Our students struggle at comprehending informational text. Is is SO hard for them to remember details, and especially, to remember details in any sort of order. We love to use the One-Word Retell strategy. It helps them build up their memory and retell the story at the same time!
First, I place sticky notes throughout the book. Each heading or section gets one.
In each section the students use one sentence to describe who (or what) was on the page and what happened in that section. They then pick one word to remember the sentence. The section we were reading here is all about how germs start. So, we use start as our clue.
After they finish reading the story all of the sticky notes are placed onto our One Word Retell sheet. There are numbers on the page to help the students keep them in order!
After placing all of the sticky notes onto the sheet we use them to write a summary. They are basically writing the sentences they thought up, but only using the words to trigger their memory.
As we use the strategy more and more they are able to gradually not use the sticky notes and can just retell the nonfiction story. They use the key words, but inside their brain!
We love using sticky notes (our students do too!) and it's a great way to gradually build up their memory. If you would like to try this strategy out too you can get the One-Word Retell strategy here for free!
Genre is one of those topics that ALWAYS appears in testing! Doesn't matter what type of test - accelerated reader, NWEA Map, state, there will always be a question that relates to genre! It's also one of those topics that is very hard for students to memorize.
In our classrooms we don't so much as teach genre as we experience genre! These great posters are hanging up in the room and as we have small group one of the graphic organizers to work on skills is asking the students to identify the genre of the text we are working on.
Another great way that we experience genre is through daily check-ins. Prior to independent reading 4 or 5 students are asked what book they are reading, what page they are on, and what genre the text is. This is a great way to have the students experience genre in the moment. If the student is struggling (let's be honest, some books are HARD to classify....) the class turns to a shoulder partner to discuss the genre and then sticks are picked to call on someone.
Graphic organizers help construct meaning during reading instruction. They organize thinking.
When can they be used?
* Pre-reading to prepare students for the text they are about to read.
* During reading to organize their thoughts about what they are reading.
* After reading to summarize information.
We use these graphic organizers that work for both fiction and non-fiction! They can be found at our TpT store!
Text features are in important part of informational text. A Text Feature Walk can help students comprehend the text.
What is a Text Feature Walk?
The teacher guides the students through a picture walk of the text. In using an informational text the teacher previews the book by looking at the pictures along with the text features.
Often we use this graphic organizer to help the students complete the picture walk and locate the text features on their own.
They can be found HERE at our Teachers Pay Teachers site!
We also use these text feature posters to help highlight all of the text features students need to know! They can be hung up as posters, or they can be shrunk to make personal posters to use in small group or at their seat. Get the posters for FREE at our Teachers Pay Teachers Store! Click HERE!
Picture sorts are a great strategy for learning phonics.
Students sort the picture cards depending on the phonics rule given to them. The rule can be simple for beginners, like beginning letter sounds (A and B in the picture above), or more complex for more advanced readers (the vowel sounds inside of words).
Not only does it get the student thinking about the sounds in the word, but it is a highly engaging strategy. Students LOVE sorting the picture cards!
How to use this strategy?
Get pictures of the phonemic strategy you are working on. If you don't have some already, you can find them these picture sort cards at our TpT store (Word Sort Cards). we use this T-chart for sorting. Some teachers like to use note cards or post-it notes with the categories. We, however, laminate the T-chart and we use them throughout the year. We also use this chart for the analogy strategy so it's just easier for me to have the one chart. If you need your own T-chart click here for this one.
Once the strategy that is being focused on has been identified during a small group or individual teaching time explicitly teach the rule(s) to the students. Then, explain (the first time) that they will be sorting according to that rule.
An example (that follows this picture) is: "Some words start with the a sound. Say "a" (students say the sound for a). Some words start with the b sound. Say "b" (students say the sound for b). We have a pile of pictures that either start with the a or b sound. Go through the pictures with the students then (they all have the same pictures in their personal piles, or we sometimes just do this as a group using one pile) because you don't want them to spend too much time trying to figure out the picture. You want them thinking more about the sound the word has.
I'm a mom, wife, and teacher that loves to read, hang out with my family, and learn. I love to use our blog to share ideas with others and to help keep me learning!