So I have officially completed seven full days of school. Whew! It is been a whirlwind of learning procedures and routines (the kids AND me!!! the joys of moving to a new school yet again... hehe). I can't wait to get to the point where we can actually learn something.
My favourite new things in my classroom this year is my Mimio! If you don't know, the Mimio is a small device that turns your whiteboard into an interactive screen. (It connects to your computer and projector.) I have used a SMARTBoard in the past and I think I liked it better, but the Mimio is a cheaper alternative and it's pretty simple to figure out. It comes with a pen that you have to use as a pointer. It's funny how engaged the kids can be when doing anything on it.
I have been using the Mimio a lot with the start of our Daily 5. I keep all of our anchor charts in one file so we can refer back to them each day as we start, so then I don't have to have them hanging on the wall where there is not much space. I found a lot of great ideas from Mrs. Meacham's Classroom. She has a bunch of great Daily 5 SMARTboard files to download for free. A lot of the book ideas came from her! Love it.
So we have just begun practicing read to self. We're up to a whole 6 minutes. Not bad with 26 students. Do you know how hard it is to find reading spots for 26 students? Changing books with 26 students? Everything with 26 students takes a long time. They're so slow at everything! And they take up so much space! lol. I think I was just spoiled with 21 students last year. Anywho, the first day we read the book "Look! I Can Read!" by Susan Hood. Then we wrote a list of all the people who read books.
We completed our read to self I-chart together. We kept it very simple and only had four things on the students side: read the whole time, stay in the same spot, be very quiet, and think about the book.
Then I created a stamina chart to help us keep track of how long we can read. Love the little interactive timer I downloaded from Mimio Connect. I created two charts... one for Days 1-10 and Days 11-20. Hopefully we will make it to 20 minutes by then.
The second day of practice we read the book "Read Anything Good Lately?" by Susan Allen. This is a cute alphabet book that lists all the things you can read: an atlas in the airport, a biography in bed, etc. Then we made a list of all the things we might read.
After that we read "The Best Place to Read" by Debbie Bertram. We made a list of places we like to read.
Then we talked about reading spots in the classroom. With 26 students all practicing at the same time right now, they need to be spread out. So I took pictures of the areas in the room (not many... no cute chairs or stools yet) and placed them in the Mimio. Then I added the students' pictures. Now I just have to move the students' faces around each time. Easy peasy! Once we get into the full swing of things, I won't pick their spots for them because there will only be 5 or 6 students at a time doing read to self. When we get into practicing read to someone, I'll do the same kind of thing to pick reading partners. Gotta make it easy with 26 bodies!
The next day we read the book "The Best Time to Read" by Debbie Bertram and made a list of when we like to read. This was good to do a little informal survey of who actually reads at home too... Very interesting!
We also started to talk about the three ways to read books. First, we practiced reading the pictures. I found this adorable wordless picture book called "Deep in the Forest" by Brinton Turkle. It's like a reverse take on Goldilocks. A people family goes out for the day and a little black bear comes into their house. I modelled how to "read" the pictures by telling my own story. Then I read the familiar story of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" by Bill Martin, Jr. and we talked about how to read the words.
The day after we looked at the story "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and talked about the third way to read a book--retelling a familiar story.
We also read the book "Reading Makes You Feel Good" by Todd Parr. We talked about all the reasons why we read books.
That's all we've gotten to so far! If you are interested, I put all my blank anchor charts into a pdf file for you to download below. There are I-charts and stamina grpahs for all five choices. If you have a Mimio or SMARTboard or other interactive whiteboard, you can insert the pdf into that software and you have your own electronic charts! Or if you prefer the old fashioned way, you can print out the posters to use. Leave me a note if you find these useful! I love the feedback!
Enjoy your weekend everybody. I am looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow morning.... Mmmm :)