Monday, March 15, 2010


I found the two reading that we had to do for this week really interesting, Gibbons Chapter 5 and Thompkins Chapter 4. I really liked the idea of having the students and the teacher work together to come up with a rubric for a major assignment. This lets all students have a say in the projects they are doing in class and motivates them to do the projects. The idea of talking with each student about their grades on major assignments is also an extremely interesting idea. Although this would be time consuming it would allow the students to have a better understanding of the grade that they received. I know that when I was in school I always had questions on the grading of my assignments and this would allow for all of the students questions to be answered. During this meeting, it was also suggested that the teacher and student talk about goals for the next assignment. This is also a great idea because the student can take what they did not do well on in the assignment before and then make this their goal for the next assignment.

Forgiveness poems are another way for students to connection with people in their life, work with poems, and work on comprehension. Some students have a hard time with expressing themselves with words so if the students are able to write how they feel it will make their writing better because they are writing about something that they care about.

The comprehension strategies that were given in the Gibbons chapter were ones that we have used in class but also some new ones. One of the strategies is using a book that is non-fiction and below there level of reading. If it is below their level of reading they will focus on the content and not on the words. I also read this strategy in Strategies that Work and I am using this in my mini lesson with my second graders!

Many of the strategies that are given in Chapter 5 are used in my second grade class. We have reading workshop and the teach starts this by reading a book to the children and model how they should read certain types of books. Then students read in pairs with students that are at the same level. This allows the students to feel comfortable reading with each other. When the students are done reading they are asked to summarize what they have read to the other person. After lunch the teacher has a read aloud book for two purposes one for the students to understand how to read and two a time for the students to settle down.

Some of the ideas that I have never heard of are story innovation, innovating on the ending, cartoon strip, readers’ theatre, wanted posters, story map, hot seat, freeze frames, and cloze. These are all creative ideas that I would love to use in my classroom someday. The hot seat was my favorite activity because it makes the students think about what they have read and then also use their imagination. I think that this would take a lot of modeling before the students would feel comfortable doing this on their own. The wanted posters and cartoon strips would interest the students that like to draw. Some students like to express themselves through drawings so this would be a really good activity for them. The wanted posters would also take some thought to make because the students would have to understand the character inside and out to make sure that people know who they are looking for. 


  1. I was really interested in how your teacher has children with the same reading levels work together so they feel comfortable. It is really important to create an environment where students feel like they can express themselves and are not afraid to make mistakes. My kindergarten class incorporates some of the same ideas of working with students who have the same level of achievement because it allows them to collaboratively combine their ideas by using similar thought processes. In my classroom there are also opportunities for students to work with various other achievement levels, so they can either challenge themselves or help those who are struggling. Do you see any of this type of collaborative work in your placement, with students of varied academic levels working together?

  2. You mentioned a bunch of different strategies you'd never heard of at the end of your post, and I am right there with you! I also, never heard of those really creative strategies. I think students would really enjoy the opportunity to choose their own to utilize. It would be important to begin the year by slowly introducing each strategy but after awhile, I think students would really benefit from taking the initiative and the responsibility to choose their own. It would also do a great job of motivating students. You could even incorporate collaborative group work for the students who chose the same strategy....I'm glad we read these chapters to really open our eyes to the vast amount of activities, strategies, etc. that are available for literacy instruction.