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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gradually Releasing Students During Daily 5

Last fall, while revamping my reading program, I discovered Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, The Two Sisters (I can't believe it took me so long!). I bought both of their books, The Daily Five and The CAFE , devouring them cover to cover over the summer (a subscription to their website is worth every penny). This year I jumped in with both feet and started doing CAFE and Daily 5. I am EXTREMELY happy with the independence and reading growth I am seeing in my class already. Unfortunately we only have time to make 3 of the Daily 5 choices during our reading block (I am working on getting all 5 in) and I was noticing that most of my students were sticking with Listen-to-Reading, Read-to-Someone and Word Work. I thought I better jump in and provide a little more support in this area so I came up with a chart that would help me keep track of who needed support choosing a Daily 5 job. This chart is definately helping those students who need more guidance with their choices and it is helping keep me organized too!

If you turn this chart over you find another for math! The Sisters have been working on a Math Daily 5 too. This is my shortened version which works well with the Bridges-in-Mathematics curriculum we use at my school.

Daily 5 Choices and CAFE Strategy Menu.

Math by myself and Math with someone choices.

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Even and Odd Street

I love surfing the net for new and innovative ideas. Finding Amy Lemons blog, Step into Second Grade, has inspired lots of ideas! We had been exploring even and odd numbers during our calendar piece of math when I came across her idea for Even and Odd Street. Several of my students appeared to be grasping the concept of even and odd numbers, but not all of them. Once we posted the houses on the bulletin board and discussed the patterns we were seeing I could tell the concept clicked for all of them. Thanks for sharing your great idea Amy!

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Writing Through the Mask

Over the summer I spent a lot of time reading the works of Katy Wood Ray.  In our writer's workshop we have been working with one of her strategies and  "imaging the life" behind the books we have been reading.  Our guided question for the past two weeks has been "What experiences might the author have had to give them the idea for this story."  Last week we made Halloween Hang-ups by Martha Stewart and "imagined" the life behind our creepy characters.  I used one of Ralph Fletcher's writing strategies called writing through the mask to help guide their writing.  The kids ran with this and did an amazing job! My most reluctant writer was busily writing for the entire workshop!  Here are some pictures of the hang-ups.  

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Who Knew!

Researching is what second grader's in my class LOVE to do!  Our school just bought a subscription to which is a great website for emerging and transitional readers.  We took a field trip to a local lake and upon our return researched animals that live in the forested habitat that we visited.  We then created trading cards using this website .  We will trade them with K-1 and 5th grade students on October 31st.  Here is a card that I made as an example.

What Did You Do This Summer?

Most of my current students have been going to school together since Kindergarten.  We live in a small town and everyone knows each other so "getting to know you" activities don't really work for us at the beginning of the school year.  I still wanted to have an ice breaker and decided to ask parents to email me a picture of something their child did this summer so I could make a slideshow we could watch on the first day of school.  It was a wonderful way to start the year.