Print-and-Use Reading Tool
To help students recognize the distinguishing features of genres, give each child a colorful copy of the provided page. Have him cut out the genre features and glue each one next to the correct genre. When he’s finished, have him cut out the genre guide; fold it in half lengthwise; and glue the back sides together, as shown, to make a bookmark. Also have him fasten a paper clip to the side. Then, each time he reads a different book, have him slide the paper clip up or down to identify the book’s genre. This handy tool will not only mark his page in the book, but it will also help him remember a key feature of each listed genre!
Reposted from: The Mailbox Intermediate Activities
Skills: problem and solution
Label each of a few hand cutouts with a different everyday problem such as “I forgot my lunch,” “I can’t find my eraser,” and “My desk wobbles.” Then, for each hand cutout, cut a simple tool shape from construction paper. Tape one hand cutout to the board and read aloud the problem described. Invite students to brainstorm possible ways to fix the problem, reminding them that there’s usually more than one solution for every problem. Then, with your students’ input, select one solution to write on a tool shape. Tape the shape near the hand cutout. Repeat the procedure for each remaining problem. Keep the cutouts on display as a reminder of problem and solution.
Take a similar approach when identifying the story elements of problem and solution. Instruct each child to trace the outline of his hand on a sheet of blank paper, label it “Problem,” and describe inside the outline a problem the main character faces. Then have him draw the outline of a tool, label it “Solution,” and describe inside the outline how the problem is solved. Very clever!
Reposted from: The Mailbox Literature Activities
Education Week has an interesting article regarding standardized testing and parents “opting out” of testing for their child. The Common Core standardized assessments have created a significant increase in parents opting out. According to the No Child Left Behind Act which is currently being rewritten by Congress, school must test a minimum of 95% of their students or face sanctions. Since parents have a right to opt out, then what happens if schools do not meet the 95% testing rate? Should they face sanctions? Is the validity of the remaining scores skewed? Do you agree that parents should be allowed to opt out or that schools should be sanctioned? Just curious. 🙂
Public school employees are not allowed to suggest or recommend a parent opt out of testing and face disciplinary actions if they do. I can say that as a retired principal, it was always a concern for me as more and more parents would enter my office and tell me their child would not be taking the standardized tests. I also knew how many students could opt out without affecting my school’s scores.
When Students Opt Out, What Are the Policy Implications? – Education Week.
A POETIC REACTION
Skills: literary response
Looking for a unique yet simple book report idea? Try these acrostic reports! Have each student list the title of her book vertically and then write a sentence about the book that begins with each letter of the title. To extend the exercise, challenge the student to jot the author’s name vertically and then write a sentence beginning with each letter that describes the author’s style or purpose.
Taken from: The Mailbox Literature Links
Skills: key ideas and details
These alphabet books are perfect for literature circles! To begin, have each small group cut 13 sheets of paper in half and label each page with a different letter pair. The students identify a detail from a current novel and decide whether it’s important or minor. If the detail is important, the students describe it on the page with the matching letter pair. Next, they illustrate the detail and tell why it’s important. If the detail is minor, the students simply write a sentence about it on the page. Each group can leave up to five pages blank for letters without matching details. When students finish, they create a construction paper cover, order the pages, and staple them inside.
Reposted from: The Mailbox Literature Links
Remind students to pay attention to authors’ clues. Copy thebookmark for each student. Before reading, have the child list the title and author of a current reading selection. Then, as she reads, guide her to list the words, phrases, and sentences that point to the work’s mood, style, and theme. When she finishes reading, have the child write about her conclusions, citing her carefully collected text evidence.
Reposted from: The Mailbox Activities