Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Making Tracks

Were anyone else's kiddos sugared up from the V-Day parties yesterday??? Class parties in the middle of the week should be outlawed. ;-) Anyway, I hope everyone had a great V-Day. The hubby was so sweet and actually made dinner for me last night (a very welcome present I assure you). He even set the dining room table and put out our wedding china. Steak, green beans, baked potato, and homemade cheese garlic bread for dinner and a yellow cake from a box for dessert. It was the cutest thing!

Anyway, one of the bright points of today was shared reading. I love teaching children how to make tracks and show their thinking as they read. We've been doing lots of modeling throughout the school year with making tracks, and we'd done a couple introductory lessons; however, we hadn't quite gotten as far as having the kids try writing their thoughts out yet. Today, as we were reading our shared reading story, At Home Around the World, the students got to share some of their thoughts and tracks (this is a nonfiction informational text about different kinds of homes around the world).

As we started to read the story, the kiddos had so many tracks that they were sharing aloud, that I decided to let them try writing them out. We'd made our anchor chart in a previous lesson and I had it up front for students to reference. I was curious how my students would do with writing out their tracks, and I was pretty impressed for their first time! The students loved this activity, and even though this was their first time recording their tracks, there was definitely significant pre-teaching involved in the week before through mini-lessons, creating an anchor chart, making connections, and heavy modeling. Here is our anchor chart. I found myself wishing I'd taken a picture of the one I'd made with my class last year, but alas, I didn't, and I couldn't remember exactly what I'd included, but this seemed to suffice.
While the students were reading, they then made tracks on post-it notes (do you love that I just happened to have house shaped post-is that went perfectly with the story???). Then, instead of having the kids stick their tracks in their books, we put them all up on chart paper so we could read over them together when we were done. I had the students put the page number of the page that "inspired" them, write their track, and put their initials - as you can see, most of them did that, but there were  few that "modified" the directions, haha. ;-)
The students were so enthusiastic about sharing their thoughts, and it was super cute to read aloud their tracks. Like I said, I was pretty impressed at the quality of the majority of the tracks, especially as this was their first time independently doing this for the year! As you can see from the writing, I've got quite the range of students in my class.... ;-)

Some of the tracks above: "I learned that some people's houses are made of snow." "This reminds me of my home." "I saw a wide house." "I didn't know that people can stay warm in an igloo."

"I didn't know that houses have wheels on them." "I know that houses go underground." "I didn't know that people can live in igloos.

"I made a tipi in school." "I wonder if they're cold."

As is the case every year, this was a great lesson to help the students "dig deeper"and really think about the text they were reading. I love that all of my students, including my ELL kids were able to share their thoughts through words and pictures and be proactive in their reading!
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1 comment:

  1. Love the making tracks- so important to their reading! I am following you. :)
    Conversations in Literacy


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