Thursday, March 21, 2013

Graphic Organizers...you'll want to share this!

I have always believed that graphic organizers provide a visual picture of information and a roadmap to see the relationship between instruction and thinking.  Often graphic organizers are used when writing about reading so students can take a key role in processing and reorganizing thinking from a text.  The graphic organizers then serve as a map to communicate thinking visually.  Students benefit the most from pre-made  graphic organizers or generating organizers themselves when teachers have explicitly demonstrated when to use them, how to create them/use them, and why readers may need them.

I came across the following link that takes you right to many graphic organizers that you can print off:

http://books.heinemann.com/comprehending/graphicOrganizers.html

This link reveals many graphic organizers and how to use them.  They are a link that features the text, Teaching for Comprehending and Fluency.

The graphic organizers are arranged in the following categories...

  • general concepts
  • specific genres
  • characters
  • informational text
  • text structure
  • content areas
  • vocabulary
A great resource to share with your colleagues!  And...a great resource to support writing about reading during guided reading lessons.

PS...Pre-made graphic organizers are one step...don't forget the ultimate goal is for students to process and organize their thinking on their own.  They can do it!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Word Study...March Madness Style!


Here is a popular post from last year!  This was a simple way to review many word study skills in a one week time span!



I have decided to use the typical March Madness "brackets" as the main basis to my word
study this week.  One thing you may not know...I love college basketball!  This is my favorite time of year!

There were some skills that I have been wanting to review or dig a little deeper with....so March Madness Word Study Style has been born!  The students will look through their Wonder Word notebooks, the "My Words" section of their Reader's Notebooks, look at past jots about words, think about favorite words, (I know one of my kids will pick...pumpernickel) and come up with 16 words to put to the test!  After the initial 16 words have been determined by each student, I will present a challenge each day.  The two words in the bracket will go face-to-face...and the winner will go to the next round.  I am actually writing this as I brainstorm, but as of right now...

Challenge 1:  The word with the most syllables by syllable swooping.
Challenge 2:  The word that contains the most multiple definitions in the dictionary.
Challenge 3:  I am going to give a 5 minute brainstorm...which word can generate the most new words off the word ?  For example...if it was "test"...detest, retest, testify, testy, testing, tests, testimony
Challenge 4:  Hmmm...something about context clues...or synonyms/antonyms
Challenge 5:  Each person will share the "winner" of their bracket by creating a poster of the word that includes...the word, a picture of its meaning (hand-drawn or from a magazine...like a collage), a sentence, and a list of words that can be built off of it.  We will then add them to our "Wonder Words" bulletin board.

Yay!  Fun way to celebrate words, revisit some old favorites, and to review a few skills from "their words", "their writing", and  "their reading".  Let the Madness begin.   

PS...Go Buckeyes!!!!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

February OLW: CREATE-ing...time

February was all about CREATE-ing time in a month that had only 28 days.  I guess you could say it was all about being CREATE-ive with time.  Blogging was the one thing I wanted to put at the forefront this month...creating time to write, creating time to reflect, and taking the time to share ideas that involved CREATE-ing.




1. Creating graphic organizers:  Using graphic organizers to encourage deeper thinking in Reader's Notebooks

Just added links to the all the graphic organizers!

2.  Re-creating energy in reader's notebooks: Reviving Reader's Notebooks

3.  Creating time to collaborate with staff:  Pinterest...bringing staff together

4.  Creating a list of favorite non-fiction books:  10 for 10 Nonfiction Picture Books

5.  Creating time for a pep talk:  When you need a pep talk...

6.  Creating a scaffold:  Finding the evidence when discussing a character...

7.  Creating a chance to be in a photo with Lucy Calkins at the Reading Recovery Conference: New books, new photos, and "renewed" thinking

8.  Creating Poems:  Authors Inspire poems...a day at the Reading Recovery Conference

Next month I want to work on CREATE-ing text sets with nonfiction and fiction picture books...stay tuned!

Check out Maria's and Erin's OLW updates too!