This year we started with a new reading series, Reading Wonders. Now, I'm one of those teachers that do not particularly like basals AT ALL! So with looping to 3rd for the first time AND having to figure out a new reading series, it's been a bit of a whirlwind, but I think I'm getting a handle on it now!
One of my goals this year is to really emphasize vocabulary but in interactive ways. I am just not a fan of writing the word with the definition, and that's it. I have over 80% EL in my room which always keeps me thinking and creating ways to incorporate movement with activities which ALL kids will benefit from!
SOOO...do you ever find yourself coming up with the best ideas in the middle of another activity or in the shower (which is my #1 idea generator! hah)?? Well, Wednesday, a new idea was born!
When they are all ready, I place them on the rectangle table in my room. As we introduce and work with them throughout the week, we add them to the table to be able to be worn by students.
GESTURES!!!If you have had any EL students, you know that connecting a gesture to a word, idea, activity always helps!! Well...gestures help ALL STUDENTS learn!! Making those connections engages the students in a more personal way! Each time we add a word, we add a gesture to go with the word. We create this together so they can really take ownership over it and retain it better!! They LOVE this!! REPITITION, REPITITION, REPITITION! My students AMAZED me last week by their retention!! I used a Vocabulary Clozed Passage from Miss Jones on TPT that correlates to the Reading Wonders Series for 3rd grade! I had over 75% get 100% including most of my 16 EL students!!
DAILY ROUTINEEach morning when they come in, they can pick up one of the vocabulary cards, but they can only wear one once a week to make sure everyone who wants a turn, gets a turn. I don't MAKE everyone do it; however, I was extremely excited to see some of my quietest students taking them!! My two that speak very limited English, had them on one morning, and it just melted my heart. Not so much about the vocab words, but that they feel comfortable enough in the room to partake in an activity that puts them in somewhat in the center of attention.
Once they have the cards, they pin them to their shirts for the days (minus recess, lunch, and specials). As students go past the vocabulary students, they are encouraged to whisper the vocab. word to them for practice. Since it takes so many times for someone to actually retain a word, I thought this would be a fun way to practice it out of isolation. Today, I gave 5 Book Raffle tickets to those kids to give out to students who could use the word in a sentence correctly. WOW!!! Why haven't I don't a book raffle before?!? The kids were ALL about getting those raffle tickets! By the end of the day, the kids were able to say sentences beautifully! I'm telling you...TEACHER CHILLS ALL OVER!!!
HERE COMES THE VOCABULARY PARADE!!!
During our quick whole group reading time before we start small group rotations, we may do the Vocabulary Parade as a review. Otherwise,
we the kids beg to have the parade at the end of the day! The students with the vocabulary cards (the floats) line up by the door to parade through the aisle. The other students make a "road" for the parade to come down. As the students come down, the crowd (students) say the words AND do the gesture while the float (vocabulary card student) ONLY does the gesture. The next student started down the road after the one in front of them has gone through the whole way.
THEY ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS!!!!! EVERYONE IS ENGAGED, AND THEY ARE BEGGING TO DO THIS!!! Why can't EVERY activity be this way?!? :)
Before I try to write down some plans for next week (or watch a new show :), I want to share the first organizer of my NEW SET to come out soon!!! We've been working on theme this week, and I wanted to use an organizer that gets my kids thinking in the right direction. So I created Theme Squared. This is the first one, but I have many more already created and going to be created. I took the 4-square method and put it to theme. The kids have to identify the theme first, then work around the square to PROVE IT! So 1. Identify and write the theme. 2. Identify and write the main idea of the story. Steps 3-5 Identify and write 3 pieces of evidence to PROVE THE THEME! My kids did really well on this!! So click HERE or on the picture below to download and try THEME SQUARED with your students!! I would love to hear how it goes!! :)
Below is a student example for you to see! :) Click on it to enlarge it. CREDITS: Kimberly Geswein's It Ain't Rocket Science, KB Chatter Box, and Creative Clips Borders!
OHHHH and STAY TUNED for a HUGE GIVEAWAY COMING SOON!!!!!!!!!!!! I CANNOT WAIT!!!