by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady
I have recently revised a great resource titled: Eight Critical Attributes of Teaching a Comprehension Lesson. I do not know the original author, so I can’t give her/him credit. I did made some modifications to the original and provided some examples of how to apply it (with fact/opinion and cause/effect skills). See the link below for the full 3 page document.
Click here for the document: Eight Critical Attributes of Teaching a Comprehension Lesson It is a 3 page document which highlights a ME, WE, TWO, YOU scaffolded gradual release model. Page 1 is shown above. Pages 2 and 3 give actual ways to implement these regarding two important comprehension skills. The stories mentioned were taken from Journeys 2nd grade. The Jellyfish story (fact/opinion) is from Lesson 10. The Super Storms story (cause/effect) is from Lesson 8.
When focusing on comprehension, I have a few other general tips to pass along – especially for grades 1-3:
- State the skill being emphasized before reading the story. Example for skill of character analysis with 2nd grade Journeys Lesson 9: “Today we are going to read a story called How Chipmunk Got His Stripes. When we read it we are going to find out details about our 2 main characters, Bear and Brown Squirrel. Let’s look at the way the characters look, how they act, what they say, and what they are feeling to help us know more about them.”
- Then the questions I ask should be directed toward that objective. “On page ____, let’s read to find out how Bear is feeling. . . . On page _____ read to find out how Brown Squirrel acted toward Bear. . . . etc.” I believe if we give students a purpose for reading before they read the page, they have a focus on what to look for. The focus is on application of the comprehension skill and not necessarily the content of the lesson.
- After each page or 2, check for understanding by asking students to tell who and what they just read. Yes, you could ask all of the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, why), but that’s a bit too much. You are trying to train your students to ask these key questions on their own automatically . . . so you have to help them do it at first. It might be beneficial to have them turn and talk to a neighbor after every couple of pages to tell them who and what happened in just a couple of sentences (which helps to practice summarizing). This advice comes from authors of “The Daily 5.”
- Follow up after the first reading of the story (on Day 2 perhaps) with use of a graphic organizer to record what was discussed regarding your skill. With the above example, I used a graphic organizer as we recorded these 4 things about the 2 main characters: Description, Feelings, Behavior, Personality.
Graphic organizers play an important role to help students “visualize” the text structure and train the brain to think of how details are organized. Click here for my previous Blog post on Graphic Organizers
Enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday! I’ll be back in a couple of weeks.
by Cindy Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady
What is the purpose of having literacy work stations in your classroom? If you answered, “To provide meaningful, engaging, rigorous, differentiated opportunities for students to learn” then you are on the right track!! Aside from the task of deciding on the literacy station procedures and routines you want for your classroom is the problem of actually providing and organizing those quality activities.
I know most of you regularly visit the TPT store and Pinterest for ideas. There are a TON of great things out there. However, not everyone has a color printer or has the means to drain their bank account to pay for these items.
So, here is a FREE resource I think you will like. It does not require a color printer, and it addresses pretty much every literacy skill you need to teach and/or provide practice for (KG-5th grade). It is the Florida Center for Reading Research (www.fcrr.org). Click on this link: Student center activities which takes you directly to the K-5 reading center activities page. The following are available — all for FREE!!
- Sections clearly labeled Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency, and Comprehension — with multiple activities for each sub-skill
- One page overview for each activity (objective, materials list, and directions with illustration showing the activity in use)
- Flexibility options to use materials as a teaching tool and/or as a practice or review activity
These are some of the types of activities:
- Tons of letter, picture, and word cards for sorting, matching, pocket charts, concentration, rhyming, word work, etc.
- Game boards
- Fluency practice items (from common syllables to phrases)
- Recording sheets – to record results of activities when appropriate
- Graphic organizers which can be used with any book – especially for grades 3 and up.
A teacher’s guide is also available with more detailed directions, background information, and literacy station organizational ideas.
I also bookmarked this site in my Resources section (top of the blog in the black band) should you need to refer to this site often. Enjoy!!! Let us know about your favorite FCRR activity or how you are using them in your classroom! Just click on the comment speech bubble.
by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady
Here are some cool graphic organizers for your math files! Make sets of them, laminate or put in plastic sleeves, and use them over and over again! Graphic organizers help students stay organized and teach them how to complete problems neatly. They are also a great way for students to show different strategies for the same problem. While primary students may need an already-made graphic organizer, intermediate students should be taught how to duplicate them on their own to use whenever the need arises – so the simpler, the better! With repeated use, students are more likely to utilize them regularly in their daily work (and on their scratch paper with assessments).
This one has ten frames and part-part-whole models. In my opinion, these are essential when working with K-2 students because they help children with subitizing, number bonds, and addition / subtraction facts. If you are using Saxon, you are missing these important strategies!!:
Here’s one to show fractions (area, set, length models)
Need a template for students to make arrays? This one is ready! I love showing students how to break an array into smaller parts to see how multiplication (or division) facts can be decomposed. Example: Make a 6 x 7 array. Section off a 6 x 5 part. Then you have a 6 x 2 part left over. This proves: 6 x 7 = (6 x 5) + (6 x 2). Or — 6 x 7 = 30 + 12 = 42
This graphic organizer shows 5 different multiplication strategies using 2 digit numbers, and a blank one for students to record their thinking. Very handy!! One of my favorite strategies is partial products. I highly recommend this one before going to the std. algorithm because students decompose the problem by place value and must think about the whole number and not just the parts.
Do your students need something to help them see the different models for a decimal? Try out this graphic organizer. Students will utilize the pictorial forms as well as the abstract.
Do your students know that .7 (or 7/10) is the same as .70 (or 70/100)? Using this dual set of tenths and hundredths grids will help them see why this is true!
Be sure to check out my FREE templates and organizers (see black bar above “links . . .”) Please share your favorite graphic organizers for math! Enjoy!!
by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady
I highly recommend the use of graphic organizers. The purpose is to help students organize information with regard to different text structures:
- Compare and contrast
- Cause and effect
- Details / Descriptive
- Problem and solution
Graphic organizers are also helpful with standards such as:
- Main idea
- Character analysis
- Story elements
Graphic organizers help organize the student’s thinking, and assist with note-taking. The visual pictures created help the student “see” the text structure, recall details, state the main idea, and summarize the selection.
Here are links to some sites I think provide good quality graphic organizers which can be utilized with a variety of situations:
- This one is more primary oriented: https://www.eduplace.com/graphicorganizer/
- This one is oriented more for 3rd and above: http://www.educationoasis.com/printables/graphic-organizers/
- This one is a FREE resource at TPT (as pictured above) that supports each of the 5 text structures: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Non-Fiction-Text-Structures-Flip-Flap-and-Graphic-Organizers-Freebie-1777102
I have also linked these in “Instructional Resources” and in the categories list on my blog. Enjoy!!