Saturday, November 22, 2014

Losing Teeth Informational Close Reading Words & Pictures Mini Unit

I am so excited! I have finally finished something I've been working on for quite awhile.... my new Close Reading resource format! After many, many requests, I am going to be offering these resources in a single topic format! They allow for a deep dive into a topic beginning with the Close Read activities, annotations, writing extensions, write the room (new bigger cards!), and brand new
is my "Picture Talk". It has been a labor of love, and there are many more in the works! You can get a LOT of mileage out of this unit! SO much to do and learn!

Losing Teeth Informational Text Close Reading: Words & Pictures Mini Unit



Teachers Pay Teachers Blog Talkin' Close Reading

I am SO honored to be included in Nicole's Blog Post on Teachers Pay Teachers about Close Reading! Well done, Nicole! Awesome information and insights! Check it out here:
Teachers Pay Teachers BLOG

Friday, November 14, 2014

Close Reading - Oh the Places You'll Go!


I have been doing Close Reading in my kindergarten class for about two years now!
In kindergarten it begins as “close listening” and has become such an important part of my instruction!
I am still amazed by how many standards can be integrated into one close read!
The RI and  RL standards are the obvious ones, but I LOVE using the conversations that take place during close reading as building blocks for my little learners to become expert
conversationalists using academic language and vocabulary in context (integrating the speaking and listening standards).  It is during these content rich conversations that the students learn to participate in natural and authentic
dialogues and practice speaking behaviors that carry over into every other part of our day.
It takes a LOT of persistence to get to the point where five year olds can turn to their partner and ask a question, listen for an answer, reply in return, and then report to the group. It may not be one of  the overt benefits of Close Reading, but it is one of the priceless intangibles, that promises great return on investment of time and effort!
All of this conversation about the text, answering and asking questions to
stimulate conversation, inferences and the showing of evidence also leads to writing!
We as teachers know that facilitating writing begins with verbal conversations,
pictorial representations, and then words. Annotating text is another AMAZING way to extend close reading. After being exposed to an interesting, vocabulary rich, worthy piece of text, beginning readers and writers can turn those authentic conversations into annotations about the text. Even the most timid of writers can make meaning for themselves about the text using pictorial representations, which with time and more practice develop into increasingly sophisticated embodiments of the level of their understanding. Annotating a close read is an activity that differentiates naturally
to the ability and understanding of the learner based on his or her own level of comprehension. It is during these writing activities that I see the most growth with regards to demonstrating evidence of what we read in the text. Evidence becomes concrete for little learners when they can write it down, however rudimentary it may be!
I began writing my own close reading passages two years ago when I could not find any to fit my search for interesting topics, appropriateness, engagement, and intentional use of vocabulary. If it’s new to you, try it out! I bet you’ll love it!  All of my close reading resources have complete instructions for close reading,  partner talk, writing and more!

Here are some annotations from our Owls Close Read this week. Check out the 
owl who was "Awake when the sun is shining because he is nocturnal"! Nice way to inference based on evidence from the text you amazing little five year old smarty pants!





  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Little Bird Feed: End of October (Apples, Non-Standard Measurement, Halloween, Monster Mash Math)

 Apples Close Reading
We ended up our work on the "Apples" poem close read this week with an apple cider taste test. Because we have so many English Language Learners this year I used this activity to talk a lot about the vocabulary word press (vs. push and pull). They loved making the gestures for pressing the apples! I found this cute video to provide a visual experience too!
 Apples Close Read

Apples Close Read
  This was so much fun! I got the idea from Craftaholics (what a great blog!) The wood slice came from Michaels and I used my 40% off one item coupon, so it was a $4 and change project!
 Craftaholics Wood slice Chalkboard
 We worked on non-standard measurement this week, we used linking cubes to measure our shoes,
hands, arms, etc., and compared them to each other. The candy corn measuring was fun too! Who says you can't do math with candy? You can grab that little Freebie right here!

 Non standard freebie
 We had a BLAST doing the our Monster Mash Math! There are two ways to play... either working
on quantity (number recognition and number sense) or greater and lesser than. I had totally planned on doing greater /less than with the pretzel sticks, but since my littles were SO hopped up on Halloween I opted for just quantity. They had a ball! We played as a whole class, and when you draw the "Monster Mash" card you stand up and do the monster mash! Here's the link: Groovy Ghoolies Monster Mash Wish I could show you the video! Too many faces, but they were soooo cute!  Since Monsters aren't just for Halloween anymore we will do the greater than/less than lesson soon, but with marshmallows for the monster teeth! Can't wait!!
 Monster Mash Math
                                      Monster Mash Math

 Monster Mash Math
                   Pumpkin Life Cycle Common Core Galore   
We did our Pumpkin Investigation this week too. It's always so much fun and there are just so many skills to pack into this one activity. As I finished cutting the lid I asked "What they thought I should do to get it off?" Press, push or pull (gesturing too). They conversed with their partners and we gestured together to discuss the best method. I love it when vocabulary and context collide in an unplanned way!

 We had "Super Hero" day at school on Friday! A fun way to celebrate and encourage good behavior,
GREAT participation. I was a humble, much older, girly version of Captain America! :o)
 Captain America tshirt
There's nothing better than Halloween landing on Friday night! We sat out and handed out candy
to the cutest little trick-or-treaters! There were decked out strollers and wagons with lights and everything! This flat bed hay ride always goes around the neighborhood at Christmas time to see the lights, but they decked out for Halloween too this year! So much fun and such a nice end to a busy week!