Saturday, July 20, 2013

Another Reading Scavenger Hunt - Compare and Contrast

I've been playing around with the idea of creating engaging, hands-on activities to reinforce reading comprehension skills for a while now.  A number of you asked for my Cause and Effect Scavenger Hunt.

After finishing a grad class last week on Standards-aligned engaging strategies, I created this new Scavenger Hunt.  This one is for students to learn to compare and contrast.

It starts off with the same idea - working with a partner, students find things in your classroom to compare and contrast.  But then it ends in a fun activity that allows students to compare themselves to pictures - how they are the same and different.  After doing that activity in my grad class for a different reason, I felt like I knew my partners in the class just a little better.  Because we were comparing and contrasting, it felt like the perfect fit for this product!'s the deal.  Rather than have you comment if you'd like this product, and then having me try to track you down by email, it's free on TeachersPayTeachers.  But only for 24 hours!

The only thing I ask is that you rate the product and follow my store in exchange for this freebie.
So grab it while the gettin's good!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Scavenger hunts for reading? Oh yeah!

So, a little back story here.  Last year, for the first time in four years, I taught students who were identified as struggling with reading.  And I noticed something about them.  Not all of them, but a lot of them.  They just seemed to like working with their hands more than reading.  These were kiddos who loved to race dirt bikes, or could take apart motors, or loved to draw.  What struck me about them was how much one of their learning strengths was based on tactile intelligence.  Now, again, this wasn't all of them, but it sure stuck out to me.

When I needed to work additionally with some kids during an open period, and they saw the workbook I was given to use with them, they groaned.  So we put it aside and started creating interactive notebooks.  They loved them!  Something about cutting and pasting really made them happy.  And they were getting what they needed to learn, so why not?

And that got me to thinking.  Would there be a way for these kids to learn comprehension skills by doing first, BEFORE reading?  So a couple of weeks ago, I came up with a Scavenger Hunt for Cause and Effect. It's the first one of a couple like this that I'd like to create.   Here it is.
My plan is that working collaboratively, kids roam around the school - or around your room or a smaller area if you don't want them to get too far from your gaze - yeah, we've all had those kids you won't send out of your room without supervision! Would finding REAL WORLD causes and effects (push the button on the big silver box and water comes out of the little tube-thingy) help them make the transition to the printed word?              
The lesson includes some graphic organizers to help them, a short written piece where they evaluate what they've seen, and then this one-page article about the Dust Bowl that I wrote, with lots of Causes and Effects included.  Here's what the teacher copy of the article looks like.  
So, what do you think?  Is this something that makes sense?  You can find it at my TpT or TN stores, but I'm always happy to give you a free copy in exchange for feedback and you following my store.  Are you interested?  Let me know, give me your email and I'll send you one.

Have a great day!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Show us your piles linky!

After being away for a good couple of days, I got a chuckle out of Christina's linky.

What teacher doesn't have stuff piled up all over the place, waiting to be worked on?

This is my desk, with all of the things I brought home at the end of the year to work on.  All those things I was going to create for my TpT and TN stores.  Yeah.....about that.
And then this is part of the reason why the stuff on my desk isn't getting done.  I have to STOP visiting the library!  It's a horrible case of return one, take two!  MUST STOP READING!  Yeah.
Like that will ever happen!
And then there are the tubs of pillows down in the basement that all need to be washed and returned to school.  I like to wash them, then put them outside to dry in the sunshine rain?  We haven't had enough sunny days when I've been home to do them!

So, where are your piles of stuff?  What's waiting for you?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Going on some Blog Hunts

Laura Candler blogged today about switching to Bloglovin, using one of my all-time favorite read-alouds to my own kids, so I decided to link up and continue the Bloglovin love.  If you are an elementary education person, go ahead and link up.  The more ways we can connect with and learn from each other, the better!

Oh, and if you haven't read We're Going on a Bear Hunt, get yourself a copy.  It's one of the most fun books to read with kids - lots to repeat and act out!

And then, Jamie of Sixth Grade Tales decided to create a similar Bloglovin linky, but for us "older" elementary teachers - yeah, you know, the 5th and 6th grade ones.  She's including 7th and 8th grade teachers too.  Here's her link:

And of course, please click on my Bloglovin button on the right to keep following me!