Sharing my LOVE of Literacy!

If you can read this, thank a teacher !!

September 26, 2010

Reading is Thinking !

This is one of my FAVORITE books to read aloud! The teacher in a first grade classroom is doing a theme about friendship. She had this book as one of the choices she asked me to read aloud. I just had to choose it! I read the story over two days.

We are practicing "Reading is Thinking" in the classroom. I finished the story on Friday and stopped a few times to check for understanding. Then I asked the students to go back to their seats and show me what they were thinking about the book. The kidos drew pictures of their thinking. I walked around and whispered "What are you thinking?" I wrote their thoughts on their papers.

We then shared our thinking! Without any prompts some studnets shared their text to self connections or their favroite parts of the story. It was great to see how different their thoughts and pictures were. Here is one example:
It just goes to show this reading teacher: First Graders are THINKING during reading! (Even when they are wiggle worms!)

Happy Reading !

September 13, 2010

Making Predictions

In first grade, there is always a wide range of ability levels. One way to have all students participate in literacy responses is through pictures.

Today I introduced the concept of predictions to my first graders. I talked about how a prediction is a guess about what will happen next in a story. I introduced the concept of a "Picture Prediction"

I read aloud the first half of Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes. I stopped at the part where Lilly is mad at her teacher for taking her prized possessions away. Lilly is drawing a picture of her teacher.

This is where I asked the students to think about what kind of picture Lilly was drawing when she was so mad. I modelled my own picture prediction and then I asked the students to make their own picture predictions. Their pictures were so cute. Some students put horns on the teacher and other students colored him red to show how the teacher was mad at Lilly. A few students who are writing added " Mr. Mean Teacher" to their picture.

Tomorrow we will share our pictures and talk about how close our predictions were to the story.

September 9, 2010

How to Listen to a Story

In the first grade, there is a lot to teach those little ones about reading. I taught a lesson yesterday that related to a reading procedure. Because there is such a wide range of abilities, I knew I had to use pictures for my lesson. I talked with the students about "How to Listen to a Story." We talked about the right way to listen to a story and the wrong way. Here is a picture of the poster I made for the first graders.

My favorite picture is of the boy with a zipper over his lips. LOL

Today when we reread the poster, I pointed to my eyes, my ears, and zipped my own lips with the students. Then I opened my book to read. When ever I noticed my students were not following one of the "rules" I used the hand signal, for the visual reminder for the kido to listen and refocus on the story. This worked great because it did not interrupt my flow of reading aloud!

What kind of procedures do you teach your students for reading?

Happy Reading!

September 8, 2010

In Honor Teachers

Something to remember as you go through your school day. This was in an e-mail from one of my favorite websites: (Click away for the homepage).

The ABC's of Teaching

•Actor. You prepare for each class as if it were a command performance.
•Builder. You build in the wonder and the fascination to inspire tomorrow's teachers, politicians, and parents.
•Caretaker and caregiver. Many students excel because a special person helped them along the way: a teacher.
•Director. You're in charge of your classroom.
•Enforcer. You enforce the classroom rules.
•Fighter. Sometimes you have to take a stand for what you believe is best for a child.
•Giver. You give of your time and of yourself—in and out of the classroom.
•Helper. Perhaps the most important help you give is helping students learn to help themselves.
•Instructor. Truly, this is the heart of teaching.
•Joiner. You need a support network, so you reach out to colleagues.
•Keeper. You keep track of attendance, grades, permission slips, line leaders, library books, mittens, and much more!
•Listener. Every day you listen to your students to find out what their interests are. Then you build these into your lessons.
•Magician. As you teach students to read, write, calculate, and investigate, you unlock the magic for them.
•Nurturer. You care for your students like you would care for blooming flowers.
•Optimist. You see the good things happening in schools.
•Psychologist. You're a keen observer of kids.
•Questioner. You ask your students thought-provoking questions; then you guide them in searching out the answer.
•Role model. You let your students know that you care and that you believe in them.
•Strategist. A well-planned lesson helps you get your students' attention—and keep it.
•Tutor. You give your students individual attention whenever you can. You also find times when they can tutor each other.
•Umpire. You're fair, firm, and consistent.
•Victor. You celebrate your teaching victories, and you congratulate your colleagues on their successes too.
•Writer. When you have an activity or a project that works well, you write it up and submit it to a teaching magazine!
•Xerox specialist. Who else can unjam paper?
•Yourself. Your students know and love you as a person.
•Zealot. You do your job with enthusiasm and energy—it's the most important job in the world!

Happy Reading!

September 7, 2010

Happy First Day !

Back to School!