My kiddos this year are super strong readers. Several of them entered first grade at an end of first grade level and none of them are really struggling readers; which has led me to some major retooling of the things I typically work on during the first half of the year. Overall, they don't need much in the way of decoding strategies (although we did review them). What they do need, though, is a lot of comprehension work. Like many strong first grade readers, we are working on understanding that we don't always understand a word simply because we can say it out loud correctly. (Metacognition! Remember that word from college?)
Since my kids are reading longer and harder books and often word solving in their heads, I really needed a way to make sure that both my reading groups and my independent readers are accountable for understanding what they read, as well as a way to explain this to parents. So I decided to try something with one of my higher groups - treating their group more like a book club and giving them comprehension questions (reading response logs) to check in on how they are doing with their longer and harder books. So far, I am really happy with how it is going! I feel like I have a much better sense of their understanding of the story, story vocabulary, inference, and story message, and I know that even when they are reading without me, the books are an appropriate level. Here is the first one of my reading response logs that I have prettied up as a unit. It goes with Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad Together, which is a guided reading level 18/20, DRA K, Lexile 330L.
It includes comprehension question pages for prereading and chapters 1 - 5 as well as answer keys.
In other news, most districts around me were closed today (including my husband's and my kids') but mine soldiered on through a crazy snowstorm. I was actually home with a migraine, but did drive in to set up for my sub and got caught in the storm on the way back, making my typical 30 minute drive home a 1 hr 20 minute drive... with a migraine. ACK! Fortunately, I made it home fine and crashed into bed for a few hours. My hubby took this picture of my girls and their Snow Day achievement:
Have you gotten any snow yet?