Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Glassblowing and Mexico!

We use many of the stories in our Reading Street curriculum to learn about the world and as a springboard to discuss wide range of topics. This week we started our What Does It Mean To Be Free? theme so the story Elena's Serenade fit in perfectly. Usually I have the story projected on the smartboard and then I read, they read or I model reading or they all take turns reading aloud and that last one takes fooorrreeever. Well, now that they are only 8 weeks away from being big 4th graders, it is time to do more independent partner reading.

First things first, I handed out the Partners Cards created by Making It Teacher on TPT. I love them and so do the students. In the past I was forever just saying "you two", "you two, no not  you - you", "you two" or worse.....they would all stretch out their hand trying to reach across the room to their dearest bestie and then they would mess around. But that was all back when they were brand new third graders. Now they are great at reading together, alone, in a group, in a box, with a fox, anywhere - anytime- with anyone!

Amazingly enough, BFF's still end up together, girls are with boys without the screaming of "cooties", two boys who should never be together end up together and I just let it ride (while keeping a careful eye on them).

We got started with the story on the smartboard with the kids on the mat. This allowed us time to discuss the art work, genre, predictions, and background knowledge. Then partner cards were handed out and off they went to read and reflect. I made a scavenger hunt for them to complete from the book after reading and they are usually able to answer all the questions without needing to look back at the story too much.

Take a peek at the package I create for each story in Reading Street and then my one brag pic of kids working cooperatively together just like we read about in our teaching books!

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