My writing coach through the National Blogging Collaborative is a wonderful woman named Lisa Hollenbach, and I think her getting-to-know-you questionaire is a good tool for thinking about personal and professional goals, so I’m posting my responses here.
Every Monday, I highlight a book from our school bookroom along with lesson plan suggestions. I hope you find this useful, and please leave a comment with any suggestions or additions!
BONUS! This week also features all sorts of Common Core activity goodies! Wowie!
Bats: A Nature-Fact Book, by D.J. Arneson
At first glance, what a totally inaccessible book. The text is small and dense, there’s no organization, and the book itself is small and not ideal for a mentor text.
BUT! Each page is a different topic, so it’d be really easy to photocopy and enlarge a page, then have students break it apart. You could even do a class jigsaw, with different groups picking different sections. Look! Now you have a complex non-fiction text for students to read deeply, just like Common Core suggests!
Speaking of Common Core, why not extend this lesson and make it 23894678 times more interesting by including this story about a boy who used echolocation because he was blind. AMAZING! There’s a bunch of additional information and resources here. A gent named Dan Kish uses echolocation too:
Congratulations! Now you’ve provided your students with the multimedia resources CCSS encourages.
This book features an !!!OFFICIAL!!! FWPS lesson plan focusing on text features. The book actually doesn’t HAVE nonfiction text features, but the lesson explains that it can then be contrasted with Vampire Bats & Other Creatures of the Night published by Kingfisher. The lesson also encourages students to create their own table of contents for the book.
There is a CAFE menu included with this mentor text, and I’ve highlighted these as suggested lessons:
- Ask questions throughout the reading process. If you do choose to break this book down into page-long sections, it would be a manageable way to have your students develop questions before, during, and after reading. If you’re using jigsaw groups, you might also have students ask questions of others’ groups, then see if their questions are answered.
- Use text features (titles, headings, captions, graphic features). Explained above in the FWPS !!OFFICIAL!! lesson.
- Use dictionaries, thesauruses, and glossaries as tools. Because there is no glossary included in the text, this might be a good time for a dictionary lesson. Alternatively, you could take the lesson in another direction if your dictionaries aren’t complex enough to include bat-specific terms. In which case you could talk about when it’s faster to look something up online and when it’s faster to use a hard copy dictionary.
Please add any lessons or supplemental materials to the book bag so future teachers can utilize your good thinking!
Comments and constructive feedback are always welcomed. Please let me know if these lessons were useful in your class!
Tonight is the second book study Twitter meeting for Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement.
As a member of the FWPS CC Transition Team, I have a few documents that I think might be useful to districts trying to disseminate information about the standards.
For the three types of writing (K-5), here’s a concept sort I made using definitions, book covers, and writing exemplars from CCSS Appendix C.
Download it as a Word document here: ConceptSort Modes of Writing.
Additionally, we’re going to give teachers time to explore writing resources by doing a jigsaw WebQuest.
Download it as a Word document here: WebQuest Modes of Writing.
I’m posting these because I assume some of my book study peepz might want to see them. If you use them, please acknowledge somewhere that they were designed by MOI!!! Shannon Houghton!!! for Federal Way Public Schools.
Another cool thing our district did was put together an “Intro to CCSS” video. Check it out here:
Send a note my way in the comments if you found any of this useful! Godspeed!