricky vocabulary word.
Mrs. Stadt :)