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mel10597 08-10-2011 05:41 PM

Meaningful Connections
This is my first time posting but I have a feeling I will be here more often. :) I am just beginning with Reader's Workshop and I am sooo excited about it! I have taught first grade but now I am at a new school with an enviornment in which everyone is working together to develop reader's workshop.

My question is does anyone have lessons on meaningful connections that really worked well to make the point clear to their students? We are getting into schema next week and my coworker and I were talking and she said last year what she did didn't really make it clear to the students, differentiate "fluff" connections and meaningful connections. Any books, ideas or suggestions are much appreciated!

VAreader 08-11-2011 08:42 AM

MODEL MODEL MODEL with books that you love and you think will have common themes among the students in your class.

I read the book Fireflies by Julie Brinkloe as almost everyone has caught fireflies before. I've also read the book Not Afraid of Dogs. I have also read Eve Bunting's Twinnies as almost every student has dealt with sibling rivalry.

I model with a book called Fog Cat because I love the beach, Maine, and cats. I do a lot of modeling with Fog Cat and discuss what it makes me think of. The next day I go back and retell the story with a picture walk.

I use T charts making one column quotes from book and the other column my connections. We then go through the connections determining which ones are helpful and which ones are not.

Then I do it again with another book.

Depending on how the class is responding, I then do a whole class connections lesson with sticky notes and we create a post it note poster and then go back and decide which connections help further understanding.

We do several lessons like this and I allow students to respond to their own reading using whichever reading comprehension response they choose.

Miss Kris 10-29-2011 05:50 AM

I do schema with my students for everything. I post a file on the wall (like one we would put stuff in) and then I write SCHEMA: Our mental file cabinet. Every time before we even start to read something we look at the title and ask ourselves if in our file cabinet there is a folder with that topic on it like crayons. If there is, I put a web on the board with crayons in it and they tell me everything they know. Another good way to tap into schema is give them post-is and have them write it on there. Maybe like a quick energizer. It helps so much once we start to read. I include SCHEMA always and I have found they are making connections everywhere now.

Miss Kris 10-29-2011 05:53 AM

More schema
Also, you can put sentence strips together and laminate them. On the sentence strip put a sentence starter for them. This is also them using language that is appropriate for the situation. They are being held accountable to use this language. The sentence stems can be like...This reminds me of when...or The title makes me think of....and so on. You could put a chart on the board with different responses from students. That is definitely making connections. You could also put this in a reading station to hold them accountable for making connections before, during, and after reading. The after reading could be a sentence stem like...this reminds me of a book called ________________ because..... It could be written into their response journals. Hope this helps! :-)

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