RSS Feed

Category Archives: writing

Daily Five

Another new incentive after the Christmas break has been The Daily Five (although we don’t get to all five in a day). The Daily Five is made up of five stations: working with words, working with writing, reading to someone, reading to self, and listening to reading. The Daily Five was designed by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. You can read about it here: Daily Five

I want to adapt the daily five to the resource room for three reasons: I want my students to read independently each day, write each day, and have regular conferences with me.

20130129-205532.jpg
There are some big challenges to adapting this format to the resource room. One challenge is finding reading passages that are at an independent reading level for my students but at the same time are age appropriate (and appealing). Over the break I took different black line masters from teachers in other grades, cut off any grade level labelling, cut off any babyish pictures, laminated and levelled. This has become our “Read to Someone” station. This is working well so far since the levels are good and the length of the passages is very manageable. I feel like students have been pleasantly surprised at their success and enjoyment of daily reading (keep in mind that these are self professed book haters).

20130129-210735.jpg

20130129-210741.jpg
I am excited to think through each of The Daily Five.

Lovin’ this App!

I enjoy the excitement of a fresh start. Rearranging furniture, redecorating, reorganizing, refreshing… I wanted this new year, this return after a break, to renew my students’ motivation. One of our areas of renewal has been getting comfortable with a new app called Word Q.
This is a more expensive app ($25) but a license for Word Q on the PC is $199. Word Q is a word predictor program – it predicts possible word choices as the student types. The student can choose one of the predicted words or keep typing. Each word is read back to the student. There are other great features – it will read back the whole passage, give word suggestions, give definitions, to name a few.

20130116-215707.jpg
Along with getting familiar with this app we now have an air-print printer, so that students can print from their iPads, and wireless keyboards to make typing easier. Add headphones and we have a very productive class.

20130116-220104.jpg
I felt so encouraged yesterday to watch four students, each with headphones on, typing away at book reports. They were motivated! The best part was their confidence that they had spelled words properly and knew that what they had written made sense because they had heard it read back to them. I was impressed with the clear thoughts that they were able to express with very little help from me.

I think my students were re-energized but know that I felt rejuvenated! A writing assignment went from groans to cheers. Yay!

Try it First! Transition Words

We know we should take the time but we just don’t. Our explanations and lessons would be so much better if we did. We need to try activities before we ask our students to do them.
Many times an activity could have gone more smoothly if I had just tried it first.
I found this Christmas activity that I will ask kids to do in partners. It targets sight words and transition words. I tried it first myself to figure out strategies I would suggest for students that seem overwhelmed by the task. I think I will give students the title and some blank cards so that they can add words. I realized that I first picked out the transition words so I decided I will first teach a mini lesson on transition words and ask students to identify the transition words in their packet of words.

20121211-134138.jpg

20121211-134156.jpg

20121211-134206.jpg

20121211-134212.jpg

Trying the activity myself will definitely affect how I approach this lesson.

The activity is from an ESL site: Bogglesworld
The transition words chart is from Reading Rockets

The Sentence Police

It can be difficult to provide students with the necessary repetition of a concept while keeping it fun and motivating. This is one way I’ve tried to rev up our editing every once in awhile.

20121128-163743.jpg I wear the hat (I know, I am weird) and hand out tickets. As students fix their errors they hand the ticket back. It keeps us laughing about mistakes but also attentive to details.

The tickets say “Capital Offense,” “Omission Error,” “Punctuation Violation ,” and “Spelling Infraction.”

Ticket Out The Door

I like to keep things cyclical – remind kids regularly of things we have learned. It is good for bringing information from short term memory to long term. The problem is that I don’t remember what to ask about!
The solution is the “ticket out the door”. Most days, as we work on something, I put a key concept on a small recipe card (I keep a stack nearby). The card gets added to an envelope with other recipe cards from previous lessons. The envelope is right next to the door. As students leave, I draw a card and they must answer the review question. Sometimes they must all answer the same question (whisper the answer to me), sometimes I ask each person to give me an example of the concept i.e. “everyone give me an example of a synonym before you leave”, and other times I draw one for each student ( a great review, too, for the others who hear all the questions and answers).
Today I put two more envelopes by the door. These are words I word like students to regularly review. I will sometimes use these as the tickets out the door.

20121123-190657.jpg
Here are the words in these particular envelopes:

20121123-190735.jpg

20121123-190746.jpg

Keeping it Visual

20121122-193822.jpg
Read the rest of this entry

Strategies

Students that struggle are often not using the appropriate strategies – strategies that good students utilize naturally. I made this toolbox so that I could display the appropriate strategy for the given activity.

I want students to see that different activities require choosing a different strategy.

20121116-212718.jpg

%d bloggers like this: