Second Grade Nest: April 2017

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Free End of the Year Webinar



That's my goal for you.
I know it won't be 100% stress-free, because let's face it, it's a crazy time for all teachers. 
BUT I'm leading a webinar to help you eliminate that stress. 
I'm leading a FREE, LIVE webinar!

What you will learn: 
-What to expect in the last few weeks
-How to make a killer to-do list
-How to stay on top of this to-do list
 -How to manage all of these tasks
-How to do all of this while maintaining a consistent classroom schedule
-How to close up your room little at a time
-A few fun activities for the end of the year
Everyone will receive this freebie...

And everyone will receive this free workbook to work through....



Join this LIVE and FREE webinar! 
There are four sessions.
Option 1: Tuesday, April 18- Completed! 
Option 2:  Completed!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Teaching Theme (Exploring ELA)


Theme, Teaching Theme in your ELA block; hands-on activities and reading activities to help students determine theme (RL.4.2, RL4.2)
Now that I have expanded to 4th grade ELA, I will have new topics to cover. I'm still working through ELA for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade, so now I'm adding in 4th grade topics, too. Today, we're going to talk about teaching theme and summarizing! 

The standard: 
RL.4.2: Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

Now for the teaching aspect. HOW can we teach our students to determine theme? 
1.Review the different types of literature.
2. Introduce what theme is.
 3. Teach students to summarize and relate that to theme.
4. Introduce texts and passages. 
5. Allow them to practice over time.
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1.Review the different types of literature.
 When teaching theme, it is very important to use a variety of different literature texts. This is because theme often comes in many different forms. Theme is not spoken or defined anywhere in the text, the students have to infer and critically think to figure out theme. Myths, folk tales, tall tales, and more are perfect for teaching theme because these types of literature almost always have an overall message from the author. So, before I teach theme, I like to back up and teach the different types of texts that you'll be using over the entire unit.

Theme, Teaching Theme in your ELA block; hands-on activities and reading activities to help students determine theme (RL.4.2, RL4.2)
(Link: RL4.2 Theme)
During their genre mini lesson, students can review the types of literature that will have great theme lessons within them. Then, they can use this knowledge to do a book find to find the different types of literature. Before this lesson, head to the local library and stock up on at least 5 or 6 different books from each folklore category.


2. Introduce what theme is. 
Now, it's time to introduce what theme actually is. Anchor charts are very useful for students when teaching a new topic. In my ELA pack, there are two pre-made anchor charts that you can display on the white board, or you can recreate them and complete them with the students. 

Theme, Teaching Theme in your ELA block; hands-on activities and reading activities to help students determine theme (RL.4.2, RL4.2)    Theme, Teaching Theme in your ELA block; hands-on activities and reading activities to help students determine theme (RL.4.2, RL4.2)
(Link: RL4.2)
On the left, you see the pre-made anchor charts that you can project on the white board when teaching a mini lesson. Or you can use these pre-made anchor charts to create an anchor chart with your students on chart paper.

Once you have introduced theme, it is time to teach the students how to find theme using text, which is our next section. 

Theme, Teaching Theme in your ELA block; hands-on activities and reading activities to help students determine theme (RL.4.2, RL4.2)
(Link: RL4.2)
Then, give students a matching game that will help them read a short paragraph and read between the lines. Usually, no texts that authors write will have the theme written out clearly. The students will have to comprehend and infer what the theme is.
 

3. Introduce texts and passages. 
 Once students can recognize what theme is, they will need to able to apply it to their texts. Below are 7 links to books with good themes. These are affiliate links for Amazon! They will be useful to use during your read-alouds or partner reading time in your theme unit.
Theme, Teaching Theme in your ELA block; hands-on activities and reading activities to help students determine theme (RL.4.2, RL4.2)

Theme, Teaching Theme in your ELA block; hands-on activities and reading activities to help students determine theme (RL.4.2, RL4.2)     Theme, Teaching Theme in your ELA block; hands-on activities and reading activities to help students determine theme (RL.4.2, RL4.2)
Theme, Teaching Theme in your ELA block; hands-on activities and reading activities to help students determine theme (RL.4.2, RL4.2)
 (Link: RL4.2)
 Here are three reading related activities for teaching theme. In my ELA packs, I always offer passages and printables to use with any text. In the top left picture, you see a printable that students can use with tall tales or folk tales from your classroom library. On the right at the top, you see a myth about Arachne and Athena, with interactive notebook activities for comprehension. And the bottom picture, seen above, are two sample passages and comprehension questions from my Theme pack! These are all great ways for students to get their practice with theme and reading.


4. Teach students to summarize and relate that to theme.
Also included in this standard is summarizing. The beginning part of the standard deals with finding the theme, but the 2nd part deals with summarizing. Teaching your students to summarize is not easy at all, but hopefully, they've been practicing retelling and recounting in the last three years of primary grades! That will help them summarize.

Theme, Teaching Theme in your ELA block; hands-on activities and reading activities to help students determine theme (RL.4.2, RL4.2)    Theme, Teaching Theme in your ELA block; hands-on activities and reading activities to help students determine theme (RL.4.2, RL4.2)
 (Link: RL4.2)
 Teaching the SWBST is such a great device to use for summarizing. It's easy for students to remember and it covers all the bases when it comes to summarizing. You can choose to project the mini anchor chart on the board or use it as inspiration to create your own with your class, like the one shown on the right.

5. Allow them to practice over time.
Students need to practice theme and summarizing throughout the year and in many different ways.

Theme, Teaching Theme in your ELA block; hands-on activities and reading activities to help students determine theme (RL.4.2, RL4.2)    Theme, Teaching Theme in your ELA block; hands-on activities and reading activities to help students determine theme (RL.4.2, RL4.2)
Theme, Teaching Theme in your ELA block; hands-on activities and reading activities to help students determine theme (RL.4.2, RL4.2)
(Link: RL4.2)
Incorporating task cards, interactive notebooks, passages, printables, and more into your ELA rotations is highly suggested. If you teach Daily 5 or reading centers, these will fit perfectly into your different stations. Have students complete them with partners or independently. Just let them practice a lot! After your initial theme unit, which may take a week or two, I suggest having theme be a cyclical practice where they're working on it throughout the year as review.



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Need THEME resources?
For 4th grade, I have a specific resource for theme.
Click the image below to grab it.

Theme, Teaching Theme in your ELA block; hands-on activities and reading activities to help students determine theme (RL.4.2, RL4.2)
RL4.2