Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Comprehension Skill Focus with Close Reads!

Hey there! I wanted to pop in and catch up with a little deeper knowledge about close reads!  The purpose of a close read is for students to gain an understanding of a book inside and out.  We have been made to believe that kids can get everything they need from a book after just one read....well maybe for those "high fliers" they can!  However, think about those kids in your classroom that are still processing the questions you asked three pages ago....when we pull out the text more than once EVERYONE gets a chance to fully understand the text, vocabulary, and skill focuses being covered.  There is absolutely no way that kids can have a FIRM understanding of vocabulary addressed in a book after one read. However, introduce, review, and add actions to vocabulary for 4+ days and they will have an understanding...a transparent understanding that they will use in their writing and conversations. <<<--THIS is what we are going for right?  Close reads really are not a change to what you are teaching just HOW you are teaching it!

So, let's talk comprehension!  I strive to meet the following ten comprehension skills in each close read.  However, there are a few that are not applicable with one another.  For example, when we are reading a nonfiction ponies book there won't be characters... and you so on!

I have shared a sample close read map before, but below you will see how each of the sample close reads align to the above mention comprehension focuses.  If you have chosen your own close read texts you can easily align those texts to the above mentioned comprehension focuses...if the book is "meaty" enough.  You'll notice that a lot of the books we are/have been reading to our kids are fun but can lack these comprehension focuses!  I have listed the ten comprehension focuses for each close read and if they are covered in that close read they will be underlined.  You can download the sample comprehension map by clicking below!

Also, if you use a literacy focus wall in your classroom you can download this freebie comprehension focus wall display!

And I will leave you with this powerful quote..I shared on Facebook, but it's worth sharing twice! :)  Have a great week and I'll be back soon! :)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Recap of Week 4 and Peek at my Week 5!

Hey there!  So, I was sure hoping I could hit rewind and it would be Friday evening again....but no such luck :)  It's time to put back on our teacher gear and rock another week!  Below I will be recapping week 4 and then you will also be able to download week 5's plans!
We are loving our new tablet! Yeah...yeah...I am a little late to this fad! HA!

You can download week 4's plans by clicking on the image below!

On Saturday I also posted my latest virtual presentation: All About the Daily Five in Kindergarten!   You can view that presentation by clicking below!

In that post I also shared my Daily Five dismissal board!  I have made an editable version that you can add your students' pictures to!  If you are not sure how to use this you'll want to click on the presentation above where I explain it in detail!  You can download the freebie daily five board for your smartboard/interactive notebook below!

Keeping with the Daily Five/Guided Reading theme let's talk stamina!  I recently had a question about how I go about introducing the remaining daily fives in my classroom and I want to address that!  So week one {2 days for me } we built read to self stamina, week 2 we built reading stamina, the third week we added in work on writing. Yes, I added in work on writing before our full stamina had been built.  However, during this third week we still took one round of daily five each day of the week to continue building our reading stamina.  By the end of that third week we were up to our desired 12 minutes.  For the second round of daily five on that third week we did work on writing for as many minutes as the students built the read to self round previously.  Then, on the fourth week I jumped into a full daily five/guided reading because students had met their read to self stamina goal!  I think I just made that more complicated, but I hope that made sense! ;)
For guided reading this week we worked on:

Single Sounds
Alphabet Name Races {on/above group}
Mixing/Fixing our names {see below}
Sight Word: I
One to one tracking
Easy readers
Reflective writing from easy readers {see below}

Mixing/Fixing name using alphabet magnets, identifying the letters within our names, and writing our names!

I can feed my fish.

Using sight word cards for assistance writing! Students then stretch out the sounds in their final word{s}.

If you have a few kiddos that still need to work on correctly writing and identifying the letters in their names you can send home this very easy activity for parents!  I write a letter on each color tile and send home this note for parents!  You can download the freebie parent note by clicking below!

Below is our KinderPhonics focus wall!  All of the letters we have covered!  The kids are ROCKING their letters and sounds!  Oh Yeah! :)

Rainbow writing and tracing our letters!

Let's talk a little calendar/morning routines!  In my classroom I pick up my students 20 minutes before school starts and they eat breakfast in the room.  We are at the carpet for our school-wide morning announcements and then we jump right into our calendar time!  I do not do morning work because all of my students are eating their breakfast and that keeps them busy as it is!  I don't have anything against morning work...I just choose to get rockin' and rollin' ;)

The above shot is my calendar board!  I will explain each task in more detail!  I start out each calendar routine with discussing the date.  I always say date like September 10th and have the students listen for the numeral.  We place the calendar piece up and then move on to the day of the week!  I got my days of the week cards from Maria Manore HERE.
We then move on to our clip collection!  We are working on the different ways mathmaticians count...one to one and then starting from the bigger number and counting on.  The students have a firm understanding that there are ten clips to the left and that we don't have to always count that group because we know there are ten.  However, before we add the next paper clip I have the students count one by one for this task.  I have a few that still need to hear that oral counting!  The clip collection represents the number of days in school :)
We then move on to our counting tape.  I like to think of it as we are constructing our own 100's chart and honestly the kids truly understand it and take ownership in it....way more then when I would hang a random hundreds chart and reference it.  You will notice that the like numeral in the ones place holds the same color.  I always ask what number will be next along with the color.  The students utilize their math vocabulary using words like..above, below, same, and counted on.

I was asked how the counting strip is constructed....the white part is calculator tape and then I have the number written on colored post-it notes...my kind of easy! :)

We also place a fish into our fish tank for each day of school.  We are working on understanding the groups of ten and counting on.  The students know that we must have ten baby fish before we add in the mommy/daddy fish.  As our counting on skills become more solid we will be counting on to see how many "yellow" fish we will need to get to 10.

At the fish tank I have introduced my version of taking the bigger number and counting on...I like to call it slap and count.  So, I will slap the bigger number and then count on.  Currently I lead them with the students helping me to count on.

We also have a monthly pattern chain!  I ask the student to study the pattern chain and tell me which color is next.  I always ask how did they know what color came next...instilling that they will need to repeat the pattern in order to get the next piece...this will be beneficial as our pattern progresses in difficulty.

We then sing our days of the week and months of the year...raising our arms for the day and month!

Now moving on to our close read for the week...The Three Little Pigs!  I will say that each of these are my favorite, but really it's too hard because I do love them all!!!

For the three little pigs we made our characters and settings map...

Thought critically about cause and effect...

Introduced our weekly vocabulary along with actions....

And we wrapped up the week by making The Three Little Pigs retelling sticks.  The kids LOVED being able to retell the story...their expressions are priceless! I'll HUFF and PUFF and blowwwwww your house in!

View the above lesson and retelling sticks in my fairy tale close read packet...

What about fine motor practice?  To be honest before I would do fine motor those first couple weeks of school and then I guess I assumed everyone mastered it because I addressed very rarely after unless it just happened to work itself into a lesson.  Well, that is not the case this year!  It appears that there are several students that come in that need that fine motor practice consistently.  I whipped up some fine motor mats that would be fun, engaging, practical, and build fine motor skills!

Using clothes pins to move pom poms....

Get those fingers working to peel and stick then remove stickers....

Pinch and roll play dough....

Bead necklaces...

You can view my fine motor skills below....

Let's end with a little about numbers to five!  The words number sense intrigue me and I am constantly researching and finding activities that will bill number sense in my classroom!  I have requests last week to share more about my hanging number line...you can read all about that in detail here...

We have been practicing our numbers to five this week and Miss Kindergarten's number posters were a HIT!  

You can grab these freebie number posters from Miss Kindergarten by clicking below!

We also practice our one to one counting to five using this engaging activity!  Students rolled a dot cube {I made a new set that did not have a six}, students then counted to that number by placing the cubes on their five frame.  For those that were able to I asked them to explain how many more they would need to get to five.   

 We also practiced our counting on skills...this is a little advanced for some kiddos, but those than understood the counting on from another number loved this challenge.    We practiced several times at the smartboard before I carefully paired up the students to try it out! 

That's it for my week four wrap up...you can download my week five lesson plans below!  Also, I am teaming up with DeeDee for Peek at my week!  Be sure to click below to view her plans along with other great bloggers!

Have a fantastic week!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Daily Five Virtual Presentation {freebies too}

Hi there again and thank so much for dropping in to see my latest virtual presentation: All About Daily Five in Kindergarten!  If you haven't listened to my guided reading virtual presentation you can click HERE to view that! Also, for some odd reason the small green audio buttons will not appear on iPhones and iPads ...I know sadsville!

Also, this presentation is how I've made Daily Five work the best in MY classroom...this is 
by no means the only way you can do Daily Five in your classroom.  As always teachers know how to adapt and make it all work for their students.  It's important to read all about the Daily Five from the authors!  You can view and purchase their book HERE.

Click the green button below to get started!

To download the FREEBIE listening comprehension sheets click below!

Work on Writing Activity Packets:

Letter Name Practice Sheets-multiple versions

Word Work Activity Packets:

If you would like to snag this editable daily five board you can click below!

Click here to grab your freebie... Are you the lucky duck freebie

Click here to view the How do I spell...? board

You can click the image below to view my guided read q & a where I also explain in detail the activities I use for each daily five and pick up freebies too!

Download our freebie stamina chart from  A Special Kind of Class HERE!

I-chart ideas:

Read to Self- Read the whole time, get started right away, read quietly, build stamina, and stay in one spot

Word Work: work the whole time, get started right away, stay in one spot, work quietly, and pick up materials when the round is over.

Work on Writing: write the whole time, stay in one spot, get started right away, write quietly, place paper ____ when finished.

Listening to Read: get started right away, stay in one spot, listen/work the whole time, pick up materials when the round is over.

Download the freebie binder covers HERE.

Thanks so much for viewing/listening to my presentation!  I truly hope you enjoyed it and have found at least ONE piece of information that will make a world of difference in your classroom.  As ALWAYS feel free to email me questions {taradc87@hotmail.com} and/or leave your comments below!  I also wanted to offer a special giveaway for those that visited this presentation....

I have bundled all of my independent activities for work on writing and word work together in an ENDLESS bundle!  The bundle has 500+ activities and more then enough material to get you through your year!  You can click below to view this bundle below!  Also, I will be placing this bundle on sale for $10 off for the week {ending 9/20/14}.

Have a superb week friends!