WHAT ARE SOME WAYS TO TEACH COMPREHENSION IN THE GUIDED READING PORTION OF 4 BLOCKS?
Here are some suggestions posted by 4 block mailringers...
The subject of GR is comprehension strategies.
First I do a mini lesson. It might be on plot. I would explain plot. I
would use a previous story they are familiar with to point out the plot of
Next, I introduce the new vocabulary in some quick way. Just enough so they
can read and know the new word. Then we preview the new story. Sometimes
introducing vocab. and previewing go together. This builds background
knowledge. Talk about their predictions. Set a purpose. I give my third
graders a focus question, usually about the mini lesson. They must respond
to it in a journal. This has two purposes: 1. It keeps the faster
readers busy when they finish and 2. I check these about once a week to see
where their comprehension is. I often get my mini lessons from these. I don't think first could do the journal, but then I haven't taught first.
Next, they read the story in some format as described in the 4 block books.
Last, we share. We discuss the point of the mini lesson. We also might discuss any confusing parts that weren't clear to them when they read it.
Sometimes we fill in a graphic organizer before reading and after reading, and even sometimes during reading.
I try to have a good mix of ways to do GR so they don't get bored with the
same old thing. But basically I do GR as described above with some
changes. It also depends on the type of text they are reading. Of course a
longer story would take 2 days while a poem usually only takes one.
Hope this helps you. GR is my favorite block. I know for others it is their least favorite. I can't explain why I like it.
someone posted these ideas:
I am unfamiliar with "Rivet" but this is how I introduce vocabulary
to my first graders. It has proven to be very effective.
1. Talk about each word as they visually look at them on the
overhead. Use personal stories, animation (i.e. pound the fist on the
desk for "enough"), or relate the word to their own personal lives.
2. Next, take the words away and ask what words we learned. Write
the words on the board. As a class, go over the words one more time.
3. Give clues and ask individual students to come to the board to
underline the word. They say the word as they underline it. (Clues might
be: Which word has the same beginning sound as "clock", or Which word rhymes with
boat, or "Which word is the opposite of "day", or Which word means "to
4. Finally, tell a story using the vocabulary words. Each word is
in a sentence. Say "blank" and ask individual students to circle the
word that best goes in the sentence.
5. At times I do not have enough clues or sentences so that
everyone has a chance to come to the board. When this happens, I ask
those who haven't been up to the board to come play "Wipe Out". This is when I say a word and
they students take turns erasing the word I say. They really love this!
Hope these ideas are helpful.
Laura posted this awhile ago:
Hi. On day one I introduce the vocabulary with an activity like RIVET. Then
we build background. This is done several ways. One way is a picture walk.
Sometimes I start a graphic organizer. An example of an organizer began prior
to reading would be a sequence chart. Day 1 of Chapter 2 in Little Bear -
after vocab. introduction, we look at the first page of the chapter and read
it together. We write the first event on chart paper. I tell the children to
read the chapter in groups. I instruct them to list, after they read, who
came to Little Bear's birthday, as well as what they brought. Then the
children read the rest of the selection alone. They select a writer for the
group and a speaker. They make their list and bring to the rug to share when
finished. As they present we fill in our graphic organizer started in the pre
reading phase. This has worked well for me. I spend 50 minutes on guided
reading. 10 prior, 25 reading, 15 sharing.
One day 1 example for a basal selection (Seven Sillies) - first I introduced
the vocabulary. They made a few oral predictions based on the title and that
vocabulary. Then I read the first two pages to the group. I put them in
partner groups and did ERT find out who or what the seven sillies are. They
went into groups and read the rest of the story. When we came back together
they reported orally to the group who their group thought the seven sillies
were. (School monitors showed up during this lesson. They seemed very
impressed at how the children moved through the lesson, and were able to read
the selection alone.)
As for the question about the non-readers. My low functioning readers, about
9 out of 20, are often in a guided group with me. We read the story together
chorally, echo or popcorn. They are able to read some of it alone, but not
enough to be completely independent. Some days, I pair them up with a better
reader in play school groups. They have made nice gains using this format and
I have been able to move a few out of the support group for some selections.
Personally, I think they get more out of trying to read independently with a
peer. They have been taught strategies and I have modeled what good partners
do. I find that the motivation is up since they have started to read
independently. I only started this format in February. Prior to that we did
Shared Reading of the selection for 2 days before they moved to independent
reading. Hope this clears up your questions. If you still have further
questions, e-mail me privately and I'd be happy to clarify further.
Destiny posted this earlier:
One comprehension strategy I teach is types of questions. Sometimes it helps kids to answer questions if they know how the author of the question thought it up.
We are using 4 types this year.
Right There-The answer is directly stated in the text and you can put your
finger on the answer.
Think and Search-The answer is directly in the text, but you have to look in
more than one spot, because it's in different sentences.
Author and You- You have to use what you already know about the life and
combine it with what the author is telling you to assemble a reasonable
On Your Own-The answer is not in the book. The answer comes from prior
knowledge or experiences. You know the type, Have you ever.... What was it
like when .... How would you ....
After teaching questioning, we work on parts of the story so we know what
we're looking for this year we used:
(Last year we used a goal for each character, but it was really too hard for first grade)
We also teach retelling or paraphrasing strategies to the kids.
We teach visualization. What does that look like? If you were describing what
happened to someone who had never seen the bok what would that look like?
Draw it. Compare your drawing to another student. Discuss why they're
different. Which one is right? How can they both be right? ETC.
Vocabulary study: What do you do when you come to words you don't know. Do
you looking every word up? Do you use context clues? Use the cloze strategy
to practice this. Discuss synonyms and antonyms. Use new words in sentences.
Make a list to keep or dictionary.
Play jeopardy wiht the question, involve students in question writing.
Practice fluency. Show kids how looking back and rereading are important to
comprehension. We read a few pages and then write down every imaginable thing
we know about it in blue. Then we read it again and add things we remember in
red. We read it again and add things we remember in green. Discuss how many
more things we remembered each time. Show choppy reading compared to fluent
and how that is important to comprehension
Teach to rephrase questions in their own word. What does the author of hte
question want to know? Did I completely explain myself? What kind of question
Make new situations what do you think Junie B. Jones would have done at our
school when the lights went out during the storm? Important to get kids to reason reason reason. Why do you think so?
This list is by no means exhaustive. Just want I could come up with off the top of my head.
Destiny-hope it's what you wanted.
Right now I'm using our social studies book for guided reading. A couple of mini lessons I've done:
How to turn chapter headings into questions to help focus while you're reading.
How to deal with words that have the pronunciation in parentheses right after it - tropical (TROP if kul)
How to figure out the meaning of a word in context.
Here are some 1st grade comprehension strategies we teach in our district:
1.Fix-Up Strategies (What can you do when you come to a word you don't know)
2. Main idea and details in nonfiction
3. Story mapping of fiction (elements of a story)
4. Venn diagrams to compare and contrast
5. Sequence charts
6. Webbing of concepts, ideas, characters, etc.
7. Story picture boards that depict all the settings and what the main character was doing.
8. Summarizing in both fiction and nonfiction
9. Literature discussions
10. KWL charts (Know, Want to Know, Learned)
11. Cloze procedure
Hope this helps you!
One thing I ask my students to do, to focus their attention on the meaning
of a story, and which I also use to help build my students' understanding
of word choice and how it affects both the reading and writing end of
literature, is to ask them to find words or phrases in the story which they
think belong in our "Words Too Good to Forget" book.
This book is just two pieces of a big cereal box, covered with solid
colored contact paper, on which I have written the title, and filled with
This idea originated with Mem Fox. I was fortunate enough to have a
lecture/workshop from her when she was on a U.S. tour a few years ago. I
would love to take a class from her at the university. What a creative
teacher she is!
Another thing that she pointed out was that *everyone* plagerizes from
those they admire. She said that even her own work is based on multiple
ideas that have been percolating in her brain from other sources. Of
couse, she adds her own creative spark. =) I relate this to my students,
and give them permission to use words and phrases that we save in our book.
This task seems to help them understand the meaning of a story better, and
it definitely helps them write better. It also makes better listeners,
because they listen for such words and phrases when I am reading to them,
as well. If there is something I really like, and they miss it, I orally
savor it and then write it in our book. After a while, they really begin
to see that word choice aids our understanding as readers and as writers.
Play school groups -- The purpose might be to create a new ending for the story,or to tell about why something happened in the story, or "what if" something else
had happened instead of.... Sometimes the purpose is just to identify the main characters, setting, or sequence. Our favorite purpose is to come up with a question
about the story to ask the other groups. It doesn't matter if a slower reader is the leader. In fact, that is the best scenerio since the leader gets to dictate how the
playschool group will read the story. The leader can just listen as the others read if she wants. Sometimes, if I choose too many slower readers for one group, I'll
say, "I want to save this person for another group.