The students began making t-s (text to self) connections, and then as we read more books by Kevin Henkes, they branched out to t-t
(text to text) and t-w. I modeled these connections first by bringing an excerpt of a book I'm reading in to school and copying parts that would show my connections
to the text. I put these on overhead transparencies. They enjoyed "reading" my book with me. I also modeled how to infer information from the text. This showed them that even adults make connections to text when they are reading. I modeled how to write their connections on post-it notes and how to code them, i.e. t-t, t-s, t-w. After reading each book, we recorded their responses on a big chart. Now, to my amazement, the kids ask to bring post-it notes to the floor when I'm reading a story so they can write their connections and questions to share. I collect these and write them on a big chart to share the next day. The questions, which I will discuss in the next paragraph, are also written down, and used the next day to discuss the story. When they are reading silently, they raise their hands to share the connections they've made or ask to write them on post-it notes.
To teach questioning, which I think has been an excellent tool for comprehending text and opening up discussion, I have done the following. I used the book, The Day of Ahmed's Secret. I read it first to myself and wrote a couple questions that I had on sticky notes, which I stuck on backwards so they couldn't see them.