Oral Retelling: The Big Secret

Oral Retelling Header

Sometimes I feel like a broken record when it comes to the disconnect between comprehension strategy instruction and comprehension strategy assessment...why is it that we continue to model and teach before AND during reading strategies when teaching reading, yet continually assess children's comprehension AFTER only?  I just don't get it!  The EOG is a reading test where we ask students to read a passage and answer multiple choice questions after reading and a running record is an assessment where we ask students to read out loud and then tell us what happened in the story after reading.   With the exception of Ellin Keene's Major Points Interview that I do during reading conferences, my school and district uses the benchmark assessment, Alphakids by Sundance and the Benchmarks Assessment Toolkits by Fountas & Pinnell. 

Since I'm all about giving kids the tools to succeed, I filled them in today on a little teacher secret and created this anchor chart to demonstrate.   I crouched down and spoke in a low voice...I said, "When you do a running record and finish reading the story, the teacher will then say...Talk about what happened in the story. However, what they really mean is...Talk about the plot, problem, characters, their feelings and how they changed, the setting, the resolution, your connections, your reactions, all of it." 

I created an independent collaborative center that I introduced to students last week called Partner Reading (and Retelling).  The reading groups board is set up with reading partners within the reading group so students know who they're working with before they get there.   We created a "Partner Reading" anchor chart complete with expectations. Included and most important about partner reading and talking about the book and having a conversation about what's happening in the book.  In this way, students are more authentically "retelling" elements and lessons from the book than a formal retelling, but prepares them by using the same oral language skills they will asked to use when they complete a running record.  Here is a picture of our Partner Reading anchor chart and a picture of the "Books Ideal for Partner Reading" (because they're "good books for thinking" as one of my students said).

We also created an Independent Reading rubric anchor chart...and since I only care for them to perform at the level 4 level, that is the only section of this chart we are filling in....basically, if you are doing anything less than level 4, than you're not a level independent reader and you need to check yourself.  

Last, here is the "Story Map on Steroids" that I created for students to use as talking points during Partner Reading.  I do not intend for students to take a lot of time filling this in as most of the front is lower level thinking with some elements of the back as higher level thinking.  



Nancy said...

I love this oral retelling chart. I'm planning to create one with my class. Thanks so much for sharing!

Jess said...

Your charts are fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

Your blog is so amazing! I just nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Check it out:


Unknown said...

I love all that you share and have honored you with an award:
Little Literacy Learners

Stephanie said...

I love the retelling chart. I am going to make one this morning!

Wendy said...

Thank you for all you're sharing! Your blog is amazing! I'm your newest follower!

Wendy =O)

YearntoLearn said...

What a super story map.

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