Today I'm here to share a reading strategy that was a major hit in my classroom with my third graders!
Remember how I told you awhile back that I'm OBSESSED with sticky notes?? Remember this picture??
Well, I turned that obsession into a great reading strategy for my students to use!
At my school, we used Accelerated Reader. Now I'm not here to share my opinion on AR. It was part of our reading curriculum and I made it work in my classroom! Students had to get so many points every year based on their reading levels. They really loved it!
Third grade is a big year for readers. Some students are transitioning from picture books to chapter books. Some students are transitioning from beginner chapter books to more complex chapter books. And some students are transitioning from elementary chapter books to middle school-level chapter books with tons of chapters. Reading levels are usually all over the place in third grade!
I quickly noticed that many of my students who were starting to read longer chapters books and my students who were just beginning to read chapter books were having a hard time remembering what they were reading. By the time they finished the book and went to take the AR test, they had completely forgotten everything that happened in the book! Not good.
Enter my obsession (and my students' obsession) with sticky notes! I knew that this would be a great way to help my readers!
The only materials you need are a book, sticky notes, and a writing utensil. I used a flair pen because...duh. You'll also notice that I used my all time favorite book as an example: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone! I did my summaries while I reread it for the one millionth time.
The idea is that at the end of each chapter, students write a short summary about the chapter and leave it in the book. When they get to the end of the book, they pull out all their sticky note summaries, put them in order, and review. After they refresh their memories and put their summaries away, it was quiz time! This strategy helped my readers so much!! I saw a vast improvement in AR test scores when we started using this strategy. And they LOVED getting to use sticky notes!!
We did have to have a mini-lesson on what to include on our sticky notes because our summaries were getting long!! To start, we included the chapter number at the top of the sticky note (just in case it fell out of the book). On the back we also wrote down our initials (also in case the sticky note fell out of the book). I liked for students to put the setting of the chapter at the top of the sticky note as well. We made sure to include new characters, new settings, and important events. I liked the students to underline any new characters. This was great practice on how to summarize a text!
After we started finding sticky notes all over the classroom, I knew we needed a way to contain them after they were taken out of the books. Students didn't want to just throw them away after they tested because they worked so hard on them and it was great to go back and refer to if they were talking to a friend about a text. So I made this cute little organizer for them to store their sticky notes!
I numbered the boxes to make it easier for my students to organize their sticky notes.
I hope this strategy helps your students as much as it did mine! Enjoy!