Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bright Ideas for Old Magazines

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So if you are like me, you probably have a variety of children's magazines in your classroom.  I use these to provide opportunities for my students to interact with informational text.  These magazines are highly popular with my students, and as a result, they do not withstand that amount of use for very long.  Recently I had a large pile of magazines that were falling apart.  I knew I couldn't keep these magazines on the shelf any longer, but I hated to get rid of such colorful, interesting, and informational material.

So I decided to make some informational text centers with these magazines.  I found several different articles that were still in decent shape.  I used construction paper to cover the titles and numbered each article.  I then laminated each set so that it would be more durable and I could use it again.

Then I came up with several different ideas to meet the informational text standards.  Here are a few ideas we have used:

  • Read the article and generate questions for a peer to answer.
  • Supply questions about the article, and ask students to provide evidence from the text as an answer.
  • Determine the main idea of the article.
  • Explain how details from each paragraph support the main idea.
  • Supply the titles for all the articles and ask students to match the title and article.
  • Generate your own title for each article.
  • Find examples of text structure: sequencing, cause and effect, description, problem and solution, compare/contrast
  • Choose 2-3 vocabulary words and use context clues to generate your definition of the word - or use a dictionary to look up the definiton fo the words.
  • Choose 2-3 academic vocabulary words and describe why you think the author chose to use these words in the text.
  • Find examples of text features.
  • Determine the author's point of view about the topic.
  • Explain how the text features help you understand the text.
  • Cut apart the paragraphs and ask students to put the text back in order.
  • Find articles on a similar topic and ask students to compare/contrast the articles.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Telling Time - We Still Need The Practice

As our state testing window is approaching, I'm constantly looking at data to assess what skills my students need more practice with. After giving a recent assessment, one of the most missed questions was about telling time and finding elapsed time. I immediately went on a hunt for additional resources. This week I used Laura Candler's Telling Time/ Elapsed Time Game Combo. What I love about this resource is that it combines the content my students need to practice with a fun game they wanted to play over and over!

The first activity in this bundle is Monster Math Mix Up.  It contains 4 monster puzzles (Which my students loved!), analog clock task cards, and a spin mat. I just supplied a pencil, paperclip, and a white board with a marker. 

Students take turns drawing a task card from the pile and recording the time on the white board. They show the clock and their answer to the other players. If they are correct, they get to spin. 

Once students take a spin, they follow the directions they land on. 

Students either add to or take away monster puzzle pieces. The first player to complete their puzzle wins!

The second part of this bundle is Racing Through Elapsed time.  It contains a game board and task cards. All I needed to add was game pieces, dice, and white boards to work out the problems. 

Students take turns drawing a task card from the pile and working out the problem on the white board. 

Once they find an answer, another player compares it to the answer key. If the answer is correct, the student rolls the dice. I keep my dice in a small container with a snap on lid, which helps prevent dice scattering all over the place. 

Students move their game piece the amount of spaces they rolled and follow the directions on the square they land on. The first player to the finish line wins!

My students enjoyed playing both these games! As a teacher, I enjoyed providing my students with the extra practice they need without it being mundane and boring. 

Laura has tons of great resources like these in her TPT store. Stop by and check them out!