One message I drive home hard with my students (no matter the age level I have taught) has been to understand what READING is. I begin by asking my students which body part they believe most essential to be able to read. Never fail… kids say, "Eyes!" Very good. We explore a little and I ask if they know whether or not blind people can read. Some students have a little bit of prior knowledge about braille (not typically the vocabulary), so we learn a little about that! They love it!
So if blind people can read, then what it the most important body part for being able to read. I lead them to … dut dada DAAAAAA!
THE BRAIN! It doesn't take long before kids know that their brain is the most essential body part to being a reader; however, if you've worked with readers for any length of time… 20 years, 20 minutes, or anything in between, you know that applying that knowledge is a whole new beast. Perhaps you feel like this…
Even when I moved from 6th to 2nd grade, I used most of this language to help students understand how to interact with text. I modified them a bit, though, and make it more accessible to my students.
While using Monitor Meaning as the basis for good reading, I focus heavily on Question/Connect/Predict in September and October.
These are revisited throughout the year on a cyclical basis as well as in response to formative assessment results.
You may be familiar with Decoding and Comprehension strategies that are aligned with Beanie Babies. Oh how I just LOVE these!
Beanie Babies are a great thrift store find-- but beware… if you're looking for specific ones, best of luck to you (I must've visited 5 thrift stores and all of the regular and grocery stores too). I never did find the right spider, but the bug I did find, works just fine.
As a former frustrated reader, I had to figure out how to enjoy reading. Monitor Meaning was the absolute KEY to this! My problem was that I could rarely remember what it was that I read… just horrible comprehension. I figured out (in my 30s) that the problem was my lack of engagement with the text. ATS was the key to this and most specifically so-- MONITOR MEANING!
Praises because my students see that this is one way to make reading FUN! I love when they say things like, "We're already done? NOOOOOO! That was too fast!" These are the days that I just love love love luhhhh--uvvvvvv my job!
I look forward to hearing your feedback and to follow each other for more rich experiences for our students.
Have a fantastic day!