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reading and writing
Old 04-21-2008, 07:28 PM
 
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In my district we only have novels to work with, no basal reader, workbook, etc...I
I wanted ideas how people run their class...Do you have mini lesson and then give the kids an assignment? Is this everyday? Do you read your novel first, then given as assignment based on what you read??? I just new new ideas...what I have been doing isn't really working! I hope someone out there can help??? I teach 4th grade...
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:09 PM
 
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We don't have a basal or workbook or anything of the sort either.. here are the VARIOUS things I do...

reader's workshop-- kids pick their own just right books and I conference with each child once a week or so (struggling readers more, above level readers less than once a week.) During a conference I listen to them read aloud, talk to them about the book, go over decoding and reading strategies. They in turn, have a few forms to fill out. I have a book mark they fill in for each book that shows the author/title, starting/ending date, genre, self-eval of the reading level and a question to answer. When I meet with them I also keep some forms, which cover the page they are on, the reading level of the book, and some questions I ask them each time.

Guided reading- we do scholastic news as a whole class. I read and they follow along, do pair-shares, read to one another, summarize together, etc. With each issue, I also try to have a writing prompt, but don't get to it each week. It's 3.99 per student and I charge each parent once for it. It is a wonderful resource for non-fiction, since you don't have a basal.

We also do whole class guided reading with novels. We all read together, and each chapter has a writing prompt of some kind. We also always do a reader's theatre with one chapter and an art project of some kind. Before each writing prompt, we brainstorm together and come up with a web or graphic organizer of some kind. I make this fun, by having each book get it's own mini-response journal. For example, when we read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, they made a cover decoration with origami paper and bound the journal with bamboo sticks. When we read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, we used candy wrappers for the cover of the journal (the journals are usually just half sheets of loose leaf bound in cardstock, either stapled or with brads. Once in awhile we do something different with the little journals, like used bamboo or ribbon to bind it.

Partner reading- each parter picks a book to read together. Every time they read they answer some general questions about the chapter.

When we do picture books or short stories, we always read them 2-3 times. I have them read it once, and come back with questions they have about the story. We discuss the questions. The next day they use some sort of graphic organizer to find details about the book (such as a time line, a t-chart comparing something, etc.) The final day, we have a discussion based on open ended questions I ask. (This is adapted from the Junior Great Books model, which I used at another school.)

Sometimes I have give everyone a copy of the book and they independently work on it, while I have prepared some sort of packet, with questions and vocab for each chapter. This does not work as well.

Shared reading of poems.... discussion and writing activities that follow.

Literature circles- sometimes the kids will work in small groups reading a similar book, or a book by the same author. Each day they have an activity to do with the book. Similar to partner reading, but maybe 4-6 kids in a group.
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:02 AM
 
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I think you're lucky. IMO, basals kill reading instruction. Kids learn to read by reading and they learn to write by writing. Programs, of any sort, take away from that. You don't need programs. Kermit's advice was wonderful--let your kids READ and WRITE and don't wish for a basal. Most of them are full of silliness.
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Old 04-22-2008, 03:16 PM
 
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this is just what I have been looking for --- explicit ideas to work with when I start teaching reading next year. I have bought the books recommended by PT posters and now I have an idea. Thank you!
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Old 04-23-2008, 02:47 PM
 
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I love your ideas, but I was wondering how you find the time to come up with questions and activities for all the books that the students are reading, especially if the students or groups of students are reading different books at the same time? I would think that would be very time consuming to prepare for lessons, activities, and assessments for all of those books. Thanks!


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