Monday, November 18, 2013

Busy as a Bee!

Mondays are always so busy in my classroom! There is always so much to get done to start our week.

I try to get out a weekly newsletter (copy machine permitting) to inform my parents about what their students will be learning in our classroom. This week we are focusing on fact & opinion, addition, subtraction, and measurement, narrative writing, and colonial times.
Our reading focus changes each week, as does our style of writing. I find it helps to keep my students engaged and excited about learning by focusing on a new topic each week, and then revisiting these topics throughout the year.

 Using a guided reading weekly story plan is so helpful for my small groups. Taking the extra time to pre-read a book and carefully select questions and vocabulary words for my students has made a huge difference in my small group instruction. I make sure to stop at critical points in the story that will be great for making predictions and responding to the reading with writing.

 I encourage my students to make sure they support their answers with the text we read. 
 We use "magic wands" as trackers and the students love them! It adds an element of fun, that I feel is important in any learning environment.

While I'm meeting with small groups for guided reading lessons, my other students are busy on the computers reading stories, at the Smart board playing games that reinforce a reading skill, having a book club, playing Reading Jeopardy, or working on writing. Today they were playing Reading Jeopardy.

 I'm using a pocket chart mounted on a wall and some old cards from an old reading program (Imagine It!) to make a Reading Jeopardy game.

 My students choose a category and then read the cards to each other. (Each category is review of a reading skill from previous weeks.)

The power of adding a board game to any reading center is incredible! While my students are reviewing their reading skills they feel like they are playing a game. When they get their answer right, they get to roll the die and move forward. This can work in a lot of centers! Try it out! I add these board games to math centers too. The students have fun learning and I'm happy that they are engaged in their work.
Mrs. O’Brien

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