Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Reading in 6th - part 1

Wow, what cold weather we have in my state right now! I can hardly believe that it's already May. I hope that everyone is keeping sane during the end, we are on our countdown (20 more days) so staying motivated can be challenging.

This week I am focusing on what resources and activities have worked well in my 6th grade classroom. I'm happy to share ideas with you and if you have questions about how to implement anything please just ask.

*Disclaimer: Any books or resources that I discuss have been used in my classroom. I am not being paid to promote them or review them.

If you're like me, teaching mini lessons to students can sometimes feel redundant. Okay, I'll say it..boring. At this point in the year I typically don't teach as  many mini lessons near the end of the year but I wanted to revisit skills with my students before shipping them off to 7th grade (I think their teachers will thank me...maybe!).

In order to keep the students interested I taught a great lesson that a colleague of mine shared. It uses a fantastic book by Jon Scieszka (his homepage is below!) called Henry P. Baloney

The book is about an adorable alien who is late for school one too many times. He has to give his teacher an excuse or he will be in BIG trouble. The best part is, the words in the book are not all English so it's the perfect book to teach context clues

I teach it by reading the book once (slowly) and the kids record their guess about each word, without seeing the illustrations  Then we discuss what we think the words mean. I then read it a second time and they can keep or change their guess (still no illustrations). The third time they get to see the pictures and we talk about the correct answers (the key is in the book). 

The kids loved it and we had such a great discussion about how they can use this in the future. They felt it would be helpful when reading nonfiction text because sometimes those words simply 'feel alien' to them! 

Don't forget to find small ways to enjoy the remaining days with your students. You are a blessing to them and they have a lot of unfamiliar territory coming up soon (summer, camps, new teacher next year, etc) so a little anxiety from them is normal. Be their constant in these remaining days!

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