Filed under: Comprehension, Debra Renner Smith, debrennersmith.blogspot.com, independent reading, Self Selected Reading | Tagged: book storage, Classrooms That Work, Debra Renner Smith, independent reading, SSR, True Stories from Four Block Classrooms, True Stories to Four Blocks Classrooms | Leave a Comment »
Reading aloud to students is important. Blah blah blah. Reading aloud to children is necessary because otherwise they won’t read the books we love and think are important. “Blessing Books” is when the teacher has read a little bit of a book to the classroom or touched the book and talked enough about the book to get the students’ interest and excitement up. It is especially effective if the teacher is reluctant and hesitant about handing over the book. Well, I don’t know if this is the perfect book for you. You mean you love ….. (name any type of……..) books? Really? Sitting down and reading the first chapter or two to a class or a child will probably help the child to read the whole chapter book.
I am looking forward to reading this book. I hope that scholastic makes it available on Kindle!
Filed under: Building Blocks, Debra Renner Smith, debrennersmith.blogspot.com, kindergarten, Kindle, Letter Recognition, Letter Sound Activities, letters, letters and sounds | Tagged: kindergarten, kindergartners, letters and sounds, Name walls | 1 Comment »
The cart before the horse? My son is attending college. Not one textbook is available on the Kindle yet. Before we spend $ providing each student with a kindle, don’t we have to ensure that the textbooks are actually available? Also, the textbooks are easily loaded onto ipod Touch or ipod Phone.
I have a Kindle. Do I recommend it? Yes. I do. However, before we buy one for every college student, let’s stop and consider, “Will this work?”
Chicken Cheeks is one of those books that boys cannot wait to read and teachers cannot quite believe they are reading and teachers cannot believe they are reading it outloud! Buy this and read this and be brave!
Jeff writes about the strategy of the questioning circle on pages 124-129. He models this strategy with the book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak Jeff encourages teachers to use the gradual release model of I do, we do, you do. First, he posed the essential inquiry question related to his unit. Then he introduced the concept of learning the questioning circle. Jeff has kids discuss ME questions that are based on their experiences. You bring your prior knowledge to the reading. You bring you to the book. Book questions are next. World questions are third. Teacher models first. Then students work with the teacher and each other to generate questions, then they try alone or with one or two other partners. How about combing questions? For more specific examples of the questions see Wilhelm’s chart on page 128. He lists the questions that link to the book, Where the Wild Things Are and makes this example come alive!
Filed under: Comprehension, comprehension strategies, questioning | Tagged: Comprehension, comprehension strategies, Engaging Readers and Writers with Inquiry, Jeffrey Wilhelm, questioning, questioning circle | 2 Comments »
Live Writing: Breathing Life into your Words by Ralph Fletcher
First Grade Writers Units of Study to Help Children Plan, Organize, and Structure Their Ideas by Stephanie Parsons (Ch 5)
Workshop Help Desk Grade 2 A Quick Guide to Teaching Second-Grade Writers with Units of Study (see what Lucy Calkins wrote for November). She writes about Fiction which is Realistic Fiction.
Read Realistic Fiction books:
It’s MY Birthday! By Pat Hutchins
Peter’s Chair by by Ezra Jack Keats
Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Williams
Big Sister and Little Sister by Charlotte Zolotow
Henry and Mudge books by Cynthia Rylant (read ahead to find a clear problem/solution book)
Other possible short story books – make sure you read any suggestions for your grade level and your teaching situation
Baseball in April and other Stories by Gary Soto
What do Fish have to do with anything? and other stories by Avi
Space Boy by Orson Scott Card
Thank you M’am by Langston Hughes (in the 4th grade Junior Great Books series) and also available in full text online http://www.geocities.com/cyber_explorer99/hughesthankyou.html
http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/childrenindex.html has themed short stories. http://www.magickeys.com/books/#oc has stories for older children.
Paul Fleischman’s Seedfolks
Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul ( I used for LC Essay unit)
As you pick books that work for your unit, make sure they have a clear problem and solution.
Lucy Calkins recommends that as you read, identify teaching points for the unit.
Possible teaching points:
TEACHING POINT: When picking a character, have the character be the same age as the writer. The writer changes the name of the character, then it is realistic fiction. Students relate to someone who is the same age or nearly the same age.
TEACHING POINT: Now, that the character is chosen, what will the character do to get into trouble?
Generate a list or chart of problems with the students:
First column has the heading problem
1. broken pencil lead
2. mom said no (I can’t have a dog)
3. mom said no (I can’t have a new game system…wii)
5. Only one item (need to share, but don’t want to)
6. I forgot to pick out my Just Right books
8. ran down the hallway and got glared at by the teacher
TEACHING POINT: Now, that you have generated problems (or more likely while you generated problems,) the students solved the problems at the same time.
Second column has the heading possible solutions to problem
1. new pencil / loan a pencil / sharpen a pencil
2. (I solve dog issue by convincing mom I will take care of dog)
3. I earn $
4. eat food
5. figure out how to share one item with someone
6. told teacher, borrowed from friend, sat and pouted, read last week’s books
7. went back and walked the hallway
Have students think about their lives. What problem occurs on the bus or near the bus stop that can get solved? What problem occurs every day as students line up to go home? Students usually argue over who is first and last in the line. How does the writer solve this problem? What other school related problems could become stories? What other home related problems could become stories?
TEACHING POINT: What is the character doing, saying, thinking? What is the difference between telling and story telling? Teach the writers to picture themselves in the moment. If this was a movie, or a play what would they be doing? What would their character say? Remember the moment that this happened. What did someone actually say? Barry Lane calls these snapshots, and thoughtshots.
TEACHING POINT: Since this is realistic fiction, not a true story, remember that we have to teach our writers to omit I. Our writers need a lesson on writing with the pronouns he and she.
TEACHING POINT: Only one problem and one solution. Many times young writers create drama and just plain poor writing by including lots of problems.
What other teaching points will you include in your unit?
Plan your demonstration lessons. What problem/solution are you planning on using in your demonstration lesson? Does your classroom have a mascot that can be the star of the realistic fiction demonstration lesson?
Book Study Group – This is a wonderful discussion and book study group