Teachers can always use more ideas for teaching reading strategies. Teacher Tanny McGregor provides clear ideas, concrete lesson plan introductions, and more for teachers in need of guidance when it comes to strategic reading (in Comprehension Connections, Heineman 2007) and introducing genre (Genre Connections, Heineman 2013).
In both books, McGregor begins with a concrete, visual representation of the concept. This helps separate the concepts in the minds of the students, and I loved her suggestions. Following the visual representation, she had suggestions for making the concept interesting by using senses (physically touching something, graphic organizers, songs or artwork). She also had inspiring quotes and recommended reading for each chapter too. Her ideas really helped me visualize how I could use these techniques in my own teaching.
The concepts discussed in Comprehension Connections were metacognition, schema, inferring, questioning, determining importance, visualizing, and synthesizing. These were terms I had heard before, but as a homeschooling parent and not a formally trained teacher, I had not understood the differences between each of them.
The genres discussed in Genre Connections were poetry, adventure/fantasy, historical fiction, drama, image reading, biography/autobiography/memoir, and informational text. Because I am pretty familiar with reading various genres, this book was not as mind-opening for me. But I still loved her ideas as to how to introduce these genres to elementary-aged children!
In general, I loved reading Tanny McGregor’s books. I look forward, especially, to learning more about the comprehension strategies she discussed.