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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Making Predictions

My third graders and I worked on making predictions these past two weeks. I began by reading aloud the book Suddently! by Colin McNaughton. This book is perfect for making predictions, but it can be hard to find at bookstores. I recommend ordering it from Amazon. You will not regret it.

As I read aloud, we completed an anchor chart together. We paused throughout the story to record our predictions, evidence for those predictions, and what really happened.

Then students read City Green by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan. With this book, students read a few pages at a time independently in a whisper read as I went around and listened. At this time, I assisted students with any word problem-solving. Students also created a chart similar to the anchor chart in the "Strategies" section of their reader's notebooks. As they read, they recorded their predictions, evidence for the prediction, and what really happened. When I listened to each student read, I also reviewed their prediction chart with them.

The next week, students read The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola. Students completed another prediction chart in their reader's notebooks. Again, students read in a whisper read while I went around and assisted students and discussed their prediction charts with them. Students improvement in supporting their predictions with evidence from the text was astounding. Their predictions became more sophisticated as well. This lesson also provided time to work on sentence structure when I went around and assisted individual students. For example, you can see that in one of the examples, the student was beginning all of her "why I think that" responses with "because." Another student struggled to remember capital letters and periods.

Both of these books center around young children achieving great things. The students could relate to the characters and really enjoyed the stories. I always love reading The Art Lesson with children because it reminds us that sometimes we get too wrapped up in rules at school and forget about how a "one size all" approach does not work for all children. If Tomie dePaola's teachers had never given him the chance to explore his own creativity, we might not have the many wonderful books we do today. Just an important message to remember!

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