Friday, October 25, 2013

LAST STOP of the Super Sleuths Mystery Blog Hop!

Awesome job, Super Sleuth!  You made it to the final letter!  You are almost ready to crack the mysterious reading code!  If you just 'hopped in' and missed some clues, retrace your steps and head back to Stop #1 Comprehension Connection to collect all the fabulous FREEBIES along the way!
NOW....get ready to read about an awesome strategy for teaching informational text...The Text Feature Walk!
Most primary-aged students learn how to do a "Picture Walk" before reading a story.  While previewing text, students activate prior knowledge, make predictions, and set a purpose for reading the book.  Effective reading instruction includes this important strategy yet this supportive practice is not as common when using informational text. 
When entering intermediate grades, students may experience difficulty reading textbooks and informational text due to high-level vocabulary and unfamiliar concepts.  In addition to these complexities, students encounter numerous text features throughout the text that often get overlooked even though they have been taught their importance.  The Text Feature Walk is a technique that explicitly teaches the purpose and importance of text features which enables students to navigate any informational text more effectively. 

First, students learn how text features support informational text.  Familiarizing your students with the purpose of each text feature is key to the lesson's success.  Additionally, it is important to model an interactive discussion about text so that students will be prepared to do it on their own.

Once students are familiar with text features and are able to hold a focused discussion about text, you can easily introduce the steps of a Text Feature Walk.  Through explicit modeling and thinking aloud, demonstrate the steps to follow while taking a Text Feature Walk using a short nonfiction article.  The steps outlined on our Student Cue Cards include identifying the text feature, making a prediction, making a connection, asking questions, and predicting the main idea.

Part 2 of the lesson focuses on guided practice with the teacher providing support as needed.  Within small groups, students use the cue cards to preview and discuss each text feature in order to activate prior knowledge, make connections, and set a purpose prior to reading the information text.

Once groups are finished, have students come back together as a whole group to discuss what went well and what they learned from their discussions.  They are now ready to read and more fully comprehend the text!

We hope you enjoy the last FREEBIE in the Super Sleuths Mystery Blog Hop!  Thank you to all the participants (Reading Specialists/Literacy Coaches/Title 1 Teachers), especially Carla from Comprehension Connection, for coordinating this awesome event!  Don't forget to follow all of us on Facebook or bloglovin' for updates on future blog hops and fun!
 And now for the moment you have been waiting for.....the last letter to crack the mysterious reading quote from Katherine Patterson! Use this quote to enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win 1 of 6-$25.00 Teachers Pay Teachers gift certificates!

Have a great weekend, friends! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Five for Friday, Brain Breaks, Problem Detective Club, Fall Fun, and Super Sleuths Blog Hop!

Happy Fraturday, friends! We were a tiny bit late to the Five for Friday party but think about it this way... just when you think your blog stalking is over from the Friday link ups, we show up! Dadadaaaaaa RUNGS OF READING! 
Check out what we've been up to in 2nd grade, the Reading Room and life in general and leave some comments so we can come check out your little section of the interwebs as well :) 
My class this year is a chatty bunch of munchkins with a whole lot of energy. I've found that brain breaks are the best way to make it through our long days with maintained engagement. My class' favorite is from Ice Age 4-Continental Drift. The kids literally chant the words and have the whole dance memorized. I think we might even perform it sometime for the school... they're pretty good! 

Side note: did anyone else notice the full moon and the insane energy that came into school with the children today? Just wondering... Miss McBride loves brain breaks! :)  
As for an update on life... you know from reading this little ol blog of ours that I LOVE fall. I especially love New England fall. It's so beautiful and the colors keep me in constant awe and amazement. This past weekend, my sweet sister was home from college for Columbus Day and it was so nice to spend time with her. On Saturday we set out with a friend of ours to go pumpkin picking. Long story short, we didn't find a pumpkin patch... whooops! But we did find a beautiful spot next to a little pond for some pictures. And we did get to go apple picking the following day with our parents. I just love the colors in this picture. And I sure love my sister!! :)
Stacy, on the other hand... did find a pumpkin patch :) 
My family got to take one of our favorite October day-trips to Wildwood Farms to go pumpkin picking.  The farm sits on top of a mountain and has the most spectacular views of New England foliage.  Although it was cloudy that day, we had so much fun in the quiet countryside, picking the perfect pumpkin, feeding carrots to the horses, and enjoying time as a family.  We even convinced my step-sons to join us which made it even more special!
One of our favorite blogs to follow is Lyndsey's A Year of Many Firsts.  A few weeks ago, I purchased her We Are Problem Detectives Problem/Solution packet.  I FINALLY got a chance to use it in the Reading Room with my 2nd grade group!  They ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!  The lesson is super fun and super motivating!  On Day 1, I introduced the secret envelope that I found in my mailbox that morning...they totally ate it up!  Inside the secret envelope was a letter from the Problem Detective Club and Case Files that we needed to solve!  We worked together to identify the problem in each case file and brainstormed solutions.  I provided cues and support and wrote student responses on chart paper for us to reference.
On Day 2, I decided to pair up students to see if they could read a case file on their own and work together to identify the problem and solution.  I told them that we would be mailing these off to the Problem Detective Club for their should have SEEN their faces!  It was hysterical!  I was so excited to see how engaged they were in the lesson as they were working.  You could hear a PIN drop in the was so quiet.  While they were working, I provided support and cues to groups that needed it.  Interestingly, they could easily identify the problem.  It was the solution that some partnerships had difficulty with.  Similar to my observation on Day 1, they often explained WHY the problem occurred rather than ways to fix it.
I can't WAIT for Monday when I reveal a second mystery envelope from the Problem Detective Club with their Certificates of Membership!  Now that we are all members of the club, I will continue working on problem/solution during guided reading, moving more towards independent application.
And FINALLY, speaking of detectives, we can't WAIT for the Super Sleuths Blog Hop to begin next week!!  28 Reading Specialist/Literacy Coaches will share best practices in literacy, 28 FREE products, and a chance to win one of SIX TpT gift certificates!  Mark your calendar and "like" our facebook page for more details and daily updates!  Here is a sneak peek at who will be participating!  I'll bet you recognize a few faces!

Have a wonderful week, friends!!!