Wednesday, July 18, 2012

During and After Reading Strategies

Soooo its been a while! I have been so busy working in my classroom, enjoying the summer and working at my part time job that I haven't been able to post like I would like too! A few weeks back I was a guest blogger on Amanda's blog read my post here! In the post I discussed Before, During, and After reading strategies to use to aid student comprehension. Today I am going to share a couple of my favorite During Reading and After Reading Strategies.

One of my favorite strategies to use during reading is DRTA or Directed reading Thinking activity. In this activity, students skim a reading selection. They view the title, headlines, illustrations, captions, sidebars, etc. Then students make predictions about what they will be reading about. The most important part when having the students make predictions is to identify how they reached this conclusion. After making predictions, the teacher picks a "break point" and has the student read independently to that point. At this point students can confirm or change their predictions. This process is repeated until the story is finished.

Reciprocal Questioning (ReQuest) is my absolute favorite reading strategy! The kids absolutely love it!!! In this strategy, both the students and the teacher read a paragraph or section of a story. after reading the passage, the teacher first asks the students questions about what they just read. Then the teacher and students both read the second paragraph or section. This time the students get to ask the teacher questions about what was just read. Students have to comprehend what they read enought to formulate a question and know if the teacher got it correct. This is also a great time for the teacher to model how to go back in a selection and look for answers if someone doesn't know the answer to a question. The students love this because they always try to stump me!

After reading strategies are a great summative assessment for student comprehension. My favorite after reading strategies usually require some sort of group or whole class effort. My two favorite strategies are: Graffiti Board and Carousel.

Graffiti boards are fun because they are colorful and messy and allow for student creativity when writing. I always encourage my students to think of fun ways to write on the Graffiti wall, veritical, diagonal, different colors and sizes. Graffiti boards can be used with any topic. During reading, I will write the name of a story we read on the top of the graffiti wall then students will graffiti everything they remember from the story.

Carousel is very similar to graffiti except that I put students in groups and place charts through out the room with different ideas from the story, and students write and brainstorm as much as they can about the topic on each poster. Each group is given 30 seconds to a minute at each poster and then they rotate to the next poster.

Get the full length document of BDA strategies by clicking the image below! Enjoy!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My!

Hey Blogging Buddies! I am totally slacking on the blogging front... I took a vacation to Florida over the Holiday and an just starting to get back in the swing of things! If you read my guest blogger post on Amanda's wall at Teaching Maddeness then you know that I promised you a blog post with BDA strategies as well as the full length document! Its coming I promise! I am not on my home computer, but I will have it for you soon! I hate to say this but I am in a classroom decorating RUT!!! I really love all the colors and polka dots in my room but I have done nothing Wizard of Oz-y yet! I really want to stick with the Oz theme. I am thinking of naming my reading groups Lions, Tigers, and Bears?? What do you think? I am going to decorate my door with a yellow brick road and Dorothy with the title "There's No Place Like Second Grade." But other than that I havent really thought of many other ways to tie in the Oz theme. I've googled and read some ideas but Havent found anything I just love... I am going to do something I saw on Pinterest as a behavior incentive called Build a Rainbow and the students add colors to their rainbow for good behavior... What else have ya got for me bloggers?????

Monday, July 2, 2012

Classroom Decorating and Whole Brain Teaching

Soo Its been a week since I've posted anything and I am feeling like a major slacker! But the truth is, I have been working in my classroom and doing a lot of research on Whole Brain Teaching strategies, and by research, I mean watching youtube videos of Whole Brain Power teachers! They are awesome! I saw my first Whole Brain Teaching video when Amanda at Teaching Maddeness shared a good GREAT video about it! And if you are just as addicted to watching teachers in action as I am, then you know that after the video ends, you can watch related videos. This equals hours of me glued to my computer screen! The Video on Amanda's blog is by far my favorite! I don't know who that teacher is, but she has some other videos out there too that are about Whole Brain Teaching and she is just amazing! IF anyone knows who she is, and knows if she has a blog or not PLEASE let me know!! So I've decided to use Whole Brain Teaching methods in my classroom this year along with the sign language and other ideas i've gotten from the blogging world! I have created posters for the rules and various other parts of Whole Brain Teaching. They are free at my TPT store, but you can get them HERE too!

I have also been spending a lot of time in my classroom. I started decorating, and now I can't stop! I love it soooo much! Here are some updated pictures of what I've been doing in my classroom so far:
This is my room from the door. I made these seat covers for my chairs. I made them with the left over fabric from my boards, and color coordinated with my table top organizers.

This is the view from the front of the room. There is still a spot on that back wall that I don't like. I am thinking I may just hang some posters here... What do you think?

My Reading area is still not quite finished. I am still missing my rug and books. I also want to recover that bench. I got it from a friend who was cleaning out her room. I had originally planned on using it at a table but I ended up using my two square tables for my computers. The purple bulletin board will be my reading focus wall. It is not finished yet either.

Here is a closer view of a bookshelf I spray painted... Not great, but once I fill it with books I think it will be okay.

While putting up my alphabet, I counted out how many tiles I would need.... Obviously I misbounted. This will have to be redone.

I am going to hang my students birthday board on the back side of my loft. Inside the loft you can kinda see the tissue poms I made to hang from the ceiling, and the pool noodles that I am going to use to make a rainbow above my door to go with my "Over the Rainbow", Wizard of Oz theme.

I finished the fabric to cover the computer cords. Dont look at the bulletin board, You can see I ran out of border... I'm not thrilled with that bulletin board though so we'll see if it stays...

I also redid my table skirt for my desk/small group table. I made it last year but the ribbon kept coming off and the girls started using it to make necklaces! HOPEFULLY it will hold up this year.

This is the board that I do not like, I think I am going to actually use it to display student work.

I made these little boxes for my students to store their creek cash in. Our school has a school wide behavior plan where students are given cash for good behavior they can spend to go to a party every nine weeks or at the creek cash store for little toys.

This is my favorite board, which is really just my white board. It is my Math Focus Board.
I still have soooo much work to do! But I feel like I have made a lot of progress! How are your rooms coming? I love looking at classrooms! Let me know if you have posted in updated pictures!
Happy Decorating!