Saturday, November 24, 2018

Creative Bookmarks - Part I

This past summer I worked a reading program and I put together a week of creative bookmarks crafts for participants to complete.

My favorite were these very easy Star Wars themed ones. I ran across them randomly from a library blog (which I am sad I did not bookmark to give credit 😢).

The library site directed me to the YouTube Video for instructions and the templates. The instructional video for these bookmarks is in Portuguese but since we were following what the child was doing versus what he was saying it was fine. 

I downloaded the templates to my Google Drive so I could keep them even if the video or related site went down. Here are the links to each:

The were a lot of fun to put together. I thought they would make a good back-to-school activity, or project for a Star Wars themed school night, or to complete the week of May the 4th (as in May the 4th be with you...#scifinerd 🤣). 

I will post some of the other bookmarks in a later post. Enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2018

ReadWorks - Article-A-Day and Book of Knowledge (FREE)

I have done a series of training's on how to utilize ReadWorks Article-A-Day and Book of Knowledge in the classroom.

I love this resource. In fact I love everything about ReadWorks! (huge FAN here)

The general gist of an Article-A-Day is that it is a short 10-12 minute routine you do in the classroom during a transition time (not as part of your ELA block) that exposes students to more ideas, vocabulary, and reading. I work with 15 Title 1 schools and I know how important it is to expose students to more of everything...we just simply don't have enough time and the Article-A-Day idea is a brilliant way to sneak in more literacy (thus more ideas).

As a teacher you would pick your dedicated classroom time for the routine. My recommendation is to be religious about it. If you don't take it seriously neither will your students. FYI - I feel the same way about notebooking in the classroom as well.

For K-2 students you pick your grade and topic and simply pull up the articles on the board. You are given six short articles within the topic and you use one each day (one article isn't read or you can do two in one day). After you read the article out loud to the younger students ask them to tell you two or three things they learned. You write it down on chart paper (see picture above). I added tabs to the side so we can start building our Book of Knowledge to see how far we have come during the year. Once we have done Monday-Friday we pick a different article set the next week and repeat the routine for the entire school year.

I had a friend make the chart paper cover for me. I figured if it looked cute teachers might be inclined to try it out. A few teachers took pictures of it so I am hoping to see them in classes (maybe after the holidays).

There are several options for grades 3-5 (possibly 2nd grade...but remember this activity is supposed to be quick..done in 10-12 minutes):

- You can put the article up on the board (or print them out...but think of the trees), students read it and then write two or three things in their own Book of Knowledge (half a composition notebook or it could be loose leaf paper inside a 3 prong folder...anything will work).
or Amazon Link

- If you are 1:1 on computers you can have students join your ReadWorks class and assign them the article set for the week and they can write in the digital Book of Knowledge provided. Students can view their building digital "Book of Knowledge" under their account and teachers can monitor what students have written in their account.

I would probably start grades 3-5 out with chart paper until they got the routine down and then move them to a digital platform.

I'm hoping this post inspires teachers to try it out. To find out more visit the Article-A-Day page in ReadWorks or check out one of their pre-recorded webinars on Vimeo.