Tuesday, February 24, 2015

And Adding to that Theory...

Good evening!

It's almost Spring Break, and I am definitely happy!!  However....it's the AFTER Spring Break that concerns me!!  A week after we return, it STAAR time in Texas.  And that means our 5th graders need to be reading to read!!

I just wanted to add a little information to the Notebook post.  I am a HUGE notebook fan (in case you haven't noticed).  Last post, I shared information about anchor charts I have students put into their notebooks.  But, I wanted to show some other things we do in our notebooks.

My 5th grade groups are working on novel studies.  I don't use worksheets or prepackaged units.  Since we are so close to STAAR, I spiral through all of the TEKS students need to know.  But everything we do is OPEN-ENDED.  Students have to give me their answer, why they wrote the answer they did, and what part of the story told clued them into the correct answer.  Now, it's really difficult to come up with new questions on a daily basis, but one of the best things you can do is use the LANGUAGE OF THE TEK to create your questions.  If you teach outside of Texas, use the language of your standard.

We are lucky on our campus.  Our district provides us with some question stems, we've pulled stems from released STAAR exams, and we use stems provided by Margaret Kilgo of Kilgo Consulting.  We've attended her Math and Reading sessions, and found her information and work invaluable.  Stems are broken down by TEK, and that makes it so much easier.

Here is how I use the resources in my groups:

As you can see, I ask the question and students have to respond with an answer, why, and where it came from.  (This is great idea that our district coordinator came up with.)  I have two different groups.  One group is reading James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.  The other group is reading The Thing About Georgie by Lisa Graff.   (I highly recommend both!)

For assessment, students USE THEIR NOTEBOOKS to answer questions:

Another option is to have students answer multiple choice questions using their open-ended responses.

And I'm outta here...



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