I only wish that I had been reading aloud to my 6th graders ALL year EVERY day! I love it, they love it, and I just wonder if it would have helped them with their own reading aloud. I am only on the 3rd novel with them: 1st was How to Eat Fried Worms; 2nd was Walk Two Moons; now I am reading The Westing Game. My goal for next year is to read 1 chapter each day for the entire 180 days. Of course, next year I am also going to begin doing reading and writing mini-lessons so I will also be reading picture books, articles, excerpts from novels, etc to them a lot. I know that I will only be able to add maybe 1 more novel (complete novel) to the mix because of time constraints, and I’m wondering which one I am going to choose. The 1st one this year was FUNNY, the 2nd one was SAD, and the 3rd one is a MYSTERY(and it is very hard for them to follow!!). 🙂
Anyway, I consider myself a very good reader in all sorts of ways-especially reading aloud. I have always been an avid reader of books (I LOVE TO READ). I taught Kindergarten for 6 years so I read aloud A LOT! And my 6th graders love the read aloud! 🙂 So I found these tips on reading aloud and making it magical on Mem Fox‘s website. Read and listen for yourself!
We completed our book collages yesterday on Walk Two Moons-we also finished reading the book(I have been reading it aloud). This book is so good-my students loved it! Next year I will pace it better though-the book has 44 chapters and I have been trying to finish it up before our spring break so this past week I have been reading 2-4 chapters each day (of course the kids love that, but I would rather read 1 chapter each day). This book will ALWAYS stay on my list of read aloud books for a couple of reasons-1) it is sort of complicated because of all of the flashbacks 2)I don’t think it is a book that most of my students would just pick up and read by themselves 3)it TOUCHES YOUR HEART 4)it is just a great read!
Here are some pictures of the collages that the kids made. NOTE: their homework was to cut out magazine pictures/draw pictures that relate to the story. Most of them did NOT do this as homework and we ended up doing it in class. If I had not REALLY wanted to finish before spring break I would not have allowed them to do this in class!
We only have 7 more chapters until we are finished with Walk Two Moons (our read aloud). 🙂 This week I am reading about 2 chapters each day-might crank it up to 3 tomorrow and Thursday. We have continued to complete our prediction charts each day on at least 1 of the chapters. This is a 3 column chart-1. What I predict will happen 2. Why I think that will happen 3. What really happened. The 1st 2 columns we fill out prior to reading the chapter and the last column is filled out after reading. I need to do something during reading (that is what the research shows-before, during, and after reading). During reading is probably the most important because it causes the reader (or listener) to THINK while reading which aids in comprehension. I could have them do quick writes like we did with the Scott Foresman stories. This is where periodically we would make visualizations, connections, or ask questions while reading. We would share these. Or I might try and search for another “during” reading strategy that would lend itself to a read aloud. I’ll let you know what I come up with!! The kids are SOOOOO into this book! They moan and groan when I say, “Well, that’s the end of that chapter”!! 🙂 I love it!
We will make our collages this Friday. They have formed groups and are responsible for cutting out pictures/letters/words from magazines, etc. to create the collages. I will take pictures and post them when completed.
I almost forgot to tell you about an after reading strategy that we did today. It is called 3-2-1. It can be done with anything they read. I had them write 3 things they KNEW about the chapter, 2 things they found INTERESTING, and 1 QUESTION they still had. You can make up your own 3-2-1 however you want to. It was quick and showed me a lot about them as a listener. I will definitely use this when they are the ones actually reading something.
YEA!!! Today was the 1st full day of no testing!!! I read 2 more chapters of Walk Two Moons to the kids and we did our predictions in our reading notebooks. We hope to finish the book by next Friday since our collages are due then.
We performed our readers theater on Flying Solo-they did an excellent job!! 🙂 Of course, I forgot my ipod so I didn’t get to video them performing. I will try to remember to bring it to school on Monday. I did take a few pictures of them practicing in their groups.
5 days of testing down and only 1 more to go!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoopee!! Today was Language and Science. Tomorrow will be the OLSAT and Social Studies. AND-can you believe 2 IEP meetings in the afternoons this week? Ugghh! 🙂 This is what we did today after testing:
1. I read aloud 2 chapters from Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. Before each chapter we made predictions about what the chapter would be about based on the chapter before (and of course the whole story that we have read so far). I had them think about their prediction and WHY they are predicting it. Then they had to turn to a partner and share their predictions and why. This strategy is called THINK-PAIR-SHARE. I used to just do pair-share, but I realized I wasn’t giving them enough time to think to themselves before they shared and they were having a hard time sharing. The “real” strategy has to have the think part to it-you can probably google it and find lots about it. I LOVE GOOGLE!!! Anyway- in their reading notebook they drew 3 columns. This is what it looked like:
What I think will happen Why I think that will happen What really happened
We filled out the 1st 2 columns before I read the chapter and the last column after reading. I found the explanation of this strategy on the internet at this link:
2. We practiced our readers theater for Flying Solo. The script is only 2 pages long-it is from the 1st chapter of the book. It was amazing to hear them read it after they had already read it a couple of times!!!!! 🙂 I also read it aloud to them to model how each character should read/speak. While they practiced reading I walked around to listen to each group (3 groups of 6). We are going to actually perform it for each other this Friday-I can’t wait. I just hope I can work my IPOD correctly and try to video it. If I can do this I will upload it.