Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Making Connections, Thank You, and a Question!

This week and last we have been revisiting text connections. I have taught it many times previously, but since discovering Comprehension Connections, I wanted to tweak a few things. My kiddos need a much more concrete way to make connections, and use their schema. If you don't have this book yet, you HAVE to read it. It has changed the way I teach comprehension forever.

We started by reviewing schema with a really quick activity. (Sorry I don't have any pics, my board eraser is VERY enthusiastic this week!) First we made a t-chart on the whitebaord;  Peter Piper Pizza was on one side, Zimbabwe was on the other.  I asked my students to tell me first about Peter Piper Pizza. Every single one of my students has been there before, and they were able to easily share their experiences as they visited. They shared the food they ate, the games they played, the sounds, the smells, the tickets and prizes, etc. Next, I asked my students to share what they know about Zimbabwe. (Insert crickets here.) Eventually I got some "huh???", and "what's that!?" They only thing we had to share was that it had 4 syllables. It was a great activity for my students to understand where schema comes from. We can make lots of connections to Peter Piper Pizza, because we've been there. We can't make any connections to Zimbabwe because we don't know what it is! We've never seen it on TV, read a book about it, or visited there. They really understood this, it was perfect!

To independently practice our T-S connections, we read Green Eggs and Ham. This was a perfect fit for a our Seuss day activities last week. Thankfully I found this T-S activity from First Grade ABCs just in time! It was perfect to tie in our T-S standards, and have some Suessy fun too! You can get it from their fabulous blog, here. 

Here is our Making Connections "target" anchor chart. It is a great visual for students to see the connections between T-S, T-T, and T-W. They really understood the text being the heart of everything, and then we expand on our thinking as we move outward to make connections.  

 I am so excited to keep using this book. I have been using it as my own personal book study. I am trying all the lessons I have time for this year, so I can tweak them and hit the ground running next year. I'm trying to recruit some of my school and team to jump on the wagon too! I have seen such a difference already in my students comprehension, as well as their ability to monitor their comprehension while reading. Love it!

Switching gears, I have to give a BIG thank you (again!) to Rebecca and Katie at First Grade ABCs. Can you tell I LOVE their blog?!  They were super thoughtful and honored me with:

I am so grateful! I haven't had enough time to blog stalk lately, but I am working on my list of new blogs to pay this forward to. There are so many great new blogs to choose from!

Now a BIG favor! I cannot for the life of me figure out how to post a blog button. I don't want to add it to my blog roll on the side of my blog layout, but I DO want to post it here in a post. I wanted to post Farley's button for the currently link up, and Rebecca and Katie's button in this post. Please help! It is bothering me!!!!

Have a great rest of the week!



  1. You can save the image of their button or do a copy url and paste it on your blog post and then link it.

    Hope that helps!
    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

    1. I've tried both over and over! Something is not right. It just won't link. Thanks for your help! I'll keep working on it!

  2. Love your Making Connections anchor chart. Stop on by and visit my blog.
    I'm having a Learning Resources giveaway that ends tomorrow.

    Yearn to Learn Blog

  3. thanks for sharing that idea! our green eggs and ham day is tomorrow!