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Reading Comprehension Strategies


Comprehension strategies can be fun!  Adding in Thinking Marks helps reading comprehension activities become a lot more engaging, especially when students get to use sticky notes!  My students just love using Post It notes during guided reading.  Or anytime really!

Reading Comprehension Strategies using Thinking Marks

I like to help students be more intentional with their comprehension as they read.  Using thinking marks anchor charts and bookmarks helps them to achieve this.  

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Reading Comprehension Strategies using Thinking Marks

The thinking marks anchor charts are included in the My Reader's Notebook.  This interactive reader's notebook can be found here.

Reading Comprehension Strategies using Thinking Marks

At first, students seem to use use the heart, or favorite part, of the story a lot.  But they soon move into using the other thinking marks.  I am always amazed when they use the ? or confusing part mark to get help on words or parts that they didn't understand.  It is powerful to have other students in the group help each other when someone has used this mark.


Reading Comprehension Strategies using Thinking Marks

Nonfiction texts always seem to get a lot of surprising marks!  I guess we all like fun facts that we didn't already know!

Reading Comprehension Strategies using Thinking Marks

A couple of my groups are so engaged when they are using the I agree because... or I disagree because...  They love to try to prove their points!

Reading Comprehension Strategies using free Thinking Marks bookmarks

If you are looking for ways to get students to use text based evidence thinking marks and the I agree/disagree posters are the way to do it in a fun way!  

Reading Comprehension Strategies using free Thinking Marks bookmarks

As soon as I ask students if anyone marked a surprising part or important part or any of the others, students immediately go to their book, open it and find that section.  That is exactly what I am wanting...students getting back into the text to prove their thinking!

Reading Comprehension Strategies using Thinking Marks







Reading Comprehension Let's Roll

Reading Comprehension Questions for Deeper Conversations about Text

We have the most fun and the deepest reading comprehension conversations when we are using these differentiated learning cubes!  Actually, we use them in lots of different ways in the classroom, but reading comprehension questions have really been a fun way to get students to having deeper discussions about texts they have read. 

Reading Comprehension Questions for Deeper Conversations about Text

 Some of my reading groups are reading fiction and some are reading informational texts.  I was looking for a way to up the engagement for comprehension discussions and a way to take their discussions to a deeper level.  Some of the the links below may be referral links, which means,  I will earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Reading Comprehension Questions for Deeper Conversations about Text

I have these differentiated learning cubes and already knew the students enjoy working with them.  

Reading Comprehension Questions for Deeper Conversations about Text

So we used the cubes for comprehension questions too.  I chose questions that would fit the particular text they were reading and the conversations just took off!  Using the reading comprehension question cards made a big difference in the students excitement to talk about the books!  

Reading Comprehension Questions for Deeper Conversations about Text

Besides having all those reading comprehension questions for informational text, I have 60 cards for fiction text too!  There are so many ways to use the cards:
  • guided reading small groups
  • literacy centers
  • reading interventions
  • Scoot
  • discussion circles
You could have 2 packs of cubes, load them up with the appropriate cards and have 6 different discussion circles going.  These areas could all have the same text with different questions or different texts all the students have read.  Then students could rotate to the different areas after a timer goes off.  Really, the possibilities are almost endless in how you could use them!

Reading Comprehension Questions for Deeper Conversations about Text

Using the I agree because... and the I disagree because discussion stems helped students have more meaningful conversations with their peers!  They were not allowed to interrupt as a student was answering their card after having tossed the cube to see what would be their question.  But after the question was answered, students had wonderful discussions about why they disagreed or agreed.  The conversations were at a much higher level than any other time.  Several were discussing how they were going to go home and look up a particular point they had discussed to see who was correct in their thinking!  WIN!!

Reading Comprehension Questions for Deeper Conversations about Text

The cubes come in a pack of three and are soft. This means no noise of cubes banging around on desks or floors!

Reading Comprehension Questions for Deeper Conversations about Text

Each cube has a plastic pocket where you can slide cards into them.  You can find these reading comprehension question cards- Let's Roll!- here.


Reading Comprehension Questions for Deeper Conversations about Text


Reading Comprehension Questions for Deeper Conversations about Text

You can find my other ideas and ways of using these cubes by clicking here.  So many ways to use them for letter identification and phonics skills too.


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Family Literacy Night Activities It's A Lawn Party!

Family Literacy Night Ideas and Activities for Lawn Party

Family Literacy Nights are so much fun!  The secret to having successful family nights for us is to have lots of games, good activities, free food, and lots of fun!

Family Literacy Night Ideas and Activities for Lawn Party

This year our theme (we always pick a theme- do you?) was It's A Lawn Party.  We chose games and activities families might do if they were at someone's yard party.  But we held it in the gym in case it rains.  Like it did.  And almost always does!  Some of the the links below are referral links, which means,  I will earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Family Literacy Night Ideas and Activities for Lawn Party

We greet our families with a welcome table.  Here is where families sign in, pick up a treat bag for each child and a Family Night Passport.

Family Literacy Night Ideas and Activities for Lawn Party

The passports this year looked like this.  I like to have a passport to help families move around to the different activities.  That way they have a chance to visit all of the areas and games.

Family Literacy Night Ideas and Activities for Lawn Party

We decorate the doors going  in to the gym too.  This is a piece of one of the doors with lawn signs.

Family Literacy Night Ideas and Activities for Lawn Party

The treat bags had a piece of candy, pencil, a couple of games and a pack of cards for playing math games at home.  Each child receives a bag as soon as they come in.

Family Literacy Night Ideas and Activities for Lawn Party

One of the stations in the Parent Survey.  We are required by state to have parents fill out a survey on our Title program.  We offer this survey on computers and on paper pencil to parents.

Family Literacy Night Ideas and Activities for Lawn Party, Bingo for Books

One of our most popular games of all time is the Bingo table.  We have a long cafeteria table covered with a decorative tablecloth, place Bingo cards and Bingo chips at each spot so families can just sit down and start playing at anytime.  When they win they go to another table and choose a free book to keep.  We have free food and free books at every family night.  The food brings the families in and we get to put free books into the children's hands to take home.  Win, win!

Family Literacy Night Ideas and Activities for Lawn Party

The other popular game for the night was Corn Hole.  It was a definite hit!  Be sure to have workers stationed here so it doesn't get too wild!  We played it differently than normal.  I didn't face the boards to each other.  I was afraid bean bags would be flying through the air towards people eating!  We placed them up by walls and that helped a lot.

Family Literacy Night Ideas and Activities for Lawn Party

Besides having yard and board games to play, we also had a drawing.  We give away books from the book fair and lots of yard games that went with our theme.  You can check out the games by clicking the links below.  It's all about getting families together and having fun!

Lawn Games:

Board Games:

You can also find our Family Literacy Night Scavenger Hunt activity here.

And our Family Literacy Night Pirate themed Scavenger Hunt activity here.




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