Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Retelling Made Simple!

Something I work on every single week with my firsties during guided reading is retelling. We work on it over and over and over again with a splash of other comprehension skills thrown into our book discussions. One time a week during guided reading, I have all of my groups complete some sort of writing activity. The majority of the time, it has been to work on retelling the story. We need constant work on identifying the important parts.

Anyway, I created a little retelling kit to use with my kiddos. We work on the same skill, but it always helps to mix up the 'stuff' we use to keep them (and me) engaged! ;-)

My favorite tool that we use all. of. the. time. is the retelling bookmark. This is perfect when you only have a few minutes left with the group and just need to orally retell the book.

I just keep them in my little guided reading kit and pull them out when we need them!

Sometimes, we use the bookmarks to write about parts in our book.
I just give the students stickies and assign them an element, or tell them to recall the beginning, middle and end.

It really makes planning for guided reading EASY!

As I said up top, we also do some sort of writing activity related to our guided reading story.
The beginning of the year, we focused a lot of just retelling our fiction stories and identifying the different story elements.

I change up our retelling activities week to week. 
Here's some of them!

Some are just simple BME stuff.

Other activities, focus on the story elements!
If I notice a set of students is struggling with certain elements, then I'll pull these quick activities for them to complete. Much of the time, my higher group will complete the larger graphic organizer with their story!

If you're interested in any of these goodies, you can grab them here!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Learning to Talk about the Text - Part 2!

Yesterday, I stopped by the introduce a little 3-2-1 Notes idea that encourages students to *think* and *talk* about non-fiction text. Up to this point in the year, we've dabbled in non-fiction, but haven't dove in full force. When I introduced the 3-2-1 Notes to the students, we read a Scholastic News altogether and filled it out as a class. Basically, I modeled how to do it and discuss the text. 

Today, I passed out a Time for Kids magazine. We discussed it before reading, read it together, talked about new learning, asked questions and talked about pictures we could draw that connected to our topic. After we *talked* together, the students got with their reading buddy. They were given a 3-2-1 Notes recording form, asked to re-read the text and *talk* about it with their partner.

I wrote down their directions (in a very simple way) to remind them of what they were to do with their partner.

1. Read
2. Talk
3. Write

Here, the students are reading the magazine together before they discuss the text.

After the kids read the text, I asked them to talk about their 3-2-1 Notes BEFORE they wrote anything down. My teammate (who came up with this awesome idea), told me about using 3-2-1 fingers as kids talk through each part of the text. We learned how to do that and practiced it.

After the kids discussed each part, they were able to fill out their paper. My teammate gave me a paper she created that I used. I created one to share with you on here as well! Just click below to grab it for free!

I told the kids that they did not have to fill out the same thing as their partner. I wanted THEIR thoughts on their paper. I always like to say, "I want to know what's in your brain!" It helps a lot with the wondering eyes throughout the day! ;-)

After the students filled out their own 3-2-1 Notes paper, they brought it to the rug and we discussed it. What I noticed was, we had trouble finding the important information in the text.
So, for our closing lesson, we talked about staying on topic.

Before we filled out our class chart, we identified the topic of the Time for Kids magazine.
Then, I just started asking students to share things they learned. I got a lot of, "the boy was 11. - he has a sister...)... clearly, that's not important information and it doesn't really support out topic. We talked about how we want to make sure our information matches our topic. We shared some more and found some on topic responses. After each one we identified which part of the topic the new learning connected to - hence the arrows! ;)

Before, I asked for students to share their questions, we talked about how we want our questions to also be on topic. Students shared on topic questions. Then, we asked for some off topic questions, so we could learn from it! I love first grade - they're so open to sharing! Once we wrote our questions, we also noticed that we could answer one of them by looking at the header on one of the pages! So, we wrote the answer.

To end our 3-2-1 Notes - we talked about how we need to also stay on topic when we are drawing a picture of our learning (clearly I am bad at keeping to the 1 picture thing). The students shared their drawing, and I asked two students to add their pictures to our chart. We noticed the detail in the pictures of the kids, and talked about how it supported our topic!

The 3-2-1 Notes chart is something I will continue to use. It's such a simple & genius idea! Ugh, I love it!! We had such meaningful discussions about the text this week and have already deepened our understanding of non-fiction text. I can't wait to see what other discussions arise from this tool! 

I hope you find it helpful too!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Getting Kids to Talk About the Text!

Getting students to have meaningful discussions about text is hard, especially in first grade. My teammate shared an awesome idea with me that she calls 3-2-1 Notes. It's used with non-fiction. I love it, because it's the perfect way to slowly integrate non-fiction into the classroom and encourage discussion about the text. We started with a scholastic news article. It's short and sweet which is perfect for this age because... we all know we can't keep their attention for long!

The 3-2-1 Notes are something I want to continue all year long, so I laminated my anchor chart after I made it. To first use the chart, we watched a video and read our article about Squanto.

As we read the article, we also touched on the text features that we saw inside.
After reading, we identified the topic.
Then, we shared things we learned with our buddy on the rug. I had three students share.
This was actually tough - we had to talk about how what we learned had to be from what we just read or watched. Some kiddos wanted to add in a few 'extras.' ;-)

We talked about questions we had. We noticed that we actually asked a lot of questions WHILE we were reading. We jotted two of those down.
Then, we discussed how drawing pictures can show that we understood what we read. The students told me a few things I should draw. I asked them to tell me WHY they drew these things. We worked on responding correctly here.

Tomorrow, student's will be reading a Time for Kids with a buddy. They'll get their own 3-2-1 Notes paper to fill out as/after they read. I'm excited to see how it goes! 

I'll be back to share how it went with a link to the post and printable! :-)
Have a happy Monday!