A rainy day and an indoor recess provides us an opportunity to try out the lift!
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This is my attempt to generalize a skill. ‘Generalize’ is when a learned skill is used in different situations. In this case I worry that improving cursive on an iPad does not necessarily translate to the ability to do neater cursive on paper. Here is my solution. The app is Intro to Cursive from Montessorium. The student traces a letter with a stylus on the iPad then must write the same letter on a cue card. This seems to be far less overwhelming then simply giving the student a cursive worksheet (although I am hoping we can work up to that). Keep generalization in mind when teaching a new skill.
I thought it would be great to let these “little guys” move while they practice the initial sounds of words. This idea is adapted from one of the many free activities at The Florida Center for Reading Research. Great stuff at that site.
I moved to a smaller classroom. Time to get creative with the furniture. This is an old microwave cart. My husband helped me make it into a storage and display cabinet on one side and a pocket chart and chart paper holder on the other. The cabinet is on wheels. I like keeping my classroom simple and uncluttered. With this multipurpose cabinet I don’t have to make all these things visible at once.
At the end of the year I had my middleschool students each reading a novel independently and then writing in a literature journal. I created the literature journals with key words and questions for each chapter. I tried to stay three chapters ahead of each student so that I could record vocabulary words (each child had to read the vocabulary words to me before reading each chapter so I could ensure that key words would be read and understood) and questions that would help each student make connections to his experiences. I used ORCA Current books. They are books that have content for older readers but vocabulary and sentence length for struggling readers. Here is what the ORCA website has to say:
Orca Currents are short high-interest novels with contemporary themes, written expressly for middle-school students reading below grade level.
I also made tea or hot chocolate for the students and let them lounge. Some teachers may think I am soft but I wanted students to see how others enjoy reading. The best comments for me were the
complaining words from the kids when it was time to put the books away.
For summer reading ask for “high interest, low vocabulary” books or check out the ORCA books (there are different series like ORCA SPORT books, ORCA ECHOES for younger readers and RAPID READS).
Also for summer, try audiobooks from iTunes or a website like audible.com or your ebooks from the library. Listening to books will build your child’s vocabulary, develop a love of story, and increase his understanding of stories. Make that iPod a learning tool!