Saturday, April 29, 2017

Learning Types Chart


This is a good chart to think about the different types of learning styles.



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Friday, April 28, 2017

FriYAY FunYAYsssss.


I have a problem. I take on too much. I need to learn to know when to say "no." So that is my goal for the next few weeks...prioritize! 
So I needed something to make me smile and chuckle...here are my Friday Funnies.


Sea Rex...get it?!?




Poor orange...































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Friday, April 21, 2017

Go, Go Ice Cream Eater!



Native to Oklahoma, is an ice cream/restaurant named Braum's. I believe some have popped up in Texas, but like Sonic, Braum's also originates here in Oklahoma.




Their ice cream is creamy, milky goodness that is made at their own dairy. So some co-workers of mine were talking about their favorite flavors there (we talk about food A LOT), and one said she liked the animal cracker flavor. What, what?!? 

More specifically, it is made with Mother's Animal Cookies. 



Yep, these babies!

An hour later, I was in my car making a mad dash for it. They make a sundae with two scoops of that ice cream, tiny bundt cakes on the bottom, and drizzle melted marshmallow creme on top. Oh, I so broke my diet that night. And I smiled the whole time.

This was my picture before I consumed it all with joy!

The ice cream tasted amazing and had bits of the cookie in it. So yummy!

What else have we been up to? The Easter bunny hopped into our house.

And my son had enough sugar to last him until Halloween.

We came across these weird fancy schmancy Peeps.
I have to say, the taste was not so great.

Speaking of Peeps, Harrison entered the Peeps diorama contest and won in his category!


I am proud of his imagination. And he does love the movie Ghostbusters (the original) so much. Last week, we went to see the new Power Rangers movie. Now he likes to watch the 90s show on Netflix. You do not know how much that song is stuck in my head. I will be doing something and think, "Go, go Power Rangers!" 

If you want to be brainwashed, too, by all means go to this link: Your Ears Will Be Sorry

But don't say I didn't warn you!

Have a happy weekend!


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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Guided Reading

I wanted to share some thoughts on what worked for me when I did guided reading lessons with my students.

I always had 3-5 students in my reading groups. I found if there were more than 5, it made it more difficult to keep them focused. So if I had six students at a certain reading level, I may make two groups of the same level. I always kept my reading groups flexible, allowing students to move up and down as determined by the data from informal and formal assessments. As a teacher, you instinctively know when a student is struggling or when something is too easy for them to read. 

Flexible grouping is based on a student's needs. I determined levels based on observation, running records, report card assessments (these especially let me know which skills we should work on in our mini-lesson), DRA, DIBELS, or any other assessment for reading.

Before reading: Set the purpose for the reading. You may introduce new vocabulary words that can be found in the book, or let them know there may be "tricky" words. Have students make predictions by taking a picture walk.

During reading: Guide students through the reading. Ask reading strategy questions, such as: "Did that make sens?", "Does that look right?", "Can you re-read that?", "Do you know another word that might start or end with that letter?"

For the early emergent readers, focus on concepts of print such as: front/back of book, title, title page, directionality (left-to-right progression), word spaces, letter recognition, sight word recognition.

For upper emergent readers, focus on building prior knowledge of concept of print, identifying sight words, identifying most or all letters, punctuation, initial consonants and reading strategies.

For early fluency readers, teach them to take reading risks with a fear of making errors. Have them use picture clues as meaning for cross-checking (but not solely rely on this). Teach them to continue reading on to gain meaning, using first/last consonants, retelling, solidfying knowlege of upper/lowercase letters, and sight words.

At the fluency level, focus on increasing fluency. the ability to read text independently, reading strategies and literary elements.

There were occasions were I would have a child take turns reading each page but that was usually the last day of the week we were spending on that book. And it really depended on the group. I never wanted a child to feel pressure or under a microscope! So how would I have them read? Echo reading (where you read the sentence and a student repeats while following along with the text), choral reading (reading with the teacher as a whole group), Cloze reading (teacher reads to a point in the sentence and student fills in the word or completes the sentence), partner reading (paired students read together), and whisper reading or reading independently. During this time, I am listening, giving feedback, asking strategy questions and/or taking observational notes.




After reading: Strengthen comprehension skills, reflect on the reading, discuss literary elements (characters, setting, etc.). I often liked to have representations from the story for the students to sequence. We would fill in an anchor chart or a graphic organizer to also support comprehension.

An example: 



Mini-lessons:

Sometimes this would be reflective writing about the story, sometimes it would be a teacher-led lesson. I might give students learning new vocabulary from the text words from the text along with magnet letters to create the words themselves. For upper grades, I would have them give a book review of what they have read or complete a graphic organizer together about a topic related to the reading. I would write out the sentences from the text on sentence strips, cut them up and have students order them. We would write sight words on mini-dry eraser boards or practice writing letters. We always did some sort of writing, word work, phonological awareness lesson, or letter identification. It really dependened on the needs of the group.

Conclusion: We would verbally or  do a written summarization of what we learned. Students would add the book to their book bag, which they also use during independent reading time. They would always bring their book bag with them to the table during guided reading. I kept a folder for each group with assessment, data info, notes, and anything we needed for the lesson that day.

My other students were in literacy centers at this time. I will have to make a separate post about those because there is so much detail to it, but they were actively learning while the other were doing guided reading work.
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