Reading at home is crucial but discussing the book is even more critical. Comprehension is MUCH more than simply recalling words from a book and checking the task off the list.
Do your parents need support with this? I know mine always did, so I want to share an idea with you!
What I have learned is that it’s not that parents don’t want to help their child, but many just don’t know where to start when it comes to the questioning part! Let’s be honest, it can be challenging selecting the type of rigorous or thought-provoking questions that teachers use at school. Taking the guesswork away from parents and helping them out truly changes the game and builds confidence within them!
You will need to think about the main genres you will teach your students. Most of their guided reading text will fall into the categories of fiction and nonfiction so that is a great place to start. You will want to generate at least 3-4 questions that parents can use with their child that are open-ended and allow for discussion. This is going to help foster a valuable discussion at home and will allow enough opportunities for comprehension to be deepened.
Once you have generated the questions, you will send those questions home with your students and their guided reading books. Encourage parents to read the questions you sent home to facilitate the comprehension portion of their child’s reading. Tell the parents TO KEEP the questions you send home in a safe place like in an envelope or a folder. Since my question slips are slender, they fit perfectly into an envelope so that is my preference. I send home the initial envelope and encourage parents to add to it!
Time is crazy and you may not have time to create all of these slips consistently, so you’re in luck because I have done much of the hard work for you! All you have to so is print these Guided Reading Question Slips, cut them apart, and send them home! This set shown has 35 total question slips: 20 for fiction, 10 for nonfiction, and 5 for biography and has a response sheet! Each slip can be reused with several books all year!
But this does not have to be fancy… you can easily type the questions in a Word document or in a PowerPoint slide, duplicate the set, cut the strips, and send them home!
I love hearing parent feedback after receiving and using these slips! It makes me so happy that I can support them with nightly reading and heavily keeping comprehension top of mind. Over long breaks, during summer, or over weekends, parents will always have a set of rigorous or discussion-based questions at their fingertips to ask their child and to make reading time more meaningful at home!