Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Two Bad Ants

When we read this story, the students were in awe with each question and inference that they had to make. The students were able to draw conclusions, make generalizations, and predictions about where they thought the two ants that did not return from the first trip to the kitchen's sugar bowl. As I read this story, I did not show the students the pictures. I had them using visualizations too. WOW! We used a lot of reading comprehension stratgies. After reading the book, we discussed point of view/perspective. As a group, we completed this sensory language web:

Then, I gave the students a picture (I created a picture file in my undergraduate--I want say how long ago, but when I made it I thought when will I ever use this. The file has been helpful throughout the years. Here was yet another situation. On a side note, the picture file is just pictures of all kinds of things that I collected from old calendars, magazines, post cards, photographs, etc.) and they created a similar web. On day 2 of the writing, our class used our class web to write a descriptive paragraph from the perspective of the dog in the picture. This is what we wrote:
We reviewed strong verbs and descriptive adjectives by circling the adjectives and underlining the verbs. We revised by adding more descriptive language to enhance our writing. The students did the same with his/her paragraphs. Then, I placed all the pictures on the board. The author read his/her paragraph while the other students guessed which picture belonged to the paragraph. This was a very successful, easy assignment. We had lots of fun!
Here is a sampling of the students:

Monday, April 16, 2012


I did not even realize Zathura was a movie too, but my students did. Where have I been? Anyway, Zathura is a book about a board game that end up out in space. Again, the students were enthralled making inferences, visualizations, and drawing conclusions. Today, the students completed a story matrix about Zathura. We had a discussion comparing and contrasting Zathura and Jumanji and completed aVenn Diagram together.
We started discussing the features of modern fantasies. We compared the features to a lot of Disney movies, as well as, some other novels (James and the Giant Peach, Chocolate Touch, Chocolate Fever) The students created a story matrix as a guide for their own fantasies. The students used this poster to guide them in remembering the features of a fantasy:

Then, the students used the four square model to begin writing their fantasies. We shared the first square with partners and in group discussion. Many of the students have other students making predictions and inferring. YIPPEE! We will continue the fantasies this week. One part of our revising will be visiting those verbs and making sure they are STRONG. This will be a great time to review synonyms and  the thesaurus.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Next, we read Jumanji This was an exciting lesson full of opportunities to infer and visualize. We started the lesson reviewing verbs by singing and acting out a verb song. Then, I had taped together pages of the text. I stretched the text through the center of the classroom. Each student had a highlighter. I asked them to highlight the verbs in the text.

They seemed to have fun. Then, I read some of the verbs. We had discussed the difference between strong verbs and boring verbs. We assigned a signal to a strong verb and a signal for boring verb. As I read each verb, we created a chart of both kinds of verbs using the signal. Then, I proceeded to read the book. Throughout reading the book, we stopped to discuss strong verbs and boring verbs, make inferences, draw conclusions, and make visualizations. The students really enjoyed this book. As the ticket out the door--nothing fancy. I had the students find the strong verbs in a passage using a highlighter. They also completed a story matrix telling the characters, the setting, the problem, the solution, the clues, and the theme of Jumanji.