Showing posts with label Reading in Content Areas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reading in Content Areas. Show all posts

Saturday, October 15, 2016

My Journey as an Upper Elementary Teacher

Hi Friends! 

So, we've been SO busy the last 10 weeks that I haven't had a chance to mention all of the changes that have happened. We ended school in VA on June 20th. We packed all of our belongings up on the 21st and moved south on the 25th! We spent most of July by traveling and visiting family before we finally settled in. I started my new job on July 25th! So we had a very brief, but fun summer! I was pretty nervous about making the jump from my comfort zone (primary grades) to the big, scary world of fourth grade! We are only three eight weeks in, and can I tell you how much I LOVE THE BIG KIDS??!?!? They get my personality, they roll with the punches, and most of all, they still LOVE SCHOOL!! For some reason, I had it in my head that they do not like school past third grade! I was WRONG! They are witty, quick and just plain fun. They get my weird personality. Fourth grade is a whole new world, but man, I'm loving it so far!

Here's a peak inside my new classroom!

Give students a visual aide of expectations. 

My students really needed some math intervention in order to close foundational gaps I was finding in their number sense skills.  We spend a lot of time on place value skills so that they really understand how to break apart larger numbers. 

These activities were so great for small groups! My students practiced building numbers. When I came to the intermediate grades, I wanted to bring the mindset with me that students still needed to use manipulatives in math.

I found these jumbo post it pads at Target and we put them to use right away! We started our vocabulary maps before reading. We defined the word and discussed it's meaning. I encouraged them to point out when they come across the word in the text. During reading, if the students find the word, they would write the "example from the text". Next, the students would finish reading. After reading, they would identify a synonym and antonym of the word.

In this activity, students are using colored dominoes to build numbers. They can practice building numbers and place value skills literally everyday and develop a different number each day! 

We've had a blast so far and I'm excited to share this journey with you. Since I've not had as much time (like that exists), I've been sharing a lot on my Instagram  and Facebook pages on what we've been doing.

Since my Facebook page has grown so much, I've teamed up with my amazing friends Michelle and Fern to bring you some awesome prizes!

I will have TWO winners!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Please Note***
The rafflecopter is not accepting entries for everyone, so you may comment on this post that you follow me on FB and TpT to enter!

Go visit my friends, Michelle and Fern, for a chance to win more prizes. Make sure you follow all of our Facebook pages because we will each announce the winners on our Facebook page.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

More Back To School

Hey friends! I'm in full classroom setup swing! I  have only had three days in my room and feel progress and overwhelmed at the same time. My sweet colleague sent me a ton of books that were labeled and ready to go! So I've spent some time merging my existing library books into the system she created. It's a sticker system where each book has a sticker that matches the book basket. I am so excited about it and will post pictures and more about it once I'm all finished.
I haven't even glued the labels yet. You can check out the labels right here.

Classroom Library Labels

Something else I'm super excited about is the implementation of interactive notebooks. Here's a look at how we've implemented them in the past. 

I have two interactive notebooks I use.  I typically cut out the header pieces for the students at the beginning of the year, but I want them to cut and sort the words on their own. 
The first notebook includes skills over 20 activities working on sight words, blends, rhyming words, long and short vowel words and much more :)

Interactive notebooks give students a chance to practice on those important reading strategies while being engaged at the same time. Student engagement is the key to students successfully learning a concept.

Interactive Notebook

The kiddos LOVED the blend activity. You can differentiate it so easily by having the students write sentences under the flap or they could draw another picture. 

This is the story element activity. 

This is a noun and verb word sort. 

This is my mess I need to get finished up :) Still so much to do and so little time!!! This is me pretending not to freak out :) 

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Balanced Literacy 101: Interactive Read Alouds

So this year I've jumped in to this thing called "Balanced Literacy". At first, I was a little nervous, unsure of the routines and the layout of the entire program. I always had a reading framework, and never thought I REALLY relied on it as much...until now :) So getting through that initial place where I was a little bit intimidated and all was difficult. But now I have to say, I'm IN LOVE with Balanced Literacy! I love the FREEDOM that I have to decide what MY students need, each and every one of them! I'm going to do a series of posts, but this one will be all about read alouds!!

The important part about read alouds is that they are planned. They are not something we grab off the shelf on the way in the classroom. Read Alouds offer a way to tie in your other subjects. I TRY to do 3-4 read alouds a day.

1 to kick off my reading block
1 math book to kick of my guided math routine
1 chapter book after lunch (just a few pages a day)
1 theme/holiday book

A great interactive read aloud is typically ABOVE your students reading level. This way they are exposed to higher vocabulary and text features. You can use fiction or non fiction books! I like to use a mixture of both!!

I try to use as many cross circular read alouds as I can. I often do not have enough time to spend on social studies or science. So that is the perfect time for me to use a read aloud that hits the skill or topic I'm trying to address. For example, we are learning about Presidents and Famous Americans in social studies. I ALWAYS begin my reading block with a read aloud. Right now I'm using books about Presidents and Famous Americans :)

Abraham Lincoln Read Alouds

Looking at Lincoln is a great book because it allows children to get to know Lincoln as a person, not just a President. The author provides several unheard of facts and the book is very engaging! It is a MUST have I promise! My kids LOVED this book! We made a nice little anchor chart using the top of Lincoln's hat {sorry, I accidentally deleted my picture}Y'all know it wasn't cute anyways bc my hand drawn charts are just awful!!!

We also read "My First Biography: Abraham Lincoln"
Another great book! We compared the two stories and how we learned different facts from each book. The kids loved this!


George Washington Read Alouds

Another component ( that I'll blog about soon) is integrating writing into your literacy block. I was able to do that SO easily this week with my sweet friend Kelly's from Teacher Idea Factory  Presidential Packet! My kids LOVED The Lincoln Writing activity! They can't wait to finish out our Presidents unit using this packet!

Read Alouds are a great component to ANY literacy program. If you are not currently using read alouds, I encourage you to think about it. They can be very interactive and a great tool. I am able to hit on so many different areas. Modeling my critical thinking is so easy during a read aloud. Students do not even really look at it as learning, more of a discussion. That's what is so neat about it. Especially when you use titles and stories that THEY like. 

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Incorporating Reading Into The Content Areas

Hey friends! I hope that you are finding yourself well rested :) Probably not likely, considering it's the beginning of the school year!! I hope that you all are finding some down time and are not too stressed!!

One way to help you de-stress, is to go download this Free-Parent-Communication-Binder-Forms-Slate-Gray-!!

One of the hardest things as teacher is to teach ALL the subjects in a short time frame. With all of the things that can sometimes be thrown at us, sometimes it's hard to fit in Science and Social Studies. Now, don't get me wrong Science should be taught using hands on and engaging activities! However, we can also incorporate our science lessons to into our reading and have a successful day! It's a balance, students still need the ever so important vocabulary, why not use Science or Social Studies vocabulary during our reading instruction??

One way to do this is by using Vocabulary Cards during your reading stations or center work. The pictures show different Science Vocabulary Cards that I created and use during my station or center time. 

You can use these cards in so many ways! You can print multiple sets and have students play "Memory". My students love to play a version of "around the world" with them! What we do is have one student read the definition, then they go around in the circle until someone can correctly identify the vocabulary card.

Or you can secure them on a binder ring and use as a reference, or  use them during read to a buddy time. 

I also created this science reader and placed it in my library. Along with Reading A-Z Books, I place these in a basket during "Read to Self" time. Two to Three days a week, during "Read To Self", we are reading in the content area. The other days I let the students chose a book that fits their personality and reading style. This helps with our content area vocabulary and knowledge base. It ties the subjects together and the students are not only practicing their reading skills, but they are also gaining valuable information from other content areas. Again, this is NOT the ONLY way I teach the content areas, just extra steps I take to ensure my students are receiving a balanced instructional plan.
I also use printable read aloud to introduce each standard of learning. Once I've exposed them to the topic, the book goes into our library so they can explore it on their own! 

All of these activities came from my Science-Center-and-Vocabulary-Resource-Packet- Which contains topics & centers from Seasons, Earth Resources, Recycling, Sound, Parts of a Plant, Magnets and tons of Vocabulary Cards!!

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