Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reading Enrichment

At the school where I teach, we have a school-wide Home Reading Program. Most schools have a programs similar to this, in which students are required to read each night. In grade one, I have my students take two books home. One of these books is a choice of their own (at the reading level of which they can read) and one is a guided reading book.

As in any class, there are always a few students who are reading above grade level or students who need additional challenges along with reading. Here is one thing I do for those students along with the Home Reading Program.
The student is given a notebook and a pack of Home Reading Response Cards. Each night, the student is encouraged to read one of the books he or she took home. Then that student can pick one of the response cards to complete.
Each card has to do with a part of the story. for example, one card talks about putting the events of the story into a beginning, middle and ending category. Another card asks what the main problem was and how it got solved. One card asks some questions about the characters. Students working on the response cards are asked to write the number of the card on the top of the page (so I know what questions they may be trying to answer!) and then write about 2-3 sentences in response to that card. If they choose, students can also draw a picture.
It is my hope that this activity gets the students to think a little bit more about what they are reading. Most of the kids, especially at the beginning of the year, work so hard on the actual reading part--sounding the letters out, deciding what sounds chunks of letters make and so forth. The students who work on these cards and books generally have that part of reading down already, or are somewhat advanced in their ability to do this, so they need "something more" to focus on.
Then I use their writing to formulate "mini-lessons" more specific to each child. While some of the students will use reading conference time with me to read and decode, these students will use this time to learn about writing skills or sentence structure, or matching words or ideas from their books to their writing. My goal is that, in these reading conferences, each student is learning a skill or two related to their individual needs.

1 comment:

VanEgmond Family Notes said...

This works really well for us! Thanks for all your hard work.