Archive | November, 2013

The Gift of Reading Blog Hop (Stop #20)

22 Nov

Blog Hop Overview:

At each blog stop, you will be gathering literacy-related gifts and freebies.  In each post, you will find a picture of a snowman with a letter on it. Collect all of the letters, record them on your Giveaway Recording Sheet, and solve the mystery quote. You will need this quote to enter the amazing giveaway at the end!

The hop is set up as a loop, so you may start anywhere along the hop, but if you would like to start at the beginning, to make sure you scoop up all the freebies, please visit the first stop: A Day In The Life of A Title I Teacher.  (This is also where you will go after you finish the hop to enter the giveaway!)

Welcome to Blog Hop Stop #20:

“Reading. Writing. Thinking. Sharing.”

20

The Gift of Reading:

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The gift of reading is a lifelong gift. Helping the children in your life find the one book, the one author, or the one series they could fall in love with… it could change their lives forever. Maybe it’s the book that hooks them into the world of reading. Maybe it’s the series that motivates them to read moreto become better readers. Maybe it’s the author that helps them relate, connect, and understand life. Whatever it is, help your students understand the power of reading, and show them how it can truly change their lives.

I wish for you a holiday season filled with love, laughter, and MANY wonderful books! 🙂

Enjoy my FREE gift for YOU!

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(NOTE: Starting 8 PM on Sunday, 11/24/13, this item will go back to being a paid item in my TpT store.)  

The Winter Escape” partner poetry product will bring some poetry fun into your classroom! Use the poem to reinforce fluency, and use the comprehension pages to reinforce visualizing, retelling, making inferences, and writing text-based answers. Send it home with students, or use it in the classroom as a literacy center. My students love the back-and-forth structure of this partner poem and the activities that go along with it. I hope yours do too!

My secret letter is:

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Thank you for stopping by! If you’re not already a follower, and you would like to be the first to know about new post, giveaways, and blog hops, follow me on Bloglovin’ (click the image bel0w). You can also sign up for my blog posts via email (see right-hand navigation). 

 
 

Don’t stop now! Hop on over to Thinking Out Loud to pick up another amazing reading gift! If you get lost along the way download the Blog Hop Map here to easily pick up where you left off! 

Happy Hopping &

Happy Holidays!

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Helping Students Understand Questions

19 Nov

I’ve been working on evidence-based questions with some of my RtI intervention groups…. and yikes. We didn’t even get to the response-writing part when many of my students hit a roadblock. Question words. They could come up with 101 “I wonder…” questions while reading, but when faced with a higher-level thinking question, they didn’t know how to answer it. They couldn’t dissect the question. How could I expect my students to find evidence to support their answers when they didn’t even know what kind of answer they needed? Although the biggest confusion was with “why” and “how,” I decided to spend some time reviewing the question words. All of them.

Teaching Question Words

Questioning is a skill that many students struggle with. Asking questions can be challenging, but answering questions can be even more challenging. Helping students understand question words is the first step. With explicit teaching and reinforcement, students can develop mental associations (using visuals and key words) to help them make connections automatically between questions and the type of answers that go with each. So how can you help your students build mental associations?

Below is a student reference I created for my students’ reading folders. Students can use this sheet throughout the year as a quick reference for question words.

FREE Question Words Student Reference

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Also, here are a few activities (below) that I use regularly for teaching question words.

Question Word Activities:

Guess the Question. Read a section of text and have your students come up with a question that could be answered by that section. Students need an understanding of question words to decide which one to use for the section. This ties in many other skills, especially because students need to identify the main idea and important details before coming up with a question. They have to hunt for key words to determine what KIND of question to ask. They can ask themselves questions like, “Does the section describe the steps for a process?” “Does the section provide reasons or an explanation?” I like to use informational texts and cover up the section headings with a post-it note. The Scholastic Question & Answer Series by Melvin & Gilda Berger is great for this activity!

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Question Sorts/Matching. Students match question words to visuals and key words. This can be guided or independent, timed or self-paced. My students make their own flash cards from their student-made graphic organizers. They either copy question words, key words, and visuals onto index cards, or I make copies of their graphic organizer for them to cut-out. I usually have them “speed match” the cards and try to beat their time over a few tries. My goal is for them to build QUICK connections between the key words, visuals, and the question words so that when they read questions they have to answer, they know HOW to answer it. (Looking for pre-made flash cards or a graphic organizer template? Check them out in my store here!)

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Fact ↔ Question. Students turn facts into questions and questions into facts. For the questions, I have the students highlight the question word and ask themselves what kind of answer they need. They use their student reference as needed. For the facts, I have them highlight important words and think about key words as they analyze the sentence. They look for reasons, explanations, “time” words, dates, names, etc. and use the clues to come up with a question.

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Question Word “I Have/Who Has.” Students love playing “I Have/Who Has.” Not only is it engaging, but it is a great way to review vocabulary and build fluency (multiplication facts, telling time, word patterns, sight words, etc.). Typically this game involves 20+ cards, but I use less than ten for this one to review the most common question words and their key words. I love to use this game as a 3-minute filler or quick warm-up activity. You can make your own game, or you can find the one I made here!

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What do YOU use to teach question words? 

Additional Questioning Resources: 

 

WHOOOOOO is looking for a ready-to-use packet of materials? Check out my complete 25-page questioning packet called Questioning Owl: A Focus on Understanding & Asking Questions for more question word materials and resources!

Questioning Owl

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   Questioning Owl Thumbnails

Gift of Giving Blog Hop

Also, on an unrelated note… next weekend is another BLOG HOP! The literacy specialists who came together for the popular Super Sleuths blog hop last month, have teamed up again. Check out the Gift of Reading blog hop next weekend and you’ll receive over 20 literacy resources for FREE! (Plus, you can enter for another chance to win fabulous prizes and gift cards. Woohoo!)

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Happy Teaching! 

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