Friday, November 26, 2010

fiction vs. nonfiction: whats the difference?

Although I like to use my umbrellas for teaching genre (see previous post under genre)I like this lesson as well. I have the students make a list (or use a venn to compare and contrast) to give the elements of fiction and nonfiction. Christine

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My delicious
If you are interested in sites full of Smartboard lessons for 4th and 5th grade check out my Delicious bookmarks. I have been adding to the account any site I like that has interactive whiteboard lessons.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Have You Filled A Bucket Today? 

We discussed this wonderful book on our Professional Development Day. I have posted the link to Beth Newingham's blog post. I love what she does with this book. I also think its a great choice for the One School One Book program. Christine

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tight Times inferencing lesson
Here is a video of an inference lesson on the book Tight Times by Barbara Shook Hazen

This RI site has lots of videos of educators teaching inferencing skills to elementary age students:

Should There Be Zoos? A persuasive text

I love this book Should There Be Zoos by Tony Stead. I must warn you that it is hard to find a copy. Thank you Sue O. for this lovely gift that appeared in my mailbox one day! I have looked for a copy of this book for three years (I know, what a nut). I found a lesson for this book in Reality Checks by Tony Stead. Let me tell you how it went: We began by answering the question: Should there be zoos? My fifth graders for the most part said yes. Just using their background knowledge it seemed to them pretty straightforward. If you look at the top of the poster you can see that almost everyone was in the first two categories. Next, we read the book together. It is filled with factual essays written by children that either support or are against zoos. Each essay is written to persuade the reader to lean in one direction or the other. We rated each essay with a 1, 2 or 3 for how persuasive they were. We talked about which points persuaded us the most.The children all said that the essays which played on their feelings were the most persuasive.
Almost all of the children changed their position after reading the book. Most of them moved their sticky to the strongly against zoos side. A few children still felt strongly that zoos are necessary and important. Only one child stayed in the same spot. I have to say that the class really enjoyed learning about the pros and cons of zoos. They told me the lesson really made them THINK (something I'm a fan of!) Christine

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Blogging with 5th graders

I recently started blogging with my 5th graders using
I did a little research to make sure the site was safe and then I plowed in. I have to say I am impressed with what they have done so far. I have children blogging about: wolves, myths, ponies, the Red Sox, summer vacation and so on.They are commenting on each others blog posts.Some are posting pictures and Youtube videos about what we are learning in class. I have posted a few questions to get them going like: What did you learn from our M.O.S. program, and what was your favorite book we have read so far this year.
We did have to come up with a few rules. Here they are so far:
  • Be positive in your comments (if you don't have something nice to say, don't comment)
  • Use correct spelling, capitalization  and punctuation. This is not texting with your friends. It is a school site. Proper language is required.
  • Make sure someone can learn something from your blogging. This is our purpose - to learn from each other.
They learned what a moderator was (me). This is still a work in progress but so far it has been a success.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tight Times inferencing lesson

Here is a picture of my poster on the story Tight Times by Barbara Shook Hazen. This is a really good story for teaching inferencing. You can infer characters motivations and the characters feelings in this book. You can also predict easily what will happen next. I have copies of the book for each child. We read the story together and they make their thinking visible by writing inferences on post it notes. Later we go back and find the text based evidence or picture clue that helped us infer. Christine