Monday, November 14, 2011
I have to admit that teaching from the basal is A LOT easier than coming up with my own thing!!!! AND taking our weekly reading test online is the cake with the icing right on top! 🙂 It is graded for me-all I have to do is print each one for each student and enter the grades into STI! I still give them a fresh read test each week to test their “true” comprehension ability and to throw in an open ended question. I also think I might start having them list the paragraph/line where they found their answer on the multiple choice questions. Maybe this will decrease the amount of guessing, and it will enable them to think more about why they are choosing a certain answer. I love having them prove themselves and their thinking. 🙂
Here is the sentence that we worked with today labeling parts of speech and subjects/predicates. It threw them for a loopity loop loop loop! 🙂 Some of them said, “This sentence is hard!” 🙂
Last week I actually gave them a spelling test on our word study words. Mostly this year I have tested them on the meanings of the words. So this week I “gently” reminded them that our word study words each week are both: spelling and vocabulary. Meaning-they have to study them both ways. You should have heard the comments after they saw what the 10 words are this week!!! For example, one of the words is “instantaneously”. How about that? Nothing like putting the fear in them right before the Thanksgiving holiday-it will just make them appreciate it even more. 🙂
We have been taking the sentence from the board each day and extending it into a paragraph story-yes some 6th grade classes are probably writing essays at this time of the year. Sigh. Anyway, the student that shared his paragraph today (on the ELMO mind you) had a SIMILE in his paragraph. Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!! In short this is it-The monkey’s tail was as long as a school bus. YEA!!! I just went on and on and on and on and on and…well, you get my drift. Maybe tomorrow I will see some more “figurative language”! 🙂
I cut my whole group instruction down a little today from last Monday so that I could work in a small group. So, in other words I skipped-1. English workbook page 2. Spelling workbook page 3. Skill workbook page 4. Vocabulary workbook page WOW! This is what we did do:
1. Wrote genre, skill, and strategy for this week’s story
2. Created a bubble map with “discrimination” in the middle leading off to causes, actions, victims, and solutions-we did a lot of talking with this and I showed them a little 30 second video that I created this weekend on Animoto. This is a free site (for 30 second videos)-you can pay a monthly fee to be able to create longer videos (and I think I’ll be looking into this!). Here is the link to the video I made:
We watched this video SEVERAL times and discussed our thinking-they did not have much schema about Hitler or the Holocaust! A couple of my students said the video was sad (both boys). 🙂 You ask-why the smiley face? Because I WANT to make them feel! Emotion is a wonderful response!
We took notes on our skill-generalizations and our strategy-asking questions. Then we wrote all of our vocabulary words, I supplied them with the definitions, and they worked in groups to locate the sentences in the text with the vocab. words-they had to copy the sentences. Boy, that took forever!!!
For small group, I pulled 3 students in my homeroom class (nobody in 2nd class-ran out of time for some reason) and I had them skim their fresh read passage for words they didn’t know (either couldn’t decode or know the meaning of). Then we talked about these words. I then read the passage to them while they followed along. We came up with the main idea afterwards and wrote a summary of the passage. They will have to reread this passage several times this week as part of their “independent work packet”. Speaking of which-you know that last week was the 1st time that I had given them these packets to do and it was based on their reading test score from the previous week. So that week resulted in 31 D/F, 11 C, and about 6 A/B. The lower the test score the more work in the packet. 🙂 I had asked them last week the day before they had to turn the packets in how many of them were going to study harder for the test. Here is the answer for my afternoon class:
Needless to say-they did NOT like doing those work packets. A couple of students laid on the floor so they could put their hands AND feet in the air! 🙂 There was a huge improvement in the test scores!!! We’ll see if it continues this week. I did have some students who didn’t complete ALL of their work packet (skipped a page or didn’t answer all parts of a question)-they get even more extra work this week. And for those who didn’t turn one in at all (3) WOW at the amount of work!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We’ll see who is standing on the wall this Friday when we go outside! 🙂 (And let me give this disclaimer-I am not out to punish children all the time, but these students range from 11-14 years old-it’s time to take some responsibility for their own learning!).
So today was a good day (I guess because I skipped some stuff!). We’ll see what tomorrow brings. I have a cute generalization video waiting for them that I found on the internet since generalizations is HARD for them at this age. 🙂