Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Text + Thinking = REAL READING

Have you heard of Comprehension Connections? Because it's kind of a big deal to me right now. Written by Tammy McGregor, this book has made a world of difference in my room. Upon doing some research for this post I found A LOT of bloggers posting about it so please check out these posts for more inspiration: Holly at Criss Cross Applesauce, Mrs. Shulman's Class Wiki, and Lyndsey at A Year of Many Firsts. Seeing how there is already a lot out there and I seem to be late in the game, I'll keep it as short as I can.
This book is a must have for all elementary school teachers! I love the Daily 5 Cafe lessons but Comprehension Connections helps make reading concrete. So far my class has made a "Reading Salad," a giant thinking bubble, and "Schema Rollers."

One of the things I love about Daily 5 is that it doesn't cute-sy up  the vocabulary (i.e. stamina), and Comprehension Connections is the same way. After one week of using these lessons my kids understand and use the terms metacognition and schema. I also love the anchor charts  in these lessons. I forgot to take pictures of the charts I made with my class so here are a few I found via Pinterest:

For our whole-group mini lesson today my ESOL teacher and I team taught the Thought Bubble lesson. This week has been all about revealing what readers are thinking while reading text. Later during Daily 5, I caught these two lovebugs recreating the experience as they did Read to Someone (P.S. - this day was Pajama day). I couldn't resist snapping their photo. I'm thinking about replacing the "Checks for Understanding" with smaller versions of the thought bubbles.

I've only used the first two chapters with my kids so far and I can't wait to see how they take to some more lessons. Lately I've felt that my class has lost some excitement and urgency during Daily 5, and Comprehension Connections is giving us all a new way to think about reading. I hope you check this book out and let me know what you think!


  1. I love Daily 5, but I'd never heard of this book. Thanks for the recommendation.

    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. Oh my, thanks for the shout out and YES YES YES - this is a MUST read!!!!!! I tell you, this stuff STICKS with the kids!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  3. I LOVE this book! I started using it with my class, but then we were required to regroup our kiddos for reading and I didn't stick with the lessons. Your post is a good reminder for me to get back with it, regardless of who I happen to have that day for reading.
    An Open Door