Read and Write 180-Day 84

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I AM 41 YEARS OLD AS OF TODAY!!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! Here is a picture of me with a snazzy pair of glasses on that one of my students made me today! (Thanks, Austin!)

We took 2 tests today-english and reading. Finished with tests before Christmas break, but now I’ve got these 2 to grade, last Friday’s tests to grade, and MAYBE the reindeer reports-not sure if I’m going to grade those or just read and comment. Anyway, does anyone need a temporary job??????? 🙂

The fresh read passage/questions come from our reading program-Scott Foresman.

This is what I like about them:

1. The passage is 1 page or less

2. The questions are higher level thinking questions

3. There are 3 multiple choice and 1 open ended

This is what I don’t like about them:

1. The test maker  gives 4 choices for each multiple choice question and 2 of them REALLY could be the answer!!!

2.  The test maker  gives 4 choices for each multiple choice question and 2 of them REALLY could be the answer!!!

3.  The test maker  gives 4 choices for each multiple choice question and 2 of them REALLY could be the answer!!!

Can you tell how much I don’t like that? It’s like they are trying to trick the students, and I DON’T believe in that!!!!! That’s stupid! Yeah, I said “stupid”! 🙂 I think I might start making my own test questions for the fresh reads-maybe use the ones that make sense and make up my own to add to them!

We practiced our Christmas readers theater today-performance is tomorrow. I really hope I can video them and figure out how to convert them and upload to my blog. We’ll see!

I read Santa’s Stuck to them (a picture book-might I add a CUTE and FUNNY picture book!). I had them take a sheet of paper and draw off 4 boxes on the paper. As I read the book to them without showing them the pictures, I would stop periodically and have them sketch what they were visualizing in their minds. I REALLY want them to be able to visualize what they are reading when they read independently because I feel that it is one of the MOST important comprehension strategies. It enables them to see what is going on, to hear what is going on, and to feel like they are IN the story-it makes it so much more interesting for them as they read! Then when we finished I had them share their pictures with their partner. I read the book to them a 2nd time showing them the pictures. It was fun! At least it was for me!

We took them outside again today (it’s that 70 degree weather we are having here in Alabama that’s making me do this!) and lots of us played basketball. Did you know that basketball with a bunch of 6th graders is a VERY DANGEROUS SPORT?????? I only got knocked down once :), and thought I broke my finger once! It’s on tomorrow! 🙂 And my swinging earrings were REALLY getting in my way!

Do you remember those work packets we’ve been doing for about 4-5 weeks now because of the not so good reading grades? Well, today I decided to let them vote on whether or not to continue those after Christmas break or return to “Read to Self”-you know since  I am in such a Christmas giving spirit right now! 🙂 We voted by secret ballot because I didn’t want to know who voted “against” read to self since I take that so personally! It amazes me how many 6th graders HATE to read!!!! I don’t get it! But I did get this: 42/4. IN FAVOR OF RETURNING TO READ TO SELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now if I can just turn my reluctant readers on to a good book and get them hooked somehow!!!! I truly understand that not all children are going to be as passionate about reading as I am. I get that. But I just want them to enjoy it when they do read. If anyone has any suggestions PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT! I have thought about really talking the books up. Reading the 1st page or 2 of a book to hook them. Reading a certain part of a book to hook them. Showing them book trailers to hook them. Any other ideas????



Read and Write 180-Day 38

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I’m really trying to concentrate on writing this post at 11:45 pm, but it sure is hard with Jimmy Fallon on television-he just makes me laugh because he gets so tickled!!! 🙂

ok-I’m REALLY trying! 🙂 I want whatever happy pills he must be taking!

Commercial…here it goes.

English-labeled sentence-Jack and Jill ran up the hill. How easy was that? They are getting pretty good! 🙂 Then they had to make up a sentence with an action verb (I asked for strong verbs)-here’s what I got.

ran(that was soooooo strong being able to copy it off the board!!!!)



can’t remember the rest

Read a whole chapter from 6th Grade Can Really Kill You (We’re near the end). They HATE it when I close that book each day! 🙂 I love having the POWER! I actually think they are becoming great little predictors (and getting into it). Now I hope they can just start doing a lot of predicting WHILE they read on their own. It makes reading so interesting.

We finished our reading passage today-“Field Day Champion”. We continued the reciprocal teaching like yesterday-whole class. The wonderful thing about reading short passages (1 or 2 pages) instead of 12-14 page reading stories from the textbook is that we have time to break it down, clarify things by looking back in the passage for evidence, discussing our thinking, etc. I love working with passages instead of looooong stories right now. I know that I still need to pull some long stories this year, but they will be few and far between. Their longer text they get is from their choice books they check out. 🙂

I showed them some more of the format of how to structure the reading response letters. I know they are bored with it (I am, too), but hey-it’s gotta be done!

Another great day of small group instruction!!

CAFE mini-lesson#1-Visualizing-I had a pre-made anchor chart with thinking stems on it. I want them to know to use all 5 of their sense when they visualize and write about it. I did a short lesson based on Tanny McGregor’s book Comprehension Connections (LOVE this reading strategy book) by using a seashell-a very big one! I held it up and had them focus in on it-we made pretend binoculars around our eyes to be able to focus on looking at it. Then I had them think about the “setting” of where this shell would probably be (ocean/beach). They had to think about what they might see, hear, taste, feel, smell. After that I shared my visualization with them-it was hard to bring myself back from that beach let me tell you! 🙂

Round#1-Group#3-Same as yesterday

CAFE mini-lesson#2-They wrote their visualization down in a quick write (1 1/2 minutes)-then they shared. There were some good ones-I really hope this is helping them understand that they can’t just write-“I can see the ocean”. They have to describe it vividly so that other people can visualize it.

Round#2-Group#4-Same as yesterday

Met with only 1 student individually(advanced one). We chose 2 goals for her to work on-Fluency-reading with expression and Expanding Vocabulary-voracious reading. We also talked about a plan on how she would meet these goals. We decided that for every chapter she reads in her choice book she will go back and read 1 page out loud to practice reading with expression. Then SHE decided to be able to read voraciously(she loves to read) she will ALWAYS keep 2 books with her so that she never runs out of books! LOL!

Now I’m thinking to myself just now that it would be VERY BENEFICIAL if everyday we could talk as a whole class about the individual conferences and goals that were set and plans that were made-then other students would hear what other students were doing and it might spark some thinking!!!!!!!!!! This is deep thinking on my part at 12:09 am! 🙂

Here are the pictures I took of my metacognition and visualizing anchor charts that are hanging in the classroom now.