Sharing my LOVE of Literacy!

If you can read this, thank a teacher !!

May 28, 2010

Making Inferences

One of my followers mentioned she loves finding new books for teaching the comprehension strategy of making inferences.

I struggled with this concept year after year. When I started using picture books to introduce inferences, it started to click more for me and the kidos! LOL

Here are a few of my favorite books to teach inference:

Smoky Night by Eve Bunting
The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg
The Three Pigs by David Wiesner
Flotsam by David Wiesner
Big Al by Andrew Clements
Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School by Mark Teague

To teach inference I also cut out different pictures from magazines to look at the scene or the person's facial expressions. Another tool I have used it covering up the text of a picture book and making inferences about the story. I then go back to read the story. We compare our visual interpretations with the text.

Happy Reading!

May 25, 2010

A Poetry Read Aloud

Here is a fun story written by Andrew Clements who has written a variety of books for 4th and 5th graders!

I just fell in love with this book when I saw it at my school book fair last week!

Dogku has a haiku on every page, but is also a clever little story about a stray dog who finds a home. Plus, this book has so many teachable possibilities. I can read it to my first graders and then have them write their own little dog stories. I can read it to my 4th or 5th graders and then have them write their own haiku books. The text also lends itself to making inferences.

I hope you get a chance to read and share this book!

Happy Reading!

May 18, 2010

I am teaching my 5th graders about character traits.

I learned about a fun website at a school workshop that the kidos are now using to publish their list of character traits. They just love it!

Here is a sample (Thank you Charlotte's Web!) and the link below:
Link to Wordle

Happy Reading and Writing!

May 14, 2010

Make a List..... Turn it into a Poem

It is that time of year when the school year and even the students get a little crazy!

Here is a fun and easy poetry activity! I recently taught this to my first graders and they loved it!

1. Choose a topic. I choose "students" to model my brainstorming and poem writing!

2. Have each student tell you one word to describe the topic. I put them all on chart paper.

3. Because I was working with first graders, I circled my favorite six words.

4. I then modelled the format of the poem.

by: Literacy Teacher

Make friends
Play math games
Have fun!

5. I ask the students to tell me their topic as they go back to their desks.

The students enjoy sharing their poems with their peers!

Happy Writing !

May 9, 2010

What's in a Name?

I love books! As a teacher, I love it even more when a student surprises me with an astute observation!

I am reading Winn Dixie with my 5th graders. The students were reading independently and a new character was introduced. The character's name is "Gloria Dump." One of my students said to me, "Wow, look at this character's name. The words don't belong together, but they really describe the character."

I actually did a double take as my book geek teacher-self yelled "YES! " inside my head! We had a great discussion about the character, her personality, and how they relate to her name!

Well, this little educational inner joy turned on my teacher thinking cap. I encouraged my book club to look for more hidden/double meanings throughout the book. The kidos are now having a little friendly book club competition to come up with the best hidden name/word as they read!

How many other books out there have a play on words or hidden meanings in character names or settings? I wonder!

Happy Reading!

May 3, 2010

My Favorite Graphic Organzier

There is a graphic organizer that I love. When I taught 4th grade I used it across the curriculum. It was my favorite! Every year around March my students would beg, " Please NO MORE !! "

It just has SO MANY possibilities, that I always use it again and again! It is the T-Chart!

I have used the T-chart to introduce part of speech. I pass out index card of examples and non-examples. Then we discuss or correct the chart as a class. The T-chart works great for pros and cons in ANY subject. It is a perfect way to get kids to think about various points of view. Compare and contrast is another way to use a T-chart.

I have used a T-chart to teach my students visualization strategies, to write poetry, to take notes during a listening comprehension activity, to compare two characters, books, and settings! It is also a good way to begin thinking about a persuasive essay.

Do you have a favorite graphic organizer?

Happy Reading!!

May 1, 2010

So Many Books.... So Little Time !

The Pout Pout Fish
By: Deborah Diesen

A cute, rhyming picture book about a gloomy fish who discovers that being glum isn't really his destiny. I love the beautiful, engaging illustrations in this book!

I love this book as a read aloud! Of course there are many teachable attributes. There are rhyming patterns, the ocean habitat, or the theme of friendship. There is also a variety of emotions on the other sea creatures in the story. With 4th or 5th graders, a teacher could cover up the text and use this illustrations to teach inference.