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Comprehension Strategies for K-2
by Michele Polselli

Lesson One:  Planting A Story Seed

Teaching the strategies of Visualizing and Schema with Students and their Parents

Inviting parents in to the classroom to learn about the first two strategies that I teach had a wonderful
impact on the way parents are reading to their kids at home.  I teach K and I have already started to invite parents in to my classroom as I teach visualizing and schema strategies with my students. I had parents and children sitting 'eye to eye' and 'knee to knee' on the floor as I read a book about planting a seed.


It's Pumpkin Time!
by Zoe Hall, Shari Halpern

I asked parents  to 'turn and talk' to stimulate language.  I was not sure what I was going to do until the parents were right there with their kids, and then I just did what I always do, lead the lesson using reader's workshop model as my guide. The parents loved it! After we read the story, parents went off with their child to different centers.


Center One: Making a book

At one center, they drew pictures and wrote a three page sequencing story about the book I had just read, using visualization and schema.

Center Two:  Planting A Seed

At another center they went to, they actually planted seeds. Each student planted seeds with their parents, then using their Science Notebooks; we collected data daily on the growth of the plants. I used paper whites, which grow fast, (three weeks to bloom) and then the students took their plants, book and science notebooks home to give to their parents as a Christmas gift for those who celebrate. I was trying to make the connection that the planting of a seed is like planting a story in your head. 

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Week 1:                        Week 2:                     Week 3:


I had a parent comment sheet asking them to share how they felt after the lesson, and used the comments to change my instruction for the next time they come in. I am not sure what I will do next and would appreciate any thoughts. Most of the parents loved it  I know as a teacher at the K level, that I often worry about the students that cannot quite reach the benchmarks. After talking with this parent, I now know that I must concentrate on students who surpass benchmarks as they develop their understanding of the strategies as well. I told parents that it was more important to discuss what they reading one page before moving on, even if that was the only page they read with them on a given day. I told them that not to worry so much about finishing the story, and to concentrate more on having their child verbalize and share their thinking. Parents were very surprised at this method and I think we need to share with them more how we are teaching literacy. I hope this helps you think of what you will do to invite parents in while teaching the strategies. The Parent Comment Sheet is below.  Open it into your Word Program and print from there.

Parent Comment Sheet

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Last updated: 12/30/05.