We are three weeks in to school now and I just finished Kim Adsit's Blasting Off with Reader's Workshop unit. Last year I started making I-charts and trying to build stamina within the first few days of school, but this year I decided to slow things down and build up more of a foundation before starting read to self and building stamina. I wanted to make sure that my students had some print awareness, knew how to take care of and handle books, and could talk with an elbow partner. I also wanted us to spend a little more time practicing how to carry our book boxes and put them away before starting read to self.
I start every morning with a read aloud and a comprehension lesson based on a combination of my curriculum and the CAFE emergent menu. Rather than choose a book based on a particular letter or theme, I have been choosing one of my favorites to share. We started with "listen with understanding." Then we moved to "identify the front and back cover." This week we worked on "knowing where to begin reading on a page," "we read from left to right," and "when finished with the left page we move to the right page." I leave the strategies and picture icons on my big book easel and refer to them for 3-4 days before moving them to the CAFE board. My students have a clear understanding of what "listen with understanding means" and why it is important for us to have print awareness concepts in place. I begin each lesson at the CAFE board by pointing to and reviewing the strategies that are posted before beginning the read aloud. Using the word "strategy" is also important when referring to the board and what is on it.
Here are the read alouds I used in my comprehension lessons this week. We focused on listening with understanding and answering questions about the story.
We used this book to practice looking at the pictures and telling a story. Students can easily look at the pictures in this book and tell the story as if they were reading the words.
This book is another great book for practicing looking at the pictures and telling a story.
We started with the book lover, ready to learn, parts of a book, and reader respect anchor charts from Kim's units. My district has cut off the color printing except through the ed center and they cannot seem to get any of my jobs completed :( So black and white it is. (Sorry about this blurry picture). I keep all of my anchor charts posted by my big book easel for days before I move them to somewhere else in the room. The reader respect chart is actually still posted right next to my rocking chair. I am not going to move it until we have built up at least 7-8 minutes of reading stamina.
We are still working on turning and talking and leaning and telling. Sometimes we still confuse them and some people make better elbow partners than others. We will keep at it everyday and eventually we will be pros at it.
We know all about authors, illustrators, parts of a book, how to choose "good fit" books and three ways to read a book. We spent the first week or so working with books in small groups. We practiced being a "book lover", choosing a "good fit" book, and three ways to read.
After learning how to choose "good fit" books we picked out our first books for our book boxes. For the last several days we have practiced how to get our book boxes off the shelf and how to put them up. We also moved from reading in small groups to reading on our own.
Practicing getting and using our book boxes.
Practicing how to choose "good fit" books.
Practicing three ways to read and reading on our own. This week I placed my students where I wanted them to go. I will spend a few more days telling them where to sit and then I will let them start choosing on their own.
Practicing how to get our book boxes off the shelf and put them away. My shelf and boxes are color coded so that my students can find their box faster and put it away in a more organized way.
Next week we will read the books Dex the Heart of a Hero and Chopsticks to learn about building reading stamina and independence. We will also read the book Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe to learn more about how the CAFE board will be a menu we can choose reading strategies from.
My Current Daily Five/CAFE Block Schedule
CAFE Comprehension mini-lesson (Read aloud, teach skills from the expand vocabulary part of the CAFE menu)
Daily Five Round 1 (teach the first part of a reader's workshop lesson from Blasting Off with Reader's Workshop, introduction)
CAFE Accuracy Lesson (phonics, phonemic awareness activities)
Daily Five Round 2 (teach the middle part of a reader's workshop lesson from Blasting Off with Reader's Workshop, engagement)
CAFE Fluency Lesson (word wall activities)
Daily Five Round 3 (teach the last part of a reader's workshop lesson from Blasting Off with Reader's Workshop, Practice and Closure)
Once we build up 7-8 minutes of reading stamina I will move Kim's readers' workshop lessons to the comprehension, accuracy and fluency parts of my ELA block or small group instruction and use the daily five round time for read to self, work on writing, word work, read to someone, and listen to reading.