Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday: The Wednesday Suprise

I'm linking up with Mrs. Jump for Book Talk Tuesday!


I'm sure many of you have read The Wednesday Surprise by Eve Bunting, but I'd love to share how I used this story with my students a couple weeks ago.


If you haven't read it, it is a wonderful story about a birthday surprise the young girl Anna and her grandmother have planned for her father's birthday.


They work on the surprise while grandma babysits on Wednesday nights.


I won't ruin it for you if you've never read it, but for obvious reason it's a GREAT book to use for questioning as it elicits many curious questions, the most obvious being: what is the surprise!?

Reading Level:
DRA 18
Guided Reading K
Lexile 540L


I used this book for a questioning lesson. I had previously introduced and modeled asking questions during a think aloud mini lesson where I read a few pages from another book, asking questions as I went. I also created an anchor chart to help support students in answer questions during reading.


When I read this story, I stopped to model twice in the early pages of the story, asking questions during my think aloud. I think stopped at previously selected places in the book and asked students to turn and talk to a partner (teach, okay in my WBT room) then, stop and jot their question on a sticky note. We did this 3 times throughout the story. At the end of the book, I asked kiddos to choose their best question and stick it to our questioning anchor chart we had made during a previous lesson.

We then went back the next day to see if we could answer our questions. We sorted our questions by "Right There" Answers, "Inference"/"Book & Brain" Answers and "Unanswerable" I have since made a nicer chart for students to sort their stickies onto (which I keep neglecting to take a picture of), and this photo is from a sort for a different book, but you get the idea...


I also made sure with each lesson on questioning to encourage students to ask questions while they participate in Read to Self. I gave each student stickies to do so during the following days. After 2 Read to Self sessions, and an individual conference with most students, I collected their "best 2" Read to Self question and sorted them out for my self to see if kiddos weren't asking questions, were asking thin questions or were asking thick questions. I had about half and half as far as thick/thin go as well as many students who were asking a combination of both. I simply stuck the sticky notes to a tri-folded piece of construction paper for my own visual of where my class was. Again, like the above chart, not so pretty, but effective for my purposes!


I hope these simple to implement ideas might help you to teach questioning or that I have introduced you to a great read aloud :)


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Friday, September 19, 2014

Five for Friday 9.19

I can't believe we've reached the end of week 4 of school! I'm linking up with Doodlebugs for yet another Five for Friday!



We did some of Amy Lemon's Place Value Math Centers this week. The kiddos had a blast with it!

Let's Compare Numbers!



Compare Numbers!



Go get a copy of these math centers in Amy Lemons' TPT store here.





Along with the fabulous Math Centers from Amy Lemons, we used my TPT place value products...

Mystery Pictures (on 100 charts)



Place Value Puzzles
I loved how well they worked together to solve these!



Go get these games in my TPT store using the links above!


I was so proud of my kiddos this week that managed to get themselves a pink card for level 2 on our super improver wall! They were too cute "I'm a rookie now!"


One of my grade level partners who does not consider himself very good with technology AT ALL came up with an idea for our Daily 5 rotations on our promethean boards. I added the number circles to coincide with our kiddos' classroom numbers (versus having the write their initials to choose). We haven't quite got the hang of moving our numbers quickly yet, but I'm loving the visual and hoping that we get there!

I've been working on my WBT presentations for my district that will be at the end of this month and then mid-October. The deal with me being able to go to the conference during the last week of school was that I would present what I learned when I came back. It's an optional PD for teachers in my district (as well as any surrounding area teachers). I was worried I'd get a very small response, but it looks like there will be at least 20 teachers there and they still have a week to respond. Hopefully I'll have some good stuff to post here after the presentations :)

Have a great weekend everyone!


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Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Little Bloggy Catch Up

This past week was a tad crazy... so I kind of neglected my blog! However, there was so much going on that I HAD to do a Funday Sunday post to share all the great fun we had learning this week!







I am so proud of my kiddos! We are up to 15 minutes of stamina for Read to Self & Word Work as well as 12 minutes of stamina in Work on Writing and 8 minutes in Read to Someone.


I chose to introduce each choice (except listen to reading) within the first 2 weeks and work on building the stamina of each. Once Work on Writing is up to 15 the kiddos will get to choose between the 2 of them. They won't have full choice until all 5 choices are up to 15 minutes though.








In reading, we worked all week on asking questions while reading. We read The Dot & The Wednesday Surprise, stopping & jotting questions on sticky notes.  Kiddos' exit ticket was picking their "best question" and sticking it to our anchor chart. We then went back the next day to talk about which questions were answered "right there" in the book, could be answered with inferences & which couldn't be answered. We also tried applying this strategy during read to self... all definitely still a work in progress :)






We did a mix of fun activities during math this week... We did a lot of hands on manipulative work, specifically in figuring out if a number was even or odd at the end of last week and beginning of this week.



We played our first I have, who has? game - this was a free place value game I found.


We attempted "interactive journals" for the first time! (My first time too & I'm enjoying creating foldables for this coming week & our next unit too which I plan to share!) 





We launched Social Studies this week with a fun craftivity. We made these last year too and the kiddos enjoyed it just as much this year too. The "levels" are Me, My Town, My State, My Country, My Continent, My World. Will post this craft as a freebie soon!

I hope your week was as fun filled with learning as ours was!

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Five for Friday 9.5

I'm linking up with Doodlebugs for Five for Friday to share some fun from our 2nd week of school!









We loved making our giraffes "Reaching New Heights in 2nd Grade!" from A Cupcake for the Teacher. Get your copy here.







I wish you could see the serious reading faces I've been seeing the past week and a half when we are practicing D5 Read to Self... too darn cute! We made it to 8 minutes in 5 days of school... hoping for a big breakthough next week because we couldn't reach 8 on day 6!






It's fair time in CT... this is literally RIGHT next door! When the fair sets up our kiddos can't go on the playground or track that they normally are able to go onto during recess!





I neglected to take pictures of my kiddos doing our Whole Brain Teaching Oral Writing (definitely will have to next week) but my kiddos are LOVING using gestures to share with their friends what they're going to write about. We've learned the brainy gestures for capital letter, comma, period, exclamation point, question mark, however/but, and, because and "complete sentence please."

I have a very calm and small class this year and it was nice to see them loud and excited about learning when we were working on this!





New product in the store! I love these for teaching place value to 100. Within this unit in my district the kiddos need to learn word form, expanded form & place value so this creation is a nice culmination for 2-digit numbers.


This product is not available in my store yet, but if you "like" Teacher Will Run for Books on facebook, the post sharing a shortened version of this product for free is pinned to the top of the page!


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