DAY 1… What The Rigorous Owl Did Today in Their Reader’s Notebook
Are you READY???? We are! We are really excited to start blogging on a daily basis to show you what we do in our classrooms on a daily basis! Since we are new to blogging, we want to get in the habit of sharing with you regularly, and we hope that you can get some great ideas to use in your classroom!
This is our cover sheet that we use on our “Reading Contracts.” WE LOVE OUR COVER SHEET! The best part is that I have my lesson plans for the entire MONTH! If a student is absent, they know exactly what we did! Our cover sheets keep us organized and on track!
Because this is December, there are only three weeks listed, but normally, we have four. Each cover sheet is a UNIT, and our units are monthly. For each unit, we feature a genre. Have I overwhelmed you yet? I’m just getting started!!!
Our cover sheets follow a formula… Mondays are Vocabulary, Tuesdays are Language, Wednesdays are Craft & Structure/Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, Thursdays are Key Ideas & Details, and Fridays are Journal, etc…
If you look at the first two weeks, this is where our Focuses are. For the unit we are in right now, our focuses are:
Integration of Knowledge: Themes Across Cultures
Key Ideas & Details: Character Change
So, we introduce each focus on its day and then spiral it the next day with a mini-lesson. We repeat the following week. This way, each focus is hit a minimum of 4 times with purpose. We end up hitting them daily, but I will explain that later.
To begin a unit, we always teach the genre elements. In our classes, we have our students read 4 books each month for our 40 Book Challenge. They read a genre book (Fantasy in this unit), Traditional Literature (Fairy Tales in this unit), Nonfiction (Magnets in this unit) and a Free Choice Chapter Book. Please see our “Challenge Your Students to Read” post for more details on this.
So as you can see in the picture above, we went over the elements of Fantasy and Fairy Tales.
For our Reader’s Workshop, each student checked out a Fantasy Chapter Book at their level. We also have a class Fantasy book called Rise of the Guardians. Throughout the unit, we model with our class book and the students apply the concepts using their books in their Interactive Reader’s Notebooks. We start off each unit creating a prediction for our books. We look at pictures, the title, and read a few sentences before creating our predictions. We like to put our illustrations in an object symbolizing the genre we are featuring (Time Machine for Historical Fiction, Plant for Science Fiction…). We also set up a Word Collector for our books. Our Word Collector is for our word work. Word Collector entries are words that the students either don’t know the meaning to or don’t fully understand how to use it. They collect a minimum of one word each day.
Each day, students also fill in Sentence Frames while they are reading. We do not want to “punish” students for reading (thank you Donalyn Miller). We want them to ENJOY reading!!! Each time students log in to read, we only have them fill in their frames. If you look at the picture, you can see each day has a “C” “C” “H.” They stand for Class, Class, Home. The first “C” is our Class Book… in this case, Rise of the Guardians. We model how to fill in the frames with our class book. Then, students are given 30 min of reading time!!! During their reading time for their genre book, they practice with their sentence frames. We give them 2 sentence frames and the 3rd one is a free choice comment from the student. The 2 sentence frames that we give, are directly related to what we are teaching. This is how we teach the concepts daily. The “H” row is what students fill out for Homework. Each night, students read for 20-30 min and fill in their 3 sentence frames.
Today, we launched our new Spelling Rule (on the left) and Vocabulary Words (on the right). Our spelling rule is the soft c for this unit. Instead of focusing on specific words, we focus on a specific spelling rule. We have students discover the spelling patterns and collect more throughout the week. We have a Spelling Word Collector in our class and we categorize the words based off of their spelling patterns. The spelling page you see here is glued into the students’ Interactive Reader’s Notebook.
On the right, you see our Vocabulary Words. We use Got to Teach’s “Get to the Root of It.A complete resource for teaching vocabulary using Greek and Latin roots.” WE LOVE IT!!! This is how we embed roots all year long! The units have super cute titles and the practice is awesome! We created the graphic organizer that you see in the picture. Students write the word, the definition, use it in a sentence, create and example and a non-example. This graphic organizer is in our students’ Reading Contracts.
The last activity in our Language Arts block today was our Vocabulary focus: Prefixes. This is where we spent the majority of our time this morning. We had students fill in notes (top left) that teaches what a prefix is. Then students went in depth for the top 20 prefixes found in 4th grade books. They wrote the meaning of each and found examples. We highlighted the prefix so that students could test if it was a prefix or if the word just started with those letters. For example: postage v. postscript. Students struggled at first, but started to get the hang of it. Students then chose a prefix, made bubble letters, and filled the bubble letters with examples. This is what we call a JOT. JOTs are a way that we make the concepts we are teaching visual… not to mention, FUN! I usually grab a couple of the JOTs to display on my focus wall, otherwise, students glue them into their Interactive Reader’s Notebook.
Well, that sums up our day! I hope I have not completely confused you! If you have ANY questions, please ask! We would love to clarify anything that was confusing and to help you out in any way we can!