While we had been learning about character traits, I taught the kids how to FAST (which I got from the link). They really enjoyed it!
I've made it into one of the ways they can do a reader response, and have even taught my Guided Reading Groups how to do it.
Of course, it all started with a chart :)
|Hey look! You can also see a 321 Response and my very neat grading labels :)|
After spending most of September on characters and character traits (which I'm going to move closer to October next year!), we moved onto main idea.
After I felt they understood what main idea was, I introduced theme.
We scaffolded by doing Jessica's Big Idea and Theme activity (as a whole class with one book, then in partners and small groups with others)
To continue our practice on it, we did a reader response about theme.
|My example-which stayed up for a few days!|
Now, as I was teaching all this, I got sick. :( And, miracle of miracles (a true miracle, since I never take sick days-PD days, but not sick days!), I took a sick day (after convincing from my teamie and the school nurse).
So I had to leave something for the sub that the sub (whom I didn't know at the time it would be) could do, and my kids could do pretty independently.
I had the sub read Ish, by Peter Reynolds, and had the kids come up with the themes of the story (very similar to what we did with The Dot-although they didn't get a chance to do their pictures).
Teaching with a Mountain View's Main Idea and Theme task cards. (We've also done her free sort!)
We did have to do a little reteaching on both, as we didn't do so well on the test-but we'll be taking a main idea test from my massive ELA assessments that I got from Kristine Nannini (we'll take the theme one after we learn about summary :).
We've now moved onto making inferences, and from what I've seen so far, we've been doing an okay job on that. We still need some more practice :)
Smiles and Sunshine,