Saturday, December 31, 2011

STOP Writing!

STOP Writing....well not  really. Read on! 

Do your children have trouble understanding where to stop a sentence?  Do they think punctuation is just a fun decoration for their papers?   Well, I'll admit it, my children are a little confused.  It's so difficult to explain when a complete thought stops and needs punctuation.  Then, there is always the problem of those who do get it but forget to do it! Sheesh! Well this fun free simple activity should get your class excited about periods!

With any type of writing you would simple replace all the periods with paper periods from the hole punch!

 Have students complete a writing assignment after you model and stress the proper use of punctuation. Your students will be very excited to glue their "periods" or "stoppers" on their paper when they're done! After, I like to compile the pages in a class book.  This helps students see the patterns with the periods and fortunately some of the problems.  I have children that begin to see that ALL of their periods are at the end of each line (not the sentence), I have had  them recognize that they only have 1 loooong sentence with 1 period and others see that they have waaaay too many periods.  

*I used my 3 hold punch with different colored paper and then emptied it and I had plenty of 'periods'

If you try this in your classroom,  I would love to hear how it goes. I heart comments! 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Visualizing for Comprehension

For a student to be considered a good reader they must go beyond decoding words.  Without comprehension, students who are fluent decoders are just “barking at the print.”  It is when students are able to understand what they have read that they can be considered good readers.  One strategy of a good reader is visualizing.  Good readers do this without even realizing they do it.  The question then, is how do you teach this skill?  

Here are some pictures from my visualizing unit that will help YOU visualize ways to teach this tricky comprehension skill! 
Students fill in the center of the Bubble Map based on the adjective phrases in the outside bubbles.  

I used the book Snowmen All Year to help students visualize how the setting changes in a text.  In the frame I placed lines directly from the text and then drew a matching picture of the setting being described.  It is important to teach students that the text actually does describe what is happening.  Often, the students rely only on pictures and fail to make the comprehension connection with the  text. 

Here's a closer look~

"and at my birthday party we would celebrate his too" 

Another Thinking Map you  could use to apply the same skill~
This Bridge Map shows easily how the text taken directly from the book matches the picture below it.  

My new unit is full of lessons to not only teach visualizing in your classroom but it contains enough to continue to practice and re-visit these skills. 

You can check it out HERE 

This is the book I used to teach visualizing the setting. 

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