I received free products from Oriental Trading Company in exchange for sharing my thoughts on this blog.
Close reading is all the rage right now. My team and I have read several books about how to make it happen effectively. We specifically focused on the sign posts for close reading book. I recommend this book for 4-6 grade teacher. After reading about how powerful close reading can be, I wanted to have my students mark up their pages with questions, comments, and symbols. I wasn’t very successful though because writing in textbooks is a big no no! People suggested sheet protectors and all kinds of things, but they don’t work with textbooks unless you rip out the pages.
I have finally found a solution! (Que the applause!!)
SIDE LOADING dry erase sleeves!I found these horizontal sleeves from Oriental Trading Company that slide on SIDEWAYS onto the page. This is perfect because the kids can do all the marking with a dry erase marker, and then turn in the sleeve so I can look at it later. It also leaves the textbook in tact and bound. I think this is a major win-win! Click here to check them out.
Please comment below if you’ve got other close reading tips! I’m always on the lookout!
When I was in elementary school, my class was always partnered with another class so we could do “Reading Buddies.” My school always partnered a younger grade class with an upper grade class so we could get together and read each month. This provided us a unique opportunity to read to/listen to another student. Each kid was assigned a kid from the other class and we were partners the whole year. We occasionally did a craft or something with our reading buddies as well. Anyway, it was fun to get to know my partner as the year went on.
This inspired me to make 2 little “get to know you” pages that teachers can use within their own classroom or between classrooms of students in an arrangement like “Reading Buddies.
But they’re not just for fun. Most basic color words are kindergarten sight words (check out my free printable list) and being able to recognize color words is important for kids to be able to complete higher level tasks. Here’s my fun, but simple color word recognition:
I’m so thrilled to be blogging over at We Are Teachers! They’ve got tons of great ideas over there. My third post was an onomatopoeia game for grades K-2. It’s a really simple idea, but your kids will love it!
Check out this cool idea a reader submitted. It’s simple, but genius!
If you use a pocket chart to hold vocabulary words, you can diagram them right on the pocket! Use an overhead marker or a whiteboard marker to diagram words onto the clear front pocket of the chart! This way, you can leave it up for the week while you’re focusing on a specific principle, and you don’t have to write on the word strip.
Have any other great ideas? Send them to me (squareheadteachers at gmail dot com) and I’ll post them on this blog! Thanks!
I’ve heard all kinds of debate about whether to name leveled groups using colors, animals, etc. One year, my guided reading groups were all animals, which I didn’t think would be a problem. But I had a fellow teacher criticize my naming of groups because “6th graders are too old for animal groups.”
A friend showed me this idea that I really like. The reading groups were named after pets that the teacher had owned over the years. One of the pets was a dog named coco. The group wasn’t called “the Cocos”, but were called “Coco’s Team” or “Team Coco” so that the students were team members rather than animals. (Since the theme was pets, the teacher also chose a weekly “Top Dog Reader” to spotlight good work or improvement.)
I thought this would be a clever way to help your students get to know you while helping with the group naming situation. I’m definitely trying this in the future.
Have a great idea? Send it to me (squareheadteachers at gmail dot com) and I’ll post it so other teachers can benefit. Thanks!
There are many ways to organize subject journal. Here’s one way to separate a spiral notebook into sections, or a single notebook into two different subjects.
Here’s a sample of how you can format your page: anchor chart tab for math journal. You can type whatever you want on the tab. Print and cut into strips. Glue anchor chart/show my work tab in middle of spiral notebook math journal. When you are making an anchor chart with the class, have each student copy what you are doing into their journal. Or when you pass out math definitions, examples, charts, or whatever that you want students to glue in their journal for future reference, have them start writing and gluing at the beginning of the book. When the student is just showing work or writing different ways to write a number or story problems, etc., have them go to tab and then start that sort of work there. That way, your student has the more pertinent information in the front of the journal and it will be easier for students to use their journals as a reference.