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Showing posts with label reading comprehension. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reading comprehension. Show all posts

Keep Them Engaged, Learning, and Having Fun!

In my experience, kids need to move! That shouldn't keep them from learning, in fact, moving is a great way to enhance learning!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

As many of my readers know, I have studied how the brain learns and using research on the brain to design resources to help children learn. (For more information, check out these posts:)
 
Some of the common threads in these posts include movement, integrating the arts, working with others, and making it fun. Plus, we all know from developmental studies that it's important for them to move! 

(See this post: Is Digital Learning in the Best Interest of Children?)

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

It just so happens that I have a series of resources that address these needs while promoting learning at the same time! There are 15 resources in this series (so far) and they all have the exact same format: 
  • an informative text about an interesting science or social studies topic (Perfect for close reads and guided reading!)
  • 10 questions about the text
  • 4 sketching tasks to go along with the text
  • 6 brain breaks related to the text
Once they catch onto the format, less time is wasted on teaching them how to use the tool, and they become quite independent in their learning with this tool!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!
There are many different ways to use these resources! It can be differentiated for different learning levels, different organizational needs, as well as different social needs. Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

I always start off with whole group instruction! Everyone gets a copy of the text with the answer sheet, and we read through the text together. I go through some of the questions and show the students how to go back to the text to find the answers. (They LOVE using highlighters on this!)

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

We do all the brain breaks together, and discuss the sketching tasks.  
 
Once they "get" how the whole thing works, we can play a game of Scoot. (See directions here: Active Students? Try Scoot!)


Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

Some of my more challenged readers usually need more guidance. I'll bring copies of the text to some of my reading groups. We read through the text together, discussing vocabulary and talking about what we've learned. I'll let the group take turns reading the different task cards. We discuss what the answer might be, and go back to the text to find where we found the answer. (Again, the highlighters!)
 
Once the small group has gone through the whole process, (and yes, of course we all do the brain breaks together!) they're ready to do the whole process independently! (These make great centers!) 
 
Yes, they can re-read the same text and answer the same questions all over again! Why? Because there's a lot of information in those texts, and even though they've answered the questions already, that doesn't mean they remember all the information! A second (or even third) time through, especially after a passage of time, is ideal! Not only are they practicing important skills (reading for information) but they are learning interesting information!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

These sets make great centers! I often assign centers to be done in pairs. Why? Because of those great conversations! Talking about the text internalizes what they're learning. (More brain research!) Plus, they learn from each other through these rich conversations. Some may share information about the topic that's not even in the text! (More learning, yippee!)
 
Another reason to let partners use these activities? Because some children need a stronger reader to help them out. This can be a delicate situation, since we need to be sensitive about our lower readers, but you know your kids! Make smart choices for partners who will support each other without insulting each others' abilities!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

These are also perfect for your fast finishers to do independently during centers time!  Again, each set can be used more than once... hopefully, they'll remember more information each time!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

This one is easy! Anytime! I find they're perfect as centers during those last couple months of the year when their skills are strong and they've developed some independence.
They're also great for the beginning of the school year when you're teaching procedures!
Plus, if you're doing a unit related to one of these topics, these are perfect!
 
If you're interested in these, check out this link:

Reading Comprehension for Active Learners

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!
 

You can try one for free here:  

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

How do you keep your students learning and engaged?


Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!



7 Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day

Looking for some ways to celebrate Columbus Day in your classroom?  

Here are a few of my favorites:


7 Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day! This blog post has seven different ideas for teaching primary aged children about Christopher Columbus including books, videos, and other fun resources.


Disclaimer:  We've learned that Columbus wasn't always a great man. Feel free to have discussions about that in your classroom. These ideas and resources simply give the facts about what happened back then. This doesn't mean I approve of the way he treated people.


7 Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day! This blog post has seven different ideas for teaching primary aged children about Christopher Columbus including books, videos, and other fun resources.

1. Work with Maps and Globes - Columbus Day is such a great opportunity to get the children acquainted with the globe. I think it's important that children can identify where they live on the globe. Our location is easy for the children to find. I have the children locate Cape Cod along the east coast of North America. We're not far north of that, and it's easy to locate. (I tell them to look for a flexed arm... they love to flex their own arms!) I usually use the globe to show how Columbus got from Italy to Spain, to San Salvador, and how he was actually trying to get to the East Indies, and "accidentally bumped into America". They get such a kick out of that!



2. Books -  Speaking of the Columbus story, if you haven't seen the book, Encounter by Jane Yolen, you really need to check it out!  It's the story of the arrival of Columbus from a young native's point of view. The illustrations are beautiful, and it really makes the "other side" of the story quite clear.  Explore the image to go to Amazon(affiliate link) for more information about this amazing book!




 
3.Videos - This Youtube video gives a little information about Christopher Columbus. As in all videos, please view ahead of time to make sure this is something you want to share with your students. There are many videos on this topic, many are quite harsh.


7 Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day! This blog post has seven different ideas for teaching primary aged children about Christopher Columbus including books, videos, and other fun resources.


4. Illustrate the story
Illustrating is a great way for children to deepen their understanding. I wrote this summary of the basic Columbus story for my students to illustrate. Explore the image or see here: Columbus for Visualization and Illustration
 
 
7 Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day! This blog post has seven different ideas for teaching primary aged children about Christopher Columbus including books, videos, and other fun resources.


5.  Common Sense Fun - Here are a couple of resources that will get the kids thinking. Explore the images to see more! Christopher Columbus: Common Sense for Active Learners: 
 
 
7 Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day! This blog post has seven different ideas for teaching primary aged children about Christopher Columbus including books, videos, and other fun resources.

 
These are electronic task cards from BOOM Learning! The kids are going to love these! Christopher Columbus Common Sense Thinking BOOM Cards
 
7 Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day! This blog post has seven different ideas for teaching primary aged children about Christopher Columbus including books, videos, and other fun resources.


6.  Guided imagery - I like to do lots of guided imagery activities with my students. I'll tell the story, while the students go through the movements. I tell about the men saying goodbye to their families and getting on the ships, the long ride on the ship (including the bland food, storms at sea, and lack of clean water) finally sighting land, and getting off the ship, thinking they were in India. The kids love this, and brain research shows involving movement and gestures helps the memory!


7.  One more idea - Looking for one more way to celebrate Columbus Day? Take the day off! (And perhaps pay some homage to the Indigenous People on that day!)
 
7 Ways to Celebrate Columbus Day! This blog post has seven different ideas for teaching primary aged children about Christopher Columbus including books, videos, and other fun resources.

 


 
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