The beginning of the school year got away from me. One big reason for this is that I completely revamped my reading block. With changing school I suddenly had more time in day. 30+ minutes actually. It gave me the ability to move my schedule around and really teach the way I wanted.
I am not a fan of textbooks. I think the stories are boring and my students were not interested in them. I began to think about great children's literature and I wanted to use those books in my classroom. As I've mentioned before 4th grade in my district teaches in 3 week units by skill. It looks like this:
Weeks 1-3: Sequence
Weeks 4-6: Compare/Contrast
Weeks 7 - 9: Main Idea
Weeks 10-12: Cause/Effect
Weeks 13-15: Drawing Conclusions/ Inferring
Weeks 16-18: Story Structure/ Text Features
Weeks 19-20: Fact/Opinion , Predict and Set Purpose
Weeks 22-24: Literary Elements
Weeks 25-27: Story Structure
Weeks 27-30: Review, Poetry
Weeks 31-33: Fables & Myths/ Visualize / Greek Gods/Goddesses
Weeks 33-35: Graphic Sources
What I've done is attached a children't novel to these and we are doing a novel study while pulling in other resources to also hit the weekly skill. I have started creating my own novel studies but their are some great ones on TPT also.
Weeks 1-3: Sequence: Because of Winn-Dixie
Weeks 4-6: Compare/Contrast: Matilda
Weeks 7 - 9: Main Idea: The Sign of the Beaver
This Novel study will be live next week. I've been delayed....see below for that explanation!
UPDATE: Now live on TPT!!!
UPDATE: Now live on TPT!!!
Weeks 10-12: Cause/Effect: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Weeks 13-15: Drawing Conclusions/ Inferring: The One and Only Ivan
Weeks 16-18: Story Structure/ Text Features: Mr. Popper's Penguins
Weeks 19-20: Fact/Opinion , Predict and Set Purpose: Bridge to Terabithia
Weeks 22-24: Literary Elements: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Weeks 25-27: Story Structure: Charlotte's Web
Weeks 27-30: Review, Poetry: Love That Dog
Weeks 31-33: Fables & Myths/ Visualize / Greek Gods/Goddesses: Percy Jackson & the Lightening Thief
Weeks 33-35: Graphic Sources: Open
My students absolutely love these books. My teaching partner and I typed up the list of books we were using and explained to parents what we were doing. We stated that if any parent had a problem with the list they were to write in and let us know, otherwise we would use the books listed. We didn't have a single parent contact us so that was good.
Now did we have class sets of all these books in August? Absolutely not. But we asked around and our school librarian was able to use library funds to purchase class sets for us! Our PTO was also willing to step up and purchase books if we needed them. If you don't have a class set, then do a read aloud. Or, purchase it for your Kindle and throw it up on the screen so your class can read along with you.
I've created a novel study for The Sign of the Beaver that we are currently using in class. I'm going to add it to my TPT store ASAP but my darling son Colin derailed my progress.
Being 100% boy he decided to jump OVER the mailbox. Now mind you, I just told him a few weeks ago to stop sitting on top of the mailbox because he would jump and sit on it. Why? I have no idea. But did he listen to his Mother? Of course not. He tried to jump over the mailbox but missed the landing. He landed on the curb instead and received a nasty wrist fracture. I'll spare you THAT picture. It was disgusting. Bones shouldn't bend that way! After the ER, ambulance ride, countless xrays, and specialist he had to have surgery.
We thought they were just going to go in and move the bone back but instead he had to receive a plate and screws. His arm muscle kept moving the bone back out of place. He will receive his cast next week. Fingers crossed.
If you've never had surgery, or never had a child that has had surgery, thank your lucky stars. The anesthesia is awful for a few days after surgery. Colin's muscles were so sore for 3 days. He could hardly walk, didn't want to eat a thing, and was just overall miserable. We finally turned a corner yesterday and he was able to go back to school today.
Now that he's on the right track I'll work on finishing my Sign of the Beaver Teacher Edition with the answer keys and I'll get that added to TPT. If you have any questions about how I implemented the changes in my Reading Block just let me know!
I've also started crocheting again and I've finished 3 baby blankets over the last few weeks. All those doctor offices really helped with my crochet!
(Follow the link for the YouTube video for these blankets)
Where is picture 3 you ask? I have no idea.....I know I took it but can't find it now. Story of my life. :)
What's going on with you? Inquiring minds want to know!