Thursday, April 17, 2014

Look Into My Crystal Ball...Using Predicting as a Reading Strategy

Looking into a crystal ball will probably result in losing your money and gaining very little. However, teaching students to predict can help them gain reading knowledge.

Example in the Non-Example

Predicting is another reading comprehension strategy students of all ages can use to support their reading.  Starting from the beginning of kindergarten, we discuss the cover and title of a book to let them “guess” what the story is going to be about.  One of my favorite stories for early predicting is “We Went Walking” by Vera Williams.  It’s a simple repetitive book in the tradition of “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” by Eric Carle.  Showing even the earliest learners the cover and explaining the story will take place on a farm, students can predict what animals we might see.  Using a simple circle map, write each of their predictions around the circle.  I always like to throw in an animal that would never make sense, like a crab.  This is a perfect example of a non-example.  Students can easily explain why this isn’t a “good guess” for a prediction.

Prediction Revisit

Don't just use the prediction before you read, make sure you revisit.  After the story, revisit the circle map using a code…check mark for animals in the story, circle animals that COULD HAVE been in the story, but were not, and finally, an “x” on answers that were not in the story and were not good guesses, like the crab.  By adding the non-example, students are able to give you an explanation for why something was not a “good guess.”  One student responded, “A crab doesn’t live on a farm because it needs the ocean and if the farm was in the ocean, the cows would drown.”  Make sense to me.

Predicting with Chapter Titles

My kindergartners always read Magic Tree House chapter books.  We always read for the last few minutes of class each day, one chapter a day.  After every chapter, the students would say, “What’s the chapter tomorrow?”  They knew I would read the chapter title for the following day and they would raise their hand to give their prediction about what could happen tomorrow.  The students always used the sentence starter, “I predict…” and must include a “because” clause in their prediction.

Anchor Charts

Once the students have used their predicting skills, make an anchor chart.  The below anchor chart was made with a group this year.  Unfortunately, hind sight is 20/20.  We went back and made a new anchor chart, although I don’t have a picture of it, to add “and what we know” to the chart.  We know crabs don’t live on a farm, so predicting we’d see a crab wouldn’t be a “good guess.”

 Possible Predictions

Using “Go Away, Lily” by Reading A to Z, students were given a list of possible predictions.  The students read the title and were asked to determine if the prediction made sense.  Once they were given new information about the story, students predicted when Lily would bother her boy.

My second graders were using the Reading A to Z story, “Why I’m Late Today.”  They made an initial prediction for the story using the cover, the title, and their schema.  Once we read the first few pages of the story, students revisited their predictions and adjusted their predictions.  They needed to refer to the text to give evidence of their prediction shift.  Use the FREEBIE attached for a Reading Response Journal for independent practice.

 Practice, Practice, Practice

Allow for lots of practice and help the students hone their predicting skills.  Start small, predicting with whole group.  Add the "because" clause and make them justify their prediction using the text and their schema.

If you would like a predicting paper, Click Here.

If you would like a predicting poster for your classroom, Click Here.

If you would like a full set of reading comprehension posters, Click Here for my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

(If you download the FREEBIES, I’d love you to add a comment.  I’d also love you to follow this blog.  Click to the left and let me know!)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five for Friday


1.  Visualizing Part II

Look what Heather Murphy’s kindergarten class made with the Visualizing lesson I posted February 19th.  What a great anchor chart.

 2.  Kindergarten Writing

Check out 2 samples from Heather Bailey’s class.  Heather Bailey was using a writing lesson I shared.   They are doing great things.

 3.  March Conferences

What a great March…I LOVED presenting at the North Carolina Reading Association Conference and the Virginia State Reading Association. 

 4.  Soccer Season

Soccer season is in full swing…so if you need me and can’t find me…check the soccer field!  Both of my boys play (one in high school and one is college) and there are games for each this weekend.  One son is a mid-fielder and one son is a goalie.  I'll be routing on the Hawks and the Wildcats!

 5.  Happy Spring Break!

I’m ready to rest and reboot!    I can’t believe we are almost done with the school year.  We start after Labor Day, so we go until the 14th of June.  Can’t wait to see how much my students have grown this year!

This could be a fun way to practice putting all the sounds together.

Click here for your Five for Friday FREEBIE

(If you download the FREEBIES, I’d love you to add a comment.  I’d also love you to follow this blog..Click to the left!)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Five for Friday

Several blogs have a "linky party" for a 5 for Friday.  It's 5 thoughts about the week.   I can't quite figure out the "linky party" yet.  But, here's my 5 for Friday.

1.  Best moment... Kindergarten is the best grade EVER!

After working for the last two weeks with a kindergarten class I announced today it was my last day with them.  Several children groaned and said, “Why?”  When I explained I had to go help another class how to write their own stories, one child said, “I’ll always remember you.”  I’m just going to the room next door.  Ahhh, to be remembered!

2.  Can't wait... starting the countdown to Spring Break.

It’s not going to be a restful break…driving with my parents to Ohio, but ready for a break from school.  It’s been a long, weird winter.  It will also be nice to see my aunt, uncle, and cousins.

3.  I'm loving... the spring weather today.

It was actually hot in my car at the end of the day.  I promise not to complain about the hot weather this summer.

4.  I'm not loving... the newest "widget" on my blog.

I really need to figure out this “follow my blog” widget on the blog.  UGH!  I hate when I follow the directions and it doesn’t do what I want it to.

5.  I'm working on... my IRA presentation.

Need to finish up my vocabulary presentation for IRA.  I'm very excited to be presenting.  Can’t wait to go to New Orleans!

Click here for 5 FREE for Friday!

(If you download the FREEBIES, I'd love you to add a comment.  I'd also love you to follow this blog...Click to the left!)

Thanks to for the clip art.