Friday, March 15, 2013
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
First, introduce the book you plan on reading and let them glance through the pictures. Once they've done that go over what a story mountain is and explain its a way to analyze a fictional story. As you read the book you should stop at each point on the mountain and on a sticky note write down what happens at each part. When you get to the problem, explain that when the problem is solved the resolution should connect back to the problem. Also, don't forget to explain that the resolution is NOT the end to a story.
Once you have modeled how to work through a story mountain then the next step would be for groups to complete one on another book you read aloud.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I was looking around on Pinterest the other night and found two games that I thought my 4th graders would like. I seriously feel like a changed teacher now that I've found Pinterest! I bought Sumoku and Rory's Story Cubes from Amazon.com and I hope my kids enjoy them! I think both games will come in handy during Guided Math (read previous post about Guided Math) and writing workshop. Each year I have kiddos who can't think of anything to write about and I thought having story cubes that sort of put a story in order for students would be helpful. I'll be sure to do a post and update everyone on whether the games are successful!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
I have tried many different ways to keep the kids organized with all of their writing process papers. As we all know, we want to teach the kids to work through the ENTIRE writing process but along with that we end up with tons of either loose leaf papers or journals that are unorganized. For a couple of years I had the kids use a folder that had brads and two pockets. They would keep their ideas in one pocket, rough drafts in another and then their final copies would go in the brads. That idea wasn't bad at all, but the pockets would get so filled with paper that they would end up falling out on the ground all the time, or they would have to thumb through all of their ideas to find what they were looking for. Then, I used a composition journal for them to write everything down in. I had them dog-ear each 1/4 of a section and we tried to keep the sections organized, but really it was a big giant mess....
This is not my actual folder creation, but the blog that I found it on on Pinterest. She did say that she messed up on the folder in this pic. You have to fold the middle folder in half and then bind it with the flap side facing in. I plan on using the folders in this order: 1) ideas, 2) rough drafts 3) ready to edit 4) final copies. I will then take their final copies, grade them, make a copy along with the rubric and send the original home. I hope this new and improved writing folder is a success!
Thursday, August 4, 2011
A resource that I have grown to love is the "Two Sisters". These ladies have developed a management process called, Daily 5 that has taken education by storm. When I started teaching in my current district, our school adopted the Daily 5 technique and some of us really "took the bull by the horns" and some of the others called it a "wash". All of us though were required to read the book and do book studies with our teams and talk about how we planned on implementing the tool. I personally LOVE the 2 Sisters and have also been using the CAFE menu in my room as well. CAFE is just an acronym (Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expand vocabulary) used to help kids pinpoint their areas of needed improvement in the above 4 areas. Students can become very apprehensive about reading at a young age when they are not able to recognize areas that are causing them to "not like" reading. It's our job as teachers to help them through those rough patches and encourage them to keep reading. I LOVE CAFE because it allows me to show them exactly what skill they need to focus on. I usually conference with all of my kids at least once a week and so we can talk about how they are going to work on the skill that needs improvement until the next time we meet