I was inspired by Melody’s post about charts to share some fun charts and visuals in my classroom that I use for writing workshop and reading workshop. I admit, I need to work on making them more creative like chartchums.
Here’s a chart that can be used across different units of study in reading workshop. Right now we are doing a unit on asking critical questions. During our read aloud time, we did a stop-and-jot. I read aloud to my students, then say stop-and-jot. The students jot down on their post-its their thoughts. I did that about three times during the read aloud after significant parts of the text. At the end of the read aloud, I had them put their post-it notes in the category that it fits in. The different categories are: wonderings, predicting, questions, connections, character traits, envisioning, author’s craft and other.
Chart to track students' thinking during reading.
Here are a few other visuals I have in my classroom for writing workshop!
Writing Process Visual
Write students' names on popsicle sticks and have them move it as they go through the writing process.
A fun way to get students excited about writing fantasy stories!
After Jee Young’s hype (which is totally legit) about reading and writing workshop conferences, I thought I would share a literacy activity. This is an activity I normally do near the beginning of the year, but it can work all year round, and you can differentiate it for many grade levels.
For a read-aloud one day try reading Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts. I don’t know what it’s like at other international schools around the world (please share!), but when I read this book I have to explain most of the story in detail. My students do not know what it is like to not be able to afford… well, anything. That is why I am thankful for books like this (another book I love is A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams) to help give my students insight into the lives of students in other parts of the world, or even their own backyard (okay, no one in Seoul has a backyard, but you know what I mean…).
After you’ve read the story and talked about it, the students get to write their own story about an experience they’ve had with shoes. It isn’t supposed to be a long story, so I only have them write one draft, and then after they’ve show me that draft they get this shoe template:
Shoe Template (yes, this link is appropriately named)
After they write their stories I encourage them to color their shoe, and then I laminate them so that their shoes can be stepping across the classroom all year long.
One of the things that I love about technology is that as an international teacher it allows me to connect with classrooms all over the world! One of my professional goals this year was to find more opportunities to connect and build relationships with other teachers and classes outside Korea through the use of technology.
This past September, through the Global Read Aloud Project, I connected with classes from Canada, Arizona, Wisconsin, Australia, and more. It was really fun for my students to connect with all these different students while reading the same book, Tuck Everlasting. We communicated through edmodo, skype, wikispaces and blogging.
I know it’s a bit early, but I would highly recommend you start thinking about whether you want to join and sign up for the Global Read Aloud Project 2012 here!