Thursday, April 26, 2012

Daily 5 Write About Reading

Thanks everyone for your feedback on my Multiplication Madness freebie! I'm glad so many people could use it.

This is the first post in my Daily 5 series - doesn't that sound all fancy! Basically, I'm just going to take some photos and write about what I put in my Daily 5 tubs that I wrote about here (so not that fancy at all!)

You may have read before that I do Write About Reading instead of Work on Writing because I do writing and spelling separately from the Daily 5. When we do the Daily 5, I want my students to really focus on reading. I also wanted to have a set time when they worked on responding to texts we have read as a class and during guided reading. 

Each week, I have some type of response required from each of my 5 guided reading groups. Since I am doing running records this week (a school requirement that we do formal running records each term in order to set individualised reading goals), I am not taking guided reading groups so I have no photos. The responses vary depending on the text, the reading level, our class comprehension focus and the needs of the students in each group. For example, when we worked on retelling as a class focus, my lower groups did a simple BME by drawing pictures, others may do a story board with pictures and sentences and others may do a Story Map to identify the Characters, Setting, Problem and Solution along with the main events.

Most weeks I also have a reading response that I want the whole class to complete. We have been working very hard on our Stereotyping English unit. We've created Character Profiles and compared stereotypical characters to those found in texts such as The Paper Bag Princess and Emily and the Dragon.

So this week, after modelling and shared writing activities, I asked students to compare the dragon or Princess Elizabeth from The Paper Bag Princess to a stereotypical dragon or princess in a Venn diagram. Therefore in the tub this week, I have copies of the text, a Venn diagram sheet and clipboards so students can get comfy around the room (I find it funny that they'll even clip the sheet to the clipboard and go sit at their desk....)
They can also use the charts we've created on Prince Ronald from the same text to help them if needed. 
The Character Profile above is based on what we visualise when we think about "Princes".  Below is the same chart (Appearance, Qualities, Thoughts, Actions) for Prince Ronald from the book and the comparison Venn diagram.
I also had a question about something I mentioned in a previous post. I said we'd done a Hot Potato Tree Map.  A Hot Potato is just a variant of the Graffiti Wall. Basically I printed out a tree map for each group - one for Dragons, Princes, Princesses, Mum and Dads. The groups had about 2-3 minutes to write anything they could on the tree map. The tree map then rotates around the groups with each group reading through and adding more ideas until they get theirs back (I actually rotated the kids around, but both ways work).

I knew they'd be repeats and spelling mistakes so I collected them up after we went through them and wrote them on coloured paper to put up for future reference (handwriting is not my speciality!). 
I like to use Hot Potato strategy when I introduce a topic to find out what they already know or think (like above) or at the end of the unit to review a topic. You can do it for anything (not just Tree Maps).