Is a Turkey a Bird? Thanksgiving r-controlled Vowel Poem

Is a turkey a bird? This r-controlled poem and activity are great for Thanksgiving Time. There is a poem, sort, and anchor chart.
Control at Thanksgiving?

Thank goodness I'm not talking about Thanksgiving dinner...or pumpkin pie.  There simply isn't much control when it comes to that.  It's a day when I eat all my vegetables:  mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole (with the brown sugar and pecans) and broccoli casserole. You can't deny they are vegetables, I"m just pretty sure they don't have the full nutritional value they were intended to have. MMMMM!

Is a turkey a bird? This r-controlled poem and activity are great for Thanksgiving Time. There is a poem, sort, and anchor chart. I'm talking r-Controlled vowels, of course.

I created this poem a few years ago as a shared reading for my second grade teachers.  The sort sheet is for an independent center activity on another day.  I know the poem is a little absurd, but I tried to put as many r-controlled vowel words in it as possible.  I did a blog post early in 2017 on Adventures in Literacy Land about r-controlled vowels, check out the post with a FREEBIE there, too.

There is also a FREEBIE in my TPT store that
Is a turkey a bird? This r-controlled poem and activity are great for Thanksgiving Time. There is a poem, sort, and anchor chart.
includes the poem (both b&w and color), a vowel sort (with answer sheet) and an r-controlled anchor chart (b&w, color with no border, and color with border). If you would like the r-controlled FREEBIE, click the link or the picture of the poems.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Is a turkey a bird? This r-controlled poem and activity are great for Thanksgiving Time. There is a poem, sort, and anchor chart.



Automaticity with Decoding Strategies

Automaticity is the true goal of using decoding strategies. Some students need targeted practice to create automaticity. Here is a plan with 3 decoding strategies.
As you should know, I am a reading specialist in a K-2 school.  I do both pull-out interventions and coaching, but have a soft spot for my pull-out kids. A few years ago I had two of the sweetest students who were first graders diagnosed with a "learning disability." (My undergraduate degree is in special education, so you know I love them.) They were the highlight of my day...and I won't deny I'd love to teach them all day! These students definitely needed routine and automaticity. (I first posted this blog on Adventures in Literacy Land, but I've had so many conversations lately with teachers about automaticity, I decided I should repost it.

Opinion Writing with Early Learners

Kindergartners can write opinion paragraphs, if you give them the right support. Letting them associate their choices with persuading an audience helps start the process.
Students in the elementary grades are tasked with writing opinion paragraphs. Teachers are nervous about teaching it…and students think they can’t do it.  Everyone needs to breathe.

It’s no big deal.

Any student can tell you why they like one breakfast cereal over another. They can also tell you why they think one holiday is better than the other. AND, if their brother or sister wants to watch a certain television show, they can certainly argue about why their television show is better.  Use that to your advantage!  When introducing opinion writing, just tell them they need to convince someone they are right!
Kindergartners can write opinion paragraphs, if you give them the right support. Letting them associate their choices with persuading an audience helps start the process.

Character Traits and Character Feelings: What characters tell us?

Character Traits and Character Feelings have to be explicitly taught and practiced, so comprehension is enhanced and students can be successful readers.
One of the most common questions during a comprehension conversation is "How does the character feel when...?" AND...one of the most common responses is "happy."  Nothing can make a teacher feel any less "happy" than a student giving a quick "happy" as an answer. 

Teach Emotions

Character Traits and Character Feelings have to be explicitly taught and practiced, so comprehension is enhanced and students can be successful readers.Teaching character traits are important. We have used the chart on the right to show what traits are seen on the outside and what is on the inside, as well. BUT we can't stop there. Using this as a springboard, taking time to teach how the "inside" of the words (what he says, thinks, does, and feels) and what information we can gain from those "inside" emotions. We want to get frustrated with the students, but this is a great time to be reflective about our lessons.  I suspect we teach the difference between the outside and inside and collecting character traits, but we don't go any farther. It's one of those lessons we MUST explicitly teach. Using the words from the story, discuss the feelings from the character and what these feelings reflect in the "character" of the character in the story. Practicing this skill makes the comprehension conversation easy.

The Disrupting Effect of Round Robin

There is no research that shows the benefits of round robin reading. NONE. Actually, there is plenty of research that shows the disrupting effect of this practice. We need to take this procedure out of our classrooms.
"Back in the day" we used the Round Robin technique for reading. It seemed to be a way to make everyone participate in reading. Everyone took a turn, either in a specific order or in a random "popcorn" order. I was never sure about this process.  I had a few questions:

  1. Am I trying to "catch" someone not paying attention? That seemed so mean. "I want to catch you off guard and punish you by reading." Hmmm? That's not a message I want. 
  2. Did I want to showcase or protect my struggling readers? Do I strategically pick a short paragraph or an easy passage for those struggling readers.
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