Making Connections to Story and Sequence
As students are sitting on the carpet with me, I ask students to think about what they do beforethey come to school. I give think time and the room is silent.
I say: Everyone is thinking, not talking, about what they do before they come to school. I give them 15 seconds or so and direct: 'Turn and talk’ to an elbow partner and tell them what you do before school.
Text to Self Connections
I think aloud and model: Before I come to school, I like to drink a cup of coffee. I use this example because it is one that the students cannot merely repeat to their partner. Because my students are second language learners and come with almost no English, they tend to repeat my examples. My goal with this example is to model expectations, but still maintain the challenge and rigor of thinking and to encourage the text to self connection
I sweep the room, listening in on what students are saying to each other and assist with language where necessary.
I follow the same discussion procedure for 'during' and 'after' school. I say: We just talking about BEFORE, DURING and AFTER school actions. These words tell us SEQUENCE of our day...the ORDER of our day. It is alot like the sequence of the story, but for stories we often use the words BEGINNING, MIDDLE and END.
I continue: We are going to talk about the sequence of Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! today, so take a moment and think about what Henry did in the BEGINNING, MIDDLE, and END of the story and how he changed.
Scaffolding for Struggling Learners
I then ask the group to share something that they do before, during and after school. For limited and non-English speakers, I offer the linguistic frames: “Before I come to school I ___.” "During school I __." and "After school I __."
I chart chart their responses. If students are struggling with sequence, I will ask them questions like " Do you do this at home or at school?" to establish time and then build on that with "Do you do this before, during or after school?" to establish sequence.
Sequence with enlarged events in pocket chart
I enlarge the events of the story so that the whole class can do this sequencing activity together. I use four events to up the rigor just a bit from the three events we've been using.
I like to do this in a pocket chart, but a chalk board ledge works well too. Before we begin, I review each of the event stick illustrations out of order. This is my way of making sure the kids know what each picture signifies. I usually place the first square at this point in the year.
I say: This is the name of the story Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!. Do you remember what we call the name of the story? (title) The title always goes first so that the reader knows what story we are talking about.
I say: Now, let’s look at the events we have here. Which event came in the beginning of the story? What was the FIRST event of the story. You can take volunteers or pull a name stick and have a student come up to the pocket chart to identify the first event of the story. If they do not know, I choose another student. When they pick the correct one, I help them to place it right next to the title in the pocket chart.
I follow that same pattern until all of the events are placed in order after the title.
After all of the events have been placed, we ‘reread’ the events. I say: Boys and girls, this fast way of telling a story is called a "retell/summary." A retell/summary is when we tell the story with the main events. Let's read the title. We read the title together.
I prompt: Listen as I tell about this FIRST event Remember, start your sentence with "first" and then continue telling me about the first event. First, Henry is excited to get up and go to school. Say that with me. We repeat the sentence together.
I prompt: Who can now tell me about this SECOND event? Remember, start your sentence with "second' because you are talking about the second event. I choose a volunteer and coach them through the event, if necessary.
I follow the same pattern until all events have been 'read.'
Here is a great way to teach sequence! This is more for teacher information!
Guided Practice with Flow Map
Students will sequence four Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come events with the teacher’s guidance. I use these small versions we used for the whole group sequence previously. Students place the events in order in a flow map. I still do it with students because this is a brand new skill for them. This is an activity that is part of our reading series, so kids will see this consistently throughout the year.
Review events with students sitting on the carpet with me
First, I review what event each sketch represents. I ask: What does this sketch represent? This goes fairly quickly, as we are only using four events from the story. I have narrowed it down to four because we are building from three (beginning, middle, end) and there were four events in the story sequencing activity we did on the computer yesterday.
I show the boys and girls the flow map (title and 4-event boxes) and the events page where the events are out of order.
I say: Boys and girls, what do you think we do first when we are putting our events in order on our flow map? (cut out all of the events) Cut out your events first. What do you think we do next? (glue them in order)
I model cutting out each event and placing it in front of me. Here's why!
I ask: What always goes first in a story? (title) That’s right. I am going to glue my title in the first box. I glue the title in my first box modeling that we use just a small dot of glue.
I say: When you get your events, I want you to go sit in your seat, cut them out like I did and glue the title in the first box. Any questions?
Sequence of events- guided whole group
When I see that students have cut their events and glued the title, I call their attention to my flow map that is projecting on the document camera. I prompt: Look at all of your events from Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!. Look for the one that happened FIRST in the story and hold it up in the air so I can see it. As students are doing that, I am walking around to check their choices. I do not give corrective feedback right away, because I want them to participate without feeling threatened that I am going to call them out for having the wrong picture in their hand.
When everyone has a picture held up, I go back to the document camera and say: Boys and girls, you should be holding the picture of Henry excited for school. It looks like this. I show the the correct picture by placing it on the document camera.
I continue: Let's glue that picture into our next box on our flow map. First you should have the title. Next should come this picture. I model gluing the next picture in box 1 and say: Now you glue this picture in box 1. As students are gluing, I quickly sweep the room to make sure students are on task and assist where necessary.
We follow this same format for all of our events.
When we are done we practice retelling (A retell is verbal where students (in kindergarten) rely on pictures to summarize the story ) the events by 'reading the pictures.' Depending on the level of English I have in my class, I have students generate a sentence for each picture or I generate the sentence and students echo me.
Eventually students will be retelling stories by themselves, but they need a lot of practice and direct instruction before I release the responsibility of the retell completely to them.
This follows the pattern of our reading series. We sequence events whole group on day 4 of the text then the rigor is upped and kids sequence on day 5. As students gain more independence with this skill and activity, it becomes a formative assessment tool for me to see who can follow directions, understands the story and understands the importance of event sequence.