Thursday, March 24, 2011

Teacher Tips!

I've been meaning to post this for a week or 2 now.  I went to an awesome K-2 workshop that dealt with stations and literacy centers.  It was put on by Dr. Karen Keith from East Tennessee State University and held at our county's Central Office.  I absolutely LOVED her ideas and the fact that she had all of her stations set up and let us rotate throughout them.  While the teacher's were rotating by grade level, she held a small group and demonstrated what to do with your students.  It was wonderful and packed full of great ideas.  Here are a few things I thought I would share:
At every station, she had "I Can" charts and charts that told the students what the station would look like and sound like.  For the younger grades, she recommended the charts have pictures as opposed to words.  Here is what the listening center should look and sound like.  These should be created in a whole group setting and posted in the station afterwards so students are aware of what is expected from them.
This chart would be great for older grades.  During a listening station, students can record what the author says about the character, how the author reveals the setting, and so on...
Anyone have difficulty getting your students to grasp text to self and text to text concept besides me?  I thought this was a genius way to illustrate what you mean when using those terms.  Dr. Keith simply created these illustrations using ellison dicuts and attached them together using paper clips.  I think by showing my students these in library center or having them displayed in a listening station...they would understand what I'm referring to when I ask them to make a connection.  It is just a wonderful visual for them!
Want to save a little money next school year?  Buy the marble notebooks and have them cut in 1/2 at a hardware store!  Lowe's and Home Depot will do them too and inexpensively.  These make the perfect little size for small hands and are great to use as a vocabulary notebook or math journal.  :)
The graffiti board is pretty awesome.  Here, you hang bulletin board paper in an independent reading center and allow students to make open comments about books they are reading or recommend for others.  In lower grades, you could have students write the title of the book and when another child does not know what to read...they could check the graffiti board for recommendations and book titles.  You can also place a bin with the recommended books next to the board so students can go there for their reading material and not have to hunt all over for the book.  They can use markers, crayons, various fonts, etc to make it more fun and appear as if it were graffiti on a wall. 
I thought this station was pretty cool.  It's called the Top 10 Center.  Here, you give the students a word....the word Dr. Keith used was "space."  (It is written on the green paper)  Please note: to make this center would laminate your list and attach a plastic sleeve to the top to insert your word.  Also, I would use a word that is associated with my theme of the week and that students are familiar with.  Students can list 10 words related to the topic, illustrate their words, write sentences using their words, put their words in ABC order, sort their words, or make their words longer.  There are a variety of things they can do using their top 10 words and you can add to the list as you think of new ideas.  If you want students to do just a particular number, place a clothes pin on the side so students know they are supposed to do just ONE of the tasks.  (that is included in the photograph, so students would do #3 only)  Below, I've given an example of what each task would look like.
1. List 10 words related to the topic: rocket, stars, moon, planets, solar system, astronauts, etc.
2. Illustrate your words: I think you get the picture :)
3. Write sentences using your words: Astronauts use a rocket to travel into space.  I like to look at the stars and see different constellations.
4. Put your words in ABC order: astronauts, moon, planets, rocket, solar system, stars, etc.
5. Sort your words: S words - stars and solar system
6. Make your words longer: rocket - rockets, rocket ship, rocketing, etc.

Hope you found these ideas as helpful and creative as I did.  Enjoy! ~Miss E


Miss C said...

I love the top 10 one!!!

Anonymous said...

Brenda Jean
When I do the Listening Anchor Chart, I include How does listening feel? We talk about how they feel when someone does or does not listen to them. It really helps.

Later, after we start writing workshop or share orally, I do "3 stars and a wish". The group shares 3 things they like or learned about what a student wrote or spoke about. Then they ask a question about something they would like to know about the topic.
No put downs are allowed.