My son almost daily comes home with the homework “Bien lire pg. xxx” (He attends school in French & Arabic here in Morocco.) This basically means “read this page well”. To his teacher, this means his fluency and pronunciation is correct when you read this page aloud to your parent and then have them sign your book. After a year of fighting over it, he has learned that to Mommy, read well, means I can read it AND understand it. In the beginning of the year, when I tried to ask comprehension questions from him I got so many complaints with the classic line “That’s not how my teacher does it!” By now, I just get a classic eye roll while he answers my questions with a touch of attitude, but knowing that he won’t get my signature without his answer.
In my classroom, my students are required to do 30 minutes of reading each night – 15 minutes in English and 15 minutes in their home language. (For my few who only read in English, they are simply required 30 minutes of English.) Then, my students are required to respond on Edmodo about what they read. The response question stays the same for 6 – 8 weeks, but does vary throughout the year so that students have a chance to respond using multiple comprehension strategies. My students know from Day 1 that when Mrs. Raki says “read well” she means read for comprehension.
In the beginning of the year our reading response question was: What did you read? Who wrote it? What pictures did you see in your head while you were reading it. Use the sentence frame: When I read about ____________ I saw ______________________ in my head.
Then we moved into: What did you read? Who wrote it? What do you think will happen next in the story? If you finished the book, what would happen in a sequel? Why do you think this? Use the sentence frame: I predict ______ will happen because __________.
Next it was: What did you read? Who wrote it? What text connections can you make with the story? Use the sentence frame: When __________ happened, it reminded me of _________________________.
Most recently, it was: What did you read? Who wrote? What inferences can you make? Use the sentence frame: I can infer that _______________________ happened even though the author didn’t tell me this because _____________.
Now, we are working on summaries and the response question is: What did you read? Who wrote it? Summarize your work with: a who, what, where, when, why, how summary AND a sentence or two putting that information together. You MUST have both to receive full credit.
Here are a few of my students’ most recent responses:
My students’ responses shows me that they have “read well”. They also get a chance to read each other’s responses and often choose to respond to each other on Edmodo.
How do you track whether your students “read well” at home?