Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I'm a Copycat

If Julie did it and blogged about it, you can bet that I am thinking about it and doing 1/2 of it.

First Grade Critter Cafe

I love her Critter Cafe. Way back in September she started blogging about it and I was hooked. I have not kept up with strategies like I could have, but I do squeeze in some. 

Last week Julie wrote about Main Idea and Details. What a tough piece of comprehension for me. To really understand and to teach. But it is HUGE on our state assessments. Which is why I was excited to copy Julie and give these first graders a great start.

Today was potato day. (More on that in another post.) We did some stuff. Then I read a non-fiction book about potatoes, and used an on-line lesson plan about teaching main idea that I followed it to a "T." Kids kinda got it.

We did some more stuff.

Then I introduced Digger the Dog. He digs for details to support the main idea. The kids loved him.

I read Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato to them. We filled in the anchor chart I had whipped up (per Julie--of course) and learned a whole bunch.

Truly, 2/3 of my class got it. And the other 1/3 understood (at least they looked like it--you know wide eyes, nodding heads, their "me too" hand signals were up).

Here is the photo I snapped of our awesome chart. 

I am so excited to do this with more books. I love making abstract ideas real and concrete. Digger the Dog really helped.

I won't be doing any comprehension with The Boxcar Children (which I started reading today). It is a "read for enjoyment, not "assessing" book. But you know, so much comprehension happens anyway. I just don't have to plan it! They were so quiet and now they can hardly wait to find out what happens to Benny, Violet, Jessie and Henry tomorrow. 
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  1. Oh my goodness! I love the Boxcar Children! I loved reading it as a child and remember having it read to us in class when I was a child. I love when a plan comes together also. We've been working hard on retelling skills, which I struggle with teaching, and the more I focus on them, the more progress I see... Hooray!

  2. Alyce!!!
    I love your Digger Dog!!! SOOOO much cutier than mine!
    And you did a GREAT job on your anchor chart! BRAVO!
    No way!
    I am honored!
    Have a fabulous Friday my dear sweet friend!


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