On recommendation of the retiring teacher last May I had my school order a class set of National Geographic Young Explorer. It is a great magazine and I am finally getting around to the Jan./Feb. issue.
I had a streak of good luck on Saturday, because I came up with a great plan.
Use this as a whole class reading lesson. I planned two lessons, one we did today, the other will happen tomorrow. I do not think tomorrow's will be as cool, but we shall see.
I started off the time with a property activity. Each table group was given a large construction paper with a picture of an insect. They wrote words that describe the insect (science standard). After a minute or two, I rotated the papers. Eventually each table group was able to write on each paper. I told them to read the other groups writing, so as to not duplicate, but that seemed too difficult for these firsties.
They were super quiet, and super engaged, and writing!
(Don't mind the girl falling off her chair--her teammates aren't. She was ok. I think it is funny, I can laugh, because just last week I did the same thing in my friend's room after school. And my face probably looked the same.)
Next I handed each child their own copy of the magazine. We searched for hunks and chunks, underlined blends, predicted what words we may see, and read (and reread) the first story.
I really enjoyed their enthusiasm when they discovered that our Phonics Dance info can really help them read real books.
We had a bit of time, so I had them read it again. This time by them self or with a friend. Everyone choose with a friend. I had a couple friends read with me at my table. It was a quiet buzz around the room, reading and learning with a friend.
We hung the completed posters on a cabinet door. I told the kids that they could add to the posters if they wanted to. I caught a boy (in a good way) writing on it later. Such a good thing.
I continue to get notes throughout the day. It is nice, but apparently they can write the notes and listen to instruction at the same time. I know that because both of these notes were handed to me in the middle of this afternoon's lessons.
(To Mrs. Bar I love you even when you are teaching. HAHA. And I am smart. Glad she knows it!)