Book Character Day!

 

Happy fall!

Happy fall!

 

The puppies have been enjoying the fall weather, as well as our break the past few days. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed time to eat, relax, and maybe even do some school work fun activities!

Book Character Day

A couple of weeks ago, it was National Reading week. We did a lot of fun things at our school to celebrate, like our Fall Reading & Family night. It was a blast! Families came back to school and rotated through different stations, which included story time, fall games, and even a guest singer who led the crowd in reading songs!

Another way we celebrated was our Book Character dress-up day. Our entire school picked their favorite character from a book. On our special day, everyone came to school dressed up as that character!

Book Character Day!

Book Character Day!

Here are some of the first grade teachers (myself included!) dressed as someone you might recognize 🙂

Emily Elizabeth!

Emily Elizabeth!

Here’s a second grade teacher as Emily Elizabeth from Clifford- isn’t it just perfect!?

The kids came to school as a character they got to choose themselves. They all looked SO AWESOME and we had so much fun.

We had some Elsa’s….

Frozen

Frozen

some Pete the Cat’s…..

Pete!

Pete!

a Rudolph, Woody, Darth Vader, a Ninja Turtle, a vampire, a Minion, and another Cat in the Hat!

Characters!

Characters!

Plus, some Tin men {from Wizard of Oz!}- which we just finished reading!

Tin men (and woman!)

Tin men (and woman!)

It was a really fun day, filled with lots of reading activities.

Book Mapping

Book Mapping

Since I was the Cat in the Hat, we read that story and worked in partners to map it. The kids drew the characters, the setting, the problem, and solution of the story.

Mapping

Mapping

We also worked on rhyming words, using lots that we found in the story. The kids used their iPads and the Doceri app to write words that rhymed with a given word.

Rhyming Words

Rhyming Words

Rhyming Words

Rhyming Words

During writing time, the kids wrote about who they were. Since we’ve been working on describing things using details and adjectives, this fit right in! The kids drew themselves as their character and told all about themselves!

Character Writing

Character Writing

Character Writing

Character Writing

Character Writing

Character Writing

Character Writing

Character Writing

Character Writing

Character Writing

Speaking of adjectives, the kids also got to do a fun activity in grammar. We started by drawing ourselves in the middle of a bubble map. Then, the kids used adjectives, or describing words, to tell more about themselves (or really, about their character)

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Next, we used our iPads and the Popplet app to take this and digitalize it! Basically, we made the exact same map, just on our iPads. But this time, we took a selfie and used that as the middle picture!

My example

My example

You can see my example above. It always amazes me how quickly the kids learn new apps. This was probably only the second or third time we’ve used this app, but the kids were already pro’s!

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

Describing their Character

By the way, you didn’t think our class pet Spot would miss out on the fun, did you? Of course he was Thing 2, matching with my Cat in the Hat theme 🙂

Spot!

Spot!

It was such a fun day! Thanks for checking in to our adventure!

All Smiles

All Smiles

Close Reading Strategy- Main Idea and Details with Technology!

Good morning!

I hope your Tuesday is off to a great start. Around here our schedule is a little wacky- because of ISAT testing, all of our specials are now in the morning to accommodate the older kids! Which means, right now the little darlings are at music class and I could pop in to talk about another great close reading strategyfinding the main idea and details!

We actually did this one in February, but I never got around to posting it. Oops 🙂

Our close reading passage was on giraffes and on the third day of the week, we focused on the main idea of the text and the details that tell us more.

The first thing we did was talk about all of this orally. Not only is oral language part of the Common Core standards, but it’s essential to develop language skills in my ELL learners.

After this, the students got into groups and used the Popplet app to summarize and visually show what the main idea was and the details that told more.

Popplet!

Popplet!

 

This is a FREE app that allows you to make a web, which you could use for many different reasons. Here’s an example of one I found on-line.

Example

Example

You can upload pictures, like in the example above, and add all of those boxes around it to tell more.

In my class, we used the app to write the main idea and add boxes around that which told more about the main idea. The important part for us was that the kids used details from the text to support the main idea.

We started by all writing in a box what the main idea of the passage was- giraffes!

Main Idea/Detail

Main Idea/Detail

(And let me remind you- the kids did this ALL by themselves! We have used this app several times whole class, so they were aware of the buttons and functions, but they did all of the writing, adding boxes, and finding details in their own groups! Amazing!)

After we all started off by writing down the main idea, the students worked in their groups to find supporting details from the passage. When they all found one they agreed on, they had to work together to add it to their web.

Main Idea/Detail

Main Idea/Detail

(I LOVE how engaged with the text they are! Doing something like this is so hands-on and fun that they don’t even realize how closely they are interacting with the passage- but I LOVE it!)

Main Idea/Detail

Main Idea/Detail

Below is a close up of something a group was working on…

Main Idea/Detail

Main Idea/Detail

The app is very easy to use. The kids got the hang of it right away. All you need to do is double tap somewhere on the screen to bring up a new box. By touching a circle on the box, you can draw a connecting line between boxes. Touch the “T” button and you’re ready to type!

Main Idea/Detail

Main Idea/Detail’

 

Main Idea/Detail

Main Idea/Detail

This was such a great way to incorporate technology into our lesson. The kids were able to interact deeply with the passage an additional time, find supporting details that told more about a text, and practice typing skills. On top of all of that, they practiced team skills like sharing, oral language, and finding things in a text together.

The end result was pretty amazing. We reflected (projected) each groups main idea/detail web onto the board so everyone could see what each group did. The kids in that group read the details they found which told more about the main idea. The kids got a kick out of seeing if the other groups had similar things to what they had. I got a kick out of seeing how well they were able to use this technology together!

This is a wonderful app that can be used in many other ways. I use it a lot in my small flexible reading groups when we are working on things like compare/contrast, describing something, or reinforcing main idea and details. Try it out and see how you can use it at home or in school!

Happy Tuesday- I’m off to pick up the munchkins! 🙂