Monday, November 28, 2011

The Plague

I am sitting here grading our ELA practice tests and it never ceases to amaze me how my students resist writing like it's the Bubonic plague.  I remember in school I always wanted to fill the entire page...every.  single.  solitary.  line.  Actually, come to thing of it, I did the same thing on my teaching exams...old habits die hard I suppose.

But where did I learn this?  It's probably inherent (says the girl who blogs for fun).  But anyway, it's going to be my job to somehow change this for my little 22 kiddos.  It's only November (Okay...basically December).  I still have 7 months.  Time to get a move on.

Which made me think.  I started the year with a read aloud when the students returned from lunch.  It changed to Daily Oral Language practice.  Now, I want to change it again.  What about a 5 minute free-write (where we have to restate the question)?

The wheels are turning...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Week 5: Sequence, Inference, and more writing...

So I'm on my way out and don't have a bunch of time but I wanted to update this week's centers to stay ahead, instead of behind, on blogging.  (See? I am trying to be better!!)

Anyway, here are the centers for this week:

Read to Someone:  Chart their WPM rate on their graphs, use a stopwatch to time each other.  Use their book club books for the text.

Read to Self: Read their book club books (Comic sequence project due the following week so they must read, Read, READ!)

Listening:  Listen to the story and then close the book, shut off the tape, and write down everything they can remember, in sequence.  I need to work on new ideas for this center.  More to come in the next few weeks!

Writing:  Work on their explanatory/How-To writing.  They selected what they were an expert on, and have been writing on that.  We are on the typing/publishing stage---wah-hoo!

Word Work: Soooo we had an awesome "party" on Halloween....a Word Party!  Students picked awesome, long, and new words and had to dress up like their word.  (see post on www.myclassyroom/  Anyway, to expand even more (and so that I can see each student really "knows" their word), I added this as a center.  The kids LOVED them.  I wish I could post all 22.  What was even better was listening to them discuss and justify their selections.  I was so proud! :)

Love it.

On to the last center...

Group:  This was my last week with the materials borrowed from the library at college so I used the social inference cards.  It was a good way to assess how much they knew about inference.  It seems as though they have a grasp on social inferences, so the key will figuring out how to tie that in to literature.

I like these kits.  Mostly the secret decoder :)

Happy Saturday---I'm off!