Friday, September 9, 2011

My Name Activity

I always start the year with the book Chrystanthemum by Kevin Henkes.  We do lots of activities with the book including story mapping, sequencing, graphing, and so on.  One really fun activity is having students talk with parents about their own names, who chose the name and why, and so on.  I then have them write an acrostic using the letters of their names.  We publish these acrostic poems and hang them in the hall for parents to enjoy at Parent Night.  This year, I gave students a pencil-drawn outline of a body (somewhat like a paper doll) then had them turn it into a self portrait, including the clothes they were wearing at that time.  These self-portraits then hold a "sign" with the student's name acrostic.  Here are some pictures of our display:

 Don't you LOVE kids' self-portraits?!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

International Literacy Day

In honor of International Literacy Day, I would like to share with you a snippet from an article written by Sebastian Wren.  The Article is entitled "Ten Myths of Reading Instruction" and was published in SEDL newsletter Volume XIV, Number 3 in December 2002.

"Although such reading programs can be a useful part of a larger reading curriculum, no reading program by itself has ever been shown to be truly "successful"—not with all children and all teachers. And no reading program by itself has been shown to accelerate all children to advanced levels of performance. . .
There are a few programs that, if properly implemented, could help a school move in the right direction, but nothing could ever take the place of a knowledgeable and talented teacher."
You can find the entire article here:

A hats-off salute to dedicated knowledgeable and talented teachers everywhere!  There truly is no limit to your influence in the lives of children.

From September 8 to September 12, I have put these two literacy-building products on sale at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store:

Genres of Literature is a 26-page unit that explores 11 different genres: fairy tales, fantsy, folk tales, fables, legends, realistic fiction, historical fiction, biography, informational text, poetry, and drama. Each genre has a description and an example, followed by an engaging activity for students to complete. Activities include writing a journal entry about a biography, writing newspaper articles about fables, writing a personal letter to a fairy tale character, illustrating a folk tale, writing a story ending for realisitic fiction, making a map for a legend, creating a post card to send to someone about a fantasy, writing dialouge for a script, etc.

Reading Strategies
These worksheets can be used with any book or passage, and will guide young readers in learning and using reading strategies that support and improve comprehension. Students will practice previewing, predicting and identifying reasons for reading. They will learn to ask and answer their own question, clarify as they read, identify story elements and summarize after reading. Activities are open-ended and can be used with any assigned reading passage.