Sunday, February 5, 2012

What's New in Room 410

So, overall, I have really enjoyed my time in 5th grade. Over Christmas I spent some time re-thinking what I am doing in my class. I realized that what I missed most about teaching a younger grade is doing the Daily 5 for real. I LOVE reading with small groups of kids at the little reading table. It's my favorite.

I couldn't figure out how to make Daily 5 really really work with my 5th graders because my room is too small for all those bodies. We are all on top of each other, so moving all around to go to our activities and meet back on the rug was impossible. I think the problem was the part where you meet back up between rotations. So for the first semester, we did a Daily Reading workshop time, but never did the different rotations.

Well, now I've gone way back to the basics. No new ideas here. I'm basically doing centers 3 days a week. The centers include time with me and Read to Self everyday. Word work on the Smartboard, writing, STAAR practice, and read to someone get mixed in. I write the kids group names on the green card and I have a student rotate them after each round. I feel like I am finally getting some of the elements of Daily 5 back in my class, even though I can't do it by the book. It is nothing new, it's extremely simple, but it works! What REALLY works is getting to read with all my kids in a small group. It is the most valuable instruction time I have!

Also, like many of you, we are gearing up for STAAR! Trying to cover our last few TEKS. I have so enjoyed trying to apply some of these newly tested TEKS into our reading. Here is a couple we've been working on...

I know words like conflict, resolution, resolve, etc are really simple, but if you teach ELLs, they need to hear those words quite a bit so they understand them on the test. Some of mine had never hear these words. We've been using our sticky notes to write conflicts and resolutions we see in our own reading...This ties really well to summary. It's like the ole B.M.E., because a good summary is going to cover the conflict and resolution in a story.

And foreshadowing...I don't think I learned what that meant until like 8th grade, but my kids are doing well with it! We watched some movie clips with foreshadowing first, and then applied it to reading. We are reading "Sign of the Beaver" which has SO much foreshadowing. I snapped a pic when we first started this foreshadowing chart. Oh, and I sing "dun dun dun" ominously pretty much every time we discuss foreshadowing...


  1. Love this idea! I departmentalize right now, and teach about half an hour of language arts and then 3 periods of math. I miss teaching reading so much, and hope to go back to self-contained next year. I definitely want to give this a try!

  2. I love your anchor charts! I am really starting to stress about the STAAR test, but feel that my kids are going to be ready for it. We have been doing a crash course using some of the CAFE strategies as a good review. Did you know that the sisters are going to be in San Antonio in April doing workshops? I signed up and cannot wait to go!

    Miss Klohn
    Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher

  3. Thanks so much. I love this book and can't wait to share it with my students. We are discussing foreshadowing this week. You make it look so simple.