Adventures in Literacy Land: Freebie

Showing posts with label Freebie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Freebie. Show all posts

January CVC Center and Assessment: Word Building at it's BEST!

January CVC Center and Assessment: Word Building at it's BEST! Helping students crack the code of CVC word writing, builds a foundation for spellng!
Let’s start 2015 off with a bang.  What else could be more of a bang than making sure our earliest readers and writers are using what they know and what they hear to write cvc words correctly.  I typically teach students to write cvc words using a stoplight.  Green for the beginning, yellow for the vowel, and red for the ending.  It is imperative that students are using these skills consistently and correctly.

As a Center

January CVC Center and Assessment: Word Building at it's BEST! Helping students crack the code of CVC word writing, builds a foundation for spellng!
This January CVC center is perfect for an ABC Center or a Writing Center.  I originally created the center to be used as a center that was printed in color and laminated.  Students get a board and the letters appropriate for that board.  Each student gets a different board to ensure students are doing their own work.  Each student uses the cards to spell the words and a dry erase marker to write the words.  The students work is checked before they clean up the center.  This center can be used for 5 weeks, as each week the students choose a different board. 

If dry erase markers and reusable letter tiles aren’t for you, you can use this center as a cut and glue.  Each week the sheets are copied and put in the center for students to complete and turn in for checking.

As an Assessment

If you need an assessment for report card data, using this as a cut and glue assessment is an easy way for the students to demonstrate understanding.

If you would like the January cvc FREEBIE, click the link!

If you would like to look at the full January CVC Word Building Set on Teachers Pay Teachers click the link or the picture below. 


Fun with Christmas Carols!

Hello, everyone!  It's Andrea here from Reading Toward the Stars with some quick and easy ideas for using seasonal songs in your classroom.

I have been working with my kindergarten students with gaining concept of word.  This is something that our current reading program lacks, and it is heavily assessed throughout the year.  This past week we worked on using the song "Jingle Bells" for concept of word practice.  They used bingo markers to put marks under the words in the poem.

After doing that, we counted the words in each line and went back and read the poem, while they pointed to the dots as we said each word.

After reading through the poem, they then looked for various letters in the poem and marked them.

They really had fun with this and can't wait for the next poem.

This week with my older students, we are going to work on reading Christmas songs and not singing them.  This helps with fluency practice since the students have to attend to the words and think about what they are reading.

I am going to use my Fluency with Christmas Carols with them to help them with this.  We will READ the songs. Then they can fill in the blanks with words from the songs to practice.  You can grab this freebie by clicking {here} or on the picture below.

How do you use holiday songs in your classroom?

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Teaching Cause and Effect

Hi! It's Bex here from Reading and Writing Redhead to talk a little about cause and effect. I don't know about you but my students always find cause and effect challenging - especially when I ask them to think in reverse-given an effect, what is a cause that could have led to it.

Cause and effect is a type of analytic thinking that is so important for students to understand. It helps them understand why things happen the way that they do. Did you ever think about how many people grow up and take on careers in which they spend tons of time thinking about cause and effect? Some of the most obvious are detectives, doctors, psychologists, but what about electricians who try to figure out why the fuse keeps blowing, meteorologists who are determining why it is raining so much, entrepreneurs trying to figure out why their product is not selling, or how about us teachers trying to figure out why Susie is struggling with reading fluency when she has all her phonics skills down pat?!

Understanding cause and effect  is a lifelong tool. Students will not only need to understand it in school, but they need to be able to recognize it so they can understand what is happening in their personal life and the world at large-to understand actions and consequences and to describe what is going on in deep detail.

Are you looking for some ways to teach cause and effect with your students? I rounded up some ideas from around the web for us. Take a look and please also comment and let us know how you like to work on this in your classroom!
  • You can create a cause and effect chain link with your students. Cut out construction paper strips and have students write a cause from a book they read on one color of construction paper and an effect on another color, then join them together to for a chain. Students can connect a series of events from a story or book they read or something they wrote themselves.

  • Some great ideas for teaching cause and effect involve manipulatives where students can move around causes and effects so they match up. Check out the great ideas and a freebie to use with the fabulously funny Click Clack Moo, Cows that Type over at the Applicious Teacher here. 
  • If you like to do crafts with your kids you might like a cause and effect project like this one for Diary of a Spider at the blog Tattling to the Teacher. Students would need to illustrate 4 causes and effects that relate to story events and then glue them onto the spider craft. Check that out here.
  • I have a freebie you might like, too. It is a simple match up activity and you can grab it by clicking here or on the image. 

  • Anchor charts are really useful for students when they are trying to figure out new concepts. There are all kind of terrific anchor charts for cause and effect you could check out for ideas.
  • This one has some great information and you could use it as a model for one you do with your own class. one It's origin on the web is unclear.

  • Here is another one with mystery origins - it is an anchor chart using Angry Birds to help illustrate cause and effect. I think this could be very successful! Or what about Minecraft?  My students are obsessed with it and I think could talk to me in great detail about cause and effect in the game.

  • And finally there are some terrific videos out there that can be springboards for lessons on many  so many concepts. I found a video from Pixar called For the Birds  that would be great for teaching cause and effect. Take a look!



The Importance of Text Evidence with Guest Blogger Colleen

We, at Literacy Land, are excited to announce our first guest blogger, Colleen from Literacy Loving Gals.  She brings you some awesome ideas for getting students to use text evidence.  So, sit back, drink your coffee, and enjoy!

Hello Adventures in Literacy Land friends!  This is Colleen from Literacy Loving Gals.  I'm a reading specialist in a K-5 building, but mostly work with 2nd and 3rd graders.  I am excited to be here to share a few activities I do to get my students using textual evidence when responding to their reading.

As we all know, the Common Core State Standards declare students should be able to *read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it* as well as *cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text*.  That may be very difficult for students to do.  The majority of struggling readers and writers in my RtI groups often respond to their reading with brief, fragmented statements without text evidence supporting their thoughts.  Getting them to support an analysis of their reading with textual evidence takes much EXPLICIT guidance before they are able to be successful on an independent level.  

Students are not able to answer questions purely based off of their prior knowledge or personal experience.  Making personal connections to the text is still important, however, text-to-self connections are no longer a focus when responding to reading.  Students need to stay within the four corners of the text.  They need to carefully read and answer questions only referring explicitly to the text.  When discussing texts with my students, I pre-plan the direction I'd like to take them.  Under the proverbial umbrella of text-dependent evidence falls questions that can 1.) get to the general understanding or gist of the text 2.) be literal, but must also involve evaluation, synthesis and analysis and 3.) focus on particular vocabulary words, sentences, paragraphs, events and themes.  

When planning lessons to get my students to think more concretely about their reading, I often turn to K-2 Chart Sense: Common Sense Charts to Teach K-2 Informational Text and Literature and Chart Sense: Common Sense Charts to Teach 3-8 Informational Text and Literature.  I purchased these books at the tail end of last year and have not regretted it!  These books are fabulous and can really help guide teachers in implementing anchor chart visuals for students that encompass every reading standard.  Yes, anchor chart ideas for every Common Core reading standard, both informational text and literature, is addressed in these books!  Wow, right?
Below are some of the tools my students use, a text-evidence chart example taken directly from Chart Sense, pictures of my students using the chart and a brief description of the procedures I use with them. 
Behold the power of "Text-Evidence Detective Tools"! 
After much discussion, the students were asked to become *Text-Evidence Detectives*.  "Prove it with text evidence!" was a phrase they heard me say over and over again.   I gave them eye-lighters and magnifying glasses to locate the evidence for the first few go-arounds to get them excited for the hunt. ;)

For this particular activity, the students orally explained their thoughts and located text evidence to support them.  Because they were busy with the eye-lighters and magnifying glasses during this activity, I wrote their responses onto Post-It notes for the students to place on the chart.  Each day, we'd recap the previous day's notes as a review.  We'd then continue with our next text, using the previous day's notes as a reminder.  The various colored Post-It notes represent three texts read and discussed throughout the week. 

Since I work primarily with the texts in Fountas & Pinnell's Leveled Literacy Intervention kits which contain series of books, I also created anchor charts dedicated to the series' characters we often read about.  Some of the series within the F&P LLI kits include Moosling, Froggy, Fox Family and the Fix-It Family.  For this post, I chose to use our Moosling anchor chart as an example.
Since I can't claim to be an artist, I photocopied the cover of a Moosling book to place in the center of blank chart paper.  I then put "Moosling is..." and "Prove it with text-evidence!" at the top of the chart.   Easy enough, right? :)  Then, using a character trait poster, the students discussed possible traits Moosling possesses in the texts we've read thus far.  The students were given a few pre-read titles in the series to locate text evidence to support Moosling's traits.  They were responsible for writing down their evidence on the Post-It notes for this activity, so no "eye-lighters" or magnifying glasses were used during this part.  The students had a great time with this.  They took their job as "Text-Evidence Detectives" very seriously and were quite successful with it! :)  
After much guided practice my students were ready to test their skills independently!  For independent practice of citing textual evidence, I created a simple graphic organizer for my students to use, as well as a prompt poster for them to reference when responding to their reading.  You can see them in action below!
Student using the Textual Evidence Sentence Starters poster below
for her written response...

I created the organizer to mimic what we were doing together in a small group on the large chart paper, so it correlated with what they had been practicing.  My graphic organizer and prompt poster are FREEBIES, if you'd like to download them from my TPT store.  
My product includes black & white as well as color versions of both the graphic organizer and prompt poster.  I know teachers aren't always able to print in color. :)  

So, there you have it...a few simple and easy-to-implement ideas for your classroom to get students thinking inside the four corners of the text.  What are some ways you get students thinking about and citing from the text? 

Thanks for stopping by Adventures in Literacy Land!  We'd love to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below. 

Enjoy your day,


Counting Words in Sentences

Hello, everyone!  It's Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars here with a a fun and easy to do activity to help with

I am so glad that all of our beginning of the year literacy assessments are complete!  That means I can actually enjoy working with students, my favorite part of my job!

One of our reading program's biggest weaknesses is helping students gain concept of word, an essential skill for learning to read.  {Check our Carla's post on COW by clicking here.}  With kindergarten, I start with that during week 1 because these students really need it!

So many times the students I work with have never been read to until they enter school.  Some, surprisingly, have never been exposed to words!  This baffles me as I spend my days and nights immersing my own children in reading.  It seems like a simple concept, but some families find it hard.  As a reading specialist, it is my job to close the gap!

One of the things I start with to help students understand that sentences are made of words is a simple activity ~ Counting Words in Sentences.  To do this the teacher reads aloud a sentence to the students.  The students use cubes or counters and slide them up for each word they hear in the sentence.  It is all done orally by the teacher, and the students listen.

Here it is in action in my classroom!
We start out with our counters on our boards.
We move the tiles up for each word in the sentence.
This sentence has 3 words in it!

I always start off with three word sentences and work my way up to sentences with up to 10 words.  This is a great way to help students understand that what we say is made up of separate words, so what we read is made up of words as well.  It builds a connection between the spoken word and the written word.

To try this out with your students, you can grab a copy of my Counting Words Boards freebie by clicking {here} or on the picture below.

How do you help your students make the connection between the spoken and written word?

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday