Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Reading Tricks & Treats

Happy Wednesday, friends! I just woke up from a lovely 2 hour nap and feel GREAT! Since I'm new to my county this year I had to take an ethics training class that started at 8:30 and just so happened to let out at 10:30 today. I took full advantage of the situation and picked up lil' sweetie early from daycare and have snuggled with her all day. My kiddos shall survive. :)

I'm now linking up with Jivey for her Workshop Wednesday: Reading Tricks & Treats!
On a normal basis, I have to *trick* my students into writing anything worth reading. If not, what they write is not a *treat* and I get about 2.5 sentences if I'm lucky, and even then it's as if the concept of punctuation is a foreign concept--even though I do everything but beat it into their heads.
Because of their reluctance, I incorporate writing into almost all the reading lessons we do. Very rarely do I teach a writing lesson in isolation. These last 2 weeks we have been working on sequence of events using bat texts. I have already shared how I got my students to write informative paragraphs by creating a bat craftivity. You can read about that {here}, or download the bat freebie template by clicking on the picture below.

Before using our batty text, I introduced sequence of events by showing students how to use a flop map to show their morning routines. To be clear, I told them we all know we use the restroom in the morning and didn't need to include that events. :)

We first used our basal text to read Bat Loves the Night, which is a narrative nonfiction text. We read through the text once together, then slowed it down and read one page at a time so I could model how to find the sequence of events. This particular text told several events that Bat did on each page. So after re-reading the text, we made a list together of all the events Bat did. We discussed how it would be best to combine all these events into compound sentences using conjunctions, instead of having so many simple sentences. See how I got that writing lesson in there?! Students used sticky notes to write out their sequence paragraph from each page in the text... which I guess I forgot to take a picture of, but they LOVED that! They didn't even realize they were writing full paragraphs on sticky notes for each page or 2 of the text. They used the sticky notes to form a flow map by drawing arrows after each note.

After modeling this for about 2 pages of the text, I had students discuss the steps we were using in the process of writing a sequence of events paragraph. This required them to actually process what they were doing.

1. Re-read the text
2. List the events from the text
3. Combine the events to make compound sentences that flow together
4. Re-read your paragraph

After my students could identify the process and steps they go through, it's as if all light bulbs went off and they were ready to rock and roll! They completed a few more sticky notes with their partners to add to their flow maps, and the next day they were all set to use their narrative nonfiction leveled readers and graphic organizers to write out the sequence of events... in paragraph form!

To review this skill next week, we'll be using sequencing task cards as a part of our stations. The students will be engaged using the game board that is included, so it's a win-win for all!

Sometimes tricking students into reading or writing is the way to go--they won't even realize they're doing tons of quality work if you disguise it! Be sure to share your ideas and link up with Jivey!

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  1. I loved your post! Isn't it funny how they don't realize they're REALLY writing when it isn't "writing time?" :-P thanks for linking up!

  2. Don't you love when this happens??!! Plus those post-it notes will get any student excited right? So jealous of your nap and cuddling time!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

    1. ...and surprisingly enough I'm ready for bed again. It's like we can never get caught up on sleep!