Second Grade Nest: February 2016

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Teaching Life Cycles


Hello, wonderful blog readers! Little break from my Exploring ELA blog series to bring you some Life Cycles ideas for the classroom. 

Life Cycles- Educational Ideas and Teaching Ideas for life cycles. Anchor charts, reading, resources, and technology to help teach this science topic in first and second grade classrooms.
 Below, you will find anchor charts, books, learning resources, videos, and crafts to help your teaching! I hope you find a few ideas to use in your classroom. 


Anchor Chart Ideas:

Life Cycles- Educational Ideas and Teaching Ideas for life cycles. Anchor charts, reading, resources, and technology to help teach this science topic in first and second grade classrooms.    Life Cycles- Educational Ideas and Teaching Ideas for life cycles. Anchor charts, reading, resources, and technology to help teach this science topic in first and second grade classrooms.
I always start a new science topic with KWL charts. First, having the students fill out the K and W column before we meet whole group brings a lot more independent thoughts. Then we come together and add all of our Ks and Ws on a class chart! The individual KWL Chart is part of my Life Cycles pack.

Life Cycles- Educational Ideas and Teaching Ideas for life cycles. Anchor charts, reading, resources, and technology to help teach this science topic in first and second grade classrooms.
I love this more advanced life cycles anchor chart from Jessica at What I Have Learned. It gives great vocabulary and introduction to the science topic. 



Video Ideas:
I always love to introduce science topics with videos and songs. It reaches some of your learners in a different way than reading! 
Life Cycles- Educational Ideas and Teaching Ideas for life cycles. Anchor charts, reading, resources, and technology to help teach this science topic in first and second grade classrooms.    Life Cycles- Educational Ideas and Teaching Ideas for life cycles. Anchor charts, reading, resources, and technology to help teach this science topic in first and second grade classrooms.
 Brain Pop Jr. has two videos:  one for butterflies and one for frogs. Both are great for introducing the frog and butterfly life cycles. 

Life Cycles- Educational Ideas and Teaching Ideas for life cycles. Anchor charts, reading, resources, and technology to help teach this science topic in first and second grade classrooms.
And here is frog life cycle video from the great Harry Kindergarten Music!



Book Ideas
I love nonfiction reading in the primary classroom! Kiddos love the photographs.These texts are all simple enough for the students to be able to read on their own in reading groups or independent reading. Below, I have listed link for each of the books using affiliate links from Amazon.

Life Cycles Reading- Educational Ideas and Teaching Ideas for life cycles. Anchor charts, reading, resources, and technology to help teach this science topic in first and second grade classrooms.

Check out these fabulous reads!




Resource Ideas:
 I have a Life Cycle No-Prep Science Pack that I sell on TPT. It comes with passages, printables, mini books, cut and paste, and more for frogs, butterflies, and chickens. 
Here are a few images of what you'll get in the pack. 

Life Cycles- Educational Ideas and Teaching Ideas for life cycles. Anchor charts, reading, resources, and technology to help teach this science topic in first and second grade classrooms.

Life Cycles- Educational Ideas and Teaching Ideas for life cycles. Anchor charts, reading, resources, and technology to help teach this science topic in first and second grade classrooms.   Life Cycles- Educational Ideas and Teaching Ideas for life cycles. Anchor charts, reading, resources, and technology to help teach this science topic in first and second grade classrooms.


Art Ideas: 
I am in love with these crafts for chickens, frog, and butterfly life cycles! 

Life Cycles- Educational Ideas and Teaching Ideas for life cycles. Anchor charts, reading, resources, and technology to help teach this science topic in first and second grade classrooms.Life Cycles- Educational Ideas and Teaching Ideas for life cycles. Anchor charts, reading, resources, and technology to help teach this science topic in first and second grade classrooms.

Life Cycles- Educational Ideas and Teaching Ideas for life cycles. Anchor charts, reading, resources, and technology to help teach this science topic in first and second grade classrooms.

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I hope you have enjoyed these ideas! I have two resources available to you to teach spring life cycles. One is a no-prep unit that covers frogs, hens, and butterflies. The other is a flip book that teaches all about spring life cycles.

Life Cycles- Educational Ideas and Teaching Ideas for life cycles. Anchor charts, reading, resources, and technology to help teach this science topic in first and second grade classrooms.    Life Cycles- Educational Ideas and Teaching Ideas for life cycles. Anchor charts, reading, resources, and technology to help teach this science topic in first and second grade classrooms.  

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Retelling & Recounting Stories: Exploring ELA


I'm back with a new post in the Exploring ELA series. Last week, I posted my first blog post about Asking and Answering questions. That standard spanned over the Literature domain and the Informational domain. Today's blog topic is only found in the Literature domain...

Retelling and Recounting Stories, Fables, Folk Tales, and Myths

Retelling and Recounting Stories: teaching ideas and activities to help guide teachers when teaching the ELA standards. Includes Retelling and Recounting folktales, fables, myths for first grade, second grade, and third grade. Also includes the central message, lesson, and moral.

Here are the three standards we will be studying in this blog post: 
Buzz words: 
*Retell
*Recount
*Folk Tale/Fable/Myth
*Central Message/Moral/Lesson
*Key Details in the Text



5 Key Tasks for Teachers: 


1. Teach the retell/recount strategy.
-There are many important pieces of this standard. The first thing you need to focus on is teaching a student how to retell or recount a story. No matter what type of text they are reading, recounting/retelling are the two most important power verbs from the RL2 standards in first, second, and third grade.
(Mini anchor chart shown on the large anchor chart is included in my RL2.2 and RL3.2 packs)
Retelling and Recounting Stories: teaching ideas and activities to help guide teachers when teaching the ELA standards. Includes Retelling and Recounting folktales, fables, myths for first grade, second grade, and third grade. Also includes the central message, lesson, and moral.
 Learning Resources Retell A Story Cubes, 6-Pack
My class always loved the retelling dice that I bought off of Amazon. This was great when they read easy readers with partners and used a dice to discuss the story. 

Retelling and Recounting Stories: teaching ideas and activities to help guide teachers when teaching the ELA standards. Includes Retelling and Recounting folktales, fables, myths for first grade, second grade, and third grade. Also includes the central message, lesson, and moral.
(Mini lesson from my RL1.2 pack)
One thing that really helped my first and second graders when teaching the retelling standard was color coding. We always used red, yellow, and blue to put brackets around our beginning, middle, and end of the stories. Another option is to give them tasks for each color. For example: "Grab a red crayon and underline the part of the text that shows the character's problem."



2. Differentiate between folk tales, fables, myths, and fictional stories. 
After the students have a firm grasp on the retelling and recounting, then you can start to truly focus on the different types of fictional stories. Now, first grade teachers, this is NOT required for you to teach, but it won't hurt your firsties to learn different types of fictional stories. Second grade teachers, you're in charge of teaching folktales and fables. Third grade teachers, you're in charge of teaching folktales, fables, and myths. 
Retelling and Recounting Stories: teaching ideas and activities to help guide teachers when teaching the ELA standards. Includes Retelling and Recounting folktales, fables, myths for first grade, second grade, and third grade. Also includes the central message, lesson, and moral.
I tried to keep up an anchor chart throughout the unit so that students could constantly refer to it if they had any questions about differentiating between the types of fictional text.

Retelling and Recounting Stories: teaching ideas and activities to help guide teachers when teaching the ELA standards. Includes Retelling and Recounting folktales, fables, myths for first grade, second grade, and third grade. Also includes the central message, lesson, and moral.
(KWL charts and charts part of my my RL2.2 and RL3.2 packs)
Grabbing students' prior knowledge is very important to do when teaching new ideas. We make folktale and fable KWL charts when teaching that unit. Students were able to identify their misconceptions and correct them with new knowledge. These mini anchor charts also stayed up near the 4-square anchor chart shown above. 



3. Introduce moral, lesson, and central messages.
Since this standard is so complex, it decided it needed to have three parts. The third part to teach when doing the retell/recount standard is to focus on the lesson/moral/central message.  This was always a difficult task to do because we have been teaching students to be so text-evidence based, but in many stories, the moral is not right there in black and white. It takes a lot of practice and inference skills to get lessons and morals mastered. Practice makes perfect.

Retelling and Recounting Stories: teaching ideas and activities to help guide teachers when teaching the ELA standards. Includes Retelling and Recounting folktales, fables, myths for first grade, second grade, and third grade. Also includes the central message, lesson, and moral.
(Chart, mini lesson, and printable are all part of my RL1.2, RL2.2, and RL3.2 packs.)



4. Practice the text-based strategy. 
While part of this standard is not always text-based answers, the act of retelling does require students to use the text to find answer. Looking back in the text after reading (more than once) is a very important strategy to use. As mentioned in Task #1 above, color coding really helped my students. Being able to visually see it helped them.

In the two pictures below you can see how different color brackets help divide up passages. This makes it more visual for students to be able to go back and find the answers in the text.
Underlining answers is always key, too! I never let my students turn in their reading passages and comprehension questions unless I see accurate underlines within the passage.

(Retell pasage part of RL1.2) (Myths activities part of RL3.2)



5. Let them practice in many ways.
I mentioned in the previous blog post on Asking and Answering questions how important it was to make sure you're always changing up your daily activities to avoid students from checking out.

Ideas for practice: 
-Turn and Talk activities whole group
-Task Cards
-Interactive Notebooks
-Passages
-Printables to use w/ real texts
-Read to Self Self-Checking Cards
-Read to Someone Self-Checking Cards


Retelling and Recounting Stories: teaching ideas and activities to help guide teachers when teaching the ELA standards. Includes Retelling and Recounting folktales, fables, myths for first grade, second grade, and third grade. Also includes the central message, lesson, and moral.
(Printables, task cards, and interactive notebooks are all part of my RL1.2, RL2.2, and RL3.2 packs.)



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Grab the resources here:
 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Retell-a-Story-RL12-1765821 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Recount-a-Story-RL22-1765848      https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Recount-a-Story-RL32-2319865 

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This blog post is the second in the blog series:  Exploring ELA. I hope it has given you new ideas and a guiding framework to teach these standards! 
Retelling and Recounting Stories: teaching ideas and activities to help guide teachers when teaching the ELA standards. Includes Retelling and Recounting folktales, fables, myths for first grade, second grade, and third grade. Also includes the central message, lesson, and moral.


Monday, February 8, 2016

Ask & Answer Questions: Exploring ELA

Last week, I announced that I was going to begin a blog series on exploring the ELA standards. Today, I bring you the first blog post in the series. I am going to start with the first standard in Literature AND Informational domains. 
[Ask and Answer Questions]

Ask and Answer Questions- Exploring ELA Common Core Standards- Activities and Lessons to teach elementary students to ask and answer questions

Here are the six standards we will be studying for this blog post. 
The ask and answer standard spans first, second, and third grade as well as both domains (informational and literature).
Ask and Answer Questions- Exploring ELA Common Core Standards- Activities and Lessons to teach elementary students to ask and answer questions     Ask and Answer Questions- Exploring ELA Common Core Standards- Activities and Lessons to teach elementary students to ask and answer questions



5 Key Tasks for Teachers:


1. Get students' prior knowledge on questioning with an anchor chart and lots of accountable talk. 

Ask and Answer Questions- Exploring ELA Common Core Standards- Activities and Lessons to teach elementary students to ask and answer questions 
Make sure students know how to answer a text. Try with a very basic fictional text that they know well, such as The Three Little Pigs or Goldilocks. Have them created a few questions and answer a few questions with a partner. If you're studying informational texts, show images of items and ask them to create questions from the pictures. Or find a popular topic that primary students like, such as dinosaurs or sharks and ask questions for them to answer.



2. Distinguish between asking and answering questions. 
Ask and Answer Questions- Exploring ELA Common Core Standards- Activities and Lessons to teach elementary students to ask and answer questions
(Anchor chart from my RL1.1, RL2.1, RL3.1 Mini Lesson)

Teaching students to answer questions is much easier (at least for me) than teaching them to ask questions. Students have answered questions their entire lives. They know the skill of listening to the question and figuring out the answer. The skill of reading a text and asking questions before, during, and after is a tough skill in teaching.

Ask and Answer Questions- Exploring ELA Common Core Standards- Activities and Lessons to teach elementary students to ask and answer questions
 (Printables taken from my RL2.1 pack.)

Using passages and real fiction/nonfiction stories are very important for kiddos to get practice. Whether you're teaching them to ask about an informational topic or a fictional story they just read, students will need to learn how to answer text-based questions and ask questions based off pictures and events in the text.


3. Distinguish between thick and thin questions. 
Ask and Answer Questions- Exploring ELA Common Core Standards- Activities and Lessons to teach elementary students to ask and answer questions
(Anchor chart from my RI.1.1 and RI.2.1 mini lesson)

Whether they're called thick, thin, strong, simple, or easy-peasy, teaching students to get DEEPER with their questioning is very important. We started by making an anchor chart and using given questions on the topic, sharks. Students have to decide if they question asked was a strong question or a simple question.

Ask and Answer Questions- Exploring ELA Common Core Standards- Activities and Lessons to teach elementary students to ask and answer questions
(Mini-Lesson Anchor Chart toppers and Printable taken from my RL.3.1 pack.)

Students will need practice on defining the difference between strong and simple questions. BUT don't stop with just that activity. As they work through asking and answering question lessons (and even in day to day lessons), make sure that students answers are always strong and text-based.


4. Teach the text-based strategy. 
Ask and Answer Questions- Exploring ELA Common Core Standards- Activities and Lessons to teach elementary students to ask and answer questions
 (Activity taken from my RI.1.1 and RI.2.1 lesson)

Text-evidence is a huge skill for primary students. Teaching them how to find an answer by looking back in their text will help them throughout middle school, high school, and college. It isn't always, but the more they practice, the stronger they will get.

Ask and Answer Questions- Exploring ELA Common Core Standards- Activities and Lessons to teach elementary students to ask and answer questions
(Passage and Questions taken from RL.3.1)
(Passage taken from RI.1.1)


5. Let them practice in many different ways.
While passages and comprehension questions are always a huge skill for students to master, we don't want to limit them to the same activity each day. During my centers and small group activities, I would try to use task cards and interactive notebook activities to help practice the same skill while still changing things up.

Ideas for practice: 
-Turn and Talk activities whole group
-Task Cards
-Interactive Notebooks
-Passages
-Read to Self Self-Checking Cards
-Read to Someone Self-Checking Cards

Ask and Answer Questions- Exploring ELA Common Core Standards- Activities and Lessons to teach elementary students to ask and answer questions
(Task cards taken from RL.2.1)

Ask and Answer Questions- Exploring ELA Common Core Standards- Activities and Lessons to teach elementary students to ask and answer questions
(Interactive Notebook Template taken from RL.2.1)


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Last fall, I blogged about this topic in another blog post.
Check it out here. 
http://www.firstgradenest.com/2015/08/teaching-kids-to-ask-questions.html


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Grab your resources here:
1st Grade
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ask-and-Answer-Questions-RL11-1754459   https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ask-and-Answer-Questions-RI11-1980967

2nd Grade
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ask-and-Answer-Questions-RL21-1754784   https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ask-and-Answer-Questions-RI21-1980990

3rd Grade
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ask-and-Answer-Questions-RL31-2318829       (Informational set coming this summer.)



This blog post is the first post in a blog series! Next up is retelling and recounting!
http://www.firstgradenest.com/2016/02/exploring-ela-new-blog-series.html