If you have been interested in my fluency folders (or any other product!), be sure to stop by my store tonight and enjoy a 20% off "treat"! :)
P.S. -- Thanks to Becca of First Grade in Foxwell Forest for the cute logo!
Today I want to get a little more personal. A few months ago, I tried MyFitnessPal for tracking my food and it really helped motivate me to eat better and get more active. I wanted to do it right-- gradual, and still enjoying my favorite foods but in moderation, so that I'd stick with it!
When I moved and gave back the school's iPad, I lost momentum and since the end of June, I've gained back the 15 pounds I lost- plus added another 5 for good measure. (The stress of job searching combined with using MFP's website instead of the app didn't help my willpower, for sure.)
The last few weeks, I've been trying to get back on track with some other teacher friends.So when Denise started a new Monday blog post party, I had to join!
I'm tracking my food again, I'm trying to get a little more exercise, and I'm headed back in the right direction! It's been tough, though, to get my body back to where I know it really should be to be healthy. I've always had curves, so I'm not trying to lose those- but I want to feel good in my body again, you know?
I have been really working at working out more, drinking more water, and tracking my meals- but I need to start using what I know about myself and join something that I will really enjoy!
I also needed a little motivation, so I worked on making this that I can print out. It will work for your personal goals OR for in your classroom.
You can pick up a free copy of the black and white or color version by visiting my Facebook page. (Of course, it won’t have the watermark going across the middle.) Thank you so much for following my blog!
Want to share your truth? You can link up with Denise at Sunny Days in Second Grade or share in the comments. Hope you have a GREAT week!
Okay, I have a new favorite reading lesson-- my asking questions lesson!
When I got a chance to work with Scholastic last spring, they gave us a bag of swag that any teacher would love, and it included the book This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen, which is perfect for teaching a reading lesson about asking questions! (I’ve linked it to Amazon here, but I also highly recommend finding it through Scholastic Reading Club :)
On my CRAFT board, we list "Ask questions before, during, and after reading" as a reading comprehension skill (although some of my kids think it belongs under Response to Text, so we concluded that it could go as either!). This is a really important skill for some of my struggling readers, because some of them never question what they read. They are just reading to get it over with! (oops- took this picture before we added it!)
I love teaching questioning towards the beginning of the year, because this is a gateway skill to deeper comprehension. Asking questions about the text isn't too hard to do (especially with a well-chosen text!), so it helps to build the habit of thinking as they read. It's also a great way to get students started in their reading response journals because it's a pretty clear-cut type of response that most of my students feel confident trying.
I used this book with my 2nd grade group and all the way up to my 5th grade group. It's great for teaching this skill because the title and cover instantly intrigue them. Kids wonder, "Whose hat is it?" and "Why is a fish wearing a hat?" I tell them we are going to look for the answers to our questions as we read, and we start the read-aloud.
As we read, I stop every few pages and ask the students to whisper to their partner something they are wondering about the story. Then, I choose a few students to tell their questions out loud. (I get 100% participation this way, and more confident kids who are willing to share!)
We keep track of our questions on a chart like this- both adding new questions, and putting check marks next to our questions that get answered. (My markers are dying—ugh!)
Of course, the chart I made for my partner turned out even better. (Isn't that always how it works?) She actually laminated it so she can use it again sometime (which is such a great idea, especially for us as reading specialists who might teach a version of this lesson to each grade level!).
This book also makes a great review for "the three ways to read a book," or using the pictures as readers to help us understand. (Actually, you could use this book to teach that lesson, too, but I just used it as a review.) The book is being told from the little fish's point of view, and so the text only tells us so much. If students don't read the pictures, they won't know the entire plot- and they won't enjoy the book nearly as much!
(Here, the text tells us that little fish doesn't think the crab will tell anyone where he went... but the illustration tells us that the crab does tell!) The younger kids, especially, love "catching" the discrepancies between the text and the pictures.
At the end of the book, the text stops and we just see illustrations. Some kids are always shocked by this! And, immediately, they all have opinions about what happened to the little fish. Some think he was eaten, some think he just gave the hat back, and some think he ran away. The ending of the book is left open and never actually tells us what happens, and so my students are always left with questions about the book after we finish it! (See why I think This Is Not My Hat is such a perfect picture book to teach questioning?)
With the older students, we went a little deeper and discussed the author's choice to leave the story open-ended, and debated whether or not we liked it as readers. (Reviews were very polar in my group-- most kids either loved it or hated it!)
The next day during another mini-lesson, I read aloud a different book (usually tailored more towards the group's grade level) and let students practice asking their own questions along the way in their reader's response journals. Eve Bunting's books tend to work really well for Asking Questions lessons (like The Wednesday Surprise), but I also love The Lotus Seed and Chicken Sunday for teaching asking questions. And don't forget to throw in a non-fiction book-- sometimes these are the most important ones in which students need to use the comprehension strategy of "ask questions!"
Once we've practiced as a whole group and shared with our reading partners, I'm able to look through their notebooks and make sure they seem like they're getting it. (Glancing through their reading notebooks- even if you don't take a grade yet- is so important, because this is the perfect time to lead a strategy group for those students who need some extra support).
From here, I like to let students use Post-It notes to practice this strategy in whatever they're reading independently.
I also try to fit in a little time at the computer lab (or at a computer center) using the amazing site Into The Book. If you haven't used this free site, you are missing out!
For each reading comprehension skill, there are videos, a song, and an in practice activity. Usually, there are at least two, so you can do one together (especially if you have a SmartBoard or something similar) and have students complete the other independently. Their questioning lesson is a great way to guide student practice of using this strategy to actually help them comprehend.
Share your tips in the comments below or on my Facebook page here! I would love to know your favorite books for teaching kids to ask questions and what other strategies you use.