The Book That Changed Everything

This is the personal narrative that I am working on alongside my students in our first unit.  It’s a work in progress. We’ll be publishing by the end of the week! 

Ring.  Ring.  Ring.   I saw Jackie flash across the screen.  Why is she calling me?  What does she want?  She only calls when she wants something.

“Hello.” I answered.

“Guess what, Jennie?!?!”

“What?”  I was surprised at her excited tone.  What could it be?

“I finished Twilight already!”

“The book?  Didn’t you just start it the other day?”  That couldn’t be right.  She had barely finished a book in her life, let alone one for fun…and only in a few days!

“Yes. I couldn’t stop reading.  I was picturing Bella and Edward in my head as I was reading-  since I knew what they looked like from the trailers.”

“Wow…Wait, you didn’t usually see pictures in your head?  With other books?”

“No.”

That was the first time I truly realized that the reason I loved reading was the movie that was happening in my mind as I read.  Jackie never had that before.  But because of the movie trailers out for Twilight, she saw the “mind movie” and she enjoyed reading.

Because of this realization, visualizing became a much more significant part of my reading instruction.

The book changed everything for Jackie as a reader.    The book changed everything for me as a teacher.  The bheading

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Questioning, Visualizing, Summarizing…Oh My!

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This is from one of our mini-lessons. We always tell students not to spend too much time on drawing their visualizations!

After coming back from break, all is generally forgotten. So, we wanted to review the very important reading strategies of questioning and visualizing, while also beginning to teach the strategy of summarizing.  We used poetry to work with these strategies for about a week.

We used this graphic organizer in guided reading to practice the strategies.
We used this graphic organizer in guided reading to practice the strategies.
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We tracked student application of these strategies with a checklist.

Image 1-28-15 at 6.46 AMAfter four days of modeling and guided practice, we wanted to see what students were able to do on their own.  We read a poem together and the students showed us what they could do in their notebooks.  We then took this information plus our guided reading information to report student progress on these strategies to parents.

We sent this letter home to parents with an explanation of each strategy.
We sent this letter home to parents with an explanation of each strategy.
On the back of the letter, we reported student progress on these reading strategies.
On the back of the letter, we reported student progress on these reading strategies.

Hopefully this helps you encourage these very important reading strategies in your young readers.  You can purchase these resources at my TPT store.  And now I will leave you with a few thoughts from our third graders after reading this poem. Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 7.15.33 AMScreen Shot 2015-01-27 at 7.17.10 AM