Thursday, June 26, 2014

Guided Reading Questions - Spanish and English

Hello Friends! I've been working on some ideas about how to better implement Guided Reading questions into my classroom. After trial and error, I discovered I tend to repeat the same questions and truly want to make my students actively think about the texts they are reading.

Since I'm a little Obsessive Compulsive (yes, I admit it) I like to have a list of questions in front of me that I can see, and that I know target different standards so I can practice them on a regular basis with my students. Otherwise I may continuously ask the same questions, or not touch on certain standards as often as others.

After thinking a while I came up with "Guided Reading Question Sticks." From there I went to work on putting it together creatively. I imagined an interactive Guided Reading piece where students were actively selecting a question to discuss. I then made up a list of questions that touch upon different ELA standards. For example, "What is the title of the story?" "What do you predict will happen next?" There are a total of about 30 questions, three groups of questions that are divided by color, pre-reading questions, during reading questions and post-reading questions.

From there, I designed a beautiful format that's visually pleasing (I'm a little obsessive about this as well). I printed out each question on a 4x6 plain white index card and then taped / glued it to a colored straw. You could also attach them to Popsicle sticks or whatever does the job! I placed each group of questions into their own jar and VOILA, now the students are able to randomly select a questions to discuss.


I tested it out with a few volunteers and it worked GREAT. The students were excited they got to choose Guided Reading questions and were more excited to answer them than if they were to come from me! Instead of me choosing, probing and interrogating the students about things going on in the text, more of the control was placed on the students and they had the power.

I also added a questionnaire worksheet, where students write down their answers to the questions they selected. I won't do this every time as it takes up more time in the Guided Reading Groups, but if you want to assess student's comprehension of each questions this is a more formal manner of doing so.

I really love the way this turned out. It is available on my TPT store for you to purchase! In the package is both the Spanish Questions and the English translations. If you have a different color request, or want to add an additional questions feel free to message me. I would be happy to tweak things for your needs.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy them just as much as I do :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sight Word Practice - Dual-Immersion Classroom

I came across this great idea a few years ago to get my son interested in practicing writing! Because let's be honest, my 3 year old boy (at the time) thought playing in the mud and dirt was MUCH cooler than practicing how to write sight words on paper. He was NOT in the least bit interested in sight words or writing. If I got him to sit down, it was for 2 minutes and 27 seconds at max (okay, maybe not exactly that much but you get the idea). Haha.

The idea is using shaving cream, color and a flat surface, and using your fingers you draw out the word. Once I got everything set up for him the very 1st time, I created flash cards for him to look at and VOILA he was hooked. His interest level went through the roof and he kept asking for more words to practice. I even make it fun by allowing him to mix his own colors, or give him two different colors to work with. He likes to get a little messy, and that's okay by me as long as he's having fun learning! It's definitely been a great experience for mommy and him. And two year later, he is still asking to practice his sight words with writing in shaving cream.

Here's What you Need:
  • Non-Gel Shaving Cream
  • Food Coloring
  • Bowl
  • Flashcards
 I spray a good amount of shaving cream into the bowl, and then drop only a FEW drops of food coloring. If you go overboard on the food coloring, depending on the area you choose to practice it may stain the surface. I like to work on our glass surface table on the deck so I don't have to worry about making a mess inside, and can go a little darker with the colors :)

Typically, I only make about 10 - 12 flashcards with sight words from his range. This can range I suppose depending on your own child's attention span. Remember, you don't want to make this something you force them to do! When your child gets tired of it, just clean up & save it for another day when they are interested again. I then, show him the flashcards for him to practice writing on his own. We talk about the sight word, sound it out, and say what it means. You'll notice they are in Spanish :) He starts Kindergarten next year in the Dual-Immersion program so we are trying to get a head start!

Hopefully this helps you in some way, shape or form! I know I was very thankful to the person I came across that gave me this idea. It has definitely made the learning process much more interesting to my little man, and less stressful to this mama. I don't feel as if I have to force sight words, writing or learning on him! It's a WIN-WIN in my book :)