Thursday, January 26, 2012

Introducing Read to Self

On the first day of school, I introduced Read to Self as one of the reading activities we would be doing every day this year - you should have heard the groan!! These little people do not see themselves as readers at all. I'll have to change that!

I introduced Read to Self by explaining that there are 3 ways to read a book. The chart I made in class was a little messy so after about the next week I'll replace it with the one below and put it up in our library area - at the moment the one I wrote is in on my little easel so we can refer to it often. You can grab it in Google Docs by clicking on the picture.
I then demonstrated the 3 ways to read a book - I know the sisters recommend doing it over 2 days, but I've always done it in one. This is the third time I've used Pat Hutchins "Rosie's Walk" to introduce the 3 ways of reading and it's always a hit, even if they have read the story before.
I first read the words in a very boring voice WITHOUT showing the pictures. I ask whether they enjoyed the story and, of course, they say NO, that's BORING! They notice that I skip every second page and think I'm not reading all the words but I explain that there are no words on those pages.

We then read the pictures. This is always so much fun! We notice that the fox wasn't in the words at all and that we had missed a major part of the story by only focusing on the words! We make predictions about what is going to happen to the fox on every second page. We notice that there are marks on the page that show the direction of the rake flinging up for example and that we can follow the gaze of the fox to see that he is watching Rosie very intently and near the end he looks very weary! We notice that Rosie seems oblivious to the fox, but there is always a little cutie that says maybe she is walking that way on purpose because she looks so smug!

They always beg to read the book again, so we always end up retelling the story as well! We use the pictures and what we know about the words to retell the story. I get volunteers to retell or offer suggestions for some pages after I have done the first few.

Another good book I read to continue demonstrating the 3 Ways to Read a Book is David Goes to School by David Shannon. 

After this, even my most reluctant readers want to start reading from their book boxes (which I've already set up with books since we haven't learned how to choose books yet). But before we can, we make an I-Chart (I'll have a picture tomorrow, but they always look the same!). We modelled the correct and incorrect ways to Read to Self which is always a hoot!

We, finally, start reading! We only lasted about a minute and a half the first day. We practised 3 times and that was the best! The first two times most kids talked as they went and got their book boxes, the second time they started sharing their books with others and talking about them (not a bad thing I know!). And the third time someone got up to get another book they saw on display. 

After each time, we checked in and reflected on how we went using our thumbs up or thumbs side ways (so-so, room for improvement). I also explained that once we have practised Read to Self more and built our stamina, we will then start Read to Someone and that is when we can share our books with each other but NOT during Read to Self. They are really looking forward to that!

Each day we are practising 3 times each day and they are getting better. We are aiming for 20 minutes. 

I'm off school today for Australia Day, so Happy Australia Day to my follow Aussies!


  1. Hi Kylie! I LOVED this post. I have just been given a 1/2 composite class for the whole of term 1 (my first ever whole term teaching job) and I am doing the same thing as you. I want to get the kiddies doing centres and reading to self is such a tricky one to get their stamina built up for! This post was just so helpful....THANK YOU so much for posting your experiences. Hoping you have a great end to your week and a fabulous weekend ahead. Happy Australia Day!!
    Good Morning Mrs Rubie

  2. Hi Kylie

    Thanks for this post! One of my teaching colleagues had mentioned the Daily 5 website to me and I have been meaning to have a look.
    I am inspired!

    I can't wait to try it tomorrow.
    I'll blog about how I went once I have given it a go.
    I hope my class enjoy it as much as yours seem to have.

    The Learning Curve

  3. Hi Kylie

    Do you use the whole Daily 5 and CAFE system? For how long have you used it and are you happy with it? Do you have the books or did you subscribe to the website? Which would you recommend?

    I would love to get started with it but I'm not sure if the book or the website would be simpler to follow.



  4. Tina, congratulations on receiving your first term contract! I'm sure it'll be the first of many!

    Jane, this is my third year doing both the Daily 5 and CAFE, although the first year I really struggled with the recording keeping (CAFE) side of things and didn't implement it properly. I've had to change the Daily 5 to suit my school requirements (e.g. do a Daily 2 or 3 instead) but I still set it up the same.

    I have bought both books and found them invaluable when I first started. I still refer back to them each Summer before heading back for the new year. I have only recently subscribed to the website so I could find out more about Daily 5 Math. I think the books are more worthwhile as you have everything in one spot, it takes you through the set up, has sample lessons, strategy lesson etc. Good luck!


  5. Thanks, Kylie. I am ordering the books. One of the other teachers on my year level is keen to give it a go so we will be able to learn together.
    We tried your lesson today in my class. They only managed 50 seconds! 20 minutes seems a long way off!


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