Sunday, October 18, 2015


Here is the 1st blog post in a series of Reading Comprehension posts about the following comprehension strategies:
~ Schema
~ Making Predictions
~ Making Connections
~ Inferring
~ Questioning
~ Visualizing
~ Summarizing
(These strategies will be linked once new blog posts are up and running- feel free to follow my blog and/or bookmark this page so you can check back!)

I love to start my reading comprehension units by teaching students a song about the topic we are learning! This song is sung to the tune "Are you sleeping".
(There will be a song for each Reading Comprehension strategy, too, so stay tuned for future Reading Comprehension blog posts!!)

After we learn our song, I always go into my Smartboard lessons (also available in PowerPoint!!). These lessons last me all week! 

I love these lessons because each day has a quick, fun introduction to remind students what we are learning about...
....and fun, engaging activities to do each day!
(Smartboard Version)

While I use the Smartboard (or PowerPoint) for my whole group lessons, I also incorporate the reading strategy into my guided reading groups. Here is a little poster we made while reading a book about frogs.

And to prove you are never too young to learn, I did these next two with 3 and 4 year olds!! They drew pictures of frogs and apples and I wrote down what they told me their schema was!

After a week of using my Smartboard lessons and activities, I use informal assessments of my students (their work in guided reading groups, as well as the activities with the Smartboard lessons) to decide whether or not they are ready to do this choice board and its activities independently or as a whole group. 

Either way, we start with at least one activity whole group to model how to do the choice board. I number the activities and everyone writes the number they want to do on a white board. Then, whichever activity has the most votes wins!

The activity my kids chose this year was to close their eyes and pick an object out of the bag. Then, use their schema tell everything they know about the topic in a minute. Since we were doing this whole group, I hid objects in their desk and had them do a circle map about the object to get their ideas together. After they were finished, they read their circle maps out loud and we tried to guess what the mystery object was! So fun!! 

If students are ready for the choice board, I put it in a center for them. They choose activities throughout the week to complete and turn in. The activities are differentiated which makes it even better! 
(This is actually a picture of my questioning choice board but you get the idea!)

If they aren't ready for the choice board, we do the activities whole group. I put the choice board under the document camera (or projector) and students vote on the activity they want to do that day. Doing the activities whole group adds at least another week and a half to my schema unit and the kids love it! 

I hope you have fun teaching your students about schema! I always teach this topic first since they will use their schema with all the other reading comprehension strategies!! 

Related products from my store:
Schema Smartboard Lessons and Activities!

Schema Choice Board and Activities!

Reading Comprehension Smartboard Lessons and Activities Bundle!

Reading Comprehension PowerPoint Lessons and Activities Bundle!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pumpkin Patch Words!

Here is a fun activity I did with a preschool/kindergarten group yesterday!! We have been learning new sight words so I wrote the letters of their name and the letters of the sight words we have been working on randomly on a sheet of orange circle stickers.

Then, they spelled their name independently by finding the letters of their names. After that, I gave them a sight word (our word wall was right behind us, too, so they could refer to that if needed) and they spelled their sight word!

Students who needed a challenge also spelled out "my pumpkin patch".

Don't forget to add the stems!
I think they turned out pretty cute! :) 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Halloween/October Fun!

It is hard to believe it is already October! Time for pumpkins and fall fun!

One of my favorite books to read this time of year is Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano. 

After we read the book, we make our own Spookleys! It makes for a great bulletin board! It is hard to see, but we use pipe cleaners for the stems!

We also brainstorm safety rules for Halloween and trick-or-treating. Students break into groups to make posters and we hang them around the school!

We also invite parents out for a "Pumpkin Math and Science Day" where we do several math and science related activities with pumpkins!
(Sorry for the hard to see pictures! You can see some of the slides here.)

Last, but not least, you know I love a choice board! My Halloween Activities and Choice Board is the perfect incentive during holiday time! You can leave it out as an incentive for students who finish their work early.
You can make it a whole class incentive where students earn an activity a day for nine days! Number the choice board 1-9 and have students vote on the activity they are trying to earn that day!

Of course, you can always use the activities separately without the choice board if you want! There are handouts included in the product for each activity that does not require plain paper. 

I hope you and your students have a great October!!!

My related products:
Halloween Activities and Choice Board!

Pumpkin Math and Science Smartboard Activity!

Holiday Activities and Choice Board!
 Choice Board and Activities Ultimate Bundle!