Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I loved today! Fit in small group! Do I hear a cheer for me? But now I’m wondering….what did I leave out or forget about???? :)
Spelling workbook page…√ Boring…√
English workbook page…√ Boring…√
I had them write a short short story for 15 minutes…√ We will finish tomorrow.
We read the rest of our story and discussed it…√ (Nothing else-just read and discussed)
Watched a generalization video (cute)…√
45 minutes of small group…√
So…. nothing fancy, but it worked for us! I actually was able to pull 2 small groups in each class-4 students in each group. There is just no way to pull more than that! This is what we did in each small group (again-nothing fancy):
1. Practiced a little word work with 7 multi-syllable words.
2. Talked about what the words meant and how they related to our story this week.
3. Practiced some fluency reading with a paragraph in our story. I read it aloud with correct phrasing, then with incorrect phrasing, then with correct phrasing. Then they partner read it. Then we choral read it.
I LOVED THIS SMALL GROUP TIME!!!!! It’s so personal-the kids open up so much more. AND-they really understood how incorrect phrasing breaks down our comprehension.
Tomorrow is a test day so not sure if I’ll get to small group, but gonna try. This is the kicker-I will not be able to pull all students. I think I am just going to work with my struggling readers.
Here is the link to the generalization video that we watched today:
I “think” that my 6th graders understand generalizations better this year than last year. I have really focused on this skill this week. We’ll see when it comes test time tomorrow. :)
That’s about all for today, but I do want to show you a picture that I took of an open ended answer to a question on a fresh read test last week. The passage was about a community trying to make a skateboard park safer. Now this student is good average student, but I’m wondering how much this student REALLY understood about this passage AND how much “schema” this student had about SKATEBOARDING!!!!!!!!!!! I thought it was hilarious!
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I only ended up with 15 minutes left in class today after teaching whole group everything. Sigh. Something’s gotta give!
So this is what we’ve been doing last week and this week:
1. Sentence labeling
2. Write a paragraph from that sentence-Go over 1 person’s writing on the ELMO
3. Spelling workbook page
4. English workbook page
5. Whole group reading………………………………………………………….
So this is what I’m thinking about changing (as usual!):
Keep the sentence labeling. This is the ONLY reason that the kids are getting better with parts of speech, subjects and predicates. Of course, I do tend to wonder why this is important (except to get them ready for high school) because how many times in our REAL LIVES do we have to know this stuff? However, we DO have to write clearly and smoothly.
So, I’m thinking about doing away with the spelling (totally) and the english workbook page. And putting more writing in place. I know this doesn’t solve my problem of how to fit in small group instruction BUT it will solve the fact that I think I am doing a HORRIBLE job of teaching them writing! :)
Anywho- this week we are working on identifying generalizations when we read, and I was going to show them a cute video BUT I didn’t realize it was a youtube video until I clicked on “play” in the classroom. BLOCKED. I showed them a generalization power point and we discussed it. It was created by a teacher at a school in Wetumpka-not me. :) Here it is for you if you want to use it.
Tomorrow I’ll show the generalization video-our district has an account with VuSafe which allows us to show youtube videos during school hours. :)
Since our comprehension strategy focus this week is asking questions I had them work in groups to talk about questions they are wondering about our story that we started reading today. Then I wrote them on a chart and we answered them as we read the story. They actually prodded me to return to the chart and write the answers since I tend to get sort of caught up when reading. :)
I always read the story out loud to them (I think most teachers have them listen to the CD, but you know I’m really a great reader so I feel like they can get into it more if I read it to them. I’m just saying…. :)
I read 1/2 of it to them on Tuesday and the other 1/2 on Wednesday. I really wish I had 2 more full days for them to read it again because I would like to assign them sections to practice and then have them read it with partners or in a group a 2nd time. Hmmm…not sure what to do about that. We take our test on Thursdays-maybe I could move the test to Fridays, but then the fresh read test would have to be given on Thursdays, but that wouldn’t take up as much time. Hmmm…
I have lots to think about over the Thanksgiving break which is NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)