Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Reading in the Wild Chapter 3

Be sure to click the picture above to be taken to other posts on this chapter.

Chapter 3 of Reading in the Wild is about readers sharing books and their reading with other readers.  My students share together when they read the same books in literature circles, but I haven't had anything in place for students to share their choice reading with each other.  I'm still figuring out edmodo, but am thinking this might be a good place for students to post reviews.  

I've been learning what a valuable connecting resource Twitter is this summer.  I started tweeting just a little at the end of last year with my students, but tweeting out to connect with authors and other classes to share book reviews would be a wonderful way to get students sharing with other readers and authors.  I learned from George Couros, a Canadian ed tech expert, at the Utah Technology Conference last spring that I could have students tweet from my account and just add the hashtags and student initials to the tweet.  I have so many things going on just with Dilly Dabbles, that adding another account would be crazy for me.  So, I just use tweet deck and have a student write the tweet, add his/her initials and the hashtags and then send it.  If you're really wanting to keep your blogging world a secret from your school, you'll want to set up an account just for your class.  I'm pretty out there now with my school, district and community, so I've just decided to go with it. You can find me and my class on twitter @dillydabbles.  Posts from my class will be tagged with #sierrabonitabears or #sierrabonita5 along with any other relevant tags. 

Ms. Miller mentions many other groups and websites available online as well.  Be sure to read this section to see what would be the best fit for your classroom.  

Another great way that my students might share their reviews is a quick video.  I do have 2 ipads in my classroom and should have 7 chromebooks this fall.  Students can record a quick review of their book and post it on our class website or to edmodo.  There are several apps that would allow students to do this without having to load it to a site like YouTube.  Fotobabble allows you to take a picture and then record a narration.  Students could take a picture of the book cover and then give the review. There are many other similar apps that could work for this.  Fotobabble saves the recording and gives a URL to access the saved file.  Students can share the URL on a blog for others to access. That could also be tweeted out or shared with other groups. 

How do you engage your students in sharing and conversing about reading? 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Small Group Reading: Literature Circles


Literature circles are nearly the last component of my small group/guided reading time.  You may have noticed that I only have my students do one activity per day.  This might be different to you as many teachers I know have students visit 3-5 activity centers during this time.  I strongly believe that in the upper grades, emphasis should be on responding to reading.  That is what nearly all of my activities focus on and I don't want to add more centers of busy work just to occupy my students.  I want whatever they are doing to have a purpose and be meaningful.  So, when students finish their activity for the day, they are expected to work on reading and responding to their literature circle book.  Their activities should generally take no more than 1/2 hour and that leaves about 1/2 per day for students to work on literature circle books. 

I shared that my guided reading lessons are usually focused on shorter texts.  Short leveled readers that came with our basal series, articles, non-fiction and short stories are what I most often use.  That meant that I needed a way for my students to also read novels.  So, my colleague started running literature circles in tandem with guided reading and I started to as well.  

I generally have six novels going at one time.  I choose various levels, so I have something appropriate for my struggling readers and something that would be a good challenge for my higher readers.  I like to try and choose books around a theme or author or genre.  This helps so all students get exposure to similar types of books even if they are not the same books.  

Once I've chosen the 6 books for the next time period, I have students come to my reading table one reading group at a time to choose their books.  I start with the low group to ensure that the books that are their level are available.  I give them 2 choices.  Students in the same reading groups do not have to choose the same book, I just call them by group for convenience of putting out appropriate books based on their reading levels. 

I then call a group at a time back to choose.  I give a quick summary of each book and some time for students to choose.  Students often pick up the books, read the cover and sometimes a few pages.  They ask me questions and some ask for recommendations based on what I know they like.  I leave out the books that were not chosen by the last group and as the groups go on, there is usually more choice.  



I divide each book into 6-7 sections and assign a set of chapters for the students to read each week.  Students read the chapters and then write a summary of the section.  We meet each Friday in place of guided reading and each group discusses the reading and their responses.  I post the book title and chapters for the week on these dry erase pockets mounted on the wall behind my reading table. 

This coming year, I want to make their responses more meaningful, so I think I'm going to have a few questions for students to answer.  I'm also going to have an edmodo group for each book and have students discuss in their forum about the book throughout the week.  I haven't worked it all out, but when I do, I'll be sure to post more about it.  Additionally, my study of Notice and Note this summer has also influenced what I'd like to do next year.  Either in their notebooks or on Edmodo, I also want students to record what signposts they notice and what they noted about that.  

You might be wondering about the traditional literature circles in which each student in a group has a role.  I don't give students roles, because I felt like students read only to find what they needed to fill out their portion.  I wanted students to read for comprehension and enjoyment, so we don't assign roles.  We run it more like a book club. 

I'm lucky that my school does have several 10 book sets of novels for small group reading.  I've also increased my own collection with the $1 books that Scholastic offers throughout the year.  I always purchase sets of 10.  This gives me a teacher edition and an extra or two to have on hand.  I usually like to keep my groups to 6, but if the book is very popular, I allow up to 8 in a group.  You can see my post about how I number and track my group sets of books here.  

Do you have literature circles or book clubs in your classroom?  How do you make it work for you?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Made It: Bags and Quilts

This week's Monday Made it is all about my hobby, sewing.  This week I worked on several bags and a quilt.



This bag is headed to Danielle of Crayonbox learning.  She did the update to my blog, which I am loving! I'm working on two more in different patterns that aren't quite finished that are headed to Logan, UT. 





This quilt I put together in memory of my father in law.  He passed away from complications of a brain tumor he had been fighting for four years last summer.  This was a mystery quilt along with Heather Spence Designs and Missouri Star Quilt Company.  The small donation they collect from participants is donated to cancer.org.  I chose grey colors as grey is the symbolic ribbon color for brain cancer.  It was quilted by Sew Shabby Quilting and I just got it back from her on Friday.  I'll finish it up with some binding and it will be my son's quilt to remember his grandpa. 




This last one isn't a made it, but it's so fun I just decided to include it.  I was with my parents this weekend to attend my cousin's wedding.  Between the luncheon and the evening reception, we took a little drive.  This darling house is near my parent's house.  It was built to resemble the house in the Disney' movie UP.  Isn't it darling! They get a LOT of visitors.  I don't think I'd want to live next door... ;)

Have a great week!
See the many other "made its" that were linked up this week by clicking the button below. 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Small Group Reading: Deeper Reading



Deeper reading is based on a guided reading lesson, with the objective to get students deeper into texts.  This is where I do my guided close reading.  I take a text we have worked with before either in guided reading or as a whole class and we look deeper at it.  I choose small, significant parts of the text and we have a discussion about it.  After reading the book Notice and Note, I plan on using this time to reinforce understanding of looking for signposts in this small group time as well.  This is also the time I reinforce whole group language lessons as we look deeper at places in texts where language elements we have learned about are apparent. 

I generally meet with this group for about 20 minutes.  Since I meet with the guided reading group first, I sometimes ask this deeper reading group to read the selection or answer some questions about the text on their own first, while I'm meeting with the guided group.  This is helpful for longer texts or selections I want to really dig into.  This is most often the case for my highest reading groups. 

How do you work in close or deeper reading with smaller groups?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Small Group Reading: Guided Reading Group



When we begin small group time, they gather their response notebooks and a pencil and meet me at my reading table.  I conduct a traditional guided reading lesson with this group.  I usually use articles or shorter texts.  Our district has adopted the Journey's reading program by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  With that program came shorter guided reading texts that pair with each weeks main basal selection.  

My district literacy team firmly believes in the principle of teaching students at their instructional guided reading levels and therefore, do not want us teaching the books that are paired, just because they are paired.  We are to choose books that meet student need and instructional level.  So, I choose the books that are at each groups instructional level and that focus on comprehension skills that were taught the previous week.  For example, if we focused on the skill of main idea and the strategy of inference last week, I'd look to choose a short book that had these as a focus as well at the instructional level of my students.  This gives me opportunity to reinforce in a guided group the topics we learned as a whole class the week before.  I spend about 20 minutes with this group.  

The lesson plan I base my lessons on was created by my district from the teachings of Fountas and Pinnell.  You can see it here. 


Empty boxes waiting for new supplies.

They sit atop the three bookshelves I have in my room for the classroom library.

I have my students keep their reading items in these magazine boxes I purchased from Ikea.  There's five boxes in a pack for about $2, I believe.  They're super popular.  Last time I went to my Ikea, about 40 miles away, they were completely out of them.  Luckily, it's near my parents, so I'll keep checking back when I visit them.  I need a couple to replace some that got ruined last year.  You can see though, that I'll be able to re-use most of boxes from last year.  I just labeled each with student numbers. 

Students keep their reading response notebook, literature circle book and any other book from our class library that they are reading in this box.  I don't allow students to keep reading books in their desks to keep them from being ruined by larger text books, snacks or water spills.  It also makes it quick and easy for students to find what they need for reading time. 

How do you organize student materials for small group reading? What type of lessons do you teach during small group reading?


 photo Signature_edited-3_zps050aaea1.png

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Reading in the Wild Summer Book Study Chapter 2



I am loving this book by Donalyn Miller.  The more I read, the more I love it.  Chapter 2 is focused on getting students to select reading material.  One of the main focuses of this chapter is on teacher read alouds.  

I LOVE reading aloud to my students and I'm always amazed at how much they pay attention while I read.  Students love it too.  It seems a few years ago there was quite the controversy as to whether time should be "wasted" in the classroom on read alouds.  I think many teachers knew the value of it and found ways to make it happen.  

I was never asked to drop read aloud, but was asked to make in "meaningful" by incorporating think alouds and comprehension discussions during the read aloud.  I think, however, that sometimes we just need to read for fun.  Students aren't going to learn the pleasure of reading themselves if they never have the opportunity to just read for pleasure.  For this reason, the sole purpose of my read aloud time is enjoyment. We do some light discussion generally, but it's not required and not the sole purpose of our reading.

Here's a list of the books I read to my class last year: (Links will take you to the books on Amazon.)


I start most years out with this one to establish a tone of community with my class. 


Whole class, everyone had a copy.  I used this one a little differently than other read alouds, it's my model for responding in our reading journals and intro lessons to comprehension strategies.


I was able to attend a presentation by Kate DiCamillo in September 2014 where she talked about her new book.  So fun to hear all the background behind the story.  My students laughed through this book. 

New to me this year, and wonderful!

New to me this year, recommended by a teammate, fabulous!

Again, new to me, recommended by Jen of Runde's Room, my students loved it.  There's a sequel that I opted not to read to my students nor have in my classroom library because of the nature of some of the situations.  The sequel might be best for Jr. High aged students. 

Next year I'm planning to start out with:

and then 

which will be the whole class shared reading like I did with The Witches.


Then we'll do a brand new book, The Fourteenth Goldfish, which comes out in August.





I was so blessed to receive an advanced copy of this book to read.  I stayed up all night last Tuesday to read it. I highly suggest it to any 3-6 student or class.  I'm joining the Global Read Aloud, which you can learn more about here.

What are your favorite read aloud books?



 photo Signature_edited-3_zps050aaea1.png

Notice and Note Post 12



 Here are my notebook pages for Again and Again and Memory Moment.  I mentioned in Post 11 that I didn't write down as much of my own reflection with these last ones, hoping that students will do more on their own.  If you weren't aware, most of the printables for the text selections from the book can be found online on the publisher's website here.  They're in easy to print PDF format.  There's one or two missing due to copyright, but I easily found them online with a quick search. 




Be sure to read the host post by Meg of The Teacher Studio here and any other posts that have been linked up. 

What did you learn from the Again and Again and Memory Moment signposts? 

 photo Signature_edited-3_zps050aaea1.png

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...