Monday, May 1, 2017

Rockin' Teacher Materials: Fishbowl Discussions



 My kids BEG to do fishbowl discussions! Who knew? We have used them with poetry, fables, short stories, and novels. We have even used them to discuss hot topics like the presidential election! Head on over to hear more! 




When I set up the fishbowl:
· Half the class sits on the floor in a circle and the other half sits in a chair on the outside of the circle.
· Sometimes I pick the kids randomly, but usually I choose a mix of outgoing and reserved students.
· I ask an open-ended question with room for interpretation to the students in the inner circle.
To ensure successful discussions, there are guidelines we follow. The inside circle must:
· State supported ideas
· Agree or disagree with a speaker and provide supporting or refuting information. PROVE IT!
· Make connections to the conversation.
· Do not interrupt a speaker.
· Do not speak a second time until everyone has had a chance.
The outside circle listens quietly while jotting notes or thoughts they may want to contribute later.
The students may be a little self-conscious at the beginning of the discussion, but usually warm up once the conversation gets going. I tell the kids they are talking to the group, not me. My job is to sit and listen to the discussion and not intervene for about 8-10 minutes. Although, I do sometimes need to redirect the conversation when they get off topic or start repeating the same thing, in different ways.
This page helps me stay organized. I just write the kids’ names in the boxes according to where they sit in the circle. During the discussion, I make a check mark for people who have spoken and keep notes so I can follow up after time expires.


If you would like to organize your discussions, just check it out by clicking the pic!


Thanks for stopping by!






Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mastering Short Vowels

Short Vowel Activities

Mastering vowel sounds is an important step to reading and short vowels can be especially tricky for some readers.  

I like to use lots of different activities that allow my readers to practice short vowels and cvc patterns.  


Short Vowel Activities Roll On set and rimes

One fun way to practice short vowels is with these cubes!  I don't know what it is but kids LOVE to roll these cubes!

Short Vowel Activities Rolling CVC words

I like to have students practice on-set and rimes and blending individual sounds.  

Tips for using linking charts activities to learn cvc words

Do you use Linking Charts?  I have found that reading linking charts make a huge difference, especially for struggling readers.  We read the forwards, backwards, top to bottom, bottom to top, etc...  Some have picture clues and others do not.  It is all about getting students fluent with the sounds they are working on.  

Short vowel cvc chunk it activities

As students gain confidence and letter sound skills, I also want them moving toward chunking words together.  Seeing words as whole pieces or in chunks rather than individual sounds.  While working on reading, we are also working on comprehension!


Short Vowel Fluency Strips

A fun and quick way to practice short vowels is to do a quick run through on fluency strips.  Students can grab a ring in the mornings or during word work stations and go read!

Short Vowel Fluency Strips

Doesn't take but a few minutes a day and they can be read in pairs too!

cvc intervention phonics binder for RTI, guided reading and word work stations

Try adding fun pointers to your word work!  Funny how just adding something different can up the engagement for students!


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