A few years ago, a wonderful woman named Miss Sharon came into my classroom and helped get my students and I into tip-top organizational shape! You can read more about her by clicking HERE and HERE. But Miss Sharon did way more than just help us get organized. She also gave my students some helpful hints about how to study, how to answer questions, and how to stay on task during class time. And at the same time, Miss Sharon helped to open my eyes about a glaring issue that was falling through the cracks in my classroom. That was the issue of comprehension.
When I say comprehension, I don’t mean the reading comprehension like most of us deal with on a daily basis in our classrooms – read a story and answer questions related to the story. The kind of comprehension I am talking about is the every day, task orientated, oral and written comprehension that we use on a daily basis.
Miss Sharon passed out a blank piece of paper to each student and had each of them listen to a list of directions. She then had them draw each of the tasks that she had listed. For example, Miss Sharon would say, “Step 1: Draw a square in the left hand corner of your paper. Step 2: Draw a triangle inside the square. Step 3: Write your name backwards inside the triangle.” To me, it seemed like a basic follow the directions type of activity and I was sure that my students would ace it.
Was I ever in for a surprise…
When Miss Sharon started her activity with my students, and I saw how many students were struggling with the concept, my mind was blown! What seemed to me like simple tasks proved to be quite difficult. Was it a processing issue for some students? Was it a comprehension issue for others? Was it just an underdeveloped skill set that needed a little more practice? Whatever it was, I knew that I needed to do something to help my students practice this very important concept and help their confidence grow in this area of their development.
I decided to develop a centre activity to help target the listening, oral, reading, writing, and processing skills that our students need to use on a daily basis. Since I do not have the time to dedicate to the development of this very important skill set during my daily lessons, developing a centre activity made the best sense to me.
Making these activities as a centre allows my students the chance to work on these during our regular English Language Arts centre time AND allows students to grab them whenever they have finished some of their classwork early.
This pack is differentiated so that it can be used by more than 1 student at a time. In a group setting, one person can act as the reader while the other student or students do the writing aspect of the task cards. If working individually, students will read the task cards themselves and complete the writing activities on their own. I have laminated the “Rules for the Reader” page and “Rules for the Writer” page and have velcro-ed them into the file folder so that they may be removed and replaced easily whenever needed.
Having my students be able to comprehend what they hear and what they read is extremely important to their educational success. These task cards encourage children to work individually or cooperatively to build listening and comprehension strategies that they can transform onto paper. They get to practice their mental recall skills, information retention skills, and their ability to understand what they read or are asked to do. The tasks might seem simple, but in reality, students aren’t practicing skills like these that much anymore. Because of that, some have great difficulty performing what is asked of them to do.
These task cards are perfect for centres and to keep children engaged when their assignments are completed. Some tasks are ambiguous to encourage students to take risks and think outside of the box. What I love about these task cards is that you get to see each student’s individuality in their answers. It really makes it clear that all our brains are wired differently and that we all think in a different way!
This product includes:
• 1 Rules for the Writer poster
• 1 Rules for the Reader poster
• 20 full coloured Task Card with Canadian and American versions for spelling
• ALL BLACKLINE MASTERS
Get your own copy here:
Have a great day!