What I'm Reading Wednesday: Comprehension Connections + Giveaway

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:
  • Metacognition
  • Schema
  • Inferring
  • Questioning
  • Determining Importance
  • Visualizing
  • Synthesizing

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:



63 comments

  1. I have been reading about this topic too. It is so important to find ways to help are young readers.

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  2. Just finished How To Teach Like a Pirate..thanks for the next read idea!

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  3. This looks like it would fit perfectly with reading workshop mini lessons. I would love to check it out!
    Rebecca

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  4. This looks like it would fit perfectly with reading workshop mini lessons. I would love to check it out!
    Rebecca

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  5. Inferring can be a tricky concept to teach. This book would be a great tool.

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  6. This looks great. We are starting readers' workshop this year. I would love to learn more about teaching synthesizing.

    Deb

    debinderry@gmail.com

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  7. Ohhh! I like the idea behind this. Thanks, Stephanie!

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  8. The book I'm currently reading: Building Mathematical Comprehension by Laney Sammons, refers to this book often. I've been wanting to get a copy!

    Jessica
    Teach on a Limb

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  9. I love this book! I think the foundation in a concrete learning experience works in any subject area, as well. I'll have to grab Building Mathematical Comprehension!

    Mary Kate
    Windy City Learning

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  10. I haven't read either of these books but they are both on my list of books to read.


    Krystyn
    Ms Richards's Musings

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  11. I just moved from 7th grade to elementary school for SpEd and most of my 3rd & 5th graders struggle with comprehension. I hope that this helps me. Thanks!

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  12. This book looks great. It sounds like the perfect addition to helping teach Reading Workshop. I would use it to learn more about synthesizing. Thanks!

    Brittany
    brittany.knechtel@gmail.com

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  13. I could use help in learning about schema and metacognition and questioning my students to develop deeper thinking. It sounds great.

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  14. I have been wanting this book! I would love to deepen my student's comprehension skill and this book would be so perfect!! :)

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  15. This book has been on my list of books to read!

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  16. I had not heard of this book -- sounds good. Maybe I'll win, and then I can read it!

    Julie
    Math is Elementary

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  17. I would love to read this book...I am always seeking new concrete ways to zero in on comprehension strategies. This sounds like a great resource!!

    Kristen
    kdahlhofer@gmail.com

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  18. Our reading teacher recommended this book. I may have to move it up on my list of professional books to read. Thank you for sharing this wonderful resource.

    Mary

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  19. I have never heard of this book. Thanks for the suggestion! I'll be adding this into my Amazon cart.
    Najda

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  20. My really good friend is going back for her Masters in reading and she had this book assigned for a class and raved about it...I would love to read it, too!

    Bobbi
    Bitty Bilinguals

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  21. Just found your blog through another one and am excited to find another 3rd grade one. I LOVE this book. I've used it the last 3 years and the kids pick up the strategy language because we start with her concrete lessons. My favorite is the inference garbage bag lesson. My kids get a kick out of that one!

    Marlene
    I Heart Teaching Elementary

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  22. This book looks amazing! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. :)

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  23. This looks like a great book to incorporate with our new reading series!!

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  24. Thank you for sharing! I look forward to reading this...hope to win!! :)

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  25. I love finding out about good resources that are recommended by fellow teachers! Thanks so much!

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  26. Excited to read this book! Thanks for sharing!!! :)

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  27. This is such a great book. I borrowed it but would love my own!

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  28. This sounds like a invaluable resource. I can definitely use the strategies discussed as I have been teaching math only or math and science only for the last ten years. Reading instruction is a bit different since the last time I taught it. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  29. Always looking for new teacher books! Thanks for the suggestion!!

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  30. TOTAL BLONDE MOMENT. When I saw your post...I thought it was a linky...so I blogged about a book I'm reading...along with other things...until I went to grab the button thingy and realized this isn't a linky! OOOPPPSSS! Oh well. I gave a quick overview of Notice and Note, Strategies for Close Reading by Beers and Probst. Here it is if you are interested... http://anchoredin3rdgrade.blogspot.com/2013/07/what-im-loving-what-im-reading-birthday.html
    Anything to improve my teaching of comprehension and students' understanding...I'm all over!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    "autumn"

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  31. I haven't read this book yet, but really want to -- I work a lot with students on comprehension, so I am always looking for additional help in teaching strategies.

    Anne :)
    anneled@gmail.com

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  32. I have been wanting to read this book for a long time so now I have no excuse!! Except I don't actually have the book yet :)

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  33. I would love a copy of this book because I sometimes find it hard to relate these types of comprehension skills to my students lives. Thank you for the opportunity!

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  34. What I normally do to teach comprehension did not work so well with this last bunch of students so I'm looking for more ideas on comprehension strategies instruction- especially deeper thinking while reading.

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  35. My good friend loves this book! It has some really great ideas!

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  36. I taught 2nd grade for 6 yrs. then last year I taught fourth grade writing. This year I'm teaching all 4th ela. So this book would help A LOT!!!!

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  37. This book would really help me with my Guided Reading Groups and Language Arts Lessons as Language Arts is my weakest area. Thanks for sharing such great products and ideas on your blog! I'm so glad I found you.

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  38. I too tend to jump right into the full-fledged strategy usage without breaking it down enough. I would be really interested to read this book & learn more about how each strategy is "attached" to an object.
    Thanks for the reading recommendation!
    -Jen
    Tropical Teacher

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  39. I would love to read this book to learn how to use wordless picture books to help
    teach comprehension strategies!
    Rosemary
    rosemarykn@comcast.net

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  40. I hadn't heard of this book before, but I am always looking for ways to demo strategies. I love the idea of concrete examples. Thanks for offering this!

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  41. This sounds like a great tool to have for the classroom. I would love to win!

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  42. I love your blog and all of your great suggestions! Thanks for your time and insight.

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  43. This book sounds awesome! I am moving from 2nd to 3rd grade this year. Think it would be a great resource since we will be focusing largely on comprehension and reading to learn not learning to read. Loving your blog!!

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  44. This book has been used in trainings at my school and I'd love to have my own copy!

    :) Nicole
    Tadpole Tidbits
    www.mrscorbitt.blogspot.com

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  45. This looks like a great resource. I've been trying to read as many educational books as possible this summer.
    Linda dlahrens@centurylink.net

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  46. I have not read this book but I am adding it to my "must read" list! :) Thank you!

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  47. Would love a copy of this book. I'm going back to teaching 3rd grade next year after being home with the kiddos for 10 years! This book would be very helpful with teaching reading strategies...I'm a little rusty ;-)

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  48. I'm always looking for a good new read. This is one area that I am always searching for new insights and info on - another view would be amazing :)
    Thanks for the chance to win!

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  49. You're making my "To Read" list longer! Looks like a goodie. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  50. Looking forward to reading this! Thanks for another good book to add to the list!!! :)

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  51. I would love to read this book! I have the other two, but I am always looking for new ideas to teach the strategy of synthesizing. I find that so many students have trouble understanding what it means to synthesize.

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  52. This looks like a GREAT book! I can't wait to read it. I love reading your blog- I really look forward to every new post!

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  53. I love your blog! So glad I found it. I am gathering many amazing tips and ideas. Can't wait to these new ideas into place in my own classroom! Thank you!!

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  54. Would love to have some "concrete" ways to teach all those reading comprehension strategies. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book.

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  55. Love the idea of beginning by use a wordless book to introduce comprehension strategies! Thanks for sharing!

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  56. I am a new follower of your blog. I LOVE it. I am moving from first to third grade next year and your math rotations and Bingo cards will help immensely. Thank you for all you do. I am off to your TPT to buy myself some copies. :)

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  57. Would help me teach determining importance

    lmarshall1389@gmail.com

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  58. Thanks so much for recommending this book. I am moving up to 3rd grade this year and want to improve my reading instruction. I have read Strategies that Work, but it's been a while ago. I can't wait to get started on Comprehension Connections.

    Sheryl B
    slboyd05@gmail.com

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  59. Comprehension is an area I definitely want to work on for my teaching.

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  60. I would love a copy of this book! I need to grow in this area!! :)

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  61. This book sounds like a wonderful way to teach. Any method that starts with the concrete and moves to more abstract ideas is an excellent method for young readers.

    Kathy
    kbronco@lsusd.net

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Thank you so much for your comments! :)
~Stephanie

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