As a teacher, I am always looking for areas to improve on. I am always looking at data and my students to see where my teaching can serve them better. One area that we are focused on this year is reading comprehension! We always work on comprehension but it’s been more teacher directed, oral or verbal discussions and just skimmed the surface. I knew my students could do more and deserved the opportunity to do more!
Read It Up
Last year, our districted purchased an IFL unit for us to use as an “exemplar” unit for teaching literacy. The unit was for two books: Brave Irene and Dr. DeSoto. These books are complex texts for kindergarten. The skills being taught within the unit were also challenging and complex. After reading through the unit and what was expected, I knew immediately that my students COULD be very successful with the skills IF they had the right tools, support and scaffolding. Because I believe this: my students (and all students) will succeed with the right supports in place. And thus was born READ IT UP!
After the success of our IFL unit I knew that providing READ IT UP creations for our text would improve our reading comprehension skills. And I was RIGHT! This year, we have been using READ IT UP weekly to work on comprehension skills and I have seen a drastic improvement in our comprehension skills. From retelling stories, to identifying problem/solution, cause/effect and vocabulary.
Reading Comprehension: Gradual Release
My teaching style continues to be the gradual release model. I Do/We Do/You Do. We use that approach with Read It Up as well. I read the story aloud. We discuss the story and create our graphic organizers. The students complete an independent retelling activity by writing and drawing. Finally, we come back together and we share our writing and drawing for even more book discussions.
With Read It Up you can choose to touch on multiple skills or you can choose to focus on 1 skill and do a deep dive into that skill. Each activity can also be easily differentiated to meet the needs of all students! Read It Up also works for small group instruction!
Read It Up: STEM
We also try to incorporate some math, science and STEM activities into our Read It Up. Why? Because I am a HUGE believer in integrating lessons and standards across all subjects. It just makes sense and makes our job a bit easier and helps students with critical thinking, problem solving and higher order thinking skills!
You can check out our READ IT UP creations here:
For a detailed post on a complete Read It Up lesson, check out this post about Creepy Carrots:
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