Saturday, November 22, 2014

Close Reading Task Cards



The objectives of reading instruction include getting students to apply reading strategies, getting them to closely read text, and getting them to defend their answers with text evidence.

These task cards help students do each of the things.  A special annotated key is included for every task card.  It shows the highlighted key ideas that students should identify in the text to defend their answers. Annotations are included to explain why each detail is important and how each one supports the answer to the close reading question.  A full written response is also included.

To access this document Click Here (4th-7th Grade Reading Level)

To access the differentiated K-3rd grade version of the document which has highlighted details, Click Here

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Solve a Math Problem in Different Ways



Learning how to solve a math problem in different ways has many benefits.
1.  It helps students understand the underlying principles of a math topic.
2.  It leads students to think about which approach is the fastest or most efficient way to solve a math problem.
3.  It also leads students to understand that math questions can be posed in a variety of ways just like math problems can be solved in a variety of ways.

Let us begin with the third benefit.  Some students can solve a math problem when it is presented in one way.  When the same idea is presented in a different way, they are completely lost.  Not only would this be a nightmare on the day of state assessments, this misunderstanding undermines the entire point of a math lesson.

This chart shows the different ways that multiplication can be presented.  Many students just know of multiplication as being represented as "groups".  Each example shows multiplication in a different context.   It is important for students to understand the different ways that a math topic can be presented.  It is also just as important for students to know that a math problem can be solve in a number of ways.

I can remember walking past a student that had not memorized his multiplication facts. He drew tiny circles on the corner of his paper to find the answer to a math problem. This leads to point two on our list.  Using multiple approaches to solve a math problem helps students determine which one is the most efficient as well as fastest.    There is a place for drawing tiny circles to determine the answer to a problem.  Using this method is not the most efficient because it takes so much time.  Showing how to solve the same math problem in multiple ways helps the student determine the best approach to solve a math problem.


 Use the four box or two box approach.  The math problem is written in the center of the page.  The larger box can be divided into two or four parts.  Each part can show a different way to solve the math problem. 

To Access Math Task Cards That Teach And Review A Variety Of Math Concepts Click Here and Scroll Down













Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pin the Feather on a Turkey {Freebie Center!}

Hi!  I'm Rachael from the Classroom Game Nook.
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks from today?  Holy cow!  If you're looking for some fun ways to incorporate the holiday theme into your centers - then I've got the perfect solution!
It's easy - there are four different sets of feathers and turkeys.  Students "pin" the correct feather to the correct turkey.
Easy for you, fun for the kiddos!

You can download this freebie game by clicking on either or the pictures above!


Classroom Game Nook

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What is Math RTI, and How Can I Use It In The Classroom?



Do you use RTI in math?  I recently did a blog post about implementing response to intervention (RTI) for math.  For ideas, click here.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month.   Celebrating their heritage with my students is something I look forward to each November.


Legends are inherent in any study of the Native American culture.  Thus, I begin by sharing picture books that are based on such legends.  Here are some of my favorites:


Perhaps my uber favorites are:


After reading The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, my 3rd & 4th graders research other wildflowers in the computer lab. They choose one for their own legend, telling how the wildflower came to be.  

My 1st & 2nd graders focus on winter counts and skin stories. After sharing pictures of actual winter counts, we compose a skin story together.  I display picture dictionaries of Native American symbols and we collaborate on how to "tell" our story using the symbols. Then we prepare a "skin" using a paper grocery bag or construction paper.  Tear the corners and sides to mimic the shape of an animal skin. In an effort to be more authentic, we record the story on our skin by writing in an oval that expands outward.

This is a collaborative story by a group of 1st graders.  2nd graders could do this independently.

The vocabulary of the Native American culture is often foreign to my charges. Thus, I have created several literacy center activities that allow the students to work with the vocabulary while practicing skills aligned with the CCSS.  
This one requires students to put the words in alphabetical order, using up to the 2nd letter.

This one asks students to sort the nouns cards into piles of people, places, or things.

For more activities to extend The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, check out my thematic unit.  It is available on TpT and TN.










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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hey Center Friends!
This is 
Mary

Are you ready to share another
http://www.sharingkindergarten.com/2014/11/center-saturday_8.html
post?

Take a glimpse of these center time activities from this
http://www.sharingkindergarten.com/2014/11/center-saturday_8.html

Head over to my blog post here to check out more information about these activities.



Friday, November 7, 2014

Inference Close Reading Task Cards (Differentiated)



Students highlight, underline, or circle details that help them infer the answer directly on the task cards.  I really wanted a way to reinforce close reading and inference skills when students work independently at my literacy center station.  The fact that students identify the text clues directly on the task card and write a written response on the card too is really helpful.  Students become more aware of their own strategy use.  This gives me more information as an educator so that I can help students learn about inferences.  I can match their annotations and responses to the special answer key, wipe, and reuse the cards.  This has made teaching close reading skills and inferences much easier.Click Here To Access Them
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