Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Yikes!

Yikes, yikes and yikes!  I cannot believe it has been a whole month since I last blogged!  I wouldn't blame you for thinking I had fallen off the face of the earth, the truth is I have just plain been busy! But now I am on holidays and enjoying the finer things in life :)

So I could do a huge dump on you about all of the things I have been doing over the last month but I won't bombard you with it.  Instead I am going to share just a couple of things.

Fractions have been our big focus in both my Grade 2 and 3 class and we have been doing loads of different activities.  This was how we could show the fraction of an amount, it was super easy to do and helped those kiddos move from just showing the fraction of a shape to showing a fraction of a collection.



We have been using lots of different strategies to help with reading.  This one was my very own idea (although I am sure it is not original!)  So I noticed my kiddos were really bombing in comprehension but were considered to be 'good readers.' Truly they could decode some really tricky words but had no idea what the word meant, this then lead on to not understanding what they had just read and no or little comprehension.  So we started off by writing down words we weren't sure of as we were reading, then finding out what it meant and re reading.  This was a bit cumbersome and kids would lose where the words had been written in their books, so I gave each group a stack of sticky notes and they stuck them write on the page where the words were, found our what they meant, discussed with the group and then re read.  I cannot tell you how much their comprehension has sky rocketed with the added bonus of increasing vocabulary.  Peeps this has been a gamechanger in my room.



We have also been using sticky notes in our spelling books to record ways we can remember to spell words, what we notice about words and sharing these with others. I have been getting students to work in pairs to write a "noticing' about a word and then their partner to write a word/s that would also fit with the criteria ( I didn't say criteria to them, I said noticing which I know isn't strictly correct but that's the way we roll)




My gorgeous team mate Louise got our kids to make these adorable portraits of their Dad's for Fathers Day.  This Dad always wears sunglasses on his head, isn't funny the things kids notice!  On the back they wrote 10 Things About My Dad!  I just loved them and they were a big hit for Fathers Day.




Well I promise to be back with more later in the week, I have been busy, busy making some new multiplication games to put in my store,so keep your eyes peeled for them :)

If you are still on holidays I hope you are relaxing and not thinking about school.....but then you might not read this, so just think about school for the 5 minutes it will take you to read this and then don't think about it again!

See you again sooner than a month :)


2 comments:

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  2. Hi Tania,

    I agree, vocabulary activities are necessary, as they help extend students vocabulary beyond everyday terms and are essential for effective reading and comprehension. I currently teach grade 4 and have found that during this stage it is vital that students have rich vocabulary knowledge, as they are able to attach meanings to words in a text to understand it as a whole. Some activities that I have utilised in order to help students develop a wide vocabulary to assist in reading and writing are repeating and rephrasing. During discussions, sometimes I would repeat what has been said and rephrase it. For example “So you think fruits and vegetables are good, that they are beneficial to us”.

    As well, many students in my class only know one word for a particular concept (e.g. small). I construct with them word banks and wall charts to include other words (e.g. minute, dwarf, tiny, miniscule, and little). Sometimes, students would play matching games to construct word families where five cards belong to the same family.

    Many of my guided reading sessions would include picture labelling. We would look at pictures in the books and construct stick on labels for the images. Then as a group, we would find other words for the same images e.g. ‘girl’: child, adolescent, youngster. We would write down all the alternatives on sticky notes and display. I used this for building vocabulary in subjects other than English, and replacing everyday words with technical terms.

    Also, I promote the use of a thesaurus by showing students how to use it. I ask them to use it to experiment with different word options in their writing and during guided reading lessons.

    As a result of using these activities, I have definitely seen my students develop a wide vocabulary bank to assist in their reading and writing abilities.

    Douha

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