Our Reading classes come to the library monthly for lessons and activities. Last month, our reading teachers requested that we develop a lesson on external text features -- think: bold print, italics, tables of contents, glossaries, etc. Text features are a fairly dry topic so we turned to one of our go-to instructional strategies: stations. Stations allow for lots of student movement, the ability for us as teachers to push into smaller groups that need extra support, and offer room for lots of differentiation. And, stations let us meet our goal: making text features a lot more accessible and a bit more interesting for our students.
Recently, our reading team approached my co-librarian and I with a request for a lesson on setting. They wanted their students to understand the big picture in the setting of a story -- primarily realistic/historic fiction or non-fiction settings -- in terms of geography, climate and terrain, as well as distance and scale. Whew. A lot to cover in a 47-minute class period. But after brainstorming and planning (as well as some consultation with Corey), we pulled together a fun lesson with lots of posibilities. We headed out into the world with our reading classes using Google Earth.
This week's Take5 is all about a topic that we spend a lot of time focusing on as middle school educators: TEENS. We talk screen time, cell phones, overall struggles that teens experience and ways schools can help. Then we end with an uplifting story about students who set out to build something real -- a sailboat -- and summer reading list for middle schoolers (and students of all ages).
In an earlier post, I mentioned the connection that my co-librarian Susanna and I have made with our reading teachers this year. We scheduled monthly lessons focusing on a particular skill or activity (as well as encouraging book check out). One quick lesson was aimed at building our students' inferencing skills, an important component of reading comprehension.
Graphics are a great way to make something clearer and easier to understand. I am constantly bookmarking and saving interesting posters and infographics that I find on the web. Today, I'm sharing five with you that I think are most relevant for classrooms and libraries, focusing on social emotional health, growth mindset, physical movement, and (surprise-surprise) reading!
So, Take5 mintues and spend some time checking out these thought provoking graphics. Do they resonate as much with you as they do with me?
Early in the school year, our Reading team approached my co-librarian Susanna and I asking if they could regularly bring their students to the library for a quick lesson and book checkout. We jumped at the chance to develop this natural partnership and began to plan the first skills lesson: visualization. We chatted with our reading colleagues, did some searching on the web, and pulled together several different activities for our students with the goal of encouraging them to use all of their senses. These strategies could be used on one day or split apart to re-emphasize the skill over several days.
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