Now Introducing- Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars!

I am so excited to have Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars come and visit me today!  She has an awesome blog that you need to check out if you haven't already done it!  She is a Reading Specialist and has some great ideas to share.  So, here she is...

Hello, everyone!  I am invading Jennie's blog today while she is living it up on vacation!  And, yes, I am too!!  I hope she doesn't mind too much!
Last week I started on a new venture of tutoring a student.  I was super excited when his mom told me that he has comprehension issues.  OK, that didn't sound good, but for me, that means I get to work on my favorite part of reading ~ comprehension!

One of the things I learned in my many classes for my Master's was to use familiar text to help with learning new comprehension strategies.  It makes total sense!  If the student is learning a new comprehension strategy, we as teachers don't want them to be bogged down in decoding the words of a story and then trying to show what they know.

Instead, we can introduce the comprehension strategy by having the students read or listen to a familiar story.   I like to use fairy tales because students have heard them many times before.  One of my favorites to use is "The Three Little Pigs".  Students know the story and understand what is happening because they have heard it so many times.  And, even though there are different versions, most of them follow the same ideas.

So, while assessing my student the other day, I noticed he had a hard time with retelling and sequencing.  To help him focus on the skill of sequence, I would use the story "The Three Little Pigs".  Reading A-Z has a wonderful version of this, which would allow him to read the story.

After he reads the story, I would help him create a flow map to show the events of the story.  I am not sure if they used Thinking Maps at his school, so I will help him with this.  Then he can use the flow map to help retell the story.

After using "The Three Little Pigs" to help him with sequencing and learning a new way to show it, I would move on to another narrative with some ideas that he has some prior knowledge with.  He loves dogs, so this would be a good start.

We would go through the process again and again, moving to topics of less interest to him, since you never know what you may have to read.

This scaffolding will help him to gain a better understanding of retelling and sequencing a story.  As he reads less familiar topics, he will still hold the idea of how to show the sequence of the story.

Since Jennie will be teaching first grade next year, this is also a great way to help new readers learn some of those skills and strategies.  After reading the story, students can use the sequencing freebie for "The Three Little Pigs" to help retell the story!  Click here or on the picture below to grab it!

Thank you, Jennie for letting me invade your blog!  I hope I didn't do too much damage!  Happy Summer!



  1. Sequencing with piggies..... love it and thank you!! My daughter with non-verbal learning disorder will get a kick out of this. Great to find a story sequencing activity and not one that just contains pictures. Your generosity is sooooo much appreciated!

    1. You are welcome! I am so glad that she will enjoy it and you can use it!

      Reading Toward the Stars