I'm new to grade 3. I have an independent reading period but I don't have any regular response/activities that they are required to do with this reading. I used to teach grade 5 and they would write weekly response letters to me....I tried this in grade 3 (wayyyy too early I soon discovered) and since then haven't really done anything. What do you do? ANY ideas would be much appreciated.
I've done letters with 3rd grade. We did one as a class first, then I read stories and they wrote to me, now they're doing it independently. I give them a checklist to use so they hit all my required elements (greeting, title, author, short summary, connection, why someone else should read it, and closing).
Another one they love is sequencing cards. They get 6 blank index cards. After reading they write the beginning on one and the end on another. Then I allow them to do 3 cards for the middle (this way they don't run out of cards before getting to the end). They illustrate each one. The last card is for the title, author, and retold by. Finally they glue the cards to a long skinny strip of paper in sequence.
We also do book reviews, recommendations, venn diagrams (2 characters, student and a character, etc), new endings, problem/solution, etc.
I found that all my students (who are at ALL different levels) can do these things as long as I model them a lot and gradually release control of the activity to the students.
It took me eight days to model. Each day, I thought aloud about one way I might respond to a book. (Ex: Tell how your schema changed, tell how your schema helped you read the book, connect an important idea to something with something from your life, infer what the author's message is, etc...) Those are all things we've spent weeks learning since Oct, so it's not like I just introduced them.
Each day, I modeled on the overhead how I would write the title at the top, the date, and then thought aloud as I responded. My main goals for them were to be able to state their idea and then give plenty of examples to support it.
I hung each response with a post-it stating topic (Ex: Tell how your schema changed). Now we have a large poster in the room with choices to pick from to talk back to a book and also examples. Once they did their first one, I picked ones that were extra good and hung them over top of mine to be the examples. I will continue to change them out so that everyone's responses are showcased.
My third grade read independently for about 15 minuutes a day, chapter books or whatever and then they have a rsponse journal that has a sheet stapled to the inside. The journal is a theme notebook. They can choose any response they want for the day but they can only use the same response 1 time per book. Examples might be I wonder why..... This reminds me of........ One thing I can't figure out.... Who; what: when; where; why...... A new word I learned today is... and I think it means.... The best part of the story is .....the saddest part is ..... stuff like that. They can usually write 1/2 page to a full page each day. I read them everyday and respond takes about 20 minutes... I have 17 students. These are very similar to Literature circles but the children don' always meet.
For the last few years, I have had my kids writing reader's response letters- in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. They write a weekly letter to me about a book. They must be 2 paragraphs long and the first paragraph must have the title of the book,underlined, the author's name and the main idea stated in no more than 2 sentences. The other paragraph is reserved for their thinking about the book, what the liked, disliked, etc. The biggie with that one is getting them to explain WHY they felt that way. They have gotten really good at this. I write each of them back and it is really cool to have this private conversation going on all year between me and each of my students. It is tedious and time consuming to answer their letters, but that does help motivate them- they love getting the letters back from me. I count mine as a Reading and Writing grade. All of my mini lessons in grammar and spelling are driven by those letters. Right now we are working on there, their and they're. That is turning out to be a challenge!
Hi Weezer - I was wondering if there is any way to get a copy of the sheet that goes in front of the reader's response journal. I am trying to find something to get my students more connected to their reading and your idea sounds great. I would love to hear back from you.
I have noticed my 4th grade students read to just try to get points, but they do not actually pay attention to what they are reading. They just hope that they can guess enough right to get AR points. This might help some of you for book summaries. I have a sheet they must complete each time they want to take an AR test. If it is a shorter book they must read the book 3 times before they fill out the sheet. For chapter books I only require one read and one skim. The worksheet I have created that says.... somebody...wanted...but...so...then... finally. They then combine those into a summary. I then ask them what they have learned new, the best part of the story, and whether or not they would recommend the book to a friend. I require them to do at least 3 books a week. We also set weekly AR point goals for each individual student.