Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Shhh...I really like my kiddos! And 2 Successful Reading Lessons!

Shhh....I don't want to jinx myself I know it's still early and we are probably still in the "honeymoon" phase, but I really like my kiddos!  They are genuinely good!  I know I said that last week, but you have no idea what life in my classroom was like last year.  You also don't understand how much this year is already making me smile. (Someone please remind me of this around December when the little darlings are antsy for Christmas and driving me crazy!)  My kiddos came into my room today and didn't make a peep (except one little darling that had to "try again" and was successful).  They grabbed their handwriting books and got right to work.  I stopped what I was doing not once but twice and just stared at them.  I couldn't believe it!  I can do read aloud on my carpet!  I did a math lesson on the carpet!  And a reading lesson!  The carpet was a war zone last year!  Everyone stayed on green today, no one moved their clip!  I love being able to give them "the look" and they get bug eyed and hide their head in shame.  No, they aren't terrified of me, they just generally know what they should or should not be doing and fix it.  

Now onto the more informational stuff that you might actually care about.  We have had two really successful reading lessons that I feel are worth sharing.  No, the rest of my lessons haven't been awful, but these two really got the kids thinking and was surprised of the answers they came up with.  Our reading unit is strategies.  These two lessons were about using the picture to help us.

Lesson 1:
Give the students a blank piece of paper.  Tell them you are going to do a following directions activity and if they listen to your directions they will be successful.  Tell them to do the following:

1) Draw a yellow circle
2) Draw a white rectangle
3) Draw 8 small yellow triangles
4) Draw  some swirls
5) Draw a large black triangle
6) Draw a tall skinny dark red rectangle
7) Draw five white rectangles
8) Trace the edge of the rectangles with brown
9) Draw a tall skinny rectangle
10) Put a black circle
11) Draw some more swirls
12) Draw some green spikes

Then show them the picture or draw your own version on the board. Ask them what they could have done to do a better job at following directions.  I was really only looking for someone to say "Ask the teacher for a picture"  Instead, I got responses like find out the topic, ask questions, talk with a friend, etc.

Lesson 2:
1) The teacher will gather several wordless picture books.2) The class will be divided into several small groups and each group should be given a wordless picture book.3) The groups should look through the books and be prepared to share their version of the story with the class.
4) The class will come back together and share their stories with the class.

The vocabulary the kiddos were using and the details that they were giving as they were telling their own version of the story were incredible!  It really got them to understand how important the pictures are.