Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lovin' Literacy!

Our study of non-fiction text features continues. Yesterday and today we focused on insets and sidebars. We added them to our list of non-fiction text features!
Yesterday we focused specifically on insets. I modeled my own thinking of how my brain processed an inset that I had found in one of our social studies readers. We have been studying the economy of the five regions of the U.S. so this text helped to combine literacy and our social studies content.
For guided practice, I photocopied a different page from the text about strawberries in California.
Students recorded their thinking in their Thoughtful Logs in the Genre Learning tab.

During guided practice, I noticed there were a few kids who still struggled with connecting the text, the bigger pictures, and the inset. I pulled these students during guided reading and used yet another page from our social studies reader to practice the skill one more time. Students read about rice plants in Louisiana.
Students recorded their thinking in their Thoughtful Logs after telling me verbally what their thoughts were for each step of our process in regards to understanding insets.
Today we reviewed our learning of insets from yesterday and then focused on sidebars.
I modeled my thinking using a page from our social studies reader that informed me of a potato festival in the Midwest.
For guided practice, I photocopied a different page from the same reader that had a sidebar in it. The text overlapped with our social studies content and discussed an oyster festival in the Northeast.
After students read the guided practice page, they recorded their thinking in their Thoughtful Logs.
Here is one student's response:
As I've mentioned several times in this blog, we are studying the economy of each of the five U.S. regions. Today we focused specifically on the Northeast. I assigned each student to a reader at his/her independent level. Students summarized what they learned about one specific industry or product in the Northeast.
I worked with some students to read about the fishing industry in the Northeast. Together we wrote a summary of what we learned about fishing and recorded it on our notes sheet that we will later use to create a magazine about our nation's economy!
April read about cranberries in the Northeast. She used her own words and key words from the text to help her write her summary! 

In Writer's Workshop today, we used two pages from the mentor text Bubba the Cowboy Prince to continue our exploration of verbs and adverbs. We highlighted the verbs in yellow.
I focused more specifically on the word 'perfectly' on this page to introduce adverbs.
We recorded our learning in our Thoughtful Logs in the Powerful Words and Phrases section.
Students selected three verbs and three appropriate adverbs and wrote sentences to demonstrate their understanding.

I had a teacher email me and ask if I could post all my anchor charts for our writing process. Here they are!

In other literacy activities, we got to meet with our second-grade buddies in Mrs. Adams' class. We helped our buddies learn to use a great spelling website. Students any age can use this website at home to practice their spelling words!

And last but certainly not least, students who left the classroom during learning time only 5 times or less during Quarter 1 (to go to the bathroom, get a drink, or get something from their backpack) got to eat lunch in the classroom. I love students who value their time IN the classroom! Way to to Natasha, Tyler, Summer, Blake, Adam, Casey, Cody, Katie, and Elisa!

1. Reading - 15 mins., Turkey Log
2. Math - 10 mins. facts, 8.4 
3. Spelling - Sentences, Test Fri.
4. Social Studies - North America Map Test, Fri.
                         - Finish Northeast notes


  1. I am so impressed with your teaching. Can you give me a little more info when you use mentor text. I loved how you projected Bubba the Cowboy. Did you scan the page & then project onto white board?

  2. Thanks! :) I scanned it in color as a .pdf on our school copy machine and sent it to myself in an email. Then I opened it in my email and printed the .pdf to my SMARTboard (which really just opens it up in a SMARTboard file - it doesn't really print at all...).

    I'm not sure if all copy machines have that function but ours does. I LOVE it! It really helps to make text come to life!

  3. I am loving your literacy also! I have shared your blog with a few of my colleagues and we are in awe of the literacy approach you use with your students. You have such wonderful and engaging lessons with your students.