For thirty minutes each day we have reader's workshop. During this time I teach comprehension strategies that students will use to become better readers. I spend about 10 minutes modeling/teaching a specific strategy and then students practice that strategy for the remaining 20 minutes. Research shows that good readers use the following seven comprehension strategies while reading: monitoring comprehension, using schema (making connections), creating mental images, asking questions, making inferences, determining important information, and synthesizing information. I use various picture books to teach these skills. Reader's workshop is mostly taught to the whole class, with minimal small group instruction.
Currently we are working on synthesizing information and determining what's important. We are learning that most fictional books have a theme, or something the author is trying to tell/teach us. We are also learning that there are many parts to non-fiction books, such as captions, table of contents, and indexes. Some books we will be reading to reinforce these skills are: Mirette on a High Wire, Frog and Toad, A Bad Case of the Stripes, Chester's Way, Luka's Quilt, Colonial Life, Where We Get Energy, and many more. Ask your child about synthesizing!