Sunday, September 30, 2012

Word Work

In my classroom we have been busy building our stamina for all of our Daily 5 stations.  The last one we are working on is the Word Work station. I was going through all of my word work things to get ready for that station and thought I should share what I have found!

I have a boggle board like this ready to go in my classroom.  I used this last year too.  The kids LOVE this one!

Here is the link to the awesome website where she has all the letters ready for you to print and use, as well as a recording sheet for the words they come up with.

I made a half sheet also for the kids to record their words. (Trying to save paper!)
I also love the different menus out there.  I am going to add some to my word work station.  Here is the link to another great site with a word work menu.
Here's another menu I found online:
I also found some great word work games that use dice.  I used these last year.  The class loved them...once we practiced rolling the dice so they didn't fly across the room. :)
I found this one online:

I was inspired by the dice game, so I created some more of my own to switch out at the word work station.  Here they are!

( I actually use this one at the work on writing station. )
Here's another activity I like to use at the word work station.  The students have to write the word, make the word (by using letter stamps, letter cubes, or wiki sticks), and then they have to write the word again.
I also use the Promethean Board as part of the word work station.  Promethean Planet has a lot of great flipcharts to download.  I added one of the really simple flipcharts that I found and edited.  I use it to get started with the word work station.
I hope you found something useful here to add to your word work station!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Reading With Meaning

I know I have previously explained how  I love the book Comprehension Connections, but here's another one that I use A LOT and love. You should get this book too!

Reading With Meaning  by- Debbie Miller

I have used this book so much that it is about to fall apart!  When I first started teaching guided reading, this was the book I always had in my hands. I love the lists that Debbie adds to the end of each section that shows the titles she uses to teach each comprehension strategy.  I have used her strategies and ideas a lot and have recreated some of her pages to help me out in the classroom.  As I was pulling out one of those pages to use for next week, I thought maybe I should share them!


Mental Images



Questioning Web


Story Map

I also added all of these pages to a flipchart.  I use the flipchart when I introduce the lessons and these pages to the students.  I also leave the flipchart up as a center for the students to write their thinking after they read.

Reading With Meaning Flipchart

I hope you find something here that you can use!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Guided Reading...for those high readers!

I really love to teach guided reading groups.  It is always interesting and you really get to see how every student is unique in how they learn and process all the information.  I like to see them make progress and move up reading levels and also REALLY comprehend what they are reading on another level.  Amazing. 

I know many teachers may have struggled with this question before like I have...What do I do with those high readers?  In second grade they are just not quite ready to start literature circles, but the daily small group guided reading is too slow and boring for them. 

I try to do something in between.  I still want to meet with them to make sure we aren't missing an important piece of their reading instruction, but I also want them to become independent and really connect with their reading. 

Here are a few ideas that I have used for those readers that are really ready to move beyond the small group guided reading.

I create a reading passport for these students.  We put their picture on the front. Every time they finish a book, they add the title to their passport.  In the passport, they can keep track of how many fiction and nonfiction books they read.  This passport can be used for all levels!


I meet with the group to introduce their book and have the discussions about predictions, unusual vocabulary, and any connections we might have.  Then they go on their own to read as a group to the assigned chapter and complete a portion of their Book Club Notes.  We always discuss ahead of time what the expectation is and what portion of the notes I will be looking for at our next meeting. They love the independence and take this very seriously!

I also like to provide something more for some of my other groups that are working above level, but not ready for this much independence.  I just continue with our regular guided reading groups, but have them use a small bookmark to add their thinking and summarizing.  I have a fiction or nonficiton bookmark. I add this to their book bag and they complete a portion at a time and bring it back to group for our discussions.
Sometimes I need a few reminders about asking those higher order thinking questions...for all my groups!   I like to keep this list of question starters in my guided reading binder to help me remember to push them to think about their thinking!

I can't wait to really get to work in my guided reading groups!