Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Whole Lot of Research Going on.... Part 2 and a Freebie!

Life... it's a funny thing.  It tends to get in the way a tad.  So this post is a long time coming, but I did rotate the pictures so you can see some of our writing. 

I left you with a few pictures of the jeeps and what our hallway looked like.  In part two I'm going to talk to you about the writing.  I'm blessed to only teach writing to our bright-eyed little firsties.  Each class is 70 minutes long so we spend a lot of time in writers workshop, which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! We get to conference with lots of children throughout the process which leads to great conversations about being authors. We think informative writing is so much easier for our firsties to write because it's just facts.  No opinions, no story, just stating the facts.  And state the facts they did. 

Em and I have had long conversations about final copies of writing pieces. Do your firsties like to "publish" their pieces?  Our firsties LOVE writing their pieces, but rewriting them....notsomuch.  The time has been put in and they are not willing to redo what has been done.  So for this writing piece, students wrote/drew pictures/revised, edited and then we typed them up.  After that students only had to cut and paste their words onto blank white pages.  I liked doing it this way because it gave them the power to choose where their words would go and what the book would look like.  Once the words were in place, the illustrating began!  Here are a few books. WARNING... there are a lot of pictures, but I wanted to show you the differences in our writers. The first book was one of my favs because he wrote about Salmon. What firstie chooses Salmon to write about???!!!??? This friend.  :)  His lead and fun fact are fantastic! 

Here's a few of our writing pieces.  :)  Students had to write five chapters along with a lead and provide closure.  Let me know what you think!

LOVE this Cover!

                                                                                        Oops.. forgot to turn.

                                                                               another one..:(

For sticking with me, here's your freebie!  The chart we use to collect our data. : )

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bright Ideas: iFluency

A few of my students really need a fluency boost.  Anyone else in the same boat?  I needed something quick, meaningful, to the point, and (to be honest) easy.

We know that listening to stories, listening stations, and just reading make better, more fluent readers.  But I have a few readers that just need more.  So I decided to add a little video to our fluency work.

Here's what I did...

My struggling students really need additional practice with their guided reading books.  They could read the text but it was not quite a fluent read.  They needed some additional support.

As you record the video, make sure that you are reading at the pace you want to model for the student you have in mind.  Also point to the words as you read.  They will be pointing along with you as they read the text.

Now it is their turn to read.  Put the iPad in front of your reader, along with headphones and some kind of plastic tracking tool. (If they use their own finger to track the print, the iPad will react to it.)

As your student listens to the video, they track the print AND read along with you.  The modeled practice will help them to improve their own fluency.

Here is a quick 30 second video to show you what it looks like in action.  You will hear my voice on the video and then the child is reading along with it.  My finger is pointing on the video and the child is pointing along with me.


If you are interested in following me, just click on the options below!


Hope you can "hop" through the link-up for more Bright Ideas!  The links are all listed below!

QR Codes to Admire

Have you met Lawren from Teaching is a Royal Adventure?  I am her new admirer!  As I was searching for some new ideas to for reading, I came across Lawren's QR codes:


I was immediately intrigued with the words "listening station."  My firsties have been working hard to improve their fluency and listening stations are a great way to support this!  I decided right away that I NEEDED these!

But it is Spring Break....no classroom and no students to help me show you how these work....No problem! Although my students need to listen to stories, so do my preschooler and (almost) kindergartener!  So we tested them out and the ideas of how to use them with my firsties started flying!!

First...I printed off the QR codes (they still need to be laminated):

Second...we picked a story that we wanted to hear.

Then...she used the free QR code scanner on the iPad.

Finally....it was time to listen and watch!

 I love how easy it is, which is super helpful to me.  The process is quick and my students can do it on their own.  And... it is so engaging!

And I especially like the stories that have the words on them.  This will really help me to support my students that I would like to read along with the audio recording.

For the classroom...I have a few ideas.
1. Traditional listening center and students would use a listening center sheet to fill in some comprehension type activities after listening.
2. I could hold a "breakfast listening club."  A few students would listen to the same story and then have some time to discuss the story together.
3. The stories could also be projected on the Mimeo or White board.  Students could read along with the books that have text.

Lawren has QR codes for each month of the year or they are bundled.  You can click below to head over to her store or her blog button to hop over to Lawren's blog.



 Who do you admire?

An InLinkz Link-up