Saturday, April 30, 2011

Inferring character's feelings

I love stories which have the character's feelings change over time. I got this idea from Emily Kissner's blog She used Shortcut by Donald Crews as the mentor text to help children infer the character's feelings throughout the story. I used her lesson on my Smartboard.
The children all had a copy of the story map as well.
We also discussed the narrative elements for this simple story using Beth Newingham's Story Mountain

The kids LOVED that you could move the yellow star on the Smartboard to show the rising action, climax and falling action of the story. Great lesson, thanks Emily. Christine

Thursday, April 21, 2011

inferring with poetry

This is a great poem for inferencing written by Gary Soto. Its a poem from his book: Fearless Fernie. It was used on the 5th grade MCAS test a few years back. You can see that I typed it for display on my Smartboard. You can easily infer the speaker's feelings:

  • His hair jumped from his head..infer: excited
  • It was his lucky day!...infer: happy
  • He dug till his fingers were bleeding...infer: he is working hard!
I love that the poem ends with this message: When you leave something sweet behind, others come and get it. Try to get the children to explain what Fernie learned and apply it to other situations.Christine

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Jack Prelutsky wrote this wonderful picture book filed with who am I? haikus. I read it to the children without sharing the illustrations. Here is my favorite haiku in the book:
If not for the cat,
and the scarcity of cheese
I would be content.
Who am I? a mouse, of course. After reading together and inferring who the animals are we begin to write our own who am I? haikus. I have a great collection of class sets of National Geographic For Kids magazines which we use to gather facts about our chosen animal. Using nonfiction to create poetry riddles is fun! Christine

Friday, April 15, 2011

Precision Teaching: Guided Reading Pt1

Precision Teaching: Classroom Tour

Summarization 1 Establishing a Learning Focus

Teacher website
I really liked this site owned by Christina Bainbridge. She has lots of teacher resources you can print out. I particularly like her comprehension bookmarks. She has some really nice book bags for second graders as well. Christine

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Teaching point of view

The LaRue series by Mark Teague is great for teaching children about point of view. The humorous stories are told in a series of letters from Ike, the dog, to his owner Mrs. LaRue. If the children miss the clues in the text that let us infer that Ike isn't really telling the truth, the picture clues are excellent. The illustrator used both black and white in the divided page format to show us what is true (in color) and what is false (in black and white).

Notice the use of black and white to explain Ike's point of view.

These books are also great to use in lessons on persuasive writing or for teaching voice to elementary age children. Here is a link to a PowerPoint of Ike's letters and some other teaching ideas.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bud, Not Buddy

How does an author get us hooked on a book? Questions! After reading the first chapter of Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis we brainstormed questions we had. We discussed how the author embedded certain details in chapter one that would activate our questioning strategy. Authors do this to push us forward, to entice us to keep reading.
I like to use this worksheet to record questions on.  The student has to think about whether or not the questions were answered in the text...and does it matter to them as the reader. Christine