I am reading A Curricular Plan for The Reading Workshop K by Lucy Calkins and Colleagues from the Reading and Writing Project (more on this fabulous resource in the future) and got the idea for introducing reading strategies as Super Reader Powers. I then got thinking about my classes of kindergartners. Both groups this year love to go to the library and get books on Superheros. This is a bit foreign territory for me, my three girls never were interested in Superheros. I didn't grow up with any brothers. I wasn't sure I could connect Superheros to Super Reader Powers until I was at the public library and noticed they had a special section of books all about Superheros but they were normal boys or girls or pets that were Superheros. I could relate to this and thought both boys and girls would enjoy these books.
Super Sam! by Lori Ries and illustrated by Sue Rama is a huge hit in room 104, times two! Sam is a big brother who just happens to take his baby brothers blanket and turns it into a cape. Super Sam is able to run, leap, fly, show his strength, and much more. Then on a page with no text, readers are able to look and think about the picture to know why Super Sam is need to save the day. Super Sam tries lots of things to save the day for his baby brother and in the end it might just mean Sam has to be Sam.
This text has large print, repetition, punctuation for inflection making it an interactive shared reading. I loved hearing my students share their picture reading thinking as they commented, "He isn't really flying. He just jumped off a chair and landed on pillows." For a few of my students understanding and taking ownership for one to one monitoring has been challenging each year. This year I decided to give them some tools to help make this important strategy more engaging while learning the purpose. I got chopsticks donated from a local restaurant. Just like Super Sam had a cape, we now have reading chopsticks and they won't let me call them anything else.