Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring into a Good Poem

Welcome to our Spring is Here Blog Hop!  My bloggy friends and I are sharing poetry resources in celebration of the arrival of Spring and because April is National Poetry Month.   National Poetry Month was established to "highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets" and "encourage the reading of poems."

I am so glad that Spring is finally arriving in my part of the world.  Winter is not my favorite season.  I love to see new life beginning to bloom and the feeling of hope for a better time after a bleak winter season.  Thinking about "a feeling of hope"  and welcoming spring made me think of the poem "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus because she writes about the Statue of Liberty and welcoming immigrants to the United States to begin a better life.

This poem is one of the 4-5 text exemplars provided in Appendix B of the Common Core State Standards.  "The New Colossus" can be a challenging text for students to read; however, I believe it is important to challenge students in safe, structured environment with support.  Students must learn to persevere in order to lead productive lives and my goal is to teach them how through different experiences - one of them being reading.

 In honor of that poem, I created a small close reading resource that includes a writing piece as a culminating activity.  I aligned the resource to the fourth grade standards but it could also be used in fifth grade.  This is not a one and done activity.  It could take several days to complete.  I would complete one or two steps each day.  Click on the image below to be taken to the file.

Thank you for visiting.  The next stop is The W.I.S.E. Owl who will share a shared reading poetry freebie.  Make sure to check it out!

If you missed any stops on the way, you can start back at the beginning with The Comprehension Connection.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Winter Wonders

One year ago today, a group of teacher-bloggers began a new adventure when the website Adventures in Literacy Land was created to share tips for effective literacy instruction. In honor of reaching our first full year of blogging together we are hosting a Winter Wonders Blog Hop and Birthday Celebration. Join us as you read a short post by each author, download a free literacy resource, and enter a raffle for a chance to win a Barnes and Nobles gift certificate at our collaborative blog.

Today I am sharing a Build a Snowman Sight Word Game for second grade.  Students play this game in groups of two to four. The goal of the game is to collect all the parts of the snowman before the other players by reading the sight words correctly on each card drawn from the pile. The sight words included in this game are the second grade Dolch words. At the end of the game, students will record the sight words they have in their hands on the recording sheet. This game would be great in a literacy center or for review in a small group setting.
To keep up to date on the lasted happenings at Thinking Out Loud, click on the button below to follow me on Bloglovin.'

Thanks for stopping by!  The next stop is Teacher Mom of Three.  Click on the button below to visit her.   Don't forget to travel all the way through the hop to find your winter wonders freebies and enter the rafflecopter at Adventures in Literacy Land.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Gift of Reading

I truly believe that reading is a gift that we, as teachers, give our students.  We give this gift each day when we teach student sight words, vocabulary, and comprehension strategies.  We give the gift when we get excited about the read aloud book that day.  We give that gift when we recommend books to our students.  We give that gift when we hang on their every word as they share about the books they are reading.

In appreciation for all that you do each day to promote the love of reading, I am participating in the Gift of Reading blog hop.  Each blogger has posted a freebie (for the duration of the blog hop) and also has a giveaway going with a Rafflecopter.  Enjoy the freebies and best of luck in the giveaways!

In the current issue of Reading Today, Brenda Overturf cited a disturbing statistic in her article "Interrupting the Cycle of Word Poverty:"
       "According to a the most recent report of the National Center for children in Poverty, 45% of
        children in the United States live in low-income households.  Twenty-two percent live in actual
Children from low income environments hear less words than children coming from professional households "creating a 32 million word gap between children in poverty and their more affluent peers before even starting school."  How can we combat this tremendous gap?  She recommends creating "an environment where students are immersed in though-provoking vocabulary, [reading] intriguing text aloud, [playing] games with vocabulary, and [encouraging] students to think about words in metaphorical ways."

All of that sounds great, but how does that look in a classroom?  How do you make that happen with everything else that you are supposed to be doing on a daily basis?  My dear friend and I came up with a strategy to explicitly teach students vocabulary.  We call it "Interactive Vocabulary."  I had the pleasure of presenting this strategy with her today at our state reading conference.  Below you will find a packet of information that breaks down each step in the strategy.  The packet of information will be a forever freebie.  Below that you will find the mini-unit I taught my third graders that uses this strategy (freebie for this weekend only).  The unit shows the vocabulary strategy in action with example think alouds and activities that help the students make the words their own.

I hope that you give the strategy a try!  Don't forget to complete the rafflecopter entries for $10 Teachers Pay Teachers gift certificate.  Check out the next stop in the hop by visiting JD's Rockin' Readers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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