Saturday, September 8, 2012

Launching Read to Self

Meeting area and new bean bag chairs (compliments of my mom).
Book Baskets all organized and ready to go!

So, I got through the first week of school!  Exciting, exhausting, humid and hot!

As I said in a previous post I am dedicated to fully implementing the Daily 5 this year and incorporating CAFE strategies as well.  So, on Tuesday, the first day of school we launched Read to Self and created our first anchor chart!  It felt all official and I was a bit nervous about doing it "right", which is so silly because I have always used independent, self-selected reading as the center of my previous reading workshop.  It's not all that different.  It went pretty well I think.  Most of the students were so excited to get their book boxes and settle into Read to Self.  Only one minor problem occurred during my "reading is so fabulous - I love to read - books are wonderful - aren't we so excited to become better readers" speech! One student kept mumbling his commentary on reading - things like, "I hate to read." or "No! Books aren't cool."  I ignored it for awhile, but I could see his goal was to disrupt the lesson and gain everyones attention.  So, I said it was okay if he didn't like books and reading, but I did.  And his comments were hurting my feelings and making me sad. He stopped with the comments.  More on this student later.  (Hmm...think he might be the barometer student?)

I used Mo Willems' Piggie and Elephant: There Is A Bird On Your Head to model 2 ways to read the first day. (read the pictures and read the words) Then on Day 2 I taught them 2 more ways to read the book.  You heard me might.  Two more ways - retell the story and reread the story.  I teach 4 ways to read a book.  Second graders come to me with the idea that fast is better - and getting done with lots of books fast is even better! I value rereading for so many reasons and I want my students to value it also.  Rereading seems to also help them see what they missed, slow down and think while they are reading.  Coming from first grade they often think reading is just reading the words.  (When I explained I was going to show them 2 ways to read a book I asked, "Does anyone know one way I could read this book?" Insert the sound of crickets here.  Finally, one teacher-pleasing little hand went up and said, "You sound it out?")

My Barometer Student Students

On the first day, my barometer student was a sweet, but easily distracted boy that after 1 minute was more interested in telling other children what to do than focusing on his own reading.  On day 2, I modeled inappropriate behavior myself - doing exactly what he did the previous day.  I asked for a volunteer to model appropriate behavior - and my little friend volunteered.  Awesome!  He did much better the rest of the week, but is definitely a key student to watch.  Now, back to my friend I mentioned above - the interrupter.  He did fine the first 2 days, but by day 3 he had decided he was going to either just sit and suck on his water bottle or build towers with his school supplies and water bottle.  So, another model of appropriate behavior was necessary by the start of Day 4.  I asked for volunteers, and yes, he volunteered.  Awesome!  He got lots of compliments and did fine that day.  I squeezed in another Read to Self practice at the end of the day Friday and he did well then.  It was my little distracted friend that acted as my barometer then.

We reached only 5 minutes of Read to Self.  Gotta work on that stamina!

I will write about how I introduced CAFE strategies on another post.

Next week I will teach them how to select good-fit, or just-right books.  I also hope to introduce Work on Writing too.

How do you I think I did?  Be honest!

How are you doing with the Daily 5?