You might be wondering “Why is retelling a story so important?” You probably have heard myself or other teachers telling you about your child’s retell (the ability to recall facts/main ideas from text). The reason: retelling shows that your child comprehends and understands what he reads! And that, of course, is the ultimate goal of reading!
In order to help us improve our retells, we have learned about the five finger model in our class. To spice it up for St. Patricks Day, our class has made retelling rainbows on our favorite books. We traced our hands on different colors of paper (each color representing a different step in the 5 finger model). We wrote the characters on the red hand, the setting on the orange hand, the sequence of events on the yellow hand, the problem on the green hand, and the solution on the blue hand. We went a step further and wrote the main ideas on purple.
I recently read online about a school district who uses the take 5 minutes to ask 5 questions approach to improving the quality of reading time at home. I love this school/home connection so much I had to include it in this post! After you read with your child, have him complete a 5 finger retell. This step by step approach will allow your child to practice retelling easily. They just need to remember these 5 questions:
1. Who is in the story?
2. Where and when does the story take place?
3. What events happened in the beginning? Middle? End?
4. What was the problem in the story?
5. How is the problem solved?
I know that if you take 5 to ask 5, your child’s retells and comprehension will increase! 🙂
The remarkable readers in our classroom are using many fabulous strategies to help them comprehend their reading! One of these strategies is QUESTIONING. Good readers ask questions! Good readers ask DEEP questions before, during, and after reading text. “What will this book be about?” “Does that sentence make sense?” “Does this word sound right?” “What is the author’s purpose for writing this book?”
Good readers don’t just stop at ASKING the questions- they try and find the answers! “Can I infer this word’s meaning?” “Do I need to look in a dictionary?” “Is there another book that would have the answer to my question?” (Good readers don’t mind a little research to better their understanding)
The powerpoint for this week is a 20 questions gameshow- where YOU come up with the questions for each reading scenario! Remember- good readers ask many thin and thick questions!!
listen to our questioning song:
When we infer text in second grade, we make smart guesses based on clues in the story. Inferring is an important reading strategy that allows us to be better thinkers as well as readers.
Our class recently learned a song that will help us to remember what inferring is all about! (click here to learn more about inferring from our class website)
Listen to our inferring song:
Second graders will refer to their schema as a “filing cabinet in their brain”… and they are absolutely right! Schema is all about activating our prior knowledge about a book before, during, and after we read. It is making those CONNECTIONS with the story that allow us to FEEL and UNDERSTAND more. Those meaningful connections will help us to understand the author’s purpose and other story elements DEEPER and CLEARER. We can connect in different ways to the books that we read. Whenever you sit down to read a book, you think about what you already know about the subject (we call it searching in our mental filing cabinets). Our schema, or background knowledge, can change as we learn new information. We delete or modify our schema as we continue to learn! (click here to learn more about our schema from our class website)
Listen to our second graders sing the schema song:
We have been talking about how we CONNECT to books that we read by using our schemas or background knowledge. Through making connections, our understanding becomes deeper of what we have read. We can begin to feel what the characters are feeling and really get a sense of author’s purpose and any lessons that we can learn from a story.
One type of connection is called a text to self connection. Good readers will think “Wow- when I read the part about: _______ ,it reminded me of: __________.” Or in other words- that book connects to ME.
I would absolutely love to hear a text to self connection you have had with a book. Remember to use the correct text to self connection language- when I read about:______ it reminded me of:___________.
You are a brilliant class! Room 203 is shining!!
This past week we have talked about who we are as readers and how we all have our own special reading identity. We like to read different books, we read in different places, and we have our own precious reading memories!
What is one of your favorite reading memories?