Category Archives: After Testing

Demonstrative Adjectives

I introduced the concept of demonstrative adjectives today-I think they are catching onto this easily. But how come we STILL have problems with basic parts of speech????? Since this is my 1st year teaching 6th grade I don’t know if all 6th graders are not knowledgeable about the 8 basic parts of speech or just this class. I wish I knew what to do to help them with it-what’s bad is that parts of speech are not even in my course of study for 6th grade english so I don’t want to spend gobs of time on it, but they are the foundation for everything else in english. What to do?????

I do know that they need to learn more english “stuff” in context, I’m just not sure how or when to do that. I want to spend more time writing with them because that is an area that has been left behind this year with all of the reading that we do. But I’m not real sure how many have made tons of progress in their reading even with the amount of time we have spent on it! I do wish I had more 6th grade teachers at my school to talk with about reading, english, spelling, and writing and the right way to teach all of this. Is it from the countless workbooks that we are given?? Nobody in our school district does workshop methods-we were told to implement small group reading instruction this year in 4th-5th-6th grade but I’m not sure how many teachers are actually doing that. I tried it about 7-10 times this year and the kids really loved it, but of course I couldn’t get to everything that I was supposed to do so something gets left out.

I know that one problem/weakness that I have is trying to do too much-surely nobody else has that problem??? 🙂 I want to be an effective teacher and deliver effective instruction-I think sometimes I just skim the surface and don’t have time to really dig deep! I am currently reading 2 books- R5 in Your Classroom-A Guide to Differentiating Independent Reading and Developing Avid Readers by  Michelle J. Kelley and Nicki Clausen-Grace  and The Cafe book by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser (The Sisters). These are excellent books, and I’m thinking I want to try and implement a combination of the 2 methods into my classroom, but not quite sure how to do that!!!

This was my schedule for the day (and we rushed!!!).

1. Partner read “The Pasture” poem by Robert Frost. Briefly discuss.

2. English-Introduce demonstrative adjectives-Workbook page and study guide sheet. We worked with partners, groups, and independently.

3. Introduced 5 high frequency words-They wrote them and sorted them.

4. Practice reader’s theater

5. Scott Foresman Reading Textbook-I read aloud the read aloud story-we discussed. They worked in groups to develop the concept web.

6. We read almost 1 whole chapter in “The Westing Game” and discussed.

7. I introduced acrostic poetry and showed an example. (They got a little excited about this!)

8. I reveiwed the comprehension strategy-MAKING CONNECTIONS-We read our choice books independently and kept a tally of when we were able to make a connection.

Whew!!!! 🙂 We worked the entire time-they stayed engaged. But we didn’t get to read our choice books for the length of time that I was wanting to-we only read for about 10 minutes! I just wish I had more time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finished with online classes

Well, I just finished the 2 elearning classes that I took online through the state department. They were excellent classes-Differentiated instruction and Literacy in the content area. I got a lot of exposure to some great strategies that I can’t wait to try!!!! 🙂 Now maybe I can start working on some Scott Foresman stuff again-even though I am not really going to pick back up on the Scott Foresman series for the rest of this year.

Today we actually didn’t do anything academic after testing because of P.E./lunch and overworked brains. We DID rearrange the classroom!!!! Completely!!!! I’ll try to take pictures and post later. Now we have a bigger open space (if you can call it that) to do our readers theater tomorrow. I’ll let you know how that goes! 🙂

More activities after testing

5 days of testing down and only 1 more to go!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoopee!! Today was Language and Science. Tomorrow will be the OLSAT and Social Studies. AND-can you believe 2 IEP meetings in the afternoons this week? Ugghh! 🙂 This is what we did today after testing:

1. I read aloud 2 chapters from Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. Before each chapter we made predictions about what the chapter would be about based on the chapter before (and of course the whole story that we have read so far). I had them think about their prediction and WHY they are predicting it. Then they had to turn to a partner and share their predictions and why. This strategy is called THINK-PAIR-SHARE. I used to just do pair-share, but I realized I wasn’t giving them enough time to think to themselves before they shared and they were having a hard time sharing. The “real” strategy has to have the think part to it-you can probably google it and find lots about it. I LOVE GOOGLE!!! Anyway- in their reading notebook they drew 3 columns. This is what it looked like:

What I think will happen                        Why I think that will happen                          What really happened

We filled out the 1st 2 columns before I read the chapter and the last column after reading. I found the explanation of this strategy on the internet at this link:

http://www.mcrel.org/compendium/activityDetail.asp?activityID=33

2. We practiced our readers theater for Flying Solo. The script is only 2 pages long-it is from the 1st chapter of the book. It was amazing to hear them read it after they had already read it a couple of times!!!!! 🙂 I also read it aloud to them to model how each character should read/speak. While they practiced reading I walked around to listen to each group (3 groups of 6). We are going to actually perform it for each other this Friday-I can’t wait. I just hope I can work my IPOD correctly and try to video it. If I can do this I will upload it.

Activities after testing

We have now tested for a total of 4 days and have 2 more to go!! Whew!! 🙂 We finished our “practicing” this past Friday, and this week has been sort of crazy because of the loooong testing days-BUT, this is what we have done so far in the afternoons.

1. Silent independent reading-“most” of my kids enjoy this-I said “most”

2. Chunking text- I took a Scott Foresman fresh read passage and made a copy for each student. They partner read it side by side, but I added a twist to it that I came upon on the internet. We used the “say something” strategy as we partner read. One partner would read a chunk (maybe a paragraph), stop, and the other partner had to say something about what was read. I encouraged them to try and use higher level thinking-“I wonder”, “What if”, etc. Then the partners swapped roles. They did this until they finished the passage. I asked them if this helped them with being able to understand the text and get into it, and they said it did!! 🙂

3. QAR-Question Answer Relationship- These are 4 types of questions that they need to understand. We haven’t really gotten in depth with this yet because of time constraints. I only had them brainstorm what QAR stood for and then we shared and then I told them. Of course, they got the Q and the A. However, they made some GOOD guesses for the R like-restate, reread, etc. A few even said “relate”, but nobody got Relationship. 🙂 We will go more in depth with this over the next few days. For some good links to QAR information click on this link to go to my other blog. This blog is where I’m posting links to strategies/concepts for literacy that I am coming upon and want to research more.

http://extremereadingandwriting.wordpress.com/

4. Reading aloud-I am currently in the middle of reading Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. My 6th graders LOVE for me to read aloud to them. We stop periodically and discuss what has been read.

5. Readers Theater- We have not done this in my class this year (another change I want to make for next year). Today we started one-Flying Solo. This is also a novel by Ralph Fletcher that lots of my girls have read after I gave a booktalk on it. It is a great book-check it out if you have time! 🙂 Here is the link to the script.

http://suzyred.com/2000solotheater.html

I’ll post more later! 🙂