I Poem

I poetry is a unique and creative way to engage children and demonstrate comprehension. I remember reading “About Winndixe” and writing an I poem in the eyes of the dog Winndixie. This experience really helped me with comprehension of the book. I had to dig deep into this dogs personality and focus on what the text told me about the character. I poetry’s structure allows students to really maranate in the characters of the book. When you are writing an I poem you are no longer you, but that character. The powerpoint on I poetry informed me more of the I poem’s purpose and achievement with vocabulary, understanding, and testing. When creating an I poem students must focus on vocabulary. They must choose descriptive and creative sentences for their character. Like I said before, comprehension increases when a student has to dig into the story to know all about that character. The powerpoint also inferred that students testing achievement increases on the book after completeting the I poem. I believe that I poems are an inventive way to interest students and make them want to read.

Seals

A science goal and objective for incorporating seals into the multi text unit could be: Fourth Grade Goal 1: The learner will make observations and conduct investigations to build an understanding of animal behavior and adaptation.

Objectives:

Objective 1.01
Observe and describe how all living and nonliving things affect the life of a particular animal including:
  • Other animals.
  • Plants.
  • Weather.
  • Climate.
Objective 1.02
Observe and record how animals of the same kind differ in some of their characteristics and discuss possible advantages and disadvantages of this variation

 

Some questions that students can find out about seals could be:

1) Where do seals live?

2) What living things are considered preditors to seals?

3)How does climate change effect seals?

Reciprocal teaching and Discussion Director articles

Reciprocal teaching is a student/teacher based dialogue. When using reciprocal teaching there are four strategies that must be modeled and taught to the students. They include: summarizing, questioning, predicting, and clarifying. In groups students are given a certain role to complete (Summarizer, questioner, predictor, and clarifier) Each role has a certain task in the discussion. This helps the flow of the discussion about a certain topic or book.

The discussion director article conveys a similar aspect of discussion groups. A discussion director leads the discussion by having questions and topics prepared to create a flow in discussion. The contrast to the reciprocal based teaching is that the discussion director is the leader of the group and gives a structure to the discussion. The discussion director ask the group questions and then leads the group into their roles. It is the discussion directors job to keep the conversation flowing and be the main speaker of the group. The reciprocal based teaching allows all students to discuss back and forth without a set structure. Anyone can go first and anyone can talk. There is no leader of the group. Both discussion director and reciprocal teaching allow for thought provoking discussion.

I would prefer reciprocal teaching more because the students can feel free to speak their mind and are able to come up with their own questions instead of being fed questions by the discussion leader. I remember having discussion leader in my elementary school and I thought it was boring. No one wanted to be discussion leader because nobody wanted to talk the entire time and make other people talk. Reciprocal teaching has less pressure attached in my opinion.

Integrating Instructional Level Books

“Kids not only need to read a lot but they also need lots of books they can read right at their fingertips. They also need access to books that entice them, attract them to reading. . . . Schools without rich supplies of engaging, accessible, appropriate books are not schools that are likely to teach many children to read at all, much less develop thoughtful literacy in most students. (pp. 68-69, emphasis added)”
It is so important that children are able to read on their instructional level. Those children who cannot read on their grade level become frustrated when they are told to read several books that are way to hard for them. I feel it is very important that the classroom does not read just one book, but several books that hit significant instructional levels. The reading assessment allows the teacher to become familiar with each childs instructional level. They can use these assessments to ensure the child is reading at their level and not going through the frustrational level.
For the multi-text unit one must be able to use different books that are different instructional levels. A list of books should be incorporated in the multi-text unit that students who have a lower instructional level can use.

Shared Reading

Shared reading is correlated with student achievement. I believe that the more shared reading is placed in the classroom the higher student achivement is. Shared reading is not only enjoyable but it also expands students vocabulary, word recognitiion, language, and sentence structure. Modeling shared reading is vital in shared reading. Students mimic what they see and hear. If they see and hear a teacher modeling a shared reading than they are most likely to read the same way as the teacher. It states in the article that teachers must model using comprehension, vocabulary, text structures and text features. Teachers who model these techniques will help their students use those techniques in their reading as well. I love reading and language arts and I know that in my own classroom I will use modeled shared reading as a tool to help children read on a higher level. There are always factors to include in shared reading, such as where the students are on a academic level, learning disabilites in the classroom, and how to model a shared reading that relates to all students in the classroom.

 

Pirates arrrrrgggh!!!

A Twin-Text Unit of Study:

This fourth grade class is participating in a pirate unit. They start their adventure by walking into their classroom which is covered with pirate artifacts, music, books, etc. The students are told to look around and observe what they see. They are then given a pirate notebook in which they start their pirate unit by making a KWL chart. Based on their observations  and prior knowledge they discuss what they already know about pirates. I enjoyed the idea of emerging the students in pirate artifacts and books before they even begin their unit. Students get really excited about pirates and this is a fun way to get the students pumped up to learn. The article also talked about pairng a non fiction and fiction pirate book together to expand their knowledge and boost their interest. I think this is important for students to see the fairy tale side of pirates and the history of true pirates. How are they different or similar? Does what you know about pirates end up being correct?

Swashbuckling Adventures on the High Seas:

The twin-text article was a more class oriented way to start the pirate unit in the classroom. The Swashbuckling Adventures on High Seas article describes an indepth way to continue with the pirate lesson and incorporate the social studies and literature aspect of the unit. I loved the double entry diary and data retrieval chart. The double entry diary take the non fiction and fiction books and allows the students to pick out the pirate words from each book and then relate the books. The data retrieval chart allows the students to dig deeper into the pirate content and pick a certain pirate they want to learn about. Students can see the relationship between their research and the books written about that pirate. The wanted poster idea is a very creative way to describe the pirate and is a great assessment.

Internet Workshop and Blog Publishing: Meeting Student (and Teacher) Learning
Needs to Achieve Best Practice in the 21st Century Social Studies Classroom:

This unit aritcle reflects the other two articles.  The pirate unit is split up into two parts: the first part is meant to emerge students in resources and discussion and the second part enables students to take what they learned and share it with others. All of this can be made into a blog for the students to share their ideas. Through internet resources such as blogs students can collaborate their ideas about pirates and share them. I like the idea of having a internet workshop and figuring out how students can incorporate their ideas with the internet. Students can post their poems, videos, pictures, etc to demonstrate their findings about pirates.

Poetry!!!

I just finished reading Love that Dog and I fell in love. If you have not read this book you need to go out and buy it for your classroom! This book demonstrates that there is more to poetry than rime. Poetry can be any words put on a paper that express the way you are feeling at that moment. The boy in this book did not even realize he was creating poetry. The teacher showed him that he can create poetry and not have it be so difficult. To me, poetry has always been dear to my heart. I love to express myself in words and then look back on what I wrote. It is important that everyone knows that they CAN create poetry. There are no rules! Poetry is who a person is and a way to get a glimpse into the writers thoughts and feelings. People should not be scared of poetry, but embrace it! The boy in love that dog  did without even realizing it at first.

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