Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bright Ideas: KWL Plus Chart

Today is a BRIGHT idea day.  It is time to grab a cup of coffee (or your favorite would be Dr. Pepper) and wander your way through the bright ideas brought to you by some great blogger friends.  I love this Bright Idea hop because it isn't about freebies; it isn't about products; it IS about sharing with you great ideas that you can immediately implement in your classroom to help you and your students.

My bright idea began with wanting to help the students in my school be better organized as they read nonfiction texts in order to conduct research about a specific topic.  One of the ways I introduced to my teachers (as an instructional coach) to help their students is through an expanded KWL chart.

Many of the students were already familiar with a KWL charts, but I wanted to make sure we were all on the same page.  I had my teachers introduce (in preschool) and review (in kindergarten through third grades) the basic KWL chart.

One of the preschool teachers took the KWL chart and made it work for students in a couple of ways.  She had "Today we are going to read about ______" already on the chart along with the green question (What do you know about girafffes) and the blue question (What do you wonder about giraffes).  She showed them the Giraffes book (LOVE the about grabbing students' interests) and had them share what they thought they knew about giraffes while she wrote a few on the chart.  Then she told them to think about what they wanted to know - what they wondered about giraffes.  They are four years old and struggle with asking questions, so she gave them some stems to help them out.

I have one teacher who teaches a combined kinder and first grade class.  She made the KWL chart her own also.  She went through the same process but with a book about seeds.  They completed the whole thing as a class.

One of my third grade teachers chose to put each part of the KWL on a different piece of small chart paper and used bulletin board letters to put "know, wonder, learn."  In third grade, students are more independent and each student wrote on a sticky note what they knew and wondered before the book was read.  Then they came to the front of the room and put the sticky notes on the chart.  After the teacher read multiple excerpts about Abe Lincoln. they put what they learned.

Let me stop a minute and talk about the LEARN category.  Students are not just putting random facts they learned after the book is read.  Students are putting information that MATCHES their WONDER questions in the learn column.  The whole point of this chart is to help students organize their research about a topic, so any random fact will not help with the research.  The students have a purpose for listening/reading because of their SELF-GENERATED questions.  They are more MOTIVATED to listen/read because they want to know something about the topic.

Now, here comes the expanded portion.

Expanded KWL

Students are moving their wonder questions to the learn column if their question is answered during the reading.  Students are also moving the information in the KNOW column to two new columns:  CONFIRM and MISTAKEN.  After the reading, students reexamine what they thought they knew and decided if it was:  CONFIRMED (text gave evidence that what they wrote down was true) or MISTAKEN (text gave evidence that what they thought they knew was incorrect).  If the know sticky note could not be confirmed or denied, then it stayed in the know column.

All of my teachers, except the preschool, added cofirmed and mistaken to their KWL charts.  One of my third grade teachers thought the two categories were best put under the know column (like you see above).  One of my first grade teachers put the confirm column after the know and the mistaken after the learn (like in the picture below).

Next up on the Bright Ideas blog hop is Julie from Second Grade Style.  She has a wonderful post on tips for keeping a clean classroom.  Just click on the button below to check it out!

Want some other BRIGHT IDEAS?  Check out the linkies below.  There is a K-2 group and 3+ group.  Each blogger put the idea they are sharing as the title, so you can pick and choose what you would like to read about today.  ENJOY!

An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Saturday Night Teacher Feature - Curious Firsties

Being a teacher can be so difficult.  Aside from just day to day teaching, we have to attend meetings, talk with parents, fill out paper work, find and create materials, grade papers, plan, plan, plan, etc. etc. etc!  Often times it seems that we cannot do enough.

Today, several of my teacher friends are taking some time out to recognize how hard every teacher works.  We have had the amazing opportunity to get to know each other, share ideas, and learn from each other.   Today is our day to "feature" other teachers and recognize their amazing work!  I am recognizing Em from Curious Firsties.

Em became a teacher because she was the oldest child in her family and it came natural to her to teacher her siblings.  She has taught first and second grade for 10 years.  For five of those years she has been a Title I teacher for first grade and specialized in Reading.  She earned her Masters Degree in Second Language Literacy.  She loves to teach in a small group format, especially guided reading because it is a fun challenge to help each student reach their reading potential.

Em is from Cincinnati - living her whole life in Ohio, except for 2 years in Knoxville, TN.  She met her husband in high school, and they have been together for 17 years now, with this being their eleventh year of marriage.  I have two little blonde haired girls - one is 5 and one is almost 4.  She loves to bake, and she cooks about one-two NEW recipes each week.  (Holy cow!  I am good to make dinner once a week!)  She spends fifty percent of her summer at the local amusement park.

Here are her " Top 3 Greatest Hits!"

Curious Firsties wrote two fabulous blog posts on improving student fluency.  First, she describes how she makes fluency CONCRETE.  She explains, "We wanted to really illustrate how we group our words naturally when speaking and that doing this when reading allows us to read fluently.  We wanted to also explain that fluency allows your brain to think about what you are reading (metacognition)."  After reading the book, Wolf, she had had the students each become a word in a sentence from the book.  What she does after that is fantastic.  I am not going to tell you because I want you to go check our her post by clicking HERE.  In another post she builds on that lesson by restructuring how she teaches fluency on a daily basis by using poetry.  She explains, "Here are my goals:  increase fluency and phrasing, provide a purpose for reading, and keep their eyes on the text.  So I have started using poetry (mostly nursery rhymes) at the beginning of each small group.  But one of my concerns was that the students would quickly memorize the poem, instead of focusing their eyes on the text.  Because of this concern, I came up with this weekly schedule."  What is that weekly schedule, click HERE to find out.

The Case of the Missing Nursery Rhymes can be used as a classroom activity or it would make a wonderfully fun activity for a Parent Literacy Night.  After students read the nursery rhyme book with you, they will record three mystery clues. Then they will analyze those clues to determine which nursery rhyme they would be matched with.

Looking for more great literacy ideas, check out her store HERE.

In her Heart Diagram Word Sort, students use the Venn diagrams to sort twelve words.  There are two versions of each word sort to help you differentiate for your classroom of students.  She also included one colorful Venn diagram.  The following phonics patterns are covered:  long and short vowels, consonant digraphs ch/ck, and consonant blends nk/ng.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...