If only my job was to read books all day long…
Luckily, quite a bit of my day does include sharing my love of books with the BEST audience (in my opinion!) – my students!
And even better is the conversations that come along with digging into a favorite read aloud.
As much as I like reading books, I also like researching comprehension questions. Maybe my ideal career would be thinking of discussion questions for book clubs, haha.
I'm sure all teachers feel this way, but…
I think that the perfectly-crafted questions will inspire the A-HA moment”
when my students can connect to the story and author's purpose.
I teach Reading Intervention (first grade) where we spend the majority of our time decoding and building up our reading foundational skills. In addition to having my students work at their own instructional level, I also always include a read aloud at the beginning of every single session. This means my students are hearing at least 180 stories read aloud throughout first grade.
Last summer, I took a graduate course all about building students' literacy and love of reading through read alouds. One of my favorite textbooks from the course was The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. I highly recommend it if you are looking for well-documented research and strategies to improve your own practice!
UPDATE – since writing this original blogpost, I had the opportunity to attend a conference and hear Maria Walther present – FABULOUS! I couldn't get my hands on her The Ramped-Up Read Aloud fast enough – such a GEM!
I have been keeping a binder full of book companion questions that target skills my students are tackling, whether in their general education curriculum or speech-language services. Every year, my students are COMPLETELY different with unique strengths and areas of to focus on. After many (MANY) years, this binder is VERY full.
Accessibility is key and I wanted to have these story questions at my fingertips when I'm sharing a read aloud, so…
I created a set of “Book Tucks!”
What are Book Tucks?
They are one-page book companions FULL of questions, from factual or inferential, as well as critical thinking. I included vocabulary, mentor sentences, and extension ideas. ALL of this is on one teacher “cheat sheet” page that can be printed, folded in half, and “tucked” into the book.
Think of it as the ultimate bookmark!
Frederick by Leo Lionni is the story of a little mouse that moved to the beat of his own drummer. My students love this story and this book companion will help them dive a bit deeper into the classic tale.