Sunday, September 16, 2012

Week 3

Inside Tornadoes by Mary Kay Carson
Read to 3rd & 4th Grades (10 Classes)
Targeted Skills: Connect to Background Knowledge; Establish a Purpose for Reading, Skim and Scan for Text Features

I started the week with  Iceberg, Right Ahead!, one of my new nonfiction books that I knew would feed my kids' love for all things Titanic. But the book sprouted legs and walked off (without being checked out--someone REALLY wanted this book), which sometimes happens when I give a book my blessing. So I chose Inside Tornadoes because it is bursting with cool text features. I wanted to pick a book that had a subject that would make the kids connect to their background knowledge because I wanted to emphasize that good readers ALWAYS activate background knowledge before ANY reading task. Over the course of the week, I made up several chants to help the kids remember this. One was:
I say, "Sche!" You say, "Ma!" Sche-Ma! Sche-Ma! I want the kids to learn this "sophisticated" word for background knowledge.
Another was:
Bring your brain to the book! Bring your brain to the book! Sche-ma! Sche-ma! I need to video us chanting these because they don't translate well in writing.
After we briefly connected to our schema, I explained that our purpose for reading was not to learn cool facts about tornadoes. Our purpose was to notice the text features and ask ourselves why they are important. We skimmed and scanned the book together and noticed the different text features and how they added to the information. I then had kids pull a book from a cart of various nonfiction books that I had gathered, and they skimmed and scanned for text features, counting how many they encountered. We then shared the ones that we found with a thumbs-up activity.

Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman
Read to 1st and 2nd Grades (9 classes)
Targeted Skills: Connect to Background Knowledge

This is a simple, short read-aloud that the kids really enjoyed. It is a great book to show kids that our schema (we did the schema chants, too) not only is important in our reading, but that we use it in our everyday lives to help us make decisions. Boy and Bot both use their different schema to figure out how to help each other, and the kids easily picked up on this.

Higher-Level Questions:
Why do you think the author used the + sign in the title instead of an "and"?
What lesson can this book teach us about friendship?

Sue MacDonald Had a Book by Jim Tobin
Read to Kindergarten (5 classes)
Targeted Skills: Notice Rhyme & Connect to Background Knowledge

Even though the Kindergarteners have not had a formal lesson on vowels, I chose this book because I knew they would recognize it's connection to "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." They connected to this old song, and some of them even knew about vowels from their Pre-K experience, so that was a good way to discuss the importance of background knowledge. We discussed the rhyme and the kids liked to chant A-E-I-O-U each time. I hope that this will stick in their schema so that when their teachers introduce vowels, one of them might say, "Hey! We read a book about them in the library!"

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