Launch with Good Habits and Just-Right Books
Students will review the behaviors of readers that they learned in Kindergarten, as well learn new reading habits. Children will set goals for themselves around reading stamina and volume. They will learn strategies and processes for reading that are designed to build their skills as readers. They will discover the reasons for and importance of rereading. In partnerships, students will have productive, meaningful conversations in which they work together to tackle difficulty, ask thoughtful questions, and grow their thinking. As part of this, they’ll engage in a little acting and thinking/ talking across books.
Foundational Skills: Tackling Tricky Words
Students will be excited to be the best word detectives they can be so that they can tackle any “bumps in the road.” Children will learn word-solving strategies that involve knowledge of a book’s meaning, knowledge of language structure, and the incorporation of visual information. Students will flexible and efficient word-solvers using all the strategies they learn. Towards the middle of the unit, students will become even more independent word-solvers by learning to monitor and fix up their own reading. They will learn how to check on their own reading by asking themselves questions as they read: “Does this make sense? Does this look right at the beginning and end?” Before leaving the unit, it will be important that, as readers, children not only check their words as they read, but they also check to make sure they understand the whole book.
Spotlight on Comprehension
This unit is divided into three bends in the road. In bend one, students will sharpen their retelling skills. They will learn a variety of strategies for retelling and summarizing texts and will work on lifting the level of their retellings through repeated practice and reflection. In bend two, students learn a repertoire of strategies to comprehend texts. Students will learn to stop and think in order to gain deeper understandings of the texts they read. Students will strengthen their partner talk by incorporating active reading strategies as talking points for conversation. In the final bend of the unit, students will put all of the pieces together. Students will monitor their comprehension, while applying word-solving strategies and strategies for reading fluently.
We will learn the basic ways that readers approach informational books. We will look closely at the format of these books and learn how to navigate its various features. Children will decode new words and build their vocabulary. Our readers will learn to study both the words and book features to understand more about the topic. They will catch their thinking in jotted notes or conversations. Reading partners will teach about the topic they have studied, using a text of their own choice as an organizer for what they will say. They will add in information from other readings and from their own thinking to this presentation.
Revisit Foundational Skills with a Focus on Character
Students revisit word-solving strategies that have been practiced throughout the year. Comprehension takes the forefront, as students get to know the characters in their books. The main goal will be to make sure the children are reading closely and paying attention to character development over the course of the whole book—not just scene by scene.. Children will be exposed to terms such as “character traits,” “descriptions,” “examples,” and “evidence.” Readers tend to have one or two word ideas: “He’s funny!” Children will become more fluent in speaking and writing by pushing themselves to say more or write more. They will use post-its and partnerships to challenge themselves and support their thoughts with evidence. Sometimes children may struggle to talk about a character’s emotions because the book doesn’t actually name those emotions. Children will learn in these instances, the author is leaving readers a job. Readers can practice doing that job not only by reading the words, but also by “reading” the pictures—saying aloud what is going on in them, and what the character seems to be doing, thinking, and feeling.
Fluency and Phrasing Using Poetry
Students will be introduced to the structures and aspects of poetry and songs that make them unique to this genre of reading. Students use these features to read with fluency and expression. We are exposed to character work and reading with fluency to deepen comprehension. Students will perform readers’ theater and bring characters to life from the books they are reading.
Nonfiction Research- Multiple Texts on a Single Topic
This unit is divided into three bends. In the first bend, students review and apply their knowledge of reading nonfiction texts. Students will research a topic by reading multiple texts on that topic. In the second bend, students will study the content-specific vocabulary of the topic they are studying. They will learn to use that language when discussing and teaching about their topic. In the third bend, students will compare and contrast the information they have read across texts. Students will determine what information is important and synthesize, by adding their own thinking.