Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

This week I read the story Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster  by Debra Frasier to both the 4th grade and the 5th grade. I was sure someone would guess what my Halloween costume would be (surprise: no one did!) I used the Smartboard to read the story to them. Here is the link  Caution: 90% of the story is on the site, you will need the book to read 2 or 3 pages that are missing from the website. They loved seeing the book projected on the Smartboard and we had a lot of fun playing Hangman on the Smartboard during our Halloween party.  I have another post on the book Miss Alaineus ( a Youtube video).Christine

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The comprehension toolkit

Here is a lesson I got out of the Comprehension Toolkit. Thank you Kathy D. for lending it to me! The toolkit comes with 4th/5th grade nonfiction articles and lessons to do based on the reading strategies in The Keys To Comprehension book by Harvey and Goudvis.It also comes with a CD that I was able to use with my Smartboard. This lesson, Summer of the Shark, was about adding new information to known (background knowledge). The topic of sharks is great because kids do have a good amount of background knowledge on the topic.The lesson also explores the idea of a misconception. I modeled my own background knowledge about sharks, and then hid a misconception so that I could correct my own thinking during reading. I then had the students read the rest of the article with a partner to see if they had any misconceptions. We also added our new learning as you can see from the poster. Christine 

This is the whole toolkit with some picture books

Monday, October 25, 2010


I made my first webquest ever! We are reading Dear Rosa Parks in our 5th grade Trophies anthology, so I made a webquest to increase the students' background knowledge about RP.Here is the link It includes two websites and a Youtube video. Christine

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Every year I wait. Some years it takes only days, other years it takes weeks. Eventually one of my fourth graders asks why my reading chair has the name Fred painted on it. That's when I put out the book The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant. Its a wonderful book about an old woman who has outlived all of her friends. She is so sad she refuses to ever again name something that could die. She names her car Betsy, her house Roxanne and her favorite chair... you guessed it! FRED. Her feelings change toward the end of the story. I won't spoil it for you. You'll have to read the book. Christine

Sunday, October 10, 2010

literary report card

We have just finished reading Among The Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix. One activity I did was to have the students produce a "report card" for Jen, a pivotal character in the book. I picked the subjects (which are closely related to character traits) and the children gave her the grade. They also had to produce some text based evidence as to why they gave the grade they did. The students debated what the appropriate grade would be - I wrote what I could see would be the average . Later I asked the children: what characteristics does a good leader need? Having courage, patience, common sense and being a good listener came up. We decided Jen had some of the qualities a good leader needs, but she was lacking others.
After finishing the book I announced that it was the first book in a series. Book two went flying off the shelf! The fifth graders have become big Haddix fans. Scholastic bookclubs (Oct. and Nov.) has her other series on sale: Sent, Found and Sabotaged. Quite a few of the kids ordered them. Christine

Thursday, October 7, 2010

genre posters

 Here are pictures of the genre "umbrella"posters that I mentioned in a previous post. I got the idea from Nancy the Amazing. Christine

Sunday, October 3, 2010