I graduated "Education Student of the Year" from Ohio State University. I received my Masters in Reading Instruction from Ashland University. I taught first grade for 10 years and second grade for 9 years. I have used a literature approach to teaching reading for the last 19 years. Through the years I have developed question sheets for students to use to facilitate comprehension for the books they read. These can be used for independent, group or read aloud. It is a successful component to my instruction. I plan on putting on all the question/answer sheets I have developed. Check back often to see the new titles added.
Literature based...I have 3 to 4 reading groups that meet daily. I switch up the genre and book styles often to "hook" as many readers as possible. I like to introduce different series so students are encouraged to pick and read books on their own. After a year in my room students are avid readers. Along with the reading comprehension sheets posted I also do word ladders, much expository/creative writing, fluency passages and plays, word sorts, vocabulary lessons and phonics. My motto is you learn to read by reading! These comprehension sheets allow students to read and read and read!
Educator of the Year from Ohio State University in 1987. Graduated cum laude from OSU in 1987. Graduated summa cum laude from Ashland University in 1994. Led workshops/classes in whole language from 1987-1995.
**Tips for using my question sheets... To get the maximum reading time for my students, I use these question sheets as a comprehensive check. I have found that over the years if I do too many other activities it actually shortens the amount of reading time they have. **This year I have 3 groups that are divided by reading/comprehension ability. I meet with each group for about 20 minutes daily. Each group is in a different book. I begin each book with an introduction: title, author, and a picture walk. By glancing through the book students predict what they think the book will be about. They look at the pictures and chapter titles and get a little preset to what they can expect. If it is a book from a series they are familiar with we discuss the characters, setting and other traits the author uses. Usually I read aloud the first few pages of the first chapter and we discuss what is happening. Then I vary how we read the book. We can read a chapter aloud together, in pairs, or silently. From there the students are expected to take the book home nightly and read at least a chapter. I never limit how much they can read. The next day we discuss their reading and students complete the question sheet. They are encouraged to go back into the book to find answers. There are times we are a few chapters behind with the question sheet, but I've found if I wait too long to work on the question sheet the kids' overall comprehension isn't as well developed. **To maximize reading development I have students rotate to three areas during reading group time. One group is with me. One group is at their seats silent reading or writing. One group is with a parent helper or "student leader". Here they do a word ladder, a fluency passage or play, read a nonfiction book I have in sets, practice spelling words on slates or do a word sort. I plan some part of that every week but realize it can't be all done in one 20 minute time block. Phonics, spelling and writing lessons are at separate times. **I use the "Lexile Level" to determine book difficulty. Although I know a few hard words can skew a book level, overall it gives me an idea of readability. Within the groups I vary the level so that students aren't always reading on the instructional level. We may do a classic (like Charlotte's Web) and then do a "dessert book" that is 200 lexiles lower (like Judy Moody). I try to introduce as many different series and and authors so students can hit on that perfect fit and want to read other books by that author. **It is really easy - too easy- and I feel guilty with how effortlessly my second graders turn into avid readers. By the end of the year many of my students are reading a book in one or two days and I have trouble keeping fresh books in their hands. So far this year each group has read at least 25 chapter books. My especially avid readers really enjoy the question sheets and prefer to read books that have a question sheet. They find it keeps them centered and thinking about what is happening with the book. I offer a wide selection of books with difficulty from a Little Bear (300 Lexile) to a Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1000+ Lexile). I have found if there is high interest they will find a way to read it! I am also an "equal opportunity offender" - I offer Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants, Super Diaper Baby, and Stink books to get the reluctant reader to read. I throw in a few classics like Charlotte's Web, Little House in the Big Woods or Robinson Crusoe Jr. Classics to nudge them into finer literature. My main goal is to get them to read, read, READ! The more they read the better they get. This whole to part approach (linked to heavy emphasis on their writing) has been the reason for their reading success. By replacing skills lessons with reading strategies I've found the bit by bit reading instruction is no longer necessary. **The bonus of this approach to teaching reading is kids gain confidence in their reading ability. When my students were given the Reading Diagnostic test this year they laughed and said, "That's all we have to read?!" They were insulted! They also had the strategies to locate information and answer in complete sentences. Also, by being exposed to a wide genre of books they can independently go to the library or book fair and come back with a book they are excited about reading. **The downside to this approach...keeping up with the question sheets and buying enough books. One sign of a successful reading program is if students have a hard time returning the books they've gotten, the program is working!