Sunday, February 19, 2012

Reading Salad

Last week during stamina reading, I noticed so many of my kids pretending to read. I have some great actors this year, and "fake reading" is one of their specialties. A few weeks ago, I attended a comprehension PD that included a lesson on Metacognition and what REAL READING looks like. I decided this would be the perfect time to show my kids what REAL reading is.

I started the lesson by bringing in a book that I was reading in my free time. I read a few appropriate paragraphs for my class. I read the whole thing straight through without any stopping. Then, I asked my class what they noticed about how I was reading. They shared things like: reading quickly, being able to read all the words, etc. I told them I had a big secret to share with them. I was FAKE reading! I was able to read all the words, and it looked like I was reading, but I was a actually thinking about Chicken McNuggets instead! They couldn't believe it! I asked them to be honest, and raise their hands if they had ever pretended to read. All their hands shot up. They admitted to thinking about recess, lunch, P.E., not actually reading at all, and only making it look like they were reading when I was looking. I couldn't believe how honest they were! I appreciated it, and it really made this lesson more meaningful. Here are some pics and a description of how the lesson worked.
My "Real Reading Salad." I had three kiddos help with this in the front of the room. As I read the words in the text, one kiddo put a "text" card into the salad bowl. As I stopped to think aloud and ask questions, a second kiddo added a "thinking" card to the salad. The third student was in charge of holding the salad bowl, and mixing it all together. As I kept reading and stopping to think, my helpers kept adding "text" and "thinking" to the bowl. I chose Something Beautiful written by Sharon Dennis Wyeth to use as our read aloud. It is a deep story, and there were lots of places to stop, think, and predict to model for my class.

This is our Real Reading salad mixture. Equal amounts, text and thinking.

I also made individual Reading Salads for each of my kiddos. I cut all the strips of paper, and then had the kids help me write text and thinking on them. Each student gets a text envelope, a thinking envelope, and a Reading Salad cup. During independent stamina reading, they worked with their own salads and added text and thinking cards to their cups as they were reading. I modeled this a few more times during the week, and I'll have my kids keep practicing with their owns salads during independent reading time. They loved it, and we've been throwing Metacognition into our day as often as possible to help them remember how to
 pronounce it! 

 Here is our anchor chart we made to show Real Reading. We started with text,
then talked about thinking. When you combine both you get REAL READING! Good readers are always thinking about text and their thinking. We titled our anchor chart Metacognition. I told them that was like a fourth grade word, and they flipped! My ELL class needed lots of practice saying it over and over, but they eventually got the hang of it. I told them to go home and ask their families if they knew what Metacognition meant. My kids were so excited to come back the next day and share that they knew a word their high school brothers and sisters didn't know!

This lesson was based on Comprehension Connections. This my new favorite comprehension book. I have previously used Reading With Meaning, but this one is much more hands on and concrete. I am planning to try many of these lessons for the remainder of our year. Love so far, and my kids are really getting it. Yahoo!

Later on in the day, one of my cuties came up to me and said "Mrs. Conger, I wanteded (oh those darn verbs!) to apologize to you. I'm sorry I was pretending to fake read." I thought this was so cute! She is such a sweetheart. Some of kids were writing about Metacognition during free writing, and how it was such a "fancy" word. Too cute! I forgot to take pictures of their writing, but I'll post on Tuesday!



  1. I absolutely LOVE the book, "Comprehension Connections." It's definitely one of my favorite teacher resources. Great ideas! I'm your newest follower.

    Your blog is adorable! Come check out my blog sometime. I posted a few freebies recently.

    A Year of Many Firsts

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  3. Another Melanie here...I have this book. Our school did a book study on it. I even made presentations for it on the Promethean Board. If you have one or could use them otherwise, I'll be happy to forward them to you. :)

    Stapler’s Strategies for Sizzlin' Second Graders!

    1. Thank you Melanie! I would love to check them out. I have a SMARTboard. Will that work?

  4. I need to check out this book ASAP!!
    I love your anchor chart!!
    ❤ Sandra
    Sweet Times in First

    1. It is the perfect hands on way to teach comprehension to our ELL kiddos. They REALLY make those connections!

  5. Love the blog...your anchor chart is awesome. Just found your darling blog and became your newest follower!

  6. Ahhhhhh! I am totally obsessed with Comprehension Connections! So excited to see how other people implement the lessons.:) Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm glad I found yours!

  7. Oh my, where to start? Thanks for stopping by my blog, yours is so cute! I use Comprehension Connections and LOVE it.

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