Thursday, July 25, 2013

Happy Bday to Me (and Reading Comprehension)!

It's true. Today is my birthday! I sort of have a tradition of celebrating my birthday for an entire week...which basically means I use it as an excuse for the week to not do anything I don't want to do or to do things I don't normally do.
Here's a few examples I've used in years past...
"I don't want to make supper. It's my birthday."
"I don't want to exercise. It's my birthday."
"I want to take a nap. It's my birthday."
"I'm having dessert. It's my birthday."
I know you're thinking these seem very reasonable on my birthday, but these are things I might say several times the week of my birthday. Ha! My husband teases me mercilessly over this, which of course, has prompted me to make it even 'bigger.' I can come up with all sorts of things now... ;-)
Maybe I should try...
"I don't want to watch another car show. It's my birthday." :-)
Anyway, this year has been a bit different because I'm still having the gall bladder/stomach issues. I have to have another test tomorrow... I did make supper for my father-in-law on Tuesday, which was his birthday. I even ate some of it and didn't feel too bad. Tonight the kids are making me grilled hamburgers, fries, and Smores pie.

I found the pie on Pinterest. Not my normal request, but I know the kids will love it (since I probably won't eat much of it). I'll let you know what I think.
Okay, I really wanted to keep linking up with Kelli for her schedule spotlight series. This week's topic is comprehension.
I'm afraid I might diappoint a little here. We have a basal--which I love--and I base my comprehension strategy and skill lessons off of that each week. I know some of you don't like to be tied to a reading series, but I like the direction it gives me.
I'll just share some of my favorite things for a few of the things on Kelli's list.
Main Idea and Details - Give students each a picture that leads to one big idea...for example: flip flops, beach ball, sunscreen, and beach towel. Then ask what all the pictures have in common. What is the 'main idea' of the pictures? This really helped my kiddos this last year. I had several different sets of pictures and they had to agree on the main idea. It was very interesting to hear their reasoning.
Making Predictions - The biggest challenge I have found on making predictions is getting the kids comfortable with making an incorrect prediction. They always want to be right! I keep reminding them it is just a guess of what we think will happen next.
Making Inferences - Kristi does an amazing job with this. The first time we teach it each year (with the basal we spiral back around several times within the year), she has her room all decked out with "bird prints" and bird seed...all leading to a paper bag and a note. Of course, I try to copy her because she is the Super Teacher! I have seen a crime scene pin on Pinterest that looks pretty fun too.
Summarizing - I like to ask, "When you go home tonight and tell your mom or dad about the story, what will you say?" It really helps them get the idea that they have to make it SHORTER!
Visualizing - "Take a picture in your mind. What do you see?" This seems to work well for me. A lot of times when I'm reading during story time after we've focused on visualizing, I will read a few pages without showing the pictures. They love trying to visualize what is happening and then check to see if they were right.
That's all I've got today...after all it is my birthday! Hee hee...

P.S. Did you notice we are really close to some follower milestones? Almost 400 on Bloglovin' and almost 200 on Google!!! Kristi and I are thinking...giveaway! Stay tuned for the details...


  1. Today is my birthday, too. Happy birthday!!! I wish you all the happiness your heart and hands can hold.

    1. Happy birthday to you! I hope you enjoyed your day!


  2. First of all, happy birthday. Mine is in a few weeks but the problem is I try to use the excuses all the time, lol. One of my favorite things to do is visualization. Last year I read a short Rosa Parks chapter book and the kids visualized they were in the book and then they would tell me what role they were playing and what they pictured was happening. One of the neatest things one of my kiddos said was that his movie was in black and white because a movie back then would have been. This was really the first time he had come out and asked to give an answer so I was very proud at how he got into the activity and amazed to be reminded how much they pick up without it even having to be said.

    1. Thanks for the birthday wishes. I just love it when you can get the reluctant ones involved! That is one of the best things about teaching. :-)


  3. Well Happy Birthday, my friend! The birthday week is a great concept. I say go for it!
    I'm not one of those people who's a fan of basals, but when it comes down to it, I don't think it really matters if its in the hands of a skillful teacher, which I have no doubt you are:). You have great ideas for story comprehension! May have to copy a few.
    Take care and get the stomach thing sorted out soon!

    1. Thanks, Barb. I agree about the basal... I think great teachers simply use it as a jumping off point though. That is what I try to do!


  4. Happy belated birthday, but since it's your birthday week, I suppose it doesn't matter that I'm a little late. My sister-in-law likes having a birthday month. :) I hope you're feeling better soon.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First


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