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Adverbs Mini-Lesson & Activity Ideas

By | |Grammar, Resources|0 Comments

Adverbs are tricky for students to learn and understand. I can remember my mom getting my cousin, an English teacher, to tutor me when I was young because they were just super confusing. Thankfully, the tutoring helped! Today, I would like to share how to teach an adverbs mini-lesson. I will also include some ideas for activities too.

Adverbs Lesson & Activities

The Adverbs Mini-Lesson

First off, I recommend making sure students have a solid grasp on adjectives first. After all, adverbs also can describe an adjective. I have some ideas for teaching adjectives here.

When introducing the adverbs, get students to tap into that prior knowledge on adjectives. Then introduce adverbs. Adverbs are words that describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Let students know that adverbs answer the questions how, when, where, and how often. Then strike a pose and model it. I like to give sample sentences.

The dog ran quickly.

How did the dog run? Quickly.

Sally ran daily.

How often did Sally run? Daily.

Next, give students a way to apply it by having them find the adverbs in some sentences. You can do this on a whiteboard, with a document camera, through a class chat in Google Classroom, and more. It is good to do this in a class discussion format with a few sentences to build student confidence and help clear up any confusion. Later, give students time to work with adverbs in other ways that involve more activity. You can actually scaffold this too. First ask the questions of either how, when, where, and how often. Then lead students to ask the question and identify the adverb. Finally, check for understanding by asking students to describe the concept of adverbs.

This shows an adverb mini lesson and anchor chart poster.

A Few Ideas for Adverb Activities

Once you have taught a mini-lesson on adverbs, it is time to dive into some activities to give students the opportunity to work with adverbs. The ultimate goal is to help students develop solid writing and speaking skills by having a firm understanding of adverbs. Let’s get to the ideas now.

Idea #1 Brainstorming Adverbs

Divide the class into groups. Hang up four posters or large sheets of paper around the room on a hard surface. Write the question how on one poster. Write the questions when, where, and how often on the others. Give each student a marker. Each group will write as many questions as you can think of to answer those questions. Rotate the groups after one to two minutes. After this, discuss the posters.

Idea #2 Adverb Detectives

Let students investigate and find adverbs in sentences. You can do this in a number of ways. Books and journals can be used. Task cards are also a great option. You can also do this digitally! Here you see an example of some digital task cards for finding adverbs in a sentence. An interactive anchor chart that plays as a slide show at the beginning reminds them to look for words that describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs and that answer the questions how, when, where, and how often.

Adverb Digital Task Cards for Google Classroom Use

You can click on the picture above or here to get to the resource.

This shows a set of adverb task cards.

I also have these as paper task cards too. You can click here for the paper ones.

Idea #3 Writing with Adverbs

Let students write a narrative or other type of writing piece and challenge them to use many adverbs in their writing.

This shows an example of an adjective and adverb writing activity.

Here is a fun writing prompt: Seems the turtles in Pet Town have caused a traffic jam from moving too slowly in the left lane. No one is using their adverbs to get the turtles to move over right. Create a story using adverbs, so the traffic jam can flow smoothly in Pet Town.

You could set standards for a minimum amount of adverbs, but to motivate students to go above and beyond, set a challenge to use as many as possible while still sounding clear.

Of course, after students work with adverbs, it is good to incorporate some lessons that teach adjectives and adverbs together. I have a post for that planned later down the line. I do have a teaching resource that completely covers that here though.

This shows examples of the adjectives and adverbs teaching resource bundle.

Click on the image or here. Please note, digital task cards are sold separately from this bundle. It includes the printable task cards instead.

That bundle includes the adverb bundle pictured below, but you can get just the adverb set separately too. Find it here.

This show a picture of the adverb bundle with anchor charts, mini-lesson, task cards, interactive notebook entry, worksheets, game, and assessments.

 

Click on the picture or link here for the Adverb Bundle.

I hope this content about how to teach an adverbs mini-lesson with ideas for activities has been helpful to you! If you would like more helpful content like this, freebies, and more, then subscribe to my newsletter here. Grab a free pair of task cards when you subscribe.

Adverbs Lesson & Activities

Thanks so much for stopping by the Candy Class!

Candy Class for Teaching Resources and Ideas

Jolene Mathew 🙂

Five Ways to Teach Multiple Meaning Words

By | |Resources, Vocabulary|0 Comments

Today, I want to share five ways to teach multiple meaning words. Multiple meaning words are words that sound alike but mean different things. These can include homonyms, but it also can include words that have a noun and verb meaning too. Students will need to depend on the context to understand the intended meaning of the word.

Why teach multiple meaning words? Teaching multiple meaning words will help deepen reading comprehension and expand vocabulary use in writing.

Teaching Multiple Meaning Words or Homophones

Activity #1 Homophone Picture Match

Visuals are a great way to help your visual students to build a mental image of the homophones. Playing a game of cards that involves matching is a fun, easy way to accomplish this. Print some pictures of some homophones like pair/pear, hair/hare, ate/eight, etc. Attach the pictures to some index cards with the words written on the bottom. Laminate them. Students can use the cards to play a memory game or a round of go fish.

Activity #2 Homophone Sort

Word sorts are also beneficial to students. While visual pictures should be used too, it’s important to focus in on the spelling differences too. For this activity, write the homophones on some index cards and laminate them. Let students sort the matching homophones into pairs.

Activity #3 Illustrate Two Meanings

With this activity, students will draw two illustrations to represent the word with multiple meanings. Have students fold a sheet of paper in half. Then on each side, let them illustrate the meaning of the word. For example with the word bat, students will draw a baseball bat on the left side of the paper. On the right side, they may draw a flying bat.

To up enthusiasm, let your class use this activity to make the game cards for the picture match activity that was mentioned first. Instead of using paper, they can draw on index cards. Let students write the word under each illustration. Instead of it being folded, they will make two separate cards for the same word such as the word bat. Laminate them for durability. Place the cards in a center for them to use. They will LOVE this even more. I’m telling you, this will be a hit and have them very engaged and picking up on those multiple meaning words FAST.

Activity #4 Dig into Context

It’s important that students also be able to use context to distinguish the differences in multiple meaning words. Task cards are a fun way for students to determine the meaning of a multiple meaning word in context. Students can read sentences, and then select the meaning that fits the word.

Task cards can also be used for an assortment of activities. You can play a game of Scoot or combine them with a game board easily.

On a side note, these task cards pictured below actually tells a story about a bat that loves baseball for fun.

multiple meaning words task cards

Click here or the picture to check out these printable task cards. These include color and black lined options. There are also two options for the recording sheets, so you can use 20 or 28 task cards with your students.

multiple meaning words homophones digital task cards

You can also save time with the digital format instead. That means no cutting, and it is engaging for students! Click here or the image to link to it.

Activity #5 Write it in Context

Once students have some experience with defining multiple meaning words in context, challenge them more by letting them come up with their own sentences that contain them. If your students have an interactive notebook, you can let them use one of these free templates linked below and write the multiple meaning words within the context of sentences under each word. Click here for the free template.

There you have it, five ways to teach multiple meaning words. I hope you found these ideas helpful! If you would like a free set of task cards for long and short vowels, sign-up for email here. You will also receive many other freebies, more teaching ideas, sales announcements, and more over time.

Teaching Multiple Meaning Words or Homophones

Thanks for stopping by the Candy Class! Make sure to check out my post about prefixes here and my post about vocabulary strategies here.

Candy Class for Teaching Resources and Ideas

Jolene Mathew 🙂

Activities for Teaching Context Clues in the Primary Grades

By | |Vocabulary|0 Comments

Let’s dive into activities for teaching context clues in the primary grades. I also have a post that breaks down how to teach vocabulary strategies that you can find here.

 

activities for teaching context clues

Activity #1 Picture Journal for Vocabulary

Many young learners are very concrete and visual. You can let students keep a picture journal to illustrate unknown words they find in the text. Encourage students to use the context clues or a vocabulary strategy to decipher the meaning of the unknown word as they read. Let students record the newly discovered word in a journal and create an illustration of the word. This will pair very well with words that have visual descriptions in the text as context clues. Illustrating will help them to understand the meaning of the new word more by making it more real and concrete.

Now if you already use a vocabulary journal, this can simply be a section in their notebook dedicated to illustrating words. For some students who are still developing their writing, you may want to start with just having a picture journal all together until they are ready to be pushed with writing the word’s meaning.

You can also extend this by having students also write their interpretation of what the word means. Bonus: You may need to read these for a good laugh every now and then. 😂

Activity #2 Clue Into the Word

With this activity, students revisit a word they wrote in their vocabulary journal or picture journal. If your students do not have a vocabulary journal, simply challenge them one day to find an unknown word and use context clues to decipher the meaning. Then have students write their word with its meaning and/or illustration on a sheet of paper. Students will mainly just need access to a word they have discovered on their own and figured out the meaning through context clues. Have students write the word in a sentence on a sheet of paper or even type it up on an iPad. With their new sentence handy, let students visit with other students, share their sentence, and ask the other student what it means. Let students switch partners as much as you like. You can also extend this a bit more by having students write down the words that were shared with them on a sheet of paper, and then hold a class discussion of the new words that were learned. It is a fun way to collaborate and learn new words in context. After all, they say the ones that learn the most are the ones that teach it, and this activity lets the students teach with something they have learned.

Activity #3 Digital Mystery Stories

Mystery themes and context clues go hand and hand, so why not let students read a mystery story and look to uncover unknown words with context clues? To make the reading more engaging, let them read digitally. I actually put together these task cards that have a story being told across from card-to-card. Students solve the unknown word, slide the magnifying glass to the word’s meaning, and answer some reading comprehension questions at the end that involves more higher-order thinking. It is good practice to build up their confidence by using context clues so that activities like Clue Into the Word can be done with confidence. You can find the context clue cards by clicking here for the digital ones or here for the printable ones.

context clues for Google Classroom digital task cards

I hope you found these activities helpful to help deepen the use of context clues! Context clues and vocabulary strategies are something I am very passionate about because I really do believe that is a big gap missing with students struggling with reading in the older grades and even adulthood. If you would like access to a resource library full of free teaching resources and a free course on using technology in the primary grades, make sure to sign-up here.

activities for teaching context clues

Thanks so much for stopping by the Candy Class!

Candy Class for Teaching Resources and Ideas

Jolene Mathew from The Candy Class 🙂

 

Ideas for Teaching Prefixes in 2nd Grade to Strengthen Vocabulary Skills

By | |Resources, Vocabulary|0 Comments

Students need opportunity to work with words and manipulate the parts of them. In primary grades like 2nd grade, students can start to dive into prefixes to strengthen their vocabulary skills. There are many ways for students to work with prefixes, and you will find a few ideas for teaching prefixes below.

Ideas for Teaching Prefixes in k-2

Idea #1 Sorting Prefixes

Have students sort words by the prefix. Simply write the words on index cards for students to sort by prefix. You can laminate for durability. Another way is to type them up, print on card stock, and laminate. Making prefix sorting mats provides a visual for students to place the words on top of as they sort. Simply type the prefix on a single sheet of paper. I recommend putting the prefix meaning on the mat too, so students can really learn that prefix.

 

Idea #2 Creating and Decoding Words with Prefixes

Let students figure out the meaning of words by providing a small list of prefixes and a root word. Include the meanings of the prefixes with this list. Let students form a new word from the list, and use the root word and the prefix meaning to define the new word in their own words. This activity is great because it pushes students to use some higher-order thinking. Now you can always create the lists and root words yourself, but if you would like to save time, I have a paperless resource for that here or by clicking the picture below.


Strengthen Vocabulary Skills with these Ideas for Teaching Prefixes in 2nd GradeLink Here

Idea #3 Prefix Interactive Notebook

Use an interactive notebook template for students to write a prefix on top and a group of words with that prefix under the flap. You can get a FREE interactive notebook template by clicking here to use for this activity.

I hope you find these ideas for teaching prefixes helpful to use with your students, so they can strengthen those vocabulary skills! If you would like some helpful tips, ideas, freebies, and sales announcements sent to your email, make sure to subscribe here. You can also view my privacy policy here.

Ideas for Teaching Prefixes in the Primary Grades

Thank you for stopping by the Candy Class!

Candy Class for Teaching Resources and Ideas

Jolene 🙂

How to Customize Your Interactive Notebooks…A Video Tutorial

By | |Interactive Notebooks|0 Comments

 

Get free interactive notebook templates

Hi everyone! I recently created this video tutorial that teaches you how to customize your interactive notebooks. In this tutorial, I teach how to create an acronym book that can be used for back to school or as part of an all about me unit, but you can use these techniques to create whatever your heart desires. Creating these yourself for a lesson can be complete in minutes, and there is no breaking the bank doing this because you can use these throughout the entire school year!

I hope you find this tutorial helpful! Make sure to read below afterwards to snatch up the free template.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments or any other types of tutorials you would like to see me create! I am here to help! If you are wondering where to get those templates, you can find them by clicking here.

Sign up for email to snag up the free template. If you are already a subscriber, just fill it out to get it sent to your email. I promise I am not into spamming. My current history show that I don’t even send out a single email some months! Life is too busy for all that spamming, haha!

 You can also view my privacy policy here.

Thanks for stopping by the Candy Class!

Sharing Teaching Ideas for K-2

How to Use Google Classroom on an iPad or Tablet When You are Not 1:1

By | |Google Classroom Use, Technology in the Classroom|1 Comment

Hi everyone! Today, I want to offer show you how to use Google Classroom on an iPad or tablet when you are not 1:1. Some of you may have been 1:1 for a while, but Google Classroom is new to you. Now, some of you might ask, what is 1:1? This is simply when each student has their own tablet or iPad to use in your classroom. Of course, some of you are like, our computers are more like one of those ones from a 1972 sci-fi movie. I can relate. My first year of teaching, I had no printer in my classroom and the text on the only computer was green and ran like a brontosaurus. This was in the 2000s, and it was mainly just my class that had THAT computer. Others had more efficient ones. My classroom was a storage closet with an obvious hidden dinosaur when they gave it to me, haha! Fast forward three years at another district in the county next door where I later went to teach, and they were handing me an interactive whiteboard and telling us to use it without providing very much with content in it or guidance geared for primary teachers. Some of you might not have devices for each student, and that might have some perks of its own, haha! New technology equals more expectations usually.

How to use Google Classroom when not 1:1

How do you manage using Google Classroom when students have to share the device? I am going to show you how I would do it. There is another option to have students log in and out, but that takes time each go around. Also, sometimes you have no control over the username and passwords given to your students that can easily be hard for them to remember or too easy to make a typo on due to the long length. ELA center time with the gadget could easily become login practice time instead! Thankfully, the devices leave the students logged in on an iPad and lets you add multiple accounts onto the device. This method will show you how to add multiple accounts, so students can select their account to use.

First off, if you do not have Google Classroom on any device, please see this post first on using Google Classroom on an iPad or tablet in a K-2 classroom by clicking here. Then don’t forget to jump back to this post. I have this post linked in there too.

Tip for Before You Get Started

I recommend having students assigned a device and planning that out before you set this up. Using some labels to number the device or name it will help manage this. (Students will find funny names amusing!) You will also want to consider when you will be using the devices in groups to make sure that two students assigned to use one device are not suppose to be using it at the same time (unless you want them collaborating, of course). Using your groups as a reference when assigning the devices will help to manage this. Sometimes, you might need to tweak it as you change up your groups, but considering groups when assigning devices is a good way to manage this. Once you know what student will be going on what device, you are ready to jump into adding them on it.

Step 1

After you have followed the steps from the previous blogpost, you will basically be repeating some of the steps to set-up the accounts for any students using the device. First, go into Google Classroom.

Example of how to add another account

On the left, select the bars.

 

Example of how to add a 2nd account

You will see the first account you have assigned to the device. Click on the triangle.

Example of selecting to add an account

Choose manage accounts. Select add account. Add the account information to add the student to the device for Google Classroom.

Step 2

Now, you will need to add the student’s account to the Google Slides app if you will be using resources that have the drag and drop or movable pieces. Go to the Google Slides app.

Example of Going into Google Slides

Click on the three bars in the top left corner.

Example of selecting the triangle in Google Slides

Click on the arrow.  It will look a little different. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture for that step, and I am having a lazy moment, haha! Please cut me some slack, I work 12 hours a day even in the summer, lol! It is pretty much the same as the one above, only without the choose manage account option). Choose manage accounts once that option appears. Select add account. Add the account information to add the student to the device.

Step 3

Now here is where it gets more complicated because you will have to train your students to do this step. Thankfully, they pick up on things fast!  Students will need to know how to select their account in Google Slides to be able to access their file and select their accounts in Google Classroom to turn in their assignment. Students can select their file by going into the Google Slides app, selecting the bars, clicking the arrow, and selecting their account as shown in step 2. They will then have access to their files and can select their assignment. It should be the first choice if it was recently added.

Example of Selecting an Assignment in Google Slides

Now thankfully, when you make a copy for a student in Google Classroom, it puts their name on the front part of the file. That way, they can know it is their file. I recommend teaching them to double check by looking for their name on the file too. When students work within their file, it will automatically save into what you are able to access from Google Classroom.

Once students complete an assignment, you will also need teach students how to go into Google Classroom, select their account and turn in the assignment. Once students are in the Google Classroom app, they select the bars, click the arrow, and select their account as shown in step 1.

Turning in an assignment in Google Classroom

Then they select the assignment and choose turn in. You are then able to view their assignment to assess how they are doing, so you can intervene with students who are struggling with something.

Yes, this is not a perfect system because there are some situations that can arise out of this to complicate things. 1:1 makes life a bit easier because it takes away worries of students accidentally working in the wrong file or worst yet…working in the wrong file on purpose. However, many still do not have that luxury! This is pretty much working within the technological limits, so you can have multiple students using Google Classroom on the same device.

If you are new to my blog, I have a free set of printable task cards for long and short vowels that I would love to share with you. Simply sign-up for email, and they will be sent to your email. If you are a current email subscriber, but you do not have the cards, you can grab them also by filling out the form too.

 You can also view my privacy policy here.

Image of students trying to both use Google Classroom on one device

Thanks for stopping by the Candy Class! I would love to hear about how you are using technology in the classroom in the comments below.

Jolene 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Strategy Share: Teaching Story Elements

By | |Guided Reading, Reading, Reading Strategies, Strategy Share, Teaching Strategies|0 Comments

Hi everyone! Today, I wanted to share some teaching strategies for teaching story elements. These ideas are meant to pair with fiction read alouds. Although, I will offer some ideas for guided reading too. I also will include a freebie to help implement these ideas.

Teaching Strategies

First, let’s go over the basic story elements that you would teach in a kindergarten or a first grade classroom. These elements are the characters, setting, and plot. The plot can be easily taught with a simple summary of the beginning, middle, and end or B-M-E. You may be familiar with the five finger retell that includes character, setting, and three details from the story or B-M-E. If not, now you are 😉 Now, let’s jump right in!

Strategy #1: Main Character vs. Other Characters

It is important that students are able to identify the main character in a story. One way to make this concept visual is by illustrating the main character as huge and the other characters as small. It’s a visual that will help young learners because they are very concrete with their thinking. Then when they are reading, they can try to picture who is the big character in the story. This will help them to understand the roles the characters play in a story.

Strategy #2: Character Feelings Sticky Map

This pairs well with a story where the character’s feelings change in the story. On a board or chart, divide up three significant events from a story. Ask students, “How do you think the character felt when _______ happened?” Have students draw up the character’s face on a sticky note and add it to that section. You would do this for each event in the story. You can then draw out the discussion more by asking why they think the character felt that way. Lead them to site clues from the book and to make inferences from their own experiences such as “I would be sad if my friend moved away.”

Strategy #3: Thought Bubbles

Example of a thought bubble for teaching story elements

Have students pretend they are a character in a story. Ask the students, “What would you think if you were the character?” Have students either illustrate or write their thoughts on a thought bubble. For fun, you could take a picture of the student, cut it out, and place it on a bulletin board with the thought bubble.

Strategy #4: Make a Sticky Map

Section off areas for the characters, setting, and B-M-E on a board or chart with arrows between each section to connect them. Then lead students to draw up the characters. Place some of them on the chart (all if you have room). The other students can put the sticky on their shirt for fun. Lead students to discuss the characters as you create the sticky map. Do the same for the other story elements.

Strategy #5: Create a B-M-E Mural

Divide the class into teams B-M-E. Each team focuses on drawing up that part of the story with the characters, setting, and event taking place. If you have a rather large class, you might want to do more than one mural. Once done, have each team present their part of the story. If you want to organize it more, you can assign students each a roll for each team such as character illustrator, setting drafter, story teller, and so on.

Strategy #6: Puppet Retell

Example of retelling puppets for teaching story elements

Yes, this is something that has been around for years, but I also think it is something that has been well forgotten in the last decade or just not used very often! Puppets are a fun way for students to retell the plot of a story, identify the characters, and recreate the setting. With this, have students make the character puppets. They can simply draw them up and attach to a popsicle stick. Then have students illustrate the setting. Students can work in pairs if you like with this project or even in a small group. Then let students retell away using the five finger retell strategy. (Note: I found these awesome popsicle sticks with a sticker that make it easy to have instant puppets. I bought the colorful ones locally in a craft section of a store near me. I could only find the plain ones on Amazon. You can find those here: Jumbo Craft Popsicle Sticks with Self-Adhesive Tips Please note, this is an affiliate link that is of no additional cost to you and that pays me a very small commission that goes toward the monthly costs to host this blog.

Strategy #7: Graphic Organizers

Picture of graphic organizers for teaching story elements

Okay, totally very common, I get it. However, these are very important, so I had to include it. Plus, I include a graphic organizer in the free download for you, so if I included it there, I had to cover it here. 🙂 Now graphic organizers can vary. Some can just focus on the character. Some can just focus on B-M-E. Some can incorporate all of those. When you are first introducing story elements, it is good to just zoom in on the characters. Who is the main character? Who are the other characters? Then branch out to the setting. Where did the story take place? When did the story take place? After that, you can branch out to B-M-E and start to dig deeper into character traits.

Here is the free story elements resource. I hope you enjoy it! Just fill out this form to grab it. If you are already a subscriber, simply fill it out again to have it sent to your email too.

 You can also view my privacy policy here.

Thanks so much for stopping by the Candy Class!

Jolene 🙂

 

 

 

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How to Use Google Classroom on an iPad or Tablet in K-2

By | |Google Classroom Use, Technology in the Classroom|5 Comments

Hi everyone! I wanted to share how to use Google Classroom on an iPad or tablet in K-2. First off, it can seem a bit overwhelming at first to consider even how to set this up on an iPad. At least, it did for me. My mind was boggled. I admit it. I was confused. I figured there must be other teachers confused, and I bet you many of us could have let students teach us by simply handing them the device and telling them we needed to use Google Classroom on it, haha! Seriously, young children amaze me at how much they pick up with technology. I am interested to see what they come up with by the time they are all grown up. It probably is going to make all our technology now look like the Middle Ages!

Find tips for how to set-up and use Google Classroom on a tablet or iPad

 

My initial fear was pushed aside once I dove into it instead of trying to figure it out in my head. It was actually pretty simple to set-up once I downloaded the appropriate apps. Most of it was intuative. The only thing that is a bit more confusing is if you are not 1:1 with the device and students need to share it. I have a post about that here. First set-up one, and then head there to set-up additional accounts on the same device.

Step 1

Download the Google Classroom App from the app store onto the device.

 

Step 2

Example of setting up an account

Have the student log into the account, or you log into the student’s account for them from within the Google Classroom app. They can now access their assignments from within the app. However, if you will be using drag and drop features in Google Slides, you will need to go to the next step because it will not work in Google Classroom.

 

Step 3

Download the Google Slides app from the app store. This will allow you to use the drag and drop features from within the app. Please note, you will need to log into the student’s account from within this app too. That way, their work can be saved to their drive. They will be able to access their assignment from their drive too. Now, here is where my mind was boggled: I wondered how can an assignment go back into their Google Classroom account? Would students need to know how to send that back? Thankfully, no they do not! Since they are working within their file from within their drive, all their work is automatically saved from within their account! Yay! This leads me to step four.

Signing in Google Slides

 

 

Step 4

Example of Selecting an Assignment in Google Slides

Teach students to go into their drive from within the Google Slides app to access the file.

Turning in an assignment in Google Classroom

Then teach them how to go back into Google Classroom to submit the assignment once it is complete.

And that is it! It is actually not so mind boggling after all. It just seemed that way at first! The technology actually makes things super easy for you and does a lot of the work for you. Now the real mind boggler….what assignments to give students to use all this fancy technology with contentless screens! I hope to write some posts with some helpful ideas at some point later down the road once I mow down some of my to do list more. However, I do have resources already created that you can find by clicking here.

If you are new to my blog, make sure to sign-up for email. I have more posts like this planned, and I also have other tips and even some free resources to share along the way.

 You can also view my privacy policy here.

 

Thanks for stopping by the Candy Class! My to do list is never to busy to stop and enjoy a chat in the comments below. 🙂

Jolene 🙂

 

Image of girl using an iPad to illustrate using Google Classroom on it

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Strategy Share: Teaching Strategies to use During Guided Reading & Freebies

By | |Guided Reading, Teaching Strategies|0 Comments

Hi everyone! What are some practical strategies you can use during guided reading to help streamline your lessons and keep students moving forward? Today, I want to share some practical teaching strategies with you that answer that question.  I also have included a few freebies, so you can apply these strategies right away.

Find some teaching strategies to use during guided reading in this strategy share post.

Strategy #1 Teach Memorable Strategies

I find it important to teach a strategy first, so students have a possible opportunity to apply it as they read. I’ve seen some suggestions to do this after reading, but let’s be real. Kids will forget if they do not get to apply it right away. I probably will forget too, haha! By teaching the strategy before the lesson, students are more likely to remember it and internalize it into their bank of strategies in their mind. You can teach the strategy either by modeling the behavior yourself, or sometimes you can guide students to apply the strategy as shown below. The words in parenthesis below are the actions and the other words are the scripted language. This is from my Chunky Monkey lesson B plan. (Link to free resource with his lesson plan posted below!)

Let’s take a walk through the words in the book. (Find a spot in the book that has a word that would have a familiar chunk in it like –at in the word mat.) Let’s stop at this word. (Point to the word.) Do you see any familiar chunks or parts in the word? (Students respond.) Very good! Now, what’s the sound of the first letter? (Students respond.) Blend them together. (Students blend the word.) Very good! You just used the Chunky Monkey strategy. (Show the anchor chart/poster and discuss it.) When we come to a word we do not know, we can look for chunks we know to help us read the word. (Have students practice the strategy with a few other words in the book.)

Another way to make the strategy memorable is by using a fun character theme. Many of us are familiar with Lips the Fish and Eagle Eyes, but I realized there were other skills to be teaching students that did not have a memorable character or lacked an action-oriented strategy to develop that skill all together. I got creative, and came up with some strategies with fun names. For example, students need to learn to read left-to-right, so now there is the Left-to-right Gecko…and my son helped me name that one, hehe! Love my sweet boy! Matching Moose is another one. This one is simply to teach voice-to-print, so students are matching the words on the page with what they are reading.

Strategy #2 Guide with Prompts

When it comes to teaching students to read, it is important to guide the students to apply a strategy instead of just telling them a word. Have questions handy to prompt students to apply the strategies as they read. It is important to keep what you say to the student very brief, so you don’t interrupt their connection within the text. It’s like you want to be that little voice in their head, so just a simple short question or statement is perfect. Then let them read on.

Strategy #3 Reinforce with Precise Praise

When a student is first learning a strategy and they apply it, it is important to reinforce with some precise praise. Don’t be vague and say, “Good job!” Instead, let’s say you just taught students the Eagle Eye reading strategy. Students were taught to use picture clues to help decode a word. You notice a student just used a picture clue to figure out the word zebra on the page. Instead of offering a simple compliment, be exact. Here are some examples:

“You just used your eagle eyes.”

“You used a picture clue.”

“You used a picture clue to figure out that word.”

If you notice, it does not really say anything about being awesome or doing a good job. The action the student took was what was summed up. This reinforces the student’s behavior. This will help them to acknowledge the action they took, so they can remember to use it for next time. Once a student shows proficiency with a strategy, reinforcement will not be needed. There will be other strategies the student will be newly learning. so those are the ones to focus on with reinforcement.

Strategy #4 Observe and Assess

There is no need to interrupt guided reading constantly with constant formal assessments. (Unless you are just required to do that, which is unfortunately the case way too much.) Performance assessment are your BFF when it comes to guided reading. You are able to keep the guided reading lesson flowing, and glean the information you need on each student. I absolutely have always loved using checklists during guided reading. Honestly, this helped me to focus more on the student’s too! If I just sit there, I will day dream accidentally. I am seriously ADD, so to focus, I need something in my hands. I can’t be the only ADD teacher out there, haha! But with all seriousness, you can get constant information about your students through performance assessments that will help you to group your students, match texts to them better, and know what you need to be reteaching students. Running records are another performance assessment you can use during guided reading too.

Strategy #5 Focus on Targets

Free sheet to use during guided reading to help focus on targets.

From your observations, you can make some notes on what to focus on next time. Did they apply that new strategy you just taught adequately? Maybe you need to reteach it.  Did you notice a reading behavior that is a struggle for them? Use that information to select the next strategy you teach them. Does one student in the group seem to be struggling with a strategy that the others are not struggling with at all? Make a note to focus in on prompts for that strategy as that student is reading. Now sticky notes are great for jotting down these ideas, but they can end up being a hot mess pile in no time. I have included some sticky note pages for you to jot down your focuses for your groups and students to keep them organized.

Simply opt-in for email to receive your free sticky note page. If you are already an email subscriber, just enter the information again, and you will also get access to the pages too! Check your email for them. 🙂

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Now as promised, I have a freebie for you I mentioned earlier with the Chunky Monkey level B lesson plan. Simply fill out the form to join the newsletter to snag that up too! If you already signed up, just run it through again to get it sent to your email too.

Guided Reading Level B Sampler

Just click here to grab it.

Thanks so much for stopping by the Candy Class! I have more Strategy Share posts geared for teaching reading and writing planned, so make sure to check your email if you signed up.

Jolene 🙂

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Fitting Science in Your Primary Class

By | |Classroom Organization & Management, Science|0 Comments

Hi everyone! How many of you have an hour each day to spend on science? What about a half hour? What about ten minutes? Ok, most of you are probably like, extra time. What is that? The struggle is for real. Yet, fitting science in your primary class is so very important.

Different Ways to Fit Science in the Primary Class

First off, it is important because you are going to have some curious little minds in your classroom that have a desire to learn everything about everything. Some students might actually prefer non-fiction to fiction too. There are going to be children in your classroom that you can better engage with topics on frogs, penguins, pumpkins, and so on than with some made up story of a kid and his talking pet pig. Now I can spit off other reasons you don’t want to skip over science, but if for any reason, it is for reaching students and engaging them.

So take a deep breath! You can do this! I got some ideas below. Some you probably know to do, but I hope to add some fresh ideas while covering all bases too.

Read Alouds

Read Alouds with Science Books

Include some books when you are reading a story aloud to the classroom. Having a nice balance of 50% fiction and 50% non-fiction is great!

Guided Reading

Finding some guided reading books on non-fiction for levels AA-D is like finding gold! They do exist! Being able to add that pumpkin reader in when you just did a read aloud on pumpkins is such a great extension!

Writing Workshop

Include writing about the science topic in your writing workshop or during guided writing after you have incorporated a read aloud or a book in guided reading. You could add a fun craft twist on it to make it even more engaging and exciting.

Recess

Example of Recess Science Experiment

Do you have a fun experiment that belongs outdoors? Do it when you are bringing students outside for recess. Usually it just takes a few moments to make a soda bottle explode from the mentos, and then students can carry on with their play.

Experimental Motivators

Do you have a struggle in your classroom with transition times? Are students taking too long to pack up right before leaving? If you have an experiment that you will be demonstrating to the classroom and letting them observe that is not very time consuming, you could use it as a motivator to get them to pack up those bags quickly or to clean up centers swiftly. Just let the student know that if they are packed up by so and so time, you will have time to squeeze in a science experiment. I recommend keeping it positive though. You don’t want it to turn into a punishment type of thing, just something that you honestly can have time to squeeze in if time allows. I recommend keeping it positive. Children love experiments, so be ready for those centers to be cleaned up fast!

Math Centers

Some science activities can tie in with math. You can add that as a math center or tie in the theme if there is not much connection. Some examples: Measure the “dinosaur bones” with counting cubes or inches as they dig for the “bones.” (These can be print outs of course!) Let them count the pumpkin seeds to a 100 from a pumpkin you cut open earlier. Measuring water in different size containers is another good one.

Morning Work

Morning work can be meaningful because it is review time and time to work on important skills like handwriting, but it is possible that some of you could exchange that time once a week for doing a science activity too. This will start the day off with a bang and get them excited about learning!

Reading Response

If you don’t have time to focus on science right after a read aloud, don’t stress it. You can always add a reading response craft as one of your reading centers. Setting out an example and picture directions will help them to be independent at the center. Students can do things like label the parts of an ant. They can also write all about bees or the life cycle of a flower. You can also have students open non-fiction books that were used during the read aloud on a device like an iPad or tablet to help them recall important details from the pictures and inspire their science craft creations. The crafts below come with non-fiction books that pair with them.

Fitting science in the primary class is as simple as using crafts and read alouds

Find the resource by clicking here

I hope some of these ideas get you thinking about how to integrate and fit science in your classroom. Maybe you were able to spring some ideas off my suggestions above for fitting science in your classroom. If so, I would love to hear some of those ideas below in the comments. Thanks so much for stopping by the Candy Class! Make sure to sign-up for email below. I have some upcoming blog posts with exclusive freebies planned!

Jolene 🙂