Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Balanced Literacy in Action

Word Wall Words:

This year we use Patricia Cunnigham's Word Wall Words. Each week we present five words to the students and they do the following sequence.

Say the word

Take a Picture of the word

Skywrite the word

Write the word in your personal dictionary

As the students write and read they are responsible to have these words spelled and read correctly.

Read Alouds

Read Alouds are when students are listening to an adult read a story that is above their instructional level. The value of this is the students are exposed to vocabulary, fluency, think alouds and discussions.

***Hot Off the Press***

During snack time we do our read aloud. Each day we choose a new story for the students to hear. When presenting the story we say the title, genre, level and where the book is located in the classroom library. We read the first chapter or a few pages so the students can have a taste of the book and if they want to read more they can do so independently. This is a great hook, kids are excited to read various books. "I want to read Cam Jansen tonight for my "just right" book because I enjoyed learning about Cam and her ability to take pictures in her head. I wonder if they get her aunt at the airport on time? I can't wait to read more to find out!" said a 2nd grader.

Guided Reading and Book Talks

The groups are exposed to word attack strategies, word study, summarizing, predicting, text features, author’s purpose, and story elements. The students have been developing dialogue and responses about the book through discussions and reading response journals which incorporate background knowledge, connections with the text, beyond the text, and about the text.

***Our Hooks***

Students are excited to read their book because we watch a You Tube video to get them excited about the topic they are reading.

We take picture walks, develop vocabulary and connect to their own personal lives.

We discuss, develop and create a link to the story they are reading.
Examples of Links:

Living In An Igloo: created an ice igloo

The Pumpkin Tale: grew a pumpkin, made a sequence film strip about a pumpkin and carved a pumpkin.

The Magic Finger: created a play with feathery costumes.

The Hermit Crab: created a film strip of the hermit crabs life.

Comets: develop a space scene with glow in the dark paints.

Seas and Oceans: created a submarine and ocean floor with various animals.


Centers include reading around the room, reading poems, reading and singing songs, science investigations, making words, word study, independent reading, smartboard activities, computer games, word games, drama station and partner reading.

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