First things first... the fun stuff! Today Dana from Fun in 1st Grade is featuring my blog on her New Blogger Tuesday section! I am very honored that she has given me this opportunity, especially since I have found so many new blogs through this post. Head on over there and check her out!
Now onto the educational (but still fun) stuff. This year our county has implemented Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis' Comprehension Toolkit. I have used it a few times in the past and really liked it but this year we will be doing a new lesson each week. I still use CAFE but I do that mini-lesson during our novel study.
Last week's lesson was Monitoring Comprehension: Follow Your Inner Conversation. They do provide you with picture books for some of the lessons which is really nice except that they are the same picture books for third through fifth grade so that by the time they get to me, most of them have heard it. Since a good amount of my kids had already read that book, I chose another one: Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco. I love this book for multiple reasons and it works great with this lesson!
It's about a little girl who is having trouble in school, how her peers treat her and how she overcomes it. It has a nice twist to the ending and a good life lesson, especially for the beginning of the year. This is one of my favorite lessons because I love to watch the kids who are incredibly verbal try to hold it all in and write it down as opposed to shouting it out. They scribble furiously across their sticky notes and never seem to have enough, lol. At the end of the lesson when we discuss what we all wrote and share it with our shoulder partners they are always the first to say, "THAT'S WHAT I WROTE TOO!!!!"
The kids love getting to use the sticky notes during our novel study and use them to reference back when they are writing in their literature response journals. If your school does not have the Comprehension Toolkit I highly suggest that you invest or write a grant for it, definitely worth it so far!