Saturday, June 27, 2015

Worksheet for Listening Comprehension

Recently I talked about aural reading comprehension (sans book), which made me think about what I do for listening comprehension (avec book).

Listen to Reading is one of my small reading groups.  I quickly realized I needed an accountability piece to help ensure my students were paying attention and understanding the story.  I started making a listening comprehension worksheet for each book that I use for Listen to Reading.  I save them, of course, on my computer in a file so it's easy to pull them and print them off.  It's also easy to make a new one by just changing an existing one.

In addition to assessing their comprehension, I wanted to include 2 reading strategies: evaluating & making connections.

I hear you wondering: "What do you do for the kiddos who can't read the questions?"  There are 2 solutions: students help each other (if the group is mixed ability) -or- you can pre-record each individual question on a very cool little device like this:
10 seconds of recording time, find them here.

Or this one:

30 seconds of recording AND the top is clear case, into which you can insert a picture or whatever!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Five for Friday

On this Friday I'm spending my last night living in a dorm with my husband and children.  What?!

Bemidji State University in Northern Minnesota
I never had the dorm experience in college because I lived at home.  Now I get to experience it because my husband teaches a 2-week course on the campus of this university each summer when we travel back to Minnesota for vacation.  Usually, while my husband is here, my daughter and son and I stay with my parents 3 hours away at their house. . .

Our 3 bedroom suite is just down the hall from the lounge, which has a full kitchen!
We discovered this game room in the basement yesterday as well as a laundry room that has free machines!
My daughter is finally old enough to go to summer camp AND learn a foreign language at the same time thanks to this place. . .where my husband and I met while counselors at the French 'village'.  This wonderful place is located only 20 minutes from our dorm.
Esta es mi hija 'Mia'!
Spending time with my son
While 'sissy' is at camp all day, we go shopping, play at parks and take a nap (YES, I'm included in the napping...and it's glorious!).
Mama gets coffee and he gets a hot chocolate!

My mother's sewing machine
I love to sew skirts and don't make the time for it as much as I'd like to, so each day this week (while my son was napping and my daughter was at camp) I happily whipped up some new additions to my wardrobe.
I got to stop and shop at a fabric outlet store in a suburb of Minneapolis when we first started our vacation, so I had lots of fabric to work with!
This is like a candy store for me!

The chance to finally do a race where you get color thrown at you.  You start in a white t-shirt and end up multicolored after running 3 miles.  It's an untimed run so I'll get to just run and not get stressed out racing, yay!

Man I really LOVE summer!

Visualizing Worksheet For Any Book

Have you ever TOLD your students a story and then had them SHOW you their comprehension? 

I had never done this before we adopted the Houghton-Mifflin reading curriculum a few years ago and it was a big part of the first few units of study.  I loved this idea (especially at the beginning of 1st grade) and created a booklet that we use for each story we do.
Click to get this freebie.
But after using this for a year, I realized that it can be used whenever with whatever story you want.  It can be a fiction or non-fiction story, a story you read aloud or tell off the cuff.  Here are two examples:
This kiddo broke the story into parts on his own.
This kiddo drew one picture that conveyed the general meaning.

I'll admit, this is my FAVORITE reading strategy because I do it all the time when I'm reading, listening to music, etc.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Saturday Apps #10: Mini Movies and Writing

Apps make the world go round....well not quite, but they do make our mobile devices go.  I stumble upon apps, I find apps on Pinterest and Facebook and seek out apps on AppsGoneFree. 

Today I'd like to feature Perfect Video.
I've always wanted to make movies.  My parents got a videocamera when I was in elementary school and I had so much fun playing with it.  When I was in middle school, I would make short Saturday Night Live parody movies for my friend's birthdays.  Now I just film my kids growing up and put the clips together in iMovie for their yearly film journal.

But I've gotten back into it lately because iPhones and apps make it so EASY and FUN to quickly make a video!  I've just been playing around but then it dawned on me: I can use this in the classroom and tie it to writing.

Imagine showing this to students and then having them write a procedural piece on how to build a praying mantis out of Zoobs.

You could also do the opposite, write a piece and then make the movie with students.  Or, for older or more capable students, they could work in pairs or small groups to create a about motivation!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Yearly Lakeshore Pilgrimmage!

The Land of 10,000 Lakes. . .and ME!  We're home for our yearly vacation to see family and friends, visit old hangouts and SHOP!  For the first time EVER, the kids went with my husband and dad up to Duluth (where they live) and my mom and I stayed in the Twin Cities to shop and have fun.  First stops: IKEA and Lakeshore Learning!

And every year I end up buying less and less because I use what I have, I make things and get things from TPT.  Doesn't mean that I spend less money though...  Here's the least amount of Lakeshore stuff I bought...half a tote bag!

Most of what I bought was needed (stickers, stamp pads, etc.) but there were a few must-haves.  Here's one:
It's a set of plastic bookmarks that have close reading questions/sentence stems on them to help students find proof in the text they are reading (either independently or in a small group setting).  You can find them online here.
They also have a non-fiction version.

And at IKEA I got a few small things but did not get this gem....which I keep thinking about going back to get.
A light up red carpet, how cool!

Check it out here.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Five for Friday

Drumroll please. . .

Tomorrow I get to do the Alaska Women's Run, which is about the fight against breast cancer.  I've done this run (both in Minnesota & Alaska) for many years and always in honor of my Auntie Lynn who has beat the big C TWICE!

That's my husband being a kid. . . he looks like he's trapped!
This is the COOLEST seesaw I've ever seen!
We've been exploring playgrounds in our part of town this week and, thanks to a great website run by the city, we've found some gems!
I swear to Santa I'm here every other day because I LOVE working (creating really) in my yard and gardens!  Good thing they take PayPal!!
"Say hello to my little friends!"  I bought these babies a few weeks ago and LOVE them.  I really want a chop saw next but I think my husband will freak out if I come home with an electric saw :-0
But what should I name them?  Bert and Ernie. . .Thelma and Louise. . .
I think I'll buy 2 more power tools and name each of them after the Golden Girls, ha!
The weather was cloudy and sprinkly this week so as I worked on projects in the garage, the kids played as well and everyone was as happy as a clam!

Man I LOVE summer!