I have a new favorite children's book to share with you this month! One is a Piñata by Roseanne Greenfield Thong is a rhyming, bilingual counting book for ages two to ten. One of my favorite things about this book is its exploration of the Hispanic culture. Being born and raised in San Antonio, Texas myself, I've grown up celebrating and appreciating all things Fiesta- a cultural celebration featured in this book. While reading, I learned a few new Spanish words and had to use my inferring skills to determine what unknown words meant. The book also contains a glossary that allowed me to check my inferences for accuracy.
When we choose texts for our students to read, we should choose texts that require students to use the metacognitive strategies in our learning targets to process the text and capture students' interests! Texts can and should be used more than once. Think of how many times you have watched your favorite movie. Each time, you discover or learn something new. It's a great time of the year to use texts that focus on our American traditions and history while having fun reading various types of texts.
October is a month full of spook & treats! Incorporating student interests into your reading and writing block is a win-win for students and educators. Here are some fun ways to get students excited about reading and writing in October!
The most important skill students need to learn is how to think! If students can think about their own thinking and determine the strategy that he/she needs to use in any given situation, success in that situation can happen. As educators and parents, we must be explicit in teaching thinking by modeling our own processes out loud and then providing opportunities to use thinking strategies with various levels of scaffolding. We must take students from concrete situations to sensory-type situations that use different learning modalities to reading texts that require higher level thinking. In Tanny McGregor’s book Comprehension Connections (2007), she provides tangible examples that demonstrate effective practices for the classroom and home. I’ve created a quick chart that lists research-based meta-cognitive strategies, definitions, and activities that start at the concrete level and take students to the abstract use of the strategy.