Saturday, October 31, 2015

Contractions Games ~ Search and Find & Sorting

Grammar and spelling are so hard to make engaging.  I tried these two contractions games out on my fourth grader and they BOTH were a hit!

Game 1:  Each card has the two words that make a contraction with a matching “find” the contraction graphic. Students use a magnifying lens to “find” the contractions. Write the contraction next to the matching words.  Games are shown below.

Game 2:  Laminate the pumpkin cards and put them in a basket.  Kids pull out the words and write the correct contraction on the graphic organizer.  Examples below:

My FAVORITE books to teach contractions:


Here area few You Tube links that you might like!

Happy Teaching!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Literature Circles for Middle School

Our Middle School follows a format for universal ELA curriculum where students read a whole group genre text and then spend four weeks   with differentiated literature circles focusing on the same foundational skills.

Our fifth grade students just finished reading Dexter the Tough by Margaret Peterson Haddix (3 week mini beginning of the year book) and a 5 week unit around How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O-Connor.  Key concepts covered were evidence-based terms when discussing characters and characteristics, conflict and conflict types, and summarization through the Somebody-Wanted-But-So-Then paragraph writing strategy. How to Steal a Dog was infused with nonfiction articles and video clips about local and community poverty.  Students finished this book with a capstone project where they partnered with the local food pantry to showcase the need for donations. 

Teachers connected the dog in How to Steal a Dog with literature circles that have an animal as a main or key focus.  The next four weeks, students will refine key literacy strategies of characteristics and evidence-based writing, conflict and conflict types and the SWBST at their individual reading levels.

Small groups will decide next week if they will be reading one book for the next four weeks, two, three or even four books. It is up to each group. There are four roles: Discussion Director, Character Connector, Conflict Commander and Savvy Summarizer.If students read the same book for four weeks, they will complete all roles with that book. If students read more than one book, they will complete 2 roles per book with one being the Character Connector.

Bottom line: We want to build reading stamina and vocabulary through voracious reading!

We, (Our team), have purchased Play Away or CD versions so that our special needs students can fully participate in universal ELA curriculum.

Literature Circle Book Selections:
Lexile 520: The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo
Lexile 640: Wild Girl by Patricia Reilly Giff
Lexile 670: Poppy by Avi
Lexile 700:Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Lexile 760: Jackpot by Gordon Korman
Lexile 790:  Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM by Robert C. O'Brien
Lexile 790: Warriors #1 Into the Wild by Erin Hunter
Lexile 830: The Underneath by Kathi Appelt
Lexile 890: Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds 
Lexile 1140: Rascal by Sterling North

I have uploaded our Literature Circle recording sheets and editable templates to Teachers Pay Teachers.

I have added links below to Amazon.  If you check out a book through these links, I earn credit that hopefully helps me purchase more books!

Happy Reading!