|Vista Print! Amazing :)|
A few things we did during our "training":
Reading is Thinking! Believe it or not, kids can actually make it all the way to fifth grade by just calling the words on the page and not digging in any dipper! Lesson #1 for building a FIRM FOUNDATION is understanding that reading only occurs when you mix the WORDS ON THE PAGE with the THOUGHTS in your head!
Lesson #2 is always a brief introduction to the Six Plus One Traits of Writing. I like to give this brief intro so that my students and I have a common language right away to use when we discuss their writing, or the writing of others we find along the way.
Another important part of sharing a common language for writing is knowing that there is a difference between revising and editing. Many kids think that checking over their writing means making sure they don't have any grammatical mistakes. I want them to understand during the first week, that writing is more than GRAMMAR in our classroom!
One of my all time favorite lessons to teach involves these glasses! It is important to me that my students know that there is more than one type of reading required in our WORKSHOP. Each and everyday they will be required to read for pleasure with a book of their own choosing, where they can kick back and simply enjoy a good read! Other times, they will need a pencil in hand for serious close reading of a text that requires digging in, making notes, rereading, and responding to the informational text they have been assigned.
While doing our close reading, I like to set my students up with a model for how to respond to informational discussion questions. I found this fabulous APE model some time ago on the internet. Not sure where it came from but it is wonderful! I made labels with the model for my students to add to the Literacy Notebooks for future reference, and made an anchor chart for the wall.
A- Refer to what you are ASKED
P- List PROOF from the text as evidence
E- EXPLAIN your answer thoroughly
And last but not least, I want my students to understand the "WHY" behind why I often give them Social Studies documents to read and analyze during our Literacy Workshop. Okay, let's face facts, I am responsible for our state's social studies standards. I posted a few weeks back about my Social Studies Story Board, and it is working beautifully with one exception. I was planning to use incomplete notes that come straight from our support documents as part of their reading material. Then it occurred to me, that I really didn't understand the "WHY" behind why the blanks in the notes were needed. If my goal is for my students to comprehend the text as they read it, why did I feel the need to leave holes in the text for them to fill. In the hopes of getting away from the traditional Social Studies textbook and notes to memorize, why did I need this traditional method? So, out the window it went! And if "because we always have" wasn't a good enough reason for me to teach that way, I certainly don't think that it is a good enough reason for kids to understand why they needed learn that way.
So, we are taking a different route this year! We will be using EDMODO to view and reflect on videos, we will be reading lots of lots of historical fiction, primary and secondary sources, and talking about how we feel about what happened in HISTORY, rather than reading the notes and hoping for some memorization!
I opened my first Social Studies lesson with this video! I think they totally got the "WHY" behind why we learn HISTORY!