Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Potpourri for $300, Alex

I'll take Potpourri for $300, Alex...

This is going to be a hodgepodge of this and that, a little bit of reading and I'm sure I'll think of something else by the end of this post.

In reading, we are integrating our pacing guide skills with our Making Meaning comprehension... yeah, it's been a fun process trying to merge the two.  Why doesn't your pacing guide match the new comprehension program, you ask... alas, every school in my district is not doing this program so with the help of our literacy coaches, we are making it fit.  Trying to... optimistic....


Right now, I'm introducing fiction and nonfiction in order to start nonfiction text features.  We made our anchor chart with a Venn diagram to compare and contrast features of fiction and nonfiction.  I found a lot of good characteristics from ReadWorks.org and they had everything that I needed!  If you've not checked out Read Works, please do.  It's free first of all, so why not?  Lots of good lesson plans and even lesson plans for whole and small group... sigh... a reading teacher's friend. 

Here is the anchor chart that we made.  Please excuse my lopsided circles...

So today, as a practice, I gave each of my kids a Scholastic book order that I had tucked away, I let them find examples of fiction and nonfiction books and sort them on a large piece of paper.  They LOVED it.  Not only did they talk about what books they wanted... and didn't want... and would buy if they had $300... or I have $400 at home... you see where this is going... but they turned out pretty well.  We still have some work to do but I thought they'd really like to sort.  Here's some examples:

For Making Meaning, we are working on visualizing.  It's been difficult because the skills and strategies we've been teaching haven't really meshed together.  But I love visualizing because I'm such a visual learner, so this is right up my alley.  In Making Meaning, we've done several read alouds for visualizing, like The Paperboy by Dav Pilkey, "Dry Skin" from Poppleton and Friends by Cynthia Rylant, and poems from A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry and "My Baby Brother" in Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers:  A Collection of Family Poems by Mary Ann Hoberman.  I've also made some rubrics that go along with two short poems that are from Jack Prelutsky's The Frog Wore Read Suspenders

The focus of our visualizing strategy is to see the characters, setting, and events in a story.  I tell my students to think of it as a movie in their mind as they read.  During their IDR time, they are supposed to mark a place where they saw a clear picture in their minds as they read, and then they get to share their visualizations with their partner.  

Freebie alert!

Visualizing rubrics for two poems from Jack Prelutsky's The Frog Wore Read Suspenders.  The font I used is Rowdy Writing from Rowdy in Room 300.  Her fonts are adorable!!  Clipart is from Melonheadz.

Visualizing Rubric

I've also been working really hard on some new units for TPT and TN.  Lots of good math stuff... including a big packet of two step word problems (which have been my best seller by far...!) and some addition and subtraction activities.  Hope to have those done by the end of the week.  ALSO trying to talk the hubs into getting one of these for Christmas so I can start doing clipart.  Many new opportunities around the corner, always exciting!!

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