Friday, September 16, 2016

Give Me a Finger

When students come back after summer break many have made some growth in their reading skills due to the books they read at the library.  Some continue to struggle. Each child is now in a new grade thinking that they can read more difficult books just due to their age.  Some can read harder books, some can’t. It is important for children to be able to select appropriate books independently.   In second grade, we worked on recognizing when a book is “too easy” “too hard” or “just right” for us to read.  We read Goldiesocks and the Three Librearians by Jackie Mims Hopkins.  Next, we talked about how to use the five finger test.  The five finger test is when a student picks a book they might be interested in reading.  Next, they make their first attempt at reading a page.  If they come across a word they are not sure of they hold a finger up.  If they are holding up four or five fingers by the end of the page this book is likely too hard for them too read.  If they hold up zero to one finger this book might be too easy for the student.  If they hold up two fingers it is likely that this book is just right!  This allows the child to make an informed decision about their reading and provides more chances for success.  It also provides appropriate practice for making good choices.  Later we read Dog in Boots  by Greg Gormely.  It is a story about a dog searching for the right footwear.   He finally  realizes that he doesn’t need shoes or boots.  He knows that his paws are “just right” for him!  We made the connection that some books are too hard for us, some are too easy, and some are just right. Students also learn that each one of us is different and read at different levels.

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