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How do you teach chapter books?
Old 07-19-2014, 03:16 PM
 
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Hello everyone, I am new to the boards! I will be teaching third grade this year again but really want to improve how I incorporate chapter books into my teaching. We are required to use the Daily 5 format for literacy. I'm just wondering exactly how you find the time to read aloud chapter books, does each child have a copy or do you just read aloud, do you require them to answer questions for each chapter and how do you grade that, etc? Do you focus on certain strategies for each chapter like inference, prediction, characterization, etc. I would just love to hear details!


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Old 07-19-2014, 04:22 PM
 
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This is a great question. I would really love to begin using chapter books this school year also, but not quite sure how to do so. I can't wait to read the posts for ideas.
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:50 PM
 
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Thanks, me too! I really need ideas. It seems so much easier to focus on chapter books than to have to choose and teach so many picture books all the time.
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Love Teaching Reading With Novels
Old 07-19-2014, 04:53 PM
 
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I read aloud with small groups mostly. A couple of books I do whole class.

I read to them. They read to me. I choral read with them. We also echo read. The second semester they read some chapters independently but we start and finish the book together aloud.

We discuss a great deal. I conduct our time together discussing more like a book talk. I want my students to love reading not just pass the state reading exam.

I do have them answer a few discussion questions. At the start of the year I model how this is to be done. I do count this as a grade. If they fail I give them a second chance. I have them reread part of the book that will be most helpful. Then I have them discuss with me what they think the correct answer is to the question. Then they correct their first answer and I raise their grade to 70 if they do a good job.

I also model how to write a good reading response or review. I guide them in this process until they can do so independently.

I do have focus lessons for different novels but also review constantly by using comprehension techniques I taught earlier in the year.

I try to do the same genres in different groups with different books at the same time. Then as a class we can discuss and compare genres. Kids need to explore all types of books to learn what they like the most.

I try to take at least two grades per novel. I try to complete each novel in two to three weeks. I don't discuss it to death. I try to remember the goal is for the kids to enjoy the story and want to read on their own as well.

Sometimes I give them a choice of books from ones I have preselected.

When I read different novels with different groups the other groups hear parts of the story. They often want to read that novel as well independently. So, I leave that variety of genre out for a while in my room after we finish them so individuals who want to read them may.
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Old 07-19-2014, 06:16 PM
 
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Thanks 1956! So do you have students keep a notebook meant for answering the questions, or do you have packets instead? Basically, how do you manage the reading responses? Is any reading ever assigned for homework?
Do you mind telling us some of the books you have used and what your focus lessons were? Sorry for all the questions!


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Reading Novels
Old 07-19-2014, 08:32 PM
 
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I do not use spirals. I do not like all that bulk when I am grading. So, they just write on notebook paper. The disadvantage to this is you do not have a record of their work over a period of time to see improvement.

For a response I ask for these items to be included. Order does not matter. I write this list on the white board as a reminder of what to include each time.

Title of the book (underlined)
author of book
genre and how they know it is this genre
a brief summary- one to three sentences only
a connection( text to self, text to text or text to world) or question
their opinion of the book and explain why they feel this way about the book

This process takes a great deal of modeling and then guiding. For some students it takes the entire first semester to learn how to write these well.

I do require 20 minutes of reading each night but it is free choice reading. It is not the novels we are reading in class. Unfortunately they forget the novels at home and then we don't have the books we need in class the next day.

I teach self to text connections with beginning of year short stories like The First Day Jitters, How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Chrysanthemum.....I also review the elements of a story.

Cam Jensen series-mystery genre- I teach this genre at the beginning of the year because mystery is fun and helps students learn to infer. The books are short, so pupils do not take great endurance. I also explain that they have been working on decoding for the first part of elementary, but now it is time to focus on comprehension. We discuss that you must think about what you are reading. This is a very difficult concept for some of the kids. We try to make connections since we have already done that with short stories. We learn about the word genre and the traits of mysteries. We become "reading detectives". I have plastic fedora hats for them to wear. We discuss the fact that a good detective looks at their clue more than once, so good readers reread if they do not understand or forget what they read.

The Monster's Ring- Fantasy/Horror genre- character development This is a perfect novel to read in October for Halloween. It also is a good one to teach theme. The boy (main character) needs to learn to read and follow directions, be cautious and be careful what he wishes.

We read two books at once to learn the difference between fiction and nonfiction. The fiction is a fantasy Magic Treehouse titled Afternoon on the Amazon. The nonfiction is also a Magic Treehouse Research Guide titled Rain Forests. We learn about the elements of fantasy and nonfiction. We also learn to make text to text connections between the two books. Since there are environmental issues in the books we can also make text to world connections about the importance of saving trees, rain forest resources and the rain forest as a whole.

We read Stone Fox- It is realistic fiction. I think of it as a starter survival novel. We do a character study of the main character. We discuss how the character changes and why. I also teach conflict and resolution with this novel as well as questioning.

Love that Dog- Poetry genre- I teach poetry comprehension.

Aliens for Breakfast or Top Secret by John Reynolds Gardiner- science fiction genre- I teach visualization and inferring.

Little House in the Big Woods- genre historical fiction- Sequencing is my big focus with this novel.

There are more but I will add them later. My advise is to start reading children's literature and find books that you think your students will enjoy. It takes time to collect all the books and decide what you want to do with each. However, once you teach one comprehension strategy you use it over and over when it applies with each story.
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Old 07-19-2014, 10:02 PM
 
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Wow, 1956, you have been extremely helpful. I will definitely try to use these books. I was going to start with Stone Fox since I've read it before and like you said, seems to be a great starter. THANK YOU!

I still would love to hear from more fellow teachers😃
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helpful
Old 07-20-2014, 01:20 AM
 
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1956BD, your posts are really helpful. I'm forwarding your tips to a friend who wants to expand her use of chapter books. Thank you.

LS14,
EdHelper is a good resource for literature units. They keep expanding every year. You could use them for discussion or for grades. There is a subscription fee but it could be a big time saver especially if you plan on using several novels at one time.

Check out Teachers Pay Teachers for a freebies as well as low cost items including strategies, power points, and many other kinds of activities. Just do searches for a particular title, a strategy, or reader response packets...etc, etc, etc. Start by clicking the free button first and then check out the paid items.

Another resource that is free is right here. Do a search for "unseen taskcards". She has graciously provided task cards for a number of novels.

If you google lesson plans for a particular title you may have better luck if you type "pdf" after the title.
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helpful part 2
Old 07-20-2014, 01:37 AM
 
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One freebie on TpT is "Reading Response Questions" by fourth and ten. She has a set of generic questions for fiction and for nonfiction. They can be used for seatwork and/or homework. You really can get lost on that site!

if you subscribe to EdHelper you will find resources for math, science, social studies and a whole bunch of other stuff. You can get lost on that site too.
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7 X 9 =Trouble
Old 07-20-2014, 07:52 AM
 
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is another novel we read. It is perfect to use when you introduce multiplication in math. My reading focus is conflict, resolution and character change. I also emphasize the character trait of perseverance. Learning multiplication facts takes great effort for many students so they can make a real connection with this character and see that making an effort will be rewarded.


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Old 07-20-2014, 02:22 PM
 
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1956BD thank you for the information! LS14 thank you for asking!
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Two Novels to Help Teach Economics
Old 07-20-2014, 04:55 PM
 
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Since we teach economics in social studies I looked for novels that would tie in and help with our study. We do this toward the end of the year so I do things a little differently to mix it up a little.

The girls read The Shoeshine Girl. The boys read Max Malone Makes a Million. We discuss character change and growth along with the theme of money. Both books teach important lessons about economics and are enjoyable realistic fiction.
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:40 PM
 
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Thanks 1956 and everyone else! I really am using these suggestions 😃
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Fantasy Genre Study
Old 07-20-2014, 07:20 PM
 
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High- Punished

Medium- Chocolate Touch

Low- The Littles

We discussed the elements of fantasy. We also made connections, predictions and did some visualization.
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The Chalk Box Kid
Old 07-20-2014, 07:23 PM
 
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This is realistic fiction. I focus on character study when I use this short novel.
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Literature Circles
Old 07-21-2014, 07:23 AM
 
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I love using literature circles in my class. It empowers students to raise the bar on reading because they know they are part of a peer group. In my classroom I use this cycle. First, I model the process by selecting a book to read with my top readers. (Other students are doing guided reading groups with me.) We discuss elements of a book and then quietly read a chapter. I model in the first chapter - setting, character development, mood, new vocabulary, predictions... All this work is recorded in notebooks. We then meet to discuss ideas from the chapter. Often, we write own ideas on chart paper so we can collectively refer back to the ideas. Each chapter we follow the same process but I act as leader and make sure every member of the group is able to contribute. At the end of this book students write a book review.
"Round 2" the group is divided in half (about 3 or 4 students per group). There are two groups that read two different novels. This time, each member of the group acts as group leader. Usually students are group leaders 2 or 3 times. We follow the same format as above except I am an observer.
The third "round" consists of two students who have been in "round 1 and 2". They pair up and select a novel. They are group leaders for the other students in my class who have been doing guided reading with me up to this point because they need skill reinforcement. Usually 4 or 5 students will select the novel that a group is offering.
Hope this helps!
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:46 AM
 
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These suggestions are fantastic! I will be using some in my classroom. Thanks!!!
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ditto above posts
Old 07-21-2014, 12:21 PM
 
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I also use the resources of Unseen and edhelper for reading response questions. The novels listed above are great too. I would like to add that the American Girl's series is excellent for historical fiction and my english language learners really get into them because of their multicultural connections. Good for basic and below basic levels. For close reading I chose Charlotte's Web because it has very identifiable and predictable clues ( signposts) that the students can comprehend more deeply. It also can build endurance for comprehension and fluency.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:28 PM
 
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I read Charlotte's Web with my kids too.
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luvtolearn question
Old 07-21-2014, 03:53 PM
 
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Can you be more specific about which titles of Amer. Girl your students enjoyed the most? Did the boys read them as well?
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old school
Old 07-21-2014, 07:53 PM
 
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I begin with the Kirsten series because that is the first one and the AR level is 3rd grade. I do believe that the doll is retired and I'm not sure but the books may be archived. That doesn't mean you can't contact the company however and purchase them. Once they read the first one they seemed hooked! Since most of my ell's are of Hispanic origin, immigrants from Sweden (pioneer era) truly intrigued them. They would share with me that their parents faced some of the same type of challenges as Kirsten's family did. My daughter had most of the older dolls and all of their books and some other type of realia. If I were you I would guide them through the first one " Meet Kirsten" and see how it goes. There are 6 books in this set. I can pm you the titles if you want. You can contact me for advice on the other series too. The newer stories are at a higher level than the older ones. The first 5 series range from beginning third to middle 4th grade. (Lextile level ) As far as the boys go at first they didn't care to join the book talk but after all the excitement that the students exhibited, 5 or 6 of them sold it to the rest of the boys. Besides the "girls" in the stories have brothers and boy cousins who play significant parts throughout the series. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:21 PM
 
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Thank you, calithecat! The way you do it sounds like something I can easily do with Daily 5. Have you ever read a book with an entire class? So, are the students also writing down the setting, characters, development, etc for each chapter as well in their own notebook? Do you assign that for homework or is it done during class and do you grade it? Also, you said you chart ideas they may have. Can you be more specific as to what goes on chart paper and what you have them put in their notebook? Thank you!!
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Literature Circle
Old 07-23-2014, 05:46 PM
 
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I do read novels (in the beginning of the year) with the entire class and use it to model how to think about a book. I write ideas on chart paper and students just observe for the first book.

The importance to me of using chart paper (both in the class read aloud and for literature circles) is it serves as a way we(students/teacher) can collectively share our thoughts. Often when someone sees an idea that a classmate has contributed on the chart paper it acts as a springboard for further thoughts. For example, a student might share - character A seems very bossy. She told character B to stop following her at recess. Another student in that group might follow up with a different character trait for character A or give a different reason why character A is bossy. Chart paper is very visual!

The responses students have in their notebook can be written on the chart paper. Using an individual notebook for each student is important for accountability. Also, I have observed students feeling excited when someone else in their group has a similar entry or has the same question on something they do not understand. I give students feedback on their notebook but do not grade it. Reading of a chapter and responses in notebooks are done during class time.
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:11 PM
 
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Thanks, Cali!
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