This week our Centers theme focused around the skill of using the dictionary as a resource to discover new words. This paired well with the finishing of the class book, Frindle.
Listening: Students listened to the book, Max's Words. The story is about a boy who collects words cut out from a magazine and makes them into stories all his own. Students listened to the book on CD and then completed a Venn Diagram in their folders which compared and contrasted the main character, Max, to the main character in Frindle (Nick). Below is a sample of a student's Venn Diagram.
Read-to-Self: Students read from their Independent Reading book in the library, or used that time to find a book from either the class library or school library.
Read to Someone:
Students read to each other from the books provided which focused on defining words, using "big words" or making words and stories from letters the characters collected or had. Next week, we will be focusing on fluency and recording our words per minute, so this was preparing us for that next big step!
Teacher: I continued to administer the BRI (now working on the Running Record and comprehension piece) while my group prepared cards and played "Dictionary Deception." For those unfamiliar with this game, students were to find a unique word from the dictionary. They then had to record the correct definition along with two "fake" definitions. Students practiced guessing the words others came up with and defending their reasoning.
Word Work: In keeping with the dictionary theme, students selected a word that they were unfamiliar with or interested in from a large list of "Weird Words" that I provided them. They worked to complete a profile on that word that the then shared with others in their group. This profile sheet included the word, definition, a picture, the part of speech, a sentence using that word, and what the word "Is Like" and "Is not like." This student profiled "nimble" and said it, "Is Like: A cat running" and "Is Not Like: Loud and Slow"
Writing: This center took the Listening activity story and allowed students to apply it for themselves. Using magazines, student cut out words and formed them into sentences. We are going to use these sentences next week for our grammar lesson on subject/predicate and how to structure sentences. Meanwhile, the students had fun creating their silly sentences. This got them thinking about writing without physically writing, which I found really benefited my reluctant writers. They were engaged and involved!! In the future I would want to have more words already cut out...I am trying to come up with a better way to organize the words so that the students can easily and efficiently find what they need. Ideas are welcomed!
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