Thursday, December 20, 2012

QAR- Question-Answer Response Strategies

I work with a literacy group 5 times a week and help reinforce material covered in the classroom.  My placement school uses StoryTown curriculum, so I've tried to mirror my lessons on the text book, but provide enough additional details and personal connections that the students will be able to get a clearer understanding of the material.  Right now, they are working on QAR (Question-Answer Relationship) strategies and are getting hung up on the difference between Think and Search questions and Author and Me questions.  I've tried differentiating and reminding them that Think and Search questions come from the text while Author and Me questions use the text, but call for personal opinions and inferences to answer.

I made them a fancy cheat sheet that they can use as reference (using all of my fun new free fonts!)

Then I gave them a comic with no words:

and a 4-square chart to generate and record one of each type of question.  They, the kids switched papers with a partner and answered the questions and we talked as a group about why each type of question was organized where it was!  This definitely encouraged higher-level thinking, since there were no words in the comic!  

The kids had fun using their noodles! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Jeopardy Review Game

As student teaching has continued, I've become way more tech savy than I ever was as an undergraduate.  Also, I love to play games.  I have a small group of 5th graders whom I see for literacy and fluency.  We spend the majority of our time reviewing what goes on in the general education classroom.  Since this tends to get a bit dry and attention spans are short, I created a template for Jeopardy that we used to review vocabulary, characters, and comprehension concepts prior to their unit test.  I had it filled in with information from the story and sent it to the general education teacher, who liked it so much that she used the exact same game in the general education classroom.

I uploaded a blank template with all the transitions to my teacherspayteachers site.  Click below to download and scroll down for screen shots.  The kids loved it and this template is blank so you can fill it in however you need to!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bubble Wrap Math

I was recently assigned a 10-minute period of time during the day to drill and review math facts with 3 students.  I plan on using XtraMath and flash cards, but wanted to bring something fun to the table... and what could be more fun than bubble wrap?

I snatched some big bubble wrap and wrote a multiplication problem on each of the bubbles.  When the students could say the problem out loud and answer it correctly, they got to pop the bubble!  It was super fun and since some bubbles were left unpopped, it served as an assessment of which fact families they need to review more!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Desk Schedules

Hello again!  I have another lovely organizer for you!  Since I pull students out for resource work during the day and every day tends to be different, I've found that it is easier to make a schedule for each student.  It is small enough that it can be laminated and taped down so that students and their classroom teachers can reference it during the day.

I uploaded the Word doc version of the schedule so you can input your own schedules and change fonts and colors, if need be! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Following Directions

I'm student teaching with a resource teacher, which means that I often get to push into other classes and observe what is going on in the general education classrooms.  I had the pleasure, while taking data last week, to witness the most hilarious lesson I think I've ever seen!  Apparently the students had been experiencing difficulty with following directions so to assess who could follow directions and who could not, the teacher and student teacher in this classroom made a list of directions to follow, the first of which was to read all the directions before doing anything and the second direction was to simply write their name on their paper followed by a list of ridiculous directions.

Students had privacy folders up so they couldn't copy one another and I will say that all the adults in the room enjoyed watching the students folding their paper, tearing things, banging on their desks, etc.  Not a single student followed the directions correctly and I liked this assignment so much that I made my own version of it!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Behavior Management Tally Chart

I have to say that the hardest thing for me when I was an early childhood aide, when I was working in clinical settings, when I've gone into my mother's classroom, and now as a student teacher has been behavior management.  I think I struggle with it because I am young and look much younger than I am, but also because I babysit quite frequently and like to be the kids' friend.  I'm learning a lot right now about how to manage behavior and have come up with a chart that works wonders in my current setting.

It is a simple tally chart with spaces for credits and debits.  Each student has their own row where their credits and debits are tracked.  If they get 75 tallies, they get to bring a friend and have lunch with me in my classroom.  When they are acting up, all I have to do is hover my pen over the debit column of their row and they usually get the hint right away.  For a while, I was giving tons of tallies and not taking any away, and found that if every so often I give them a debit when they are being too crazy, it stops the off-task behavior for at least the next few days.  Every Friday I total their tallies so they know where they fall and how many they need to earn to get lunch.  

Here is an abbreviated version of the chart.  You can download it below at my Teachers-Pay-Teachers site. 

When students reach 75 tallies, I give them a fancy invitation to lunch, which makes the luncher feel epically special and motivates those who are still working towards their lunch to work harder.  Here is a copy of my invitation.  You can download it at my Teachers-Pay-Teachers site! 


Hello everyone!  You may recognize me from : the daily savant:, which is where I write all about my first love of fashion.  However, I am also finishing my master's degree in special education and I am currently student teaching and coming up with all sorts of goodies for the classroom that I thought I would share!