Thanks to all of your positive comments and excitement about my last WIRW book, Teach Like a PIRATE! The winner of the e-book is Jaclyn M.~ Congrats and check your email!
I am excited to share this next book, because I feel it ties in well with several of the "hooks" that Dave Burgess mentioned in his book!
This Week's Book:
Comprehension Connections by Tanny McGregor
I will admit, I have read this book before. But, like any good read (especially school read), I always find myself discovering new tidbits of knowledge and new ideas for practice when I read it multiple times, so I was glad I picked it back up this summer.
Tanny McGregor gives wonderful, real-life examples of how she makes the abstract, often hard-to-teach reading strategies concrete, and I love that! Her book is divided into the following comprehension strategies:
- Determining Importance
See? Really out-there strategies that are sososo important for our kids to learn, but are often very challenging to teach to 8 and 9 year-old concrete thinkers.
What I love about each chapter is that she goes through the same steps to introduce each strategy in a way that allows kids to attach the thinking to a common item, practice it using a wordless book, and then start using the strategy in an actual book. I don't know about you, but I tend to jump straight into the text and am often met with blank stares (d'oh!). Tanny's formula is a wonderful way for kids to anchor their thinking in wordlesness and experiential learning-- can't beat that!!
For example, in her "Determining Importance" lesson she uses everything from items in her purse, to a strainer, to a flashlight. Each item served to highlight how we use these strategies in our daily life, but can attach them to the text we read to understand and comprehend even more about the story.
She also includes pictures of her anchor charts filled with sentence stems to help guide your kiddos in their conversations about comprehension and text, as well as numerous references, picture book ideas, and quotes for each strategy in case you want to dig deeper. This was a wonderful resource since my class last year struggled with Determining Importance and I could quickly pull up chapters in the books she recommended (many of which I am sure you have, like Mosaic of Thought and Strategies that Work) to gain additional insight and strategies to help.
What stuck with me the most (and what reminds me of the "hooks" from Burgess' Teach Like a PIRATE) was the fact that each strategy was broke down into a concrete learning experience. I loved the use of props in each of the lessons so that these weird and wacky words like schema and inferring, could make sense to kids in a real-life way. I think I sometimes forget that kids of all ages and levels need these kids of experiences to get hooked into a lesson, from my strugglers to my gifted kids.... plus, it's just fun!!
If you're interested in the book, it can be found on Amazon: