Sunday, September 6, 2015

Interactive Read Aloud in 1st Grade

I recently wrote a post HERE about what an interactive read aloud is and how I use them in my first grade classroom. 

My overall takeaway about an interactive read aloud is this:
Interactive read aloud is essentially a planned and purposeful read aloud that encourages thoughtful and respectful discussion!

During our read aloud times my students sit in a circle promoting eye contact and respectful listening and together we dig deeper into some of my (and eventually their) favorite books! The picture books above and the ones in my previous post are some of my favorite books to teach about and practice certain skills!

If you have read my previous post then you will know I created a unit of ready-made, one-page lesson plans to go along with each of these books (there will be 64 lessons in all!) and I wanted to show you what the beginning of the year scope and sequence looks like:
You can see the overall theme each month, the books I chose for interactive read aloud and the more focused skill I zoom in on in each book. I wanted to show you this because I chose these books very purposefully and I also wanted to mention that I read these books (which are amazing for all sorts of reasons) don't only cover the skills I mentioned - they cover LOTS of skills and my students and I will read many of these books more than once throughout the year.

My main point in bringing this up is that while Chrysanthemum is a fantastic book for text-to-self connections, the beginning of the year, main idea, vocabulary, etc. but during my read aloud and my lesson - we will remain focused on the skill at hand and try to develop that skill throughout the entire book! I really emphasize this point to my students as well and show them that we can read books over and over while noticing "new and exciting things" each time!

That's just a little tidbit on how I hold these interactive read alouds in my room!

If you want to look at a lesson, you can download a free lesson for Officer Buckle and Gloria by downloading the preview below:

Thursday, August 20, 2015

5 Free Close Reading Ideas and Activities!

I wrote a blog post way back when that explains how I introduce my first graders to close reading and how happy I become every year when it finally *clicks*! My young students learn to go back in the text, highlight important information, circle vocabulary terms, infer meaning from the text, and go back into the text to provide evidence to comprehension questions!

To read how we do that click the image below:

Now onto some free passages, activities, and ideas to help your young learners with close reading:

Here is a passage from my Close Reading Unit. Students will read this fiction passage, define key vocabulary terms and infer the answers to some comprehension questions!

Close reading with poetry!
This awesome freebie is from Jennifer over at First Grade, Blue Skies. You can snag her sheet and some great poems to use it with by clicking on the image above!

These close read bookmarks are a great resource from Fantastic First Grade Froggies and let students practice marking up their text independently. Just click the image above to grab your copy.

This great close reading companion goes with the class favorite, Miss Nelson is Missing! Tessa Maguire of Tales From Outside the Classroom, has thought of everything for you to get started close reading with this picture book. She has stopping points, questions, and graphic organizers ready for you to use! Just click the image above to download your own copy.

 Tara West over at Little Minds at Work, has quite a few close read units in her shop, but this penguin one is perfect for your little learners. Click on the image above to check it out!

I hope these 5 freebies have been useful to you and your students as they continue to grow as learners.
Happy teaching :)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Interactive Read Aloud Lessons!

Interactive read aloud, do you do it?!

In my first grade classroom I used to have the class sit down after lunch/recess and I would read them some of my favorite books – Junie B., Flat Stanley, etc. It was a time to calm down, enjoy a good book, and get ready for an afternoon of learning. I wanted to save and protect this precious time when the talk of “rigor” and “time on task” would come up often in professional discussions. A little planning can put this read aloud time to good use and prove to be academic as well as enjoyable!

Interactive read aloud is essentially a planned and purposeful read aloud that encourages thoughtful and respectful discussion!

An interactive read aloud has your students actively thinking about one certain skill during a read aloud. It is a skill that the teacher will model and that students will discuss throughout the read aloud. It takes your basic read aloud and turns it up a notch (or two!). I would always ask comprehension questions throughout my regular read alouds, but I found that when I really research and plan my questions and stopping points before hand, I could provide a deeper discussion for my students!

I figured since I was planning out all these lessons around my favorite books, I would start writing down my stopping points and questions in case other teachers wanted to use them as well!

I created a scope and sequence of skills that I teach throughout the year and found some of the best classroom favorites to help teach those skills. Each book has a convenient, 1-page printable lesson plan for you to reference as you read. 

Some of the focus skills addressed are:
- Illustrations & Text relationship
- Concepts of print
- Character traits
- Setting and story elements
- Making connections
- Problem & Solutions
- Cause and Effect
- Main idea/Theme
- Non fiction text features
- Character changes
- Reading a variety of texts
- Inferring
- Point of view
- and more!

I have a free one here for you to try that goes with the book Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann I use this book at the beginning of the year to help teach the concept that illustrations can give readers more information than the text!
{Just click the image above and download the preview to print this lesson easily!}

In my first grade classroom, I actually have a specific interactive read aloud block, but if you don't you can see that the read alouds can easily be used in your guided reading block, small group, or even to print out and add to your sub plans!

If you think these read aloud lessons can be used in your room, check out my unit below to get a better idea of what is included:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

First Grade Grammar Activities & Printables

When do you teach the grammar and language standards in your classroom??

Nouns, determiners, comma usage, prepositions...

Ya know... allllllllllll of THESE!

Some can be easily embedded into your reading or writing block, while others I try to find the time to do whole lessons on!

Even with an extended day (730-330), I can have a hard time fitting ALL these standards in my first grade classroom. I have been finding that that the best time for me to teach these is.... wherever it fits! That probably isn't the answer you were hoping for, but I have found that it works best in room 102.

I can say that when I taught in Las Vegas, I had a 20 minute block to fit these standards in each day and that was fine and dandy, but I would have rather had more time to expand writer's workshop or reader's workshop. I felt like I didn't have enough time to delve deeper into the main subject areas, so I have found that teaching these skills in small groups allows me to personalize the instruction and teach only what my students needed to be taught.

Once I figured out when I wanted to teach these skills, I needed tools to teach them. A little over a year ago I went through each and every first grade Common Core language standard and created anchor charts, activities and printables for them all!

Here are some of the activities included:
 Roll, Spell, and Cover!
I have this game for short vowels, long vowels, and digraphs!

Multiple meaning triangles:
Students match up the multiple meanings of a word to create a triangle.

Students practice vocabulary sorting by determining which category each noun belongs in.

Connect em:
Students make sentences using the conjunctions.
 Inflectional endings flip books:
Students practice reading words with inflectional endings and writing sentences with them.

 List it:
Students pull a card and write a sentence with a list of 3 or more things and correctly add the commas to the sentence.

 Puppy prepositions:
Students practice their prepositions by completing this mini-book and saying where the puppy is on each page.

 Root word, prefix, and suffix anchor charts!

There are TONS of activities and printables 

If you need any activities to teach these standards, you can grab them all in my bundle below:

Link Within

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