Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Is your overhead projector gathering dust in your classroom? Even with SmartBoard technology, I still prefer modeling writing with an overhead projector (or document camera if you have one) for management purposes. It allows students to actually SEE how writing is written on paper ... margins, spacing, crossing letters, etc.
Consider placing the overhead on the floor and gathering students close to you. It's my favorite way to model a mini-lesson.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Just released from DESE ...
Communication Arts Show Me Standards Interpretations
Check out the questions in this document! They can easily be used with almost any story.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Have you used the http://www.lookybook.com/ site? If you have a SmartBoard, these books should be large enough to read to your class. Several of Gail Gibbons' books are available if you're looking for nonfiction picture books. Thank you, Lori Elliott, for posting this information on your blog! Thank you, Heather Michel, for giving me the idea of embedding a book on my blog. :)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Duke Ellington is an excellent resource for teaching figurative language. Check out some examples:
...his piano playing wasn't always as breezy as his stride
...Duke's fingers rode the piano keys
...compositions smoother than a hairdo sleeked with pomade
...was spicier than a pot of jambalaya
... was a musical stream that swelled over the airwaves.
...curling his notes like a kite tail in the wind
...a symphony hall so grand even the seats wore velvet
You can also use it when teaching beginning, middle and end in writing.
Instead of beginning the story with something like ... Duke Ellington was born in Washington, D.C. in 1899 and played jazz, the author wrote:
- You ever hear of the jazz-playin' man, the man with the cats who could swing with his band? He was born in 1899, in Washington, D.C. Born Edward Kennedy Ellington.
She ended the story with:
- Now you've heard of the jazz-playin' man. The man with the cats who could swing with his band. King of the Keys. Piano Prince. Edward Kennedy Ellington. The Duke.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
- Exposition (introduction of characters, setting, problem)
- Rising Action
- Falling Action
- Exposition: Introduces characters and problem.
Have students cross arms in an X position in front of their faces and rest their chins on their X. Then, have them turn their heads sideways with their tongues hanging out.
- Rising Action: Have students squat and gradually rise while saying, “rising, rising, rising, rising ACTION,” in a silly voice.
- Climax: Have students place their arms above their head and say, “Climax.”
- Falling Action: While standing, students gradually lower to a squatting position while whispering, “Falling, falling, falling, falling action.”
- Resolution: While standing, have students rub their hands together like they’re wiping them clean and say, “Resolution.”
- For names of recommended picure books to align with specific skills, click here: http://cherylsclassroomtipsdi.blogspot.com/2009/02/whats-your-favorite-picture-book.html
This is your chance to help NAESP give its third annual Principal's Read Aloud Award to a deserving author. After reading nominated books pictured above, please go on-line and cast your vote: http://vovici.com/wsb.dll/s/4282g381b1
Monday, November 10, 2008
What's more important, the question or the answer?
- The question!
How can we encourage students to ask MORE questions?
- Consider 'planting' questions and having students try to find the mole. For those of you wondering how a mole plays into this, it's a spin on the reality television show, The Mole.
Write several questions on index cards; be sure to include higher-level thinking questions. Select a few students and meet with them privately before class. Their job is to memorize the question given and to ask it when you say, "Does anyone have any questions?"
The other students in the class know there are moles; their job is to try to figure out who they are. How many of you would have students pretending to be the mole? This, in itself, should boost questioning in your classroom, and it's fun!
Read more about this strategy in Betty Hollas' book, Differentiating Instruction in a Whole-Group Setting. It's called, "I Do Have a Question."
- Before: Teach mini-lesson and set purpose for reading (about 10-15 minutes)
- During: Students read and teacher monitors (about 20-25 minutes)
- After: Wrap-up mini-lesson/Closure (about 10-15 minutes)
During reading is the key; what do students DO when they're finished with the selection? They simply read it again; rereading builds fluency.
If students read and summarized the first time, have them practice a different good reader strategy (connecting, questioning, inferring) the second time.
Partner reading is one of the BEST methods for the during component of a Guided Reading lesson when used effectively. Make sure the listener has a job (summarizer, questioner, connector). If you don't, it's simply ping-pong reading ... round robin reading times two.
If you partner a high reader with a medium reader and a medium reader with an emergent reader, it's very effective and differentiated. Never pair an advanced readiness reader with an emergent readiness reader, it's frustrating for both.
How much do students read before taking turns? A page is too much ... about three inches of text seems to work best. After the reader reads, the listener DOES something with the text (summarizes OR questions OR ...) before switching roles.
After 20 or so minutes of reading, instruct students to thank their partners for reading before having students return to their seats (or the carpet) for the after activity.
What do you do with students who don't finish the selection? They still had time to practice reading for at least twenty minutes, right? They'll catch up on the content of reading in the after discussion. Unless they're filling out a comprehension question paper, they may not need to finish the reading. Is the day's objective to FINISH the selection or to use the selection to learn a skill?
It's very important to have Self-Selected Reading EVERY day too. In Guided Reading, you TEACH skills. In Self-Selected Reading, students PRACTICE reading text on their independent reading level while the teacher confers individually with students. It's a win-win situation, and time will simply fly during your reading lessons.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Many of you asked about ordering information for Eric Jensen's book, Tools for Engagement. It can be found at www.amazon.com.
Monday, November 3, 2008
If you need a graphic organizer, chances are you'll find it at this site for FREE:
Check out the tools for reading, writing and thinking graphic organizers here:
Saturday, November 1, 2008
This slideshow will load on my computer at home but not at school. It just spins for me. If it won't open for you, click the presentation link underneath the slideshow. You should be able to view it on SlideShare.
Guess the Covered Word is a fabulous way to teach decoding, words in context and synonyms. Plus, kids enjoy it, and it only takes a few minutes to 'play.'
Anticipation Guides prime students and help them predict what will happen in the text. If you create one with all true items, you could have students predict the sequence of events before reading and then read to determine the sequence of events.