Thursday, December 1, 2016

Believe it or not...Inferences for Primary Students

Learning standards across the country are "upping the game" for all students, including our earliest learners. This post gives ideas for teaching inferences to those early students. Starting with pictures and ending with words can just be the key to reading comprehension.
Inferences?  Seriously?  In Kindergarten? Absolutely!
It's just a matter of making it meaningful to five-year-olds...and you can.

Use Mentor Texts

I'll be the first to admit I use Magic Tree House books a lot.  I mean, like A LOT.  I know.  I think they are the best books.  That being said, the first time I thought about teaching my kindergatners about inferencing, it was completely by accident. That's right...by accident.  We were reading The Knight at Dawn and Jack was hanging from the castle precipice and the students were hanging on every word.

"Jack felt his fingers slipping.  Then down he fell.
Down through the darkness.
SPLASH!"

And that was the end of the chapter.  "Oh, no!  What happened to Jack?" I asked.  "He fell in the moat!" a chorus of kindergartners yelled. "How do you know that?" I asked again.  "The book said, splash," answered a student.  I continued, " What if it said THUNK?"  Another student chimed in, "Then he would have fallen on the ground." Yep, that's what it's all about.

Look at a little

Learning standards across the country are "upping the game" for all students, including our earliest learners. This post gives ideas for teaching inferences to those early students. Starting with pictures and ending with words can just be the key to reading comprehension.
Let's look at pictures first...no text.  When the students were listening to the story, they weren't focusing on the text, they were focusing on the story.  Likewise, using pictures is an easy way to start a lesson about inferencing.  Using a portion of a picture, ask the students what they know FROM THE PICTURE. Who is in the picture? When did someone take the picture? Where is the picture taken? How does the person in the picture feel? All of these questions make students look at a picture critically, not just on the surface. Once they have thought about the picture...expand the view.

Look at a lot

Learning standards across the country are "upping the game" for all students, including our earliest learners. This post gives ideas for teaching inferences to those early students. Starting with pictures and ending with words can just be the key to reading comprehension.
Show them the whole picture. Ask them the same questions again. Ask if they could tell a better story.  Using several sets of pictures and LOTS of oral practice, the students will be making inferences all over the place. Inferences are all about what the text makes us think, not about what is in the text.

What are the clues in the text?


Finally, introduce students to making inferences using text.  Using 3 sets of clues and 3 pictures, students can use the text to help decide which picture the text describing. Each of the hats could be used in the winter.  Each of the hats could be used to keep your head warm.  BUT, if the hat is the same color as a snowman's nose...there is only one choice. The words don't say it, but the inference does.

If you'd like a FREEBIE sample set of Inferences for Primary Students, CLICK HERE.

If you'd like a full set of Inferences for Primary Students,click the picture below or CLICK HERE to visit my TPT store.


Pin it for Later:
Learning standards across the country are "upping the game" for all students, including our earliest learners. This post gives ideas for teaching inferences to those early students. Starting with pictures and ending with words can just be the key to reading comprehension.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Sight Word Dice...Rollin' in the Reading

Want a fun sight word activity? Grab a die and a list of easily confused words and watch the learning (and the laughing.)

Saw? Was? Very? Every?


Have you ever had students who confuse "was" and "saw?" Or "of" and "from?" Me, too. We played a fun game Wednesday before Thanksgiving break. I passed out the mats to the students, then remembered I needed a dice.  Hmmm? That shouldn't be a big deal, right? Well, evidently I don't have any dice in my "reading specialist" room...at least not typical dice. I had big dice from EAI. (These dice can be bought on-line.) All of the sudden, this little game was a party.  The students could throw the dice across the floor, not just in a control place on the carpet.
Want a fun sight word activity? Grab a die and a list of easily confused words and watch the learning (and the laughing.)

How fast can you read it?

Sight words are an interesting thing. We want the words to be automatic.  We can't rely on strategies to decode or context clues. They have to know them, but we have to make it meaningful and fun.  Why shouldn't we make it fun.  It's easy:
  1. Roll the Dice.
  2. Read the column under that die, as quickly as you can.
  3. Try to do it faster and faster.  
  4. Be careful, if you mess up you have to start back at the top.
You can even challenge the students to a reading duel. (I wouldn't want to challenge students to race against each other, but race against themselves.)

Freebie

If you'd like a few Sight Word Dice mats, there is a FREE set in my TPT store.  
 Pin it for Later

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Labeling...Getting Early Writers to Write!

Labeling is an easy way to get early writers to write! Students can label pictures, then write about their labels.
Labeling is an easy way to get early writers to write. The writing is supported and can be differentiated for all students. Start with an anchor chart and move it to an independent writing center.
Labeling is an easy way to get early writers to write! Students can label pictures, then write about their labels.

The Anchor Chart

Students are exposed to labeling in a whole group setting.  The teacher can enlarge the labeling sheet. Students can label the specific parts of the bus that will be in the independent sheet. First label the poster with a title. As students are directed to label parts of the bus, their attention can be drawn to the initial sounds. At the end of the week, students can use the words in a sentence supported by word wall words.
Labeling is an easy way to get early writers to write! Students can label pictures, then write about their labels.

The Center

Once the students produce a labeling product whole group, they can be asked to do it in an independent center.  They can use the poster as support, if necessary.  The lines are provided for a variety of activities. Students can be directed to practice writing the labels, use word wall words to write sentences or write about an experience on the bus.  As an enrichment activity, students can be directed to write a sentence using commas in a series.  The examples above show a variety of written responses.

FREEBIE

Of course, I have a FREEBIE sample of a labeling set I created for some teachers.  If you would like to get the sample set, CLICK HERE or click the picture below.

Labeling is an easy way to get early writers to write! Students can label pictures, then write about their labels.

If you would like the full set of labeling sheets (48 labeling activities in all), CLICK HERE for my TPT store.

Labeling is an easy way to get early writers to write! Students can label pictures, then write about their labels.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Preparing for December?

December will be here quickly...and we'd like to help. Special holiday dollar deals for TPT.
Thanksgiving is screaming around the corner...and December is fast on it's heels.  Before you know it December will be here in full force and we'll be trying to fit in as much as we can before the winter break.  I am sorry if I'm starting to panic myself, but it just seems like it will be here before we know it.  In an attempt to help, several of us are having a TPT Holiday Dollar Deal Sale.

#holidaydollardeal

If you go to TPT and put our holiday dollar deal hashtag in the search bar (in the heading above), you'll see all the fun items that are reduced to $1 for the 3 days. Here's what I am offering for $1.

Word Card List Bundle
December will be here quickly...and we'd like to help. Special holiday dollar deals for TPT.
This word list winter pack is great for inspiring young writers.  Using the cards for topics or finding words to add to their story, these cards can provide students with "the words" so the story can flow.  There are 6 sets of word cards in the set.  Get it for $1.

Number Sense: Snowmen
December will be here quickly...and we'd like to help. Special holiday dollar deals for TPT.

This set includes 107 pages of 1-10 number sense activities and posters with a snowmen theme.  The activities include ten frames, interactive notebook activities, and independent center activities.  This can be an easy way to have ready-made centers for students.

Winter Small Group CVC Bundle
December will be here quickly...and we'd like to help. Special holiday dollar deals for TPT.

This set is a bundle.  This set includes 148 pages and activities for short vowel words.  These CVC boards can be used as an intervention, a whole group activity under the document camera or center activities.  

Don't Forget...

It's only for 3 days.  Have a great time shopping during our holiday dollar deals.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

6 Mini Lessons for Structure Errors

I have previously blogged about meaning errors and visual errors.  This is the last in the a series: structure errors.  Structure errors are all about the structure of the sentence and understanding the English language.
If you've ever read a post from me about reading, you know I completely believe in miscue analysis. You have to know why they made errors before you can help fix the confusions.  I have previously blogged about meaning errors and visual errors.  This is the last in the a series: structure errors.  Structure errors are all about the structure of the sentence and understanding the English language.
I have previously blogged about meaning errors and visual errors.  This is the last in the a series: structure errors.  Structure errors are all about the structure of the sentence and understanding the English language.
Structure errors are also known as snytactic errors or errors with syntax. Structure errors are errors with natural language, grammar, language patterns, or knowledge of the English language. Once you have determined the errors are structural in nature, the following activities are great for helping students with these errors.
I have previously blogged about meaning errors and visual errors.  This is the last in the a series: structure errors.  Structure errors are all about the structure of the sentence and understanding the English language.

Listen Up!

The first activity asks the students to listen to the a statement, and determining if the sentence is correct English.  Students choose a card with two sentences on it.  They read the card aloud and choose the one that is written correctly.  This activity teaches the students to hear what is correct.  
I have previously blogged about meaning errors and visual errors.  This is the last in the a series: structure errors.  Structure errors are all about the structure of the sentence and understanding the English language.

Order Up!

The second activity is a sequencing activity.  During the visual errors post, we also used sequencing activities.  Having the students recognize the sequence of the story, helps the students in a variety of different ways.  For structural errors, students are using key words to detect the sequence.
I have previously blogged about meaning errors and visual errors.  This is the last in the a series: structure errors.  Structure errors are all about the structure of the sentence and understanding the English language.

Cube it Up!

Making sure students are using parts of speech, making a cube with parts of speech and giving the students a choice board, could allow for some pretty funny sentences that are, in fact, grammatically correct.  Students will roll the cube and choose a word that is that part of speech.  When they have a noun and verb, they can make a sentence.  If they have a noun, verb, and adjective, they can make a bonus sentence for extra points.
I have previously blogged about meaning errors and visual errors.  This is the last in the a series: structure errors.  Structure errors are all about the structure of the sentence and understanding the English language.

Match it Up!

Understanding synonyms can also be useful to making sure students understand when they are reading.  Using the cards on the FREEBIE at the bottom, students will match the synonyms.  You can play concentration, Go Fish!, or I have, Who has.  Students need to be able to recognize synonyms and understand the value in the match.
I have previously blogged about meaning errors and visual errors.  This is the last in the a series: structure errors.  Structure errors are all about the structure of the sentence and understanding the English language.

Clip it Up!

Another structure understanding is choosing correct end marks.  Students will use clip-it cards to determine the end mark and therefore, understand the structure of the sentence.  When students can determine is the sentence is a statement, a question, or an exclamation the meaning of the sentence is clear.
I have previously blogged about meaning errors and visual errors.  This is the last in the a series: structure errors.  Structure errors are all about the structure of the sentence and understanding the English language.

Measure it Up!

Is the sentence whole or not?  Measure it.  Students will read a sentence and measure it...is it whole or not.  As the students decide that the sentences are whole or not, they can sort the cards.  Students can also use the provided papers to make the phrase cards or incomplete sentence cards and make them whole.

If you'd like a FREEBIE packet of the activities in this post, CLICK HERE!

Pin for Later:
I have previously blogged about meaning errors and visual errors.  This is the last in the a series: structure errors.  Structure errors are all about the structure of the sentence and understanding the English language.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Who Doesn't Love a Book Fair?

My last book fair post was in May of 201, so I want to share all the fun again.
Who doesn't love a BOOK FAIR? It's a great place to get new books and get books into the home libraries of our students.  Here are a few new books.
We had the book fair at out school last week...and I found some great treasures.  I have recently heard some teachers at my school and on-line complaining about book fairs at schools because everything is sold at full price.  I know we could get a break ordering on Amazon, but at least we get books for our school instead of money for Amazon.  I also think it's such a great opportunity to let children see lots of books in one place.  I do wish they wouldn't sell the "junk" at the cash register (erasers, sharpeners, and silliness) that seems to take away from buying books. But, I won't lie...I love the Book Fair.
Who doesn't love a BOOK FAIR? It's a great place to get new books and get books into the home libraries of our students.  Here are a few new books.

Mousetropolis

This is a new take on an old book.  Mousetropolis is a new take on the Country Mouse, City Mouse fable.  Once again, text story is the same, but the text is simple.  An added benefit for this book is the onomatopoeia element added to the story.  Whoooooo!  Swoosh-swoosh chugga-chugga Meow! Squeak! 
Who doesn't love a BOOK FAIR? It's a great place to get new books and get books into the home libraries of our students.  Here are a few new books.

The Lion Inside

This is sure to be a new favorite. Little Mouse is so little no one ever pays attention to him.  He's stepped on, sat on, overlooked an ignored. On the other hand, lion commands attention and is revered by all the animals.  Mouse decides if he can roar and let "the lion inside" out, the animals would pay attention to him.  When that doesn't turn out like he hopes, he goes to see lion.  You'll have to read the book to figure out what happens next.
Who doesn't love a BOOK FAIR? It's a great place to get new books and get books into the home libraries of our students.  Here are a few new books.

Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion
Little Red Gliding Hood

As you can tell, these books are borrowed from the traditional story "Little Red Riding Hood."  Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion has a jungle setting with fun "hairdresser" surprise.  Little Red Gliding Hood takes place in the enchanted forest in the winter.  Several old friends (the 3 little pigs, the gingerbread man, the hey diddle, diddle characters and many more) make an appearance.  These two books can lead to great discussions of compare and contrast.
Who doesn't love a BOOK FAIR? It's a great place to get new books and get books into the home libraries of our students.  Here are a few new books.

Red

Yes, I know the lettering says blue and is colored red...just like the title and the crayon in this book.  I was quite taken with this book. I found myself unexpectedly emotional.  Red is a "red" crayon who isn't good at being red.  Everyone thinks they know how to fix Red, but he just can't be red no matter how hard he tries. The book has a great message for all students and parents. I can see this used with students to talk about how we are all good at something, but maybe not the same thing.  I can see this used with parents who are coming to terms with their child getting a diagnosis or a special education "label."  I can also see this book being used in a middle or high school setting when discussing students who are faced with feeling different than their "label" of sexual or gender identity.  This is a powerful book that helps us all see beyond whatever label we have and just see the student and the talents within.  It's powerful.
Who doesn't love a BOOK FAIR? It's a great place to get new books and get books into the home libraries of our students.  Here are a few new books.
I Wish You More
Finally, something extra. I wish you more.  It's simple and it's lovely.  "I wish you more ups than downs. I wish you more give than take. I wish you more tippy-toes than deep." Isn't that what we all need.

Friday, October 14, 2016

What's the Main Idea?

The teachers in our school district are tasked with teaching Main Idea to our K-2 population.  Here are a few ideas for teaching main idea, but also for independent practice AFTER you have taught Main Idea.
Using a variety of activities can make the comprehension skill of Main Idea and Supporting Details, easy as pizza.  Here are 5 activities to help students go from whole group to independent practice.
So, I saw a poster on Pinterest...Pizza is the main idea, the ingredients are the supporting details. SOOOO...that's my picture.  Now, let's talk main idea activities.

Main Idea Sort (3 ways)

Using a variety of activities can make the comprehension skill of Main Idea and Supporting Details, easy as pizza.  Here are 5 activities to help students go from whole group to independent practice.
Using the pizza idea, I made several pictures with 4 words, students will sort the words for main idea and supporting details. Students can be directed to cut the words off the bottom of the sheet and sorting the words.  Kindergarten can even do this whole group and using beginning sound cues. Making this an independent activity AND upping the rigor, students should sort the words and add more supporting details to the list. The third activity includes writing about the sort.  Students will use the sort to write a main idea sentence and supporting details.

Interactive Notebooks Using Pictures or Texts

Using a variety of activities can make the comprehension skill of Main Idea and Supporting Details, easy as pizza.  Here are 5 activities to help students go from whole group to independent practice.
Using a variety of activities can make the comprehension skill of Main Idea and Supporting Details, easy as pizza.  Here are 5 activities to help students go from whole group to independent practice.Using pictures, students glue the provided flaps and add supporting details.  This can use used as a planning tool for students writing supporting details with the provided main idea. Using short texts, students will highlight the main idea and supporting detail sentences.  Once the main idea and supporting details are highlighted, students can glue in the provided flaps.  They can write a supporting detail under each flap. Having the students dissect a passage, will help them firm up their understanding of main idea and supporting details. 

Main Idea 4 Square

Using a variety of activities can make the comprehension skill of Main Idea and Supporting Details, easy as pizza.  Here are 5 activities to help students go from whole group to independent practice.
Using a familiar format, students should already know the main idea and supporting details are the best examples of Main Idea and Supporting Details.  Providing students with open-ended 4 squares, they can choose the supporting details they want to reinforce the main idea.  Once again, this is a great springboard to writing.







Main Idea Center

Using a variety of activities can make the comprehension skill of Main Idea and Supporting Details, easy as pizza.  Here are 5 activities to help students go from whole group to independent practice.
Students can be provided a main idea basket and several apples.  Students will choose the apples that reinforce the main idea.  This independent activity is a wonderful center and a lovely seasonal display.








Main Idea Targets

Using a variety of activities can make the comprehension skill of Main Idea and Supporting Details, easy as pizza.  Here are 5 activities to help students go from whole group to independent practice.
Finally, turning the tables on main idea is a wonderful way to get students to firm their understanding of main ideas.  These targets provide 4 supporting details.  Students need to use the details to determine the main idea.  There are 12 targets in the set and a recording paper.  Students can use this in a center.  4 targets can be in a center, with a recording form for those 4 targets.  Each week for 3 weeks, different targets can be added to the center. This is an example of teaching a process and changing the product.  




If you would like a sample set of these activities, CLICK HERE or click the picture below.

If you would like the entire set, visit my TPT store or click on the picture below.
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3799980915257783/