Tuesday, April 28, 2015

lightbulb moment

So there I was, working on comprehension with one of my little fourth grade kiddos. We're working on reciprocal teaching / thinking processes - this week predicting, but then we'll move on to summarizing, questioning (and one more strategy that is slipping my mind right now).

I'm trying to get her to understand that Reading is Thinking. Let me say that again, Reading. Is. Thinking. When I taught middle school kids, I swear, this was the broken record saying always on repeat in my classroom, on my anchor charts, and peppered in my conversations with kiddos.

We began this awesome book from the Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) System - Hodja and the Robber. It's a classic tale from Turkey, and the main character, Hodja, isn't that smart. It's a super funny book and every kid I've read it with loves it!

So my little kiddo looked at the cover and then I asked her to read the brief excerpt on the back of the book. She read it to me, and I asked her what it said. She looked at me as if to say, "I'm not really sure," so I asked her, "Did you want to read it again?" She said yes, and then read with the understanding that should would summarize it to me afterwards, and then did beautifully. After she summarized, I asked her to predict what she thought would happen in the book.

She told me that she thought a robber would go into the house. We next talked about how a prediction is not what the text says explicitly, and since the excerpt on the back said a robber would go into the house, she cannot make that prediction. Then she told me she thought the robber would feed the donkey...a great prediction that was based on evidence of another part of the excerpt!

We begin reading. I remind her, "Reading is thinking." I continue by telling her I'm going to stop her along the way and ask her to retell or predict, so make sure that she is thinking about her reading. Or, if she forgot to, she can simply tell me she needs to reread.... "After all, good readers who forget to think about the text go back and reread!" I also told her that there will be some Tiger Tickets in her future for good thinking about her reading!

She began, read the first page, and summarized beautifully. Then she predicted that the wife will get mad at Hodja because he didn't  want to feed the donkey anymore. I prompted her to write that prediction down, and check the former one we had written, but decided we needed to read on to determine the outcome of the first prediction.

As we make our way to the next page, my kiddo begins reading again. And then she's smiling. I know it's because the story was unfolding exactly as she predicted: the wife did, in fact, get upset with Hodja and they were having an argument. So there's my kiddo, reading, and I know what she's thinking because she's smiling, and I'm overcome with pride in her work.

Afterwards, I tell her that I'm so proud of her, because I knew that she was thinking about her prediction, and because she's doing exactly what this intervention is all about. And I'm so happy that I have just a little bit of tears in my eyes. So So happy.

Am I a goof? I mean, that's not the word I need here to convey what I'm thinking....I'm not sure what to call it, but I am 100% serious when I tell you that the glistening in my eyes was real. Because I am looking at this kiddo and, just like Yetta Goodman says when she talks about being a Kidwatcher, I'm seeing everything that she can do:

  • She reads with beautiful fluency: Her intonation is impeccable, her prosody is perfect, and her speed is spectacular.
  • She's easily motivated by great books, like the one we read today.
  • She's got great handwriting and has really nailed the way we take notes about predictions in her notebook.
  • She's totally open to feedback - feedback that praises her hard work and also feedback that clears up misconceptions within her learning.
  • She speaks two languages, so when I told her, "Hasta manaña," she replied with, "Igualmente!"

I just love those moments when the lightbulb turns on. Has that happened to you lately? Please share!

One last thing before I go...
Don't forget that I'm hosting the On Your Mark book study this Thursday! If you bought the book, be sure to link up your post with reflections on the Introduction and Chapters 1 and 2 later this week!


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