Friday, April 12, 2013

: D

So this happened...

I have my contract for next year!!  For the FIRST TIME, I will be in the same place in the same grade (more than likely the same grade). That contract has already been signed and sent back in-I'm not taking any chances!

I also had an informal observation today (we need to have 3 informal and 1 formal....and totally was not prepared for him to come in today!)

When my principal came in, I was reading this to the kids:
One of my favorites! I picked this book because I had read it to them before, and I thought it was perfect for the skill I wanted them to work on....

Writing a good Reader Response!

I've noticed lately that their reader responses where really kind of sucky (I think....because.... done!), so I wanted to model how to do a good one, and strategies that they could use to help them.

After I finished reading, I modeled the process of doing a reader response (with some help from them!)

The question we had to answer was: Do you think SkippyJon Jones is imaginative?

I first modeled how to write part of the question as my first part of my answer (I think SkippyJon Jones is very imaginative...).

Then I modeled (and asked) the kids some details on how to support the answer. We looked back in the book, did some inferencing, used the book to help us with our spelling. We even talked a little about using quotation marks when we used the author's words in the response!

When we finished our response, it was time for them to practice. Yesterday, I sat down with a stack of picture books and came up some questions for each book.

I typed them up and cut them into little strips. Then I put the little strips into individual envelopes and matched then with their book.

All set up and ready to go after recess!
Each book had at least 2 responses (with the exception of It's Mine!), and some had 3 or 4.

I spread these out on the floor, with the different questions above each book. I only made 5 of each question, so once the envelope is empty, they can't use that question (or book) anymore.

They take the questions and glue it into the organizer I made up:

There are also two boxes and paragraphs on the back-for a total of 4.

I sent them on their way after explaining the directions (and then my principal left), and went to work with one of my LD friends-I read the story to him so he could focus on the details. We then worked out his response (with some prompting!).

I like having the 4 spaces for questions- I can differentiate the amount of questions each friend gets (Lightbulb moment in the middle of the practice time!!).

As students finish their responses, I check them over, and we talk about what they wrote, if they could add anything-like details, concluding sentence, checking spelling, etc.

They go onto the next book or question (I told them that they could use 2 questions for 1 book-or choose 4 different books).

They really loved it and I saw a nice improvement in their responses...we'll see if it lasts!

Books I used:
Swimmy; A Color of His Own; A Chair For My Mother

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs; Spinky Sulks; It's Mine!

Strega Nona; Brave Irene; Doctor De Soto

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile; Officer Buckle and Gloria; Shrek!

The Hello, Goodbye Window

Onto the : D part of the lesson....I was standing in the copy room making copies for Monday when the principal came and told me what a GREAT lesson it was!

He said it was close to perfection-the kids were engaged and we were obviously working on a  skill that they needed. I had been a little worried because it wasn't 'fidelity to the program'-although they will use what they learned while doing the program.

(I should mention that I came up with this idea yesterday afternoon-about 1/2 hour before school ended. I came up with all the questions (after reading each book, of course! :) and made everything last night. I didn't mention this to my principal...let him bask in my brilliance love the lesson unaware ;)

Since this has been such an awesome week, I'm giving you the questions and the response sheet for free! (and since you read such a long post!)

Today's Outfit:

Sweater & Jeans: JCP
Shoes: Payless

I wanted to wear this sweater once more before the weather turned too warm...well, it was a good thing I did because it snowed today! (less than an inch-but it's all rainy, sleety and icy). Our principal actually told us to go home as soon as possible because it's yucky out (that's when he told me about my lesson).

Have an awesome weekend! I'll be working on report cards. : /

Smiles and Sunshine,


  1. I am dying over the fact that you started off by saying how you weren't prepared for the principal to come in today and then go on to describe this incredible lesson! I mean, down to the little details - those question strips cut out and put into cute little envelopes! If this is you unprepared, I can't even imagine your lessons when you are more prepared! Great lesson! :) And, congrats on your contract!

    Twenty-Six Minutes for Lunch

  2. That lesson sounds amazing and like something my 5th graders need to be retaught. Thanks for the freebies.. you are fabulous!!

    PS-Congrats on the contract!

  3. Congratulations Kaitlyn, that is so exciting! It sounds like you had an awesome observation too! :)

  4. I love your respOnse sheet and strips....would you mind sharing them?

    Glad I discovered your blog!

  5. Awesome lesson!! I would love to see the anchor charts in your classroom.


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