After reading today's Choice Literacy Big Fresh e-newsletter on previewing and reading Maria's post on having her students reflect on their class real aloud...preview and class read aloud reflections have been on my mind. The class read aloud has so many possibilities to develop community and conversations around a text experience that we all have in common. I loved reading and reflecting at the end of the day with my fourth graders...it was the last thing I wanted them to remember that we did as they left school. Reading, language flowing, listening, sharing...anxious to experience the text together the next day.
The one moment that anchored my class read aloud through the whole novel was the preview of the text. I would copy the cover, the blurb, the title page and the first two pages for every student. We would then "annotate" right on the paper. We would discuss what we learned from this information and what we wondered. Then we would develop three Big Questions that we wanted to reflect on after reading each chapter. We would share with turn and talk but I would also use these three Big Questions for reflection writing...after the first third, second third, and last third of the novel. Our conversations and feedback were right on because although we entered with different levels of engagement in thinking...we had one thing in common...the text.
Below is an example of our anchor chart for our preview of the book, The Gollywhopper Games. The blank space in the middle was the jacket of the cover of the book.