Thursday, March 6, 2014

Seuss-Tastic Writing and a Freebie

What would it be like if Thing One and Thing Two came to visit a classroom of second graders? The 7-8 year olds I taught today had some very interesting things to suggest! After talking to their teacher last week, I designed a writing lesson to go along with Read Across America week and taught in her classroom today. It was so much fun getting to see the students share ideas, talk to one another, and make connections from the story The Cat in the Hat to their own writing.

Here's how it went:
The goal was to teach students that we can look at the way an author organizes his/her text and use that same structure in our own writing. We were focusing on sequence (CC.W.2.3) for our text structure and used The Cat in the Hat as our anchor text. As we read and looked at the pictures we talked about what the author did (not just what he said). He introduced characters, told us where they were, and set up a problem and solution.  I jotted these ideas on the Promethean flipchart I made:


 Next, we talked about the story elements and the sequence of events in our model text:

Then I gave students a copy of this organizer and we looked at our prompt. Students did lots of talking to partners and with table groups about possibilities for the story. We worked on the planning process together.

I gave students the writing paper and we wrote the beginning of the piece together. (Note to self: Second graders don't write as fast as I do. It's okay to slow down.) We focused on looking back at how our mentor text began and we used that as an example for writing our own beginning. I also modeled looking back at my organizer when it came time to write the middle and ending. And of course, we had to color the Things and add pictures to the stories when they finished writing!

Overall, I thought it was a really great experience! Students wrote in sequence and noticed the author's structure and applied it to their own writing. If I had it to do again I think I would do this over a series of days. It took us about an hour, but it really didn't seem to take that long because there were so many elements that were involved...reading, writing, listening, speaking, partner talk, group talk, jotting then sharing...

And here you have it--your reward for reading all the way to the end (or just scrolling). Either way, here are the materials I made to go with the lesson. Enjoy!



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Perfect Snowy Day

Need a fun activity for all the snowy days we seem to be having all around the country? Check out this pack to use with your favorite snow book!

Click {here} to read all about it!


                                                 



Monday, January 13, 2014

Kids Can Rock Research!

Research standards with primary kids? Well, yeah! {Head on over} and see how we researched our states with these handy dandy, easy-to-read state books and organizers. Your kids will ROCK their presentations and meet CCSS standards for writing, speaking, and listening to boot!

                   
                          Photobucket

Friday, January 3, 2014

Students Choose Their Stations? Huh?

Are you like me?  Have you been hearing about this student choice thing for centers & ready to start dabbling? 

Are you ready to implement some choice into your instruction?

Here's some reassurance: You don't have to dive in all at once. 


Head on over to the {Who's Who and Who's New Blog
by {Hilary Lewis}
 to read more and to pick up your own free copy of this 
'free choice' powerpoint!


C

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Guided Reading Anecdotal Records Notebook & Freebie


How do you keep your guided reading anecdotal records organized?  I like to have lots of pieces of information when I am planning my lessons for my small group reading.  But it was so hard keeping up with it all!  I had word lists over here and letters and sounds mastered in this other notebook and how students did on their running records in a completely different notebook.  

I am always tweaking how I do things to streamline it a bit more.  I finally have my anecdotal notebook like I want it.  Everything is right there- all the pieces of information that I need in one place.



I like to keep records on a lot of different pieces of information so I can more effectively and efficiently plan my lessons to fit each group and each student.  
I keep info on the book level, percent of accuracy, self-correction ratio, which cues they are using, and how their fluency and comprehension is progressing.  I also jot down notes about things I am noticing about their learning.  


As you can see from this picture, I also like to collect information on the students' phonemic awareness or phonics and the reading behaviors for the reading stage they are in.  


I also like to do little check ins on students as I listen to them read.  After I listen to them, I can show them the letters or words we are working on that week and do a quick check on them to see if they are mastering them.  If so, I just check it off my list.

These are great ways to see how each student is progressing and gives you a lot of important information for parents.  You get to know each child and their reading quite well.  Having an anecdotal notebook helps you plan more effectively for your small groups too.

If this notebook might help you stay organized and plan more effective lessons, just click on any picture above or click here to be taken to my store to see it.  

Here is a holiday freebie for you!  Hopefully it will help your students learn to use evidence from the text to prove their answers.  Click on the picture to be able to grab it!



I hope you all had a wonderful celebration of Thanksgiving with your family and friends this past week.  Be sure to come visit me at my blog!






Thursday, October 24, 2013

Addressing CCSS Standards with "Notice and Note" signposts

Here's a post I just wrote about using Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst in Reading Workshop.  The reading strategies are, of course, aligned with all the CCSS standards for 6th. grade reading:

Key Ideas and Details
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3 Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

Craft and Structure

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.5 Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.6 Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.
http://tmsteach.blogspot.com/2013/10/notice-and-note-working-with-signposts.html

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Easy To Use Reader's Notebooks

Using an interactive reader's notebook that is easy to use

Do you and your students love using Reader's Notebooks?  I love having my students use these great tools during word work, guided reading, goal setting, etc.... 

I used to use spiral notebooks, but I was never really happy with them.  Wires would come out, we didn't always need the lines, not an easy way to separate the sections, and adding pages never worked well.

I really like using Reader's Notebooks with my classes!  But I don't have much time with each group so the interactive notebooks that require a lot of coloring, cutting and gluing by the students weren't a good choice for us.  I like the way the activities look, but my students just don't have to complete a lot of them.  

In the Reader's Notebook that we are using now, there is very little cutting and gluing required.  Take a look at it!

Using an interactive reader's notebook that is easy to use

There are 4 sections:  Word Work, Comprehension: My Thoughts About What I Read, Vocabulary, and My Reading Progress.

Using an interactive reader's notebook that is easy to use

Each section has pages to insert into a 3-ring binder to aide students as they learn.  There are lots of different pages to help students with their reading.

Using an interactive reader's notebook that is easy to use

In the last section, My Reading Progress, there are lots of graphs and tables for students to monitor their progress and the books they read.  And very little gluing is involved!  That is what helps me out so much with time management.  

If this is the kind of Reader's Notebook that would work for you, you can read more about the contents by clicking here or by clicking on any of the pictures above.  

I hope your school year has gotten off to a wonderful start and lots of learning is happening!  Thanks for visiting with me today!  Stop by my blog sometime- I just got a blog make-over and it looks wonderful!  I would love for you to see it!!!