Monday, October 27, 2014

guided reading rules!

I've been using Jan Richardson's The Next Steps in Guided Reading this school year to make my guided reading lessons even better! It's been about 4 or 5 weeks that I've been teaching a group of second graders. Their Instructional Reading level is G-H, so we're using the Early Lesson Plan. The following is what is involved.

First, students in the class I teach each have their own book bin, which includes their Reader's Notebook and the following:

Each day when I walk in, they grab their book bins and meet me at our table. The lesson plan is for two days, so I usually do an Instructional level text on Monday and Tuesday, then a grade level text on Wednesday and Thursday, and then I assess on Friday with running records. I follow the same plan on Mon-Tues and Wed-Thurs, but just with two different books. Here's what we do on Day 1!

Sight Word Writing (1-2 minutes)
This is just meant as a quick assessment. Sometimes it's a pre-assessment, other times I check their knowledge of sight words I had previously taught. Students come to group and take out their whiteboards, erasers, and markers, and then use their book bins to keep their writing private. I take anecdotal notes on a chart and use it to inform what words to teach next.

Book Introduction (4-5 minutes)
The book introduction involves three parts, so don't waste time with it! First, give a gist statement about the book. In one or two sentences, you will tell students what they are going to read about and learn about.

Next, students take 1 minute to picture walk to build their knowledge of the story. They just whisper read the pictures to themselves.

Finally, I explicitly teach vocabulary to students. I only pick one or two words, and I only pick words that cannot be determined with pictures or context clues. Ideally, I want Tier 2 words that will be useful in other contexts.
  • When teaching vocabulary, I will tell the the word and then ask them to say it. I will have them stretch out the sounds and then figure out the first letter, blend, or digraph. Then I'll tell them what page it is on and ask them to turn to that page and find it. Once we find the word, the kids run their fingers under the word to read it.

Student Reading with Teacher Prompting (8-10 minutes)
This part is the heart of the guided reading lesson. For the bulk of the time, students are whisper (or silent) reading their books. The teacher then, listens in to each student, prompting them to improve their reading.

Prompting isn't all that easy. It's like you want to give the kids scaffolds to improve their reading without telling them the words or phrases they are trying to solve. Here are sample prompts for three different areas:

  • Do you see a part of that word that you know?
  • Does the picture match what you just read?
  • Look at that word again - there's no 'n' in that word...can you try it again?
  • Make that line sound like the character would say it.
  • Listen to me read this phrase/sentence/paragraph. <read to student> Did you hear my my voice inflected/went up/went down/changed for dialog? You try and make it sound like that.
  • What do you think might happen next?
  • <after reading> Tell me what that was mostly about.

In addition to students reading and teacher prompting, the teacher is also taking anecdotal notes. Here, I write down things I notice, strategies the kids are using, strategies they are not, noting when they finally begin using a strategy that I had taught them previously. These notes are awesome when conferences come around - after doing them for three or four weeks, you can definitely see trends!

Sight Word Direct Instruction (2-3 minutes): 4 Parts

  • What's missing? Show the kids the new word on a whiteboard. Have them spell it with you. Then, turn the word to you and erase two or three of the letters. Ask the first student, "What's missing?" Add the letters back and erase different letters. Ask the next student the same thing. Continue this way so each child has a turn. This forces kids to read the word left to write, building knowledge of the letters and the order of them.
  • Mix and Fix: Give kids the sight word in magnetic letters. Instruct them to 'mix' the letters and then fix them, while spelling the word aloud. Have kids do this three times.

  • Table writing: Kids use their finger to write the word on the table.
  • Writing on a whiteboard: Show the kids how to write the word. This is a great time to model how to correctly write letters and show them how big or small they should be. After you show them, tell them to write the word, spelling and saying it, until you say stop. Give feedback to kids on their writing if needed.

Word Study (3-4 Minutes)
There are four different activities you can do here. I'm going to talk about the Analogy Chart:

For the analogy chart, students spell new words by analogy. I have them write two anchor words (these should always be words they can spell easily). Then, I dictate a new word. Kids have to say it aloud twice and tap it out on their arms to help them decide which anchor word it sounds like. Then, they write it in the correct column.

Do you use the same lesson plan template? Anything similiar about these activites and your guided reading? Please leave a comment and share!

I'm super tired...must sleep!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

sunday letters

Join me every other Sunday to share your letters.
Write to people or inanimate objects and then link up below.
Don't forget to leave some love for the other Letters Bloggers!

Dear student bloggers,
I can't wait for our first meeting! I know you are going to love blogging as much as I do...we'll get it started this coming Wednesday! Any other teachers out there with fourth and fifth grade bloggers? I want to get our kiddos in communication!
See you soon!
Love, Teach

Dear Ashley and Stewart,
Congrats on your wedding! It was such a nice ceremony and I'm glad I got to share your big day with you! Cheers to a lifetime full of happiness!

Dear Vegas,
Five days wasn't enough and I wanna come back! The Mirage was beautiful, the Beatles Love show was amazing, playing Roulette was super fun and lucrative, and hanging out with the bf every day was the best. I'll be missing you!
A Wanderlust Teacher

Dear Sun Devils,
Another win tonight sounds awesome! I'm cheering for you with my favorites as this blog goes to press! Let's go Devils!
A true - blue maroon and gold alum

Dear Convertible Mustang,
Let's just say that you were an awesome companion on our adventures through the desert. Top down and cruising along windy roads and highways was super fun. The bf and I are looking forward to our next trip with a Mustang - perhaps taking a ride down Pacific Coast Highway next summer. Crossing my fingers on that one!
Can't wait to see you again!

Dear CJ,
I'm so glad I work with you! Thank you for always listening and making me laugh and making me feel better when I'm bummed. Def couldn't do my job with you!
Work bestie

Dear Halloween,
You're less than a week away and I just figured out my costume and now there's just no time to get things ready. Why????
A last-minute shopper

That's all for me! Looking forward to reading your letters! xo

Friday, October 24, 2014

pencil problems? I have a solution!

Are pencils causing you a major headache in your classroom? Does your pencil collection end up looking all sad and beat up, like this one?

Do you feel like this when you think about how to get your pencils sharpened?

Well fret no longer...your solution? Classroom Friendly Supplies!

This company and the most amazing pencil sharpener ever was created by an elementary teacher who was done with loud, annoying pencil sharpeners that didn't get the job done.

I was lucky because he offered a free one to me in exchange for a review, and I have to say that my feedback is exactly in line with everyone else - super positive!

Thanks to my friend up above, who's demonstrating how quickly he can get pencils sharpened, and how sharp they turn out! Our other friend sitting with us commented, "They are almost too sharp! They are going to break first thing!" (and I'm not kidding about how sharp they get...take a look below!)

So, if you're looking for a great pencil sharpener, I can't rave enough about the product from Classroom Friendly Supplies. The developer has offered a 5% discount for your order, just use this code when checking out: C7UA4. This offer expires December 14, 2014.

I hope that you can get a hold of this pencil sharpener and then you can experience the pure bliss we did this afternoon in class!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

instructional level or grade level...that is the question

A few weeks ago at the Illinois Reading Council (IRC) conference, I ended up in two sessions where the speakers (One of them: Tim Shanahan) were talking about teaching guided reading with grade level text. Their point was that if we only teach on instructional level, when will the kids be exposed to grade level reading? Their other point: In a guided reading group, there are only 4-6 kids, so you can provide enough scaffolding to help them read that grade level text.

So, I've tried this out with my guided reading group (only once so far). They are reading at a level G-H, and grade level for this time of the year is J. Now, this isn't a huge jump, but I can totally tell when they're reading the grade level text - and so can they. The amount of words on the page is way more, the text is smaller, there are less pictures...etc.

This week, we've been reading Nonfiction. We did the instructional level text "Life Cycles" yesterday and today. Tomorrow and Friday we're going to be reading a level J book, "The Life Cycle of the Owl" which is more of the same, but goes into much more detail about the owl's life cycle.

I'll report back later this week with the results, but in the meantime, what are your thoughts about this? One book a week on instructional level, and the other on grade level?

Don't be shy....leave a comment!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

sunday letters

Join me every other Sunday to share your letters.
 Write to people or inanimate objects...and then link them up below!

Dear first grade teachers,
I love that you are in the beginning stages of writing for social justice with your firsties! It's my favorite content to teach and it's cool to see what it could look like with our little kiddos!
Sincerely, a proud Literacy Coach

Dear Pandora,
Just found out about a station called "Yacht Rock" and it has all the songs from the 70's and 80's that my mom used to sing in the car when we would drive around and I love it!!! If you like songs like the one below - or you remember them from years ago and feel compelled to listen - check this station out! It's #amazeballs !
Love, an excited listener

Dear Self,
Great job trying out a new recipe: Buffalo Turkey Burgers. But, if you could figure out how to not make the burgers fall apart, that would be awesome.
Many thanks,
Chef Michelle

Dear boyfriend,
Your jokes really make me happy. My fave of this week, as we were running out the door trying to make it in time to see Gone Girl: Gotta get those tickets before they're gone, girl! hahhaha
Love you!
Also: We did not get tickets :-(

Dear Self,
If you could remember to close all of your windows this winter, that would be greeeeaaat.

Turns out that all of last winter - when my apartment was so cold and my heating bills were ridiculously high - I had a window open...every day of the polar vortex. Actually up until one day early last week. #fail
Sincerely, a more careful renter

Dear Second Grade Teachers,
I loved teaching writing workshop in your class this week - and I'm loving the independence you're building with your kids. One kid asked me to spell because for him and I told him, "Nope. Stretch your sounds and you can do it!" He replied, "Oh, I'll just get my Portable Word Wall!" You're awesome!
Love, a (once-again) proud Literacy Coach

Dear Graduate Students,
I'm kinda sad that we only have one session left - now that we finally got to know one another! It's been a great experience to work with you and I hope that you've been able to pick up some ideas about teaching that can help you in your classroom.
Love, Teach

Dear boyfriend,
I can't wait for our trip to Vegas for your brother's wedding! It will be a much needed break after all the work we've been doing the last weeks! Can't wait to go for a ride in the red rocks, see the Hoover Dam, stop at In-n-Out, celebrate Stuart and Ashley, and have a great vacation with you! Eeekkkk! It's coming so soon!
Love, Michelle

Thursday, October 9, 2014

no rain, no rainbow

I was having the worst day. The problems began at 6:50 this morning when I couldn't find my car key. I searched all over my house and finally came to the conclusion that I would, in fact, have to walk the 10 minutes to my neighbor's house to get the spare.

So I did. I texted my boss and my teaching bestie on the way to let them know. Got to Liz's house and she still wasn't answering her phone and her doorbell/call system thingy wasn't working. So then I was waiting. and waiting.

I texted Liz's neighbor Julie to see if she was awake. No dice.

Eventually, another girl in her building came out to walk her dog, so I got in the gate. I rapped (wrapped?) on her door and woke her up - her alarm didn't go off, so kinda good that I came over at 7:07am. I got my key and walked back home.

When I got home, I wrote a note to my neighbors to hang on the door - asking them to keep an eye out for my key. Maybe it was in the leaves outside on the ground - I wasn't sure, but I didn't want my car to get stolen.

I get all my stuff, the keys, my coffee, the note, and some tape, and headed downstairs to the door that goes outside only to look up and see my keys hanging on this little pipe by the mailboxes:

They were there all night. And after all that trouble I found them. Did I mention I even checked my mailbox before I walked to Liz's house? Isn't this always the way? Grrrrrrr!!!!

So annoying. I was 40 minutes late to work. (I hate being late.) I also had things to do - and spending 40 minutes trying to find keys was not exactly how I wanted to spend my morning today.

Drove to work and spilled coffee on my pants.

Got to work and barely get done what I needed to for my guided reading group before I have to get to a common plan - but I did get it done....I work well under pressure, annoyed or not.


I just wanted to go home. I knew I had such a long day ahead of me - Thursday is the evening I teach grad school - and I just wanted to be in my bed under my covers, maybe with some chocolate, hiding from everyone. But, I had to work.

The rest of my day job was fine. Nothing super exciting. It was picture day and I usually get a new shirt or dress for the occasion, but I've been so busy that I haven't even had time to do so. The horror!

I left work early and called my bff. I thought she was mad at me, but she said she wasn't. But then, when I told her I had to get off the phone about 10 minutes later (after I talked about *myself* the whole 10 minutes) she finally told me what's up: That I never call her and I only do when I have to complain about my day or something else about me. Duly noted.

10 minutes later I sent her this:

Her reply? "lol, ok."

We're good now.

Then it was grad school, and I was expecting my bad day to go out with a bang in a true, craptastic way, but it was just the opposite.

We covered guided reading today and it was great. We had great discussion. One group presented on independent reading (one of my most favorite things!)

And then, at the end of the class, it happened. We were just finishing session 7 (of 8) and a few people came up to tell me that they have really learned alot. Another person said that there's so much that they can take back to their classrooms from our class.

It was all smiles and appreciations and then laughter over this:

When I showed them this, they all grabbed their phones and took pictures of it and loved it - because it's so true. We're all stuck in the Dark Evil Vortex of Late September, October and November right now - with first year teachers somewhere between Survival and Disillusionment - so it was pretty funny to see their reaction to this graph. Funny, because it's true and we all get it.

I don't know. I just expected this day to be so awful - and it was my students who cleared the rainclouds and brought the sun back out. Thank you so much! You made my day!

Who brought happiness to you today?

It's Friday Eve and I'm off Monday! Hope you are too!


Saturday, October 4, 2014

late to the currently party

Whelp, I'm very late. It's October 4th and I'm just getting to Currently, but I have been a busy girl. I was at the Illinois Reading Council (IRC) Conference in Springfield - check out my posts before this one for more on that!

But, let's get to the party - thank you to Farley for hosting all of us!

Listening to...Marley and Me
Just a movie rerun to unwind with. Got home a few hours ago and already watched my DVRed shows (Scandal and Modern Family). So now, whatever is on for some white noise in the background is good for me!

Also, this commercial is so hilar:

Loving...being back at home
Like I mentioned above, I was in Springfield for the IRC, which was great, but it's always great to get back home, too. I'm actually so tired that I don't even want to go out and watch the ASU game at Cubby Bear. So, waiting on the boyfriend to come over so we can make some dinner and watch some movies. Sounds like a perfect Saturday night to me :-)

Thinking....about seeing my mentee tomorrow
So funny thing - one of my mentees lives like two blocks from me! Tomorrow we're going to meet up and talk Writing Workshop, one of my favorite things to discuss. Plus, she's awesome so I love to hang out. Hopefully the meeting up will be at Starbucks as well!

Wanting...a Goldendoodle
I seriously still totally want the goldendoodle Dudley. If you've been following me for any length of time, you'll probably remember me mentioning this, and watching Marley and Me isn't helping much. Super love puppies and really want a dog. Crossing my fingers that it's next summer!

also: naming him Dudley! get the grad school class I'm teaching wrapped up
I'm about to do weeks seven and eight with my first group of graduate students. Definitely felt a lot like a first year teacher - messed up a few things, but overall good experience. Because of my screw up, I'll be grading ALOT of papers next weekend. Doesn't sound fun, but when times like this happen, I just tell myself, "This too shall pass." And when it does (ends on the 16th), grades will be due the 17th, and then I'll be leavin' on a jet plane to Vegas on the 18th. So glad I have that to look forward to!

Trick or Treat? Treat!
Well this weekend there is a blog hop going on with a bunch of Reading Specialists and Literacy Coaches - and there's a freebie at every site! You'll have to hurry - it ends tomorrow, but there's some great stuff for you, including a plot diagram organizer from me. Click here to start on my post!

That's all for me tonight!

irc in review, days 2-3

Hi all! Well, I'm sitting in the Starbucks in the Hilton, ready to write before my last session at 10:30. I'm still at the Illinois Reading Council (IRC) Conference. This morning I heard Jay Asher speak at breakfast. Yesterday I heard Lucy Calkins. Lots to share!

Well Lucy never disappoints. I'm a warm-fuzzy kind of teacher, so I appreciate it when presentations tend to this side of my personality. Lucy does it flawlessly, while connecting it with our own teaching and the Common Core.

She began by saying, "We need to say no to say yes so we can take our profession back."

Our profession is under attack - make no mistake about that. Corporate profiteers and people who have never set foot in a classroom think they know what is best for our profession. Just yesterday on Twitter:

Campbell Brown was like a news anchor or something. Not an educator. Yet right now, she's leading a lawsuit in NY to do away with tenure. Did you see the two people who retweeted to her after? People who are outside of education don't understand that teachers fight for their kids every day - and tenure allows us to do so.

But I digress.

My point with Lucy is that you have to say no to things so you are freed up to say yes to others. I say no to Basal Readers and Worksheets and yes to Reading Workshop. I say yes to putting authentic literature in children's hands, giving them consistent blocks of time for reading, and then I do this with intensity. I track it. I study it.

I also say yes to guided reading. I've been studying Jan Richardson's model and then I plan for guided reading so that kids can get what they need.

I say no to 100's of things - so I can say yes to the things that matter the most. Lucy said that the degree of implementation is important - if you implement 10 things with low to a medium degree - none of them are going to make a difference. But, if you pick one or two, and do them with a high intensity, you're good to go!

Say no to say yes. I like that.

The other big idea she spoke to is that we need to listen to our 2 or 3 big truths in our lives and then bring them to our teaching. Lucy is not against the CCSS, because they have allowed teachers to do great work in literature. We now dive much more deeply into author's craft and structure, we go back to the text as we discuss and ground our conversations in them. While there are things about CCSS that I'm not fond of, I do agree that they have caused me to improve my teaching - take the standards deeper and think about the levels of work my students are producing.

That being said, Lucy suggested that 10% of the CCSS should be what we bring to the table. We should include our passions and bring our life themes to the work we do.

One of my big themes, when I taught in middle school, was the idea of social justice. I wanted kids to use literacy to change their communities - it was powerful and purposeful work that I took to them. We read about things that lots of people skip over as to not offend anyone, but they were important to do so. When I get to work around my life's themes, my work is better and the children's learning is deeper.

In these times when it's hard to be a teacher, Lucy says that what's inside spills out. So what are your big themes? How are you taking them to your classroom? What are you sharing with your students?

Jay Asher
Jay Asher is the author of 13 Reasons Why. It's a mystery novel about teen suicide. I appreciate this book because not many people are having conversations about this topic. Lots of times we want to shy away from things like this because they're hard. But his book addresses lots of reasons and can provide a "lived-through experience" (Peterson & Eeds) that can help adolescents who may have thoughts like this.

So this morning he talked all about he came to be a writer, how it was a long process from his first book, 12 years ago (Hey Easter Bunny, You Forgot Something!) to 13 Reasons Why and his newest novel, The Future of Us.

He shared his writing process, the waiting until he finally got a letter of acceptance, and then emails that he received from adolescents about how this book helped them - one boy wrote to say he was going to stop being a bully. Another girl noticed someone in her class who was demonstrating some of the warning signs of suicide. The girl called her and talked her through everything. She probably saved her life.

That's the thing with writing - words have power. Words can make cause people to change their behavior or thinking and help someone. It's so amazing that his book, which was a work in progress for 12 years now touches children's lives in 30+ countries!

Also: He was hilarious!

There were some other sessions, but these were the highlights the last two days. I'm thankful for a district that values conferences and learning sends so many of us away to learn new things. Here are all of us with Lucy Calkins before she got to speaking:

Lucy Calkins, D100 Principals, Literacy Coaches, and Reading Specialists

Also, I really appreciate how my principal pushes Christine and I to grow in new ways - this was our first time presenting at the IRC and not my last! I've already got a bunch of ideas for next year!

Anyone else attend IRC? What did you think?

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 3, 2014

irc day 1 in review

Well as you know if you've been keeping up with my blog, I'm at the Illinois Reading Council Conference in Springfield, Illinois with a bunch of teachers from my district. All of the Literacy Coaches are here, plus a handful of the Reading Specialists and half of our principals. We are representing well!

Yesterday my principal, Christine from Just Jantz, and I presented at 8am - the story of our school and our implementation of Reading Workshop. We had a small group join us and I had fun - we didn't really get nervous either! So, I think I'll have to be back to present again!

After our session, we attended some others. I went to one on Instructional Coaching, then saw Richard Allington talk about literacy in our communities, and then heard Rafe Esquith. He wrote Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire which I read a long time ago. So, here are the highlights from yesterday:

From the Instructional Coaching session:
"People aren't ready for coaching until they're ready for it."
This group talked a lot about their journey and how it takes time for teachers to see that coaches just want to collaborate and work together and that we have nothing to do with administration. So, they keep offering to collaborate, because teachers aren't ready for it until they're ready for it.

I think that's true - the summer before I was hired my principal told me to read Jan Richardson's The Next Steps in Guided Reading. I didn't get into it until just last month - I had to try out guided reading first (remember, I was in middle school prior?) Anyways, teachers have to be ready for their next steps when they're ready. So coaches, keep offering the things you do! And if you get grabbed in the hallway by a teacher who needs something, that's just as good as a teacher filling out a form for coaching. They called this "hall-jacking" and I thought it was pretty hilarious!

From Dick Allington's Session:
He talked a lot about literacy and communities - poor vs. middle communities and access to books and vocabulary that each of those communities have. It really is pretty's just one quote about word exposure:

Children of the poor are exposed to 13 million words.
Children of working class families are exposed to 26 million words.
Children of professional families are exposed to 45 million words.
(Hart & Risely, 1995)

But it's not just that. Children of higher income families hear better *quality* of language - 100 times more positive statements (Honey, we are going to buy peas today. What kind of peas should we get? There are 4 different kinds. Which ones should we pick?) than children of lower income families, who hear 13 times more negative (Sit down. Be quiet. Don't touch that.) statements.

Dick said that WalMart is a perfect place for this kind of data collection! hahahhaaaaa :-)

What can we as teachers do? Obviously use the great language that we do, but also stock our rooms with books, and give kids *ample* time to read:

Knapp, 1995 said that meaning-oriented practices do not impede mastery of discreet skills, and may in fact, facilitate it.

So, if you want to "keep kids stupid, keep doing worksheets." (Allington's words!) If you want to help them grow, give them LOTS of time to read books!

Rafe Esquith
The last person I heard last night was Rafe Esquith. He was just alright for me - he definitely has a system of doing things that is pretty good - you should read his book for some great ideas!

As far as reading goes, he reads all the classics with his fifth graders: To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, Huck Finn - there were many more, but books like those. He reads all the books to kids as a shared text so they are definitely making meaning, but I'm just not sure how I feel about him reading that content with kids. That's my big gripe.

On a positive note about him, what he says about reading, "Every great book is about you." And that's true. The reader gets to know the characters, the problems, and considers life in a new way after reading those books. So I did like that.

Well, that's all for day one. Sorry there's no images or pictures - my Internet is ridiculously slow and the thought of having to load more tabs to spice this up doesn't sound fun. Tomorrow I'll share today's events - which began with Lucy Calkins at breakfast this morning and it was fabulous!

Be on the lookout for my next post about today's sessions!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

a harvest of freebies blog hop: plot problems

Hello and welcome to BigTime Literacy! I'm Michelle and I'm so excited be be working alongside some amazing Reading Specialists and Literacy Coaches for this fall-themed blog hop!

So teaching plot is something we all do - I taught it in middle school and now, as a Literacy Coach, I see teachers across the elementary school teaching it in various forms: Beginning, Middle, and End in the younger grades, and then with the same plot line I used in middle school in the intermediate grades!

When I first started teaching, I ran into a few roadblocks with the plot structure. First, the rising action. Kids wanted to list *ALL* events of the story on the rising action. I didn't know how to stop this! I knew there had to be a better way....and then I find, there is!

Another problem was determining the climax. When I began teaching, I always would say that the climax was the "most exciting part" of the story. Well - one kid's most exciting part does not always equal another's. I knew there had to be an answer to this  burning plot predicament, and when I came across this book, I had found it!

Grand Conversations (Peterson & Eeds) is a great book about authentic book clubs that work with fiction texts, including great tips for teaching plot (that I'm about to share with you here!) I highly recommend this book if you are interested in book clubs!

Here are two quick tips for teaching plot with your kiddos - young or older!

Rising Action: Points of Tension
When you think of the rising action and what should be put on that list and what should be left off, think about tension. Any event that causes the conflict to become more intense, that's tension, and that should be added to the rising action. If the event causes tension, add it to your plot diagram. If the event doesn't cause tension, leave it off.

Climax: The Turning Point
Telling kids that the climax is the most exciting part of the story simply does not work. Instead, teach it as the turning point, or the part of the story when the conflict is no longer a conflict. It's the moment in the story that makes the conflict cease to exist. It might be a line of dialog or a characters inner monologue. It might be a fight or a handshake. Whatever it is, if it turns the conflict, it's the climax.

Maybe I was just late to the game, but these two pointers really helped me focus my instruction on the plot structure for fiction text. Hopefully they are new to some of you out there as well!

Before I get to my freebie, I also wanted to share a great read aloud for kids young and old: The Hallo-Wiener by Dav Pilkey:

This book, written by the same author as the Captain Underpants series, is a cute story about a little wiener dog named Oscar who doesn't want to hurt his mom's feelings when she wants him to dress up as a hot dog for Halloween. Filled with tons of plays on words (a wiener dog named Oscar, anyone?) and super cute drawings, this book will make you laugh and also share a great message.

I've read this book to kinders and to 7th graders and they all love it. The older kids can easily do a plot structure on this book, and, with the two tips I shared with you today, it will be a breeze!

Download my freebie - a spiffy-clean plot diagram - to use with this text or any of your choice!

Aaaannnnndddd.... if you like what you've read here, be sure to follow me on Bloglovin!

Now it's time to head on over to Comprehension Connection to hear about another great freebie from my friend, Carla!

In the rush to get everything done in your classroom this month, don't forget to slow down and enjoy all the splendor of the season:  the leaves changing colors, the crisp air, and an abundance of Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Happy fall!

I'm at the IRC!

So excited to be presenting for my first time at the Illinois Reading Council Conference in Springfield, Illinois!

Will write more about this later, but check out our presentation if you can't make it!

Oh, one more thing: The Harvest of Freebies Blog Hop is coming...tomorrow! Get excited!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...