Spiders...EEEK! Guided Reading with a Purpose Week 9

On week 9 of Guided Reading with a Purpose we are ready to dig a bit deeper into our literature. Above you can see the 5 anchor stories I chose for the week. All about Spiders is a digital (and paper) book that I wrote.  
The focus for this week is fact and details. This is similar to main idea and details only it is used for non-fiction text.  We began this year by using a KWL chart. I'm really trying to get my students to become active participants in their learning and work on asking questions. Here is a peek at what my chart looks like on day 1 and then day 5. 

On Monday we begin by gathering our shema or what we know. (the orange sticky notes)  We also begin the process of asking questions. (the pink sticky notes). As we read books each day, we revisit this chart and add new learning (green sticky notes) and also answer our questions we had (blue sticky notes) The more we do these, the better they become at asking and answering questions. 
From year to year I vary what chart I use so I'm sharing what I did the year prior. I used a schema, new learning, and misconception chart. 

Either way, the charts get the students involved in their learning! 

I usually begin with my mini reader. I pass out the paper pencil version for the students be we also read my digital version. I added real pictures so they like to see the real photos, especially on the SMART board. We do a little non-fiction text feature hunt to get them familiar with the parts of the book. 

Here is an example of a fact and detail worksheet.  The student wrote, "Spiders spin different kinds of webs". The three details were funnel, orb, and sheet web. 

We also use my sorts for review of the concepts learned in class. On the right is a fact and detail sort. We did this on our last day. On the left we sorted insects and spiders. This activity goes well with Diary of a Spider.  We also reviewed our text connections on this day. 

There is also a paper pencil sort for the students to do. They love to work in groups to sort the cards. On the back of this paper is where they list Both.

We learn how to create our own orb webs. This is super fun for them and it is awesome to see how different each one looks. I just cut 12 by 18 paper into a 12 by12 square. We draw a straight line down the middle. Then we draw two diagonal lines from corner to corner. Finally we connect the lines by drawing segments around and around.

Then I give them a black piece of scrap paper. They tear it into a mini spider.  They are really fun for the kids to create. 

Another craft we like to make is labeling the parts of a spider. 

If we don't make the spider labeling craft, we label our spider on the worksheet. Another fun idea we use all week is making mini spiders for our periods. At this point in the year, students have difficulty remembering their punctuation. If you tell them they can make a spider, they won't forget their period. 

Whenever I can embrace the learning with clothing I do... These fun tights I found at Meijers along with the ring.

This is just a small peek into our week on spiders. I hope your enjoyed it.
See more of this unit here.


Halloween Fun with Main Idea and Details

During the month of October, your students definitely have Halloween on their mind. Instead of fighting it, we embrace it. Prior to Halloween we read these five books and learn about main idea and details. This week is sooo much fun and I get excited just thinking about it. 

Here is how we start this unit! We begin with a little witch's brew. I ask for donations from my families who always love to step up (I know I'm fortunate). For the brew you need the following items below.  

Then using the cards I created, I print enough so each student will have a baggy to help. I divide the items up amongst the baggies and we are ready to begin. 

 We all sit in a circle and I sing a song I created. As we sing the song, the students help to add the ingredients to our brew. I do have a video of this in action over at First Grade Roars Facebook Page
You can see their excitement in these pictures below.

 Once we have made our brew, we discuss the main idea and details of what just happened. 

Then of course we enjoy our yummy snack. All of the items are peanut free but some are made in a peanut factory. Before mixing it, I make a little baggy for those who need special accommodations.

This activity leads into our entire week of guided reading whole group. The focus for the week is main idea and details and of course our theme is Halloween.  

This unit includes activities for loads of books but my 5 main go to books are featured at the top. I will share just some of the things we do with these five books.

My very FAVORITE Halloween story is Room on the Broom.  This book is so much fun because it is filled with rhymes and repetition. If you heard me read it, you might think I was a bit crazy! Before reading it, we make predictions. That is a focus skill we work on the week prior with monsters. 

After reading it, we discuss the main idea and details. When teaching the main idea, we discuss what the story is mostly about. I tell them to think about sharing this book with a friend. I ask them to tell a friend, in a sentence or two, what this story is mostly about.  We also refer to our witch's brew daily looking at the overall picture and then the parts or details. Then make these fun little witches.

My second favorite book is The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.   For this story, I pass out the cards I made below. Each student gets a card. As I read the story, the students raise their card when their part happens. This is another fun way to keep them engaged in the story and be active participants. 

We do very similar activities all week: predicting, discuss main idea and details together, and writing the main idea and details.   

For this story, we make pumpkin scarecrows like the book. Here are a few that the kids created. 

I like to put the retell of the story in one of my centers. I leave the book out too. The students practice retelling the story with the picture cards as a review.

We also read Scaredy-Cat Splat. I love any Splat story but this one is very fun! We make these cute paper toppers too!

 Another story we love is Froggy's Halloween. We read Froggy Goes to School the first week of school. The students love revisiting characters and familiar authors. It helps us also make text to text connections and become familiar with authors. 

On the last day, we read Doreen Cronin's more recent story, Click, Clack, Boo! Again, we have already read a lot of her stories during our Farm week and also when we read Diary of a Spider during Spider week. They love to see what the animals are up to again. 

For this fun story, we create our costume on this blank kiddos. Then we write a descriptive piece. This photo below was taken a few years ago. Last year I took out construction paper and they were hilarious. (I forgot to take pictures) I will do that again this year. It helps to cover up the black lines a little bit better. They do a nice job writing because they have a great visual! 

Whatever you do during Halloween week, make it fun and engaging. I know my students will have a great week this year and I know they will learn too.  

As always love what you do and do what you love.
To see more from this week click HERE.


Batty Week Guided Reading with a Purpose Fact or Opinion

We just finished up our bat week and we had so much fun. We also learned a lot too! These are the 5 stories we read this week. All about Bats is a digital book that I project. There is also a paper mini book for kids too.  

The focus for the week is the difference between a fact and an opinion. We also reviewed fiction and non-fiction stories as we read both.   Whenever I'm teaching non-fiction, I like to use some sort of interactive anchor chart. I am going to share pictures from the previous years below and then discuss the one we used this year. 
This is the KWL chart from last year!

Here is a can, have and are chart as well as a schema char that I have used in the past. 

This is the chart I decided to use this year. One area our students are struggling on is asking questions. I thought a KWL chart would be the perfect chart to help us build our questioning skills.
Here is a before and after.

We started by all creating our own schema on a worksheet I passed out. Then we added our batty schema to the "What I Know" part-blue sticky notes. Next we tried to think of questions we wanted to know about bats. The struggle was real and I decided we needed something to help guide us. I quickly wrote the question words on notecards to help us. Someone on Instagram also suggested saying "I wonder". Since it seemed to be working for my kiddos, I made the cards a little cuter. You can grab them for free here: Question Word Cards Freebie
Finally we added "What we Learned" in purple. Everyday we visited this chart and added to it.  The little orange sticky notes on the yellow questions are the answers to our questions. Once we found the answers, we added them to the chart. 

Here are a few examples of worksheets we completed. We practiced fact and opinion in many ways all week long. 

Here are my posters I kept up all week for fact and opinion. We also completed a few sorting activities too. 

We compared bats to birds after reading Stellaluna. Not only did we sort the differences between bats and birds but we also did a fun group project. I gave 5 groups chart paper and cards and they created their own posters. Of course I forgot to take pictures. They loved working together in groups and making posters.

Here is my version... there's is much cuter.

As an assessment, we completed these fact versus opinion bats. You can see ours below in the black. We also made the other cute bats just for fun!

 I kind of forgot to print the head so we made do and used the body as the head...

I try to get them excited about the learning too by doing extra little things.  I dressed up in my batty clothes, I wore a batty headband, and I used a dollar store table cloth to make this bat cave entrance. 

This hung over our doorway for the week. I just pulled it to the side when we going in and out.

We also made this fun sock bats. I invited parent helpers to come in and make this project with us. It requires a glue gun so I wanted as many adults helpers as possible. The students all sent in 1 old black sock. Then I received 3 bags of stuffing from parent donations. I have a class of 24 and we probably only needed 2 big bags. The students cut out the wings and ears and fangs. First they stuffed the socks with stuffing. Then we tied them shut with black yarn. Finally, the parent helper glued on their wings, ears, google eyes and a red yarn mouth with fangs. Last year I hung them in my reading center and kept them there the entire year. The children were anxious to take them home so this year I just hung them by the window. 

They always turn out so cute and it only took us about 45 minutes from start to finish with 4 parent helpers. I have done this by myself too. We just worked on them throughout the day when I had a chance.  GRAB THE WING PATTERN HERE

Finally on the last day, we dressed in black and brought our flashlights for some reading in the dark.  The kids looked forward to this all day and they really enjoyed it.


Community Helpers Guided Reading with a Purpose: Text to World

Do you teach your students about community helpers? This fun whole group reading unit is perfect to teach about text to world. It is also a great theme to incorporate social studies topics such as needs and wants, goods and services, and different parts of a community. These five books are the anchor books I have chosen for the week. I also share four other non-fiction digital readers that I have made on Boom Learning. 

We begin the week by focusing on the story "On the Town" by Casely. This story is so adorable. It is about a boy who gets an assignment to list places in his community. His mom decides to take him on a little trip around town and he gathers information on his community. It introduces many places in the community. 

Since we are just coming off of our text to self unit, we review that concept and share our own personal stories as you can see on the left sticky notes. Then we talk about world connections. I tell them to think of starting there statement by saying "In the world..." This really helped them understand how to make that connection. After working together on it, They went back to their seats and did their own for practice. 

We used the web above to write about our favorite place in the community.  You can see my mini example in the corner. I always write before my students write. They need modeling and examples. Her is an example of my student's web and writing.

The rest of the week, we spend each day learning about a different community helper. I love to read "Officer Buckle and Gloria" by Rathman.  This story is so funny and it also introduces the students to some other things police officers do in the community. I loved these connections, especially the one that said, "In the world, dogs can do tricks." After reading this book, and doing the text to world connections, we read the digital book on Boom. This book explains police officers in a small informational text. Then we completed a can, have and are chart. This year we made the dog Gloria. 

We also wrote about police officers.

We completed a text to self and text to world connection for this story. What child doesn't have a doctor story to share? We again read the digital story about doctors and wrote about doctors.

Then we moved onto Firefighters. This is right around fire safety month so we discussed that too. Here are a few pictures from this day. There is also a picture of the digital reader. There is an arrow and a speaker button. I usually let a student lead the story and they push the voice and arrow. They love any opportunity to "be the teacher"

On the last day we read, "The Little Red Hen" by Galdone. You may be wondering how this story fits in with community helpers. Well I chose it because the hen does many of the duties that a farmer does. It also help show where things come from too. Oh, and... I LOVE this story. After reading this we made text to world connections and they were hilarious. I loved.."In the world, dogs are lazy". "In the world, people do chores".  By the end of the week, they were really grasping the concept. Of course we had to make the Little Red Hen. We also read our digital book, completed a can, have and are chart and wrote about farmers.  Farmers are so important to our community. I love to focus on the fact that they produce a good, instead of providing a service.  

 Here are a few examples

On the last day we dressed up as a community helper for career day. We shared what we want to be when we grow up and if our helper provides a good or a service.

Throughout the week we also completed these sorts. This is a great activity to work on for fast finishers or while other children finish up their work. 
You can do them more than one time too.

One more fun project we worked on during this week was a Noun Town. There are no worksheets for this activity we just learned about what a noun was by building the town. First we each built a building in our community (the place). Then we added the people. If you look closely you can see we cut out the pictures of us dressed up for career day.   We did the other two parts of a noun the following week we when learned about the farm. We added the animals and the things. I will share that in a blog post coming up soon. We just put everything together and it made our town. It is so cute out in the hallway.

If you liked this unit it is the fourth in my Guided Reading with a Purpose series. You can CLICK HERE! to check it out.

Back to Top