Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

Nurturing Science Skills in the Early Childhood Classroom

Posted by Lily Erlic on Jul 26, 2016 3:30:00 PM

This is a guest blog post by Lily Erlic, a preschool and daycare teacher. Today, she shares creative classroom activities to bridge literacy and science in early childhood.

For preschool and kindergarten teachers, teaching science in the early childhood goes hand-in-hand with developing students’ reading skills. Using From Seeds and Farmers Grow Food from the My World: Growing Things series, I will share my ideas for teaching science in the early childhood classroom.

Book One: FROM SEEDS

From Seeds provides photos of seeds and what grows from them. For example, the first page says, “From these seeds, carrots grow”. From page to page, it shows children the marvel of the seed and what it can produce.

Encourage the children to answer this question:

  • What kinds of seeds were in this book?

For a supplemental activity, provide a tray of different seeds with labels on them. Tape the seeds to the tray so they do not move around. Show the children pictures or provide the vegetables for the children to touch and feel. Ask them if they have tried all the vegetables. Ask: What is your favorite vegetable? 

MyWorld_FromSeeds.jpg

 

Book Two: FARMERS GROW FOOD

Farmers Grow Food depicts what happens on a farm to grow food. The first page reads, “Farmers grow food. Farmers plow fields.” It is a thorough and vivid account of what farmers do for us. The “Suggestions for Teachers and Parents” section also gives helpful tips for classroom use.

Ask the students this guiding question:

  • Where do you think our food comes from?

For a supplemental activity, create an activity sheet with vegetable drawings. Ask the children to color it with crayons. Ask them to write their own names on the paper. Display the sheets on a bulletin board and label the board, “FARMERS GROW FOOD.” 

MyWorld_FarmersGrowFood.jpg

Extended Activities:

  • Draw vegetables on the board and ask the children to identify the vegetables. You can also paste photos from books onto the whiteboard or from books. Ask them if they have eaten any of them for meals.
  • Provide the children with an activity sheet that states, “My favorite vegetable is _____________.” Print the word for each child and ask him or her to draw it.
  • Action Rhymes: Children like to participate in creative movement. They can learn about food while having fun, too! Finger Rhymes for Manners by Teaching and Learning Company includes food rhymes that would supplement the two books above. Another book, Finger Rhymes Content-Connected Rhymes for Science, Math and Social Studies, also lists food action rhymes under the fruit section.

I would recommend From Seeds and Farmers Grow Foodwith their colorful photos, they are great for teaching preschool and kindergarten students about science!

~~~

Lily Erlic is a preschool and daycare teacher in Victoria, BC. She is an author of many books like Blue Bear Makes Blueberry Pie, Finger Rhymes for Manners and more. Her recent e-book is a science fiction book called The Golden Sphere.

~~~

To learn more about the titles mentioned in this post and browse more titles with the Growing Things theme, click the image below and download an information sheet about the My World series.

My World Series Info Sheet 

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Reading Activities, Kindergarten, Preschool, My World, Science

Using Leveled Books to Help Students Develop Positive Behavioral Skills, Part 4

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Jul 21, 2016 3:30:00 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the fourth and last in a series about using leveled books to teach the importance of good citizenship and classroom behavior. Click here to read the first post, second post, and third post.

In this series of blog posts, I have been looking at the use of guided-reading-leveled books in the early grades to help young students develop positive behavioral skills. Today, I will conclude the series by looking at No Rules from the Kaleidoscope Collection. By reading Friends Are Fun, At School, A Bad Day, and No Rules, your students can become good citizens at school while developing their literacy skills at the same time.

Book Four: NO RULES

Remind the children that for several days, they have been discussing ways that good friendship leads to good school experiences. Use the chart prepared at the last session that shares ways to prevent a bad day.

Display the cover of the book, No Rules. Introduce the grandmother and her granddaughter. Ask students for examples of things they do with a family member and why they enjoy the activities.

no_rules_400.jpg

Pages 25:

  • Were rules necessary for everyone to enjoy the activities in the story?
  • Do you think the grandmother and granddaughter in the story need rules? What might those rules be?
  • What is a rule?

Pages 68:

As they hear the story ending, students will understand why the grandmother felt the need for a rule. Provide an opportunity for them to offer comments about what they heard. Reread the last page to help the children compose a rule:

  • What rule do you think the grandmother thought was needed? 

 

The two in the story were at the grandmother's home. Remind the students that you previously asked them think about rules that are necessary at school. List these responses on the board or on a transparency. If the children need help responding, the following scenarios could be shared. After each, the children can suggest results of the scenario and a corresponding rule:

  • Janet sees her friend, Sue leave to go to the restroom. She decides to go and visit with Sue in the restroom.
  • William does not listen to the teacher when she explains an activity, so he does not know where to go and what to do.
  • Jane talked while the teacher read a story, so the teacher had to stop the story. During group activities, Jane also talks while other students are talking.
  • Jimmy's teacher takes out the supplies needed for an art activity. Jimmy does not want to share and grabs something from Joe's hand. Joe becomes angry, and the teacher has to talk to the two boys.

Ask the children to raise a hand if they understand the reasoning behind the rules. After recording and reading the rules from the children, explain that you want the children to follow these rules. Remind them that you will be watching and will be proud of those who follow the rules. They will be helping you and others enjoy the classroom.

On following days, recognize and praise individuals, groups of children, and the entire class when you see one of these rules being followed. At least once a week, read the rules with the students and remind them of the importance of each rule. Other rules can be added as the need for more guidance is seen in the classroom. Involve the students' wording of each new rule and ask them to think about why the rule it is needed. 

In summary, remember the importance of the classroom environment and your role in making the classroom a happy and safe place. Research tells us that students in well-managed classrooms have more friends, score in higher percentiles on achievement tests, and become caring and fruitful students as they progress through the school years.

This concludes my series of posts on using books to teach positive behavioral skills in young studnets. To go back to the first post in the series, click here. If you like what you've read here, you can see an archive of my earlier posts here! I contribute fairly frequently, so subscribe to the blog in the upper right sidebar to get my next series of posts delivered directly to your mailbox.

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children. 

~~~

Click the image below to download an information sheet with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains the book mentioned in this post and books written by Geraldine Haggard.

Kaleidoscope Collection Info Sheet

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Geraldine Haggard, Behavioral Skills

Using Leveled Books to Help Students Develop Positive Behavioral Skills, Part 3

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Jul 19, 2016 3:00:00 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the third in a series about using leveled books to teach the importance of good citizenship and classroom behavior. To read the first post, click here. To read the second post, click here.

In this series of blog posts, I have been looking at the use of guided-reading-leveled books in the early grades to help young students develop positive behavioral skills. Today’s example text is A Bad Day from the Kaleidoscope Collection. Although the book is leveled at Guided Reading Level F and designed as a read-aloud for kindergarten, some first graders may already be reading independently at the book's level.

Book Three: A BAD DAY

Remind the children that friends can turn play and school activities into happy experiences. Guide the children as they talk about the importance of friendship. Invite volunteers to share a happy time they have had in the classroom. Ask the others to share why they think their friend had that positive experience. Can all experiences be happy ones? If there was a bad day in the classroom recently, ask the children to discuss and explore why. Explain that you are going to share a story, A Bad Day

Pages 29:

Invite the children to share their own bad days:

  • Why did these bad things happen? Illustrations on pages 29 can be used to discuss why bad days may happen.
  • What could the boy have done to prevent the bad things?
  • Where was he when the bad things happened?

Pages 10–12:

  • What was the surprise ending to the story?
  • How do they think the boy felt when his bad days were actually dreams?
  • How did he feel when he thought the bad things really happened?

Select pages 2, 3, 4, and 8. How did the bad days in his dream affect others? Help the children understand that when one of them has a bad day, the day can become a bad day for others. Pages 2, 4, and 8 probably became bad days for his mother and his teacher. For example, the torn pants on page 2 meant that the teacher had to contact a parent to bring another pair of pants. If the school nurse carried extra clothing for emergencies, the boy would have needed the nurse’s time and help. The dream on page 3 would require the teacher to find lunch for him, while the food his mother had prepared for him would be wasted.
bad_day_400.jpg

Conclude by asking the children to share ways that they can help prevent bad days. Use the language experience technique to record the children's suggestions. The name of the child sharing an idea can be written in front of the idea. Have these children read their ideas to the class. The chart could be displayed on the bulletin board for children to read when they have library time. Inform the children that the next session on friendship at school will be based on classroom rules. Encourage them to think about important school rules and why those rules are needed.

In the next blog post, I will share the fourth and last leveled book that you can use to help young students develop positive behavioral skills, leading to more effective classroom management. 

 

This is the end of part three in this series of using leveled books to teach the importance of good citizenship and classroom behavior. Click here to read the next installment! You can also subscribe to our blog in the upper right sidebar to get new posts delivered to your inbox.

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

~~~

Click the image below to download an information sheet with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains the book mentioned in this post and books written by Geraldine Haggard.

Kaleidoscope Collection Info Sheet 

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Geraldine Haggard, Behavioral Skills

Using Leveled Books to Help Students Develop Positive Behavioral Skills, Part 2

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Jul 14, 2016 3:30:00 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the second in a series about using leveled books to teach the importance of good citizenship and classroom behavior. To read the first post, click here.

In this series of blog posts, I have been looking at the use of leveled books in the early grades to help young students develop positive behavioral skills. Today’s example text is At School, a part of the Oral Language Development Series that focuses on different language structures for young readers.

Book Two: AT SCHOOL

Use the Elmo to display the front cover of At School. The following questions can be used to guide the reading:

  • Where are the children on the cover?
  • What are they doing?
  • Do you think they are having fun?

There may be multiple answers to these questions. Invite the students who think the two children are having fun to explain their reasoning. Then, the students who think the opposite can share their thoughts. Discuss how this latter opinion can change as work tasks become easier and more familiar. Tell the children that you will be talking more about this topic during later discussions. Share the importance of being a good friend by not disturbing your friends as they work.

Hameray_At_School_LS1_Printer-1.gifDisplay the title page on the Elmo and ask the following questions:

  • Where is Danny?
  • Do you think he is having a good time?

Remind the children that they have a classroom library and also a library used by all children in the school:

  • How do good friends act in the library?
  • Why is this important?
  • What happens if one child is not a good friend in the library? (The boy would not be able to read and enjoy reading. The librarian might have to leave someone he or she was helping. The librarian’s storytime reading would be interrupted, etc.)

Pages 25:

The sentence structure in the book is "Danny likes ____." Pause as you come to the last word in each sentence. Ask the children what they can do to determine the word (beginning sound, photo context). Reread the sentence together, emphasizing the word 'likes:' 

  • Are there times when Danny participates in activities with other children? 
  • How are these times different?
  • Why should Danny be a good friend when he works with others?

Pages 67:

Ask the students to share acts of friendship that they have seen in the lunchroom and on the playground:

  • Is Danny still in the classroom?
  • Is it still important for him to be a good friend on the playground and the lunchroom?
  • How is being a good friend in these two places like being a good friend in the classroom?
  • What might happen on the playground and in the lunchroom if he was not a good friend?

Page 8:

Conclude the session by sharing the last page on the Elmo. Remind the children that they have discussed the importance of friendship throughout the school:

  • Which of the photos in the first four do you like best? Ask the children to raise their hands when you share the four: reading, writing, math, and music.
The results of this activity may help you see how the children feel about these four activities. Alternatively, ask the children to draw a picture of they like about school and label it "_______ likes _____." These drawings can be compiled into a book format and placed in the class library.

This is the end of part two in this series of using leveled books to teach the importance of good citizenship and classroom behavior. Click here to read the next installment. You can subscribe to our blog in the upper right sidebar to get new posts delivered to your inbox.

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

~~~

Click the left image below to download an information sheet with key features about the Oral Language Development Series, which contains the book mentioned in this post. Click the right image below to download an information sheet with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which includes books that Geraldine Haggard has authored.

Oral Language Development Series Info Sheet                    Kaleidoscope Collection Info Sheet

 

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Topics: Reading Activities, Oral Language Development, Geraldine Haggard, Behavioral Skills

Using Leveled Books to Help Students Develop Positive Behavioral Skills, Part 1

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Jul 12, 2016 3:30:00 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the first in a series about using leveled books to teach the importance of good citizenship and classroom behavior.

In Classroom Management that Works, Marzano, Marzano, and Pickering reveal the critical role of managing appropriate behavior in the classroom. The authors share the following research findings:

  • The teacher is the key to effective student achievement.
  • Effective teachers must be effective with students of all achievement levels.
  • All students profit from guidance in proper participation in activities inside and outside the classroom.

"Helping Children Learn Positive Friendship Skills," an article published by Kids Matter, identifies friendship patterns for the primary grades, skills needed by various age groups, and skills that promote friendship.

Friendship skills include sharing conversations, taking turns, expressing feelings, complimenting others, accepting others, refusing to join others in negative behaviors, sharing, asking what one wants and needs, apologizing to others, following rules, being a good loser, helping others, and cooperating. A teacher can immediately recognize these as the traits of a successful student who helps other students be successful.

These friendship skills must be explicitly taught. Three ways that you can support children's friendship skills are the following:

  • Teach positive social skills.
  • Be a coach (prompt, remind, encourage).
  • Help children solve friendship conflicts.

As a teacher, I found that helping children learn how to work and play together was necessary if I wanted to create an effective classroom environment. Using the book Friends Are Fun for two introductory classroom sessions, you can facilitate a fruitful new year with a new group of students. You will also be teaching curriculum goals, as shared in the state and national language arts standards.

MyWorld_FriendsAreFun.jpg

Book One, Session One: FRIENDS ARE FUN

  • Guide a discussion based on what the children feel is the meaning of 'friend.' As the discussion comes to a close, ask the children to complete the following sentence: "A friend is ___." There may be more than one definition. Reread the sentences as a shared reading text.
  • Using an Elmo, display the book Friends are Fun from the My World Collection. Use pages 25 to discuss some ways that friends have fun together. Invite the students to share why the two activities are fun. This discussion requires the children to think about being a part of the activity and share ways they make the activity fun.
  • Provide paper and crayons for each child to draw pictures of an activity they share with a friend. Share the sentence frame "My friend’s name is ___. We ____ together" as a caption. Review the drawings and share them with the children to introduce session two of Friends Are Fun.  
  • Remind the children that today they have talked about how friends have fun playing together. On another day, they will look at how friends play and work together at school. Ask them to be thinking about what they might do to help make school a place where they can have fun working and playing together.

Book One, Session Two: FRIENDS ARE FUN

  • Begin the session by reviewing the class definitions of a friend. You can also share activities and drawings from the previous session. Remind them that the book is titled Friends Are Fun. The author wrote the first half of the book to help them understand the importance of friends, but the second half of her book shares another important reason for being a friend. Share the rest of the book using an Elmo. Examples of questions might include:

Pages 6 and 8:

  • Where are the children? What are they doing? How many children are in the picture? (There are three children seen easily and a fourth in the background.) What does that tell us about how the children have to work together if the activity is to be fun?
  • Where is the teacher? How does this affect the activity? What will happen if one child is not a good friend? Is there a possibility that one of the children is not being included in the activity?
  • What are some words to describe what good friends do in an activity like this? (share, take turns, work quietly, etc.) Write these words on the board and read them with the students as they discuss each.
  • On page 8, only two children are working together. What is necessary when two people work together? Which words on the board are examples of how they can be good friends?

Page 10:

  • Ask if being a good friend on the playground is much like working in the classroom. Why? What are some good things that friends must do if playing is to be fun?
  • Remind the children that you will be watching for examples of what good friends do in the classroom and playground. Tell them to do the same and that you will be asking them for examples of friendship they see. Before the next discussion of friendship, praise the class and individual students that you see as good examples. When the entire class works well, explain how they have helped others in the class and also helped you work with an individual child or a group of students. Say, "All of you found it easier to complete your work today because all of you worked together like good friends. Thanks!"

 This is the end of part one in this series of using leveled books to teach the importance of good citizenship and classroom behavior. Click here to see the next installment. You can subscribe to our blog in the upper right sidebar to get new posts delivered to your inbox.

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

~~~

Click the left image below to download an information sheet with key features about the My World Series, which contains the book mentioned in this post. Click the right image below to download an information sheet with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which includes books that Geraldine Haggard has authored.

My World Series Info Sheet                   Kaleidoscope Collection Info Sheet

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Reading Activities, My World, Geraldine Haggard, Behavioral Skills

Using Books to Teach Inference Skills in Early Grades, Part 4

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on May 24, 2016 9:31:01 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the second post in a series of posts on using books for building inference skills. You can see the first post here, the second post here, and the third post here.

In this series of blog posts, I have been looking at the use of guided-reading-leveled books in the early grades to develop problem solving and inference skills in young readers. In the first two posts, we looked at how this can work in kindergarten. In the third post, we started to look at second grade, and today I will finish my thoughts about second grade with one last example of how to use a book to develop these skills. Hopefully, this series of posts and example texts have given you some ideas about how to generalize these strategies with leveled readers in your own classroom. 

Today's example text, at guided reading level F, is written slightly under level for second-graders, which makes it accessible to even those students who might be struggling. However, the inference lessons are on standard level for second grade and could apply to even advanced students. Let's take a look at how we use it.

The-Man-Who-Was-Afraid-of-Ants.jpgBook Two: The Man Who Was Afraid Of Ants

The Man Who Was Afraid of Ants by Heather Goodacre is an excellent choice for introducing unknown words, multiple-meaning words and phrases, and changes in a character. Use the front cover to introduce the character of Jake. Prompt the children as they determine the meaning of “afraid of.”

Page 2:

Ask children to discuss why Jake was a fireman.

  • What clue does the author give?
  • Why would Jake want to 'help people'?

Page 3:

After reading this page to the class, ask them to show in actions what the words “itch,” “twitch,” and the phrase “creepy feeling” mean. As you continue to read the story, the children can use the actions for these words each time you read the words.

Pages 4 and 5:

After reading these two pages, guide and prompt the students as they use clues from the story to discuss whom the friends are, where they are, and what is about to happen.

  • How did the illustrations help answer these questions?

Pages 6 and 7:

Study the illustrations and discuss what the students think is happening to Jake.

  • How do you think his friends felt when they saw him act this way? (Accept any logical response.)

Page 8:

  • How does the boy in the picture feel?
  • What words on the page and the picture help you know how he felt?

Page 9:

Ask for one volunteer student to be Jake and another to be the boy. The two students will speak in the same manner as the two characters.

  • How do they know what the boy may have said?
  • If they drew a speech balloon above the boy, what might be in the balloon?

Pages 10 and 11:

  • How are the two pictures different?
  • Does Jake change how he feels? How do we know?
  • When the students come to “itch” and “twitch,” what do they do, or not do?
  • How can they show “a tiny bit creepy”?
  • Do they think Jake is still afraid of ants? Why?
  • What does Jake mean when he says, "I guess"?

After finishing reading the story, ask the children why they think the home of the ants is called a “farm.” What do they usually think of when they see or hear the word “farm”?

Invite the students to draw pictures of things they are afraid of. If they desire, they can write about how these thing make them feel. Ask volunteers to share their fears. The drawings could be included in a class book titled "Things We Fear" and placed in the class library.

Plenty of other books can be used in this way to model, prompt, and provide opportunities for students to infer. As your students progress to other grades, they will use this strategy, and it is part of each year's standards. It becomes an essential skill needed in all subject areas.

This concludes my series of posts on using books to teach inference skills in early grades. To go back to the first post in the series, click here. If you like what you've read here, you can see an archive of my earlier posts here! I contribute fairly frequently, so subscribe to the blog in the upper right sidebar to get my next series of posts delivered directly to your mailbox!

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

~~~

To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains the book mentioned in this post, click the image below.

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Topics: Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Geraldine Haggard, Second Grade, Inference Skills

Using Books to Teach Inference Skills in Early Grades, Part 3

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on May 19, 2016 3:30:00 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the second post in a series of posts on using books for building inference skills. You can see the first post here and the second post here.

In this series of blog posts, I have been looking at the use of guided-reading-leveled books in the early grades to develop problem solving and inference skills in young readers. In the previous two posts, we looked at how this can work in kindergarten. Today, I will focus on second grade. Let's start by looking at the Common Core Standards for second grade that relate to 

A Look at Grade Two National Standards Connected To Inferences

LITERATURE

  • Ask and answer questions 'who', 'what', 'where', 'when', 'why', and 'how' to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.1)
  • Acknowledge the differences in the point of view of characters, including speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.6)
  • Use information gathered from illustrations and words in print to demonstrate understanding of characters, setting, and plot. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.7)
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade topic or subject area. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.4)
  • Identify the main purpose in a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.6)
  • Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.8)

Now we’ll take a look at some examples of how to use leveled readers to teach these skills and help your students meet the standards.

Book One: Hurricane Dog

hurricane_dog_400.jpgBook one is Hurricane Dog by Sharon Rasmussen Powell. This book can be used as a read-aloud, a guided reading group book for students reading at the level of the book, and a take-home book for those who read it in a guided reading session.

Before reading, share the front cover and guide the students as they discuss what they think is happening in the illustration.

  • What is the dog wondering?
  • Why is he concerned and maybe worried?
  • What do you know when you study the picture of the tree?
  • What do you think a hurricane might be?
  • Why is the book named Hurricane Dog?

Use page 2 to introduce the character of Odie the dog. Remind students that the author will tell them what happened to Odie and how his life changed.

Page 3 has a balloon that tells what Odie remembers about how his life was changed by the hurricane.

  • What does he remember about what a storm called a hurricane did?

Pages 4 and 5 share what happened to Odie's house and his owners' home. Ask children to share questions that are in their minds. List their questions on the board and tell them that as you read the rest of the story, they can listen for answers to their questions.

Pages 6 and 7 show Odie's new home. After reading, wait for reactions and questions from the students. Ask them to determine if any of their questions were answered.

  • Which of your questions did the story answer?
  • Which questions are still unanswered?

Reread the last two sentences on page 6.

  • Why did the owners say good-bye to Odie?
  • Where is Odie?
  • What do the children know about animal shelters?

Reread page 7.

  • What was Odie's wish or dream?
  • What does the word 'nice' mean on this page?

Pages 8–10. Introduce Odie's new family.

  • Why did Odie jump up?
  • Why did the family smile at Odie?
  • What did the author mean when she said "His stay there was done"? (This activity involves a multiple-meaning word, "stay".)
  • How did the family show Odie they liked him? (Answer: illustration)
  • How did Odie show he liked the family?

Pages 11 and 12 tell us how Odie's dream came true.

  • How did this happen?
  • Why does the author tell us to dream 'big'? (Another multiple-meaning word)

Invite the children to share dreams they have after some discussion. Prompt as the students discuss the idea of "having a dream" (multiple meaning word).

  • How is this meaning different from having a dream as we sleep?

Use a writing activity that can further the idea of “having a dream.” Each child can illustrate his/her dream with pictures in a large bubble like the one in the book on page 3. Share that illustration with the children. Suggest that they draw pictures of themselves and place large bubbles over their heads. The bubbles will share their dreams. They can sit in groups of three and study the drawings of each other and predict what the friends 'dreams are. These drawings could be put into book form and placed in the class library. A bulletin board labeled "OUR DREAMS" might be displayed.

I have one more book example to show you, but I'll leave it for Part 4 so this post doesn't get too long!

To read the next post in this series, please click here. You can subscribe to our blog in the upper right sidebar to get new posts delivered to your inbox.

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

~~~

To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains the book mentioned in this post, click the image below.

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Topics: Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Geraldine Haggard, Second Grade, Inference Skills

Using Books to Teach Inference Skills in Early Grades, Part 2

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on May 17, 2016 10:27:09 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the second post in a series of posts on using books for building inference skills. You can see the first post here.

In this series of blog posts, I have been looking at the use of guided-reading-leveled books in the early grades to develop problem solving and inference skills in young readers. I gave one book as an example in my first post, and today we will look at two more examples. You'll be able to easily generalize from these examples how to apply similar strategies to the books in your classroom library.

knock_knock_400.jpgBook Two: Knock, Knock

The second book that I have chosen as an example of how to teach these inference skills is Knock, Knock by Susan C. Jensen. This book can be used for guided reading and can also be a take-home book to read. Before reading, display the cover page and ask the children how they could get the door to open. Invite them to 'knock' as you open the book to the cover page. Then walk them through the book, inviting them to make inferences along the way.

Cover Page:

Encourage students to ask questions as they study the pages. Prompt questions and answers.

  • Why do you think the picture of the boy and the dinosaur are on this page?

Pages 2 and 3:

  • Why does the boy say, "Who is there?"
  • Where is the dog in the picture? (Answer: outside)
  • Why are the bubbles on the pages needed?

Pages 4 and 5:

  • Where is the dog in these illustrations? (Answer: inside)
  • Where is the cat now? (Answer: inside in both pictures)
  • Were you surprised when you saw the dinosaur? Why?

Last Page:

  • What do you know about dinosaurs?
  • Would you run if you saw one? Why, or why not?

After reading, ask students to draw and write about what they would not want to see if they opened a door and were surprised. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.5)

Book Three: Kit and Henry Like Different Things

Kit and Henry Like Different Things by Miguel Perez-Soler has illustrations that can be used to predict unknown words during shared reading or read aloud from an Elmo. The book could also be used in guided reading with readers who have achieved the instructional level of the book, and it can also be used as a take-home reader. The book is an excellent one to use for modeling cause and effect.

As teacher you can use this book to encourage problem solving of unknown words as students use illustrations and beginning sounds of words.

kit_and_henry_402.jpgBefore reading, introduce the characters of the two brothers using the front cover. Invite the children to talk about what they know about the brothers as they study the front illustration. They might also predict how the brothers are alike and different in what they like.

As you read the book to the students, stop at the words that tell what each brother likes and ask them to predict the words using beginning sounds and illustrations. Use a pointer to help the students identify and use those sounds. Explain that good readers use these two pieces of information to predict unknown words.

The last page shares how the boys are alike. Prompt the students to list other ways that the boys might be alike that are not shared in the story. (Sample answers: they are brothers; they live in the same home; they have the same parents; they probably go to same school, etc.)

Invite the students to sit with a partner. Each writes his/her name at the top of a page and copies the following incomplete sentences from the board:

  • I like to play ___________.
  • I like to eat ____________.
  • I like to ride ___________.

Each child completes the sentences and compares his responses to the other students' responses. After the students have had time to respond, invite the pairs to share how they are like and different.

This concludes part two of my series on teaching inference skills, wrapping up the kindergarten portion. Next time we will look at how similar strategies can be applied at a higher level in grade two.

To read the next post in this series, please click here. You can subscribe to our blog in the upper right sidebar to get new posts delivered to your inbox.

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

~~~

To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains the book mentioned in this post, click the image below.

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Topics: Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Kindergarten, Geraldine Haggard, Inference Skills

Using Books to Teach Inference Skills in Early Grades, Part 1

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on May 12, 2016 4:56:41 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the first post in a series of posts on using books for building inference skills. 

In this series of blog posts, I will look at the use of guided-reading-leveled books and oral language readers in the early grades to develop problem solving and inference skills in young readers. First, let’s look at some definitions for ‘infer’:

in·fer /inˈfər/ verb

  1. to search for a conclusion about something from known facts or evidence
  2. to reach a conclusion about something from known facts
  3. to make an educated guess based on looking carefully at facts and coming to a possible conclusion

How can we teach our students to possess this skill that is so necessary to the rest of their education, and, indeed, their lives?

child_reading_1953537_Arvind_Balaraman-300.jpgWhat Reading Recovery Has Taught Us

Marie Clay, in Reading Recovery: A Guidebook for Teachers in Training, stated her belief that "the child learns to read by attending to many aspects of text (letters, words, pictures, language, and messages).” The young reader responds as he learns these ways for working at problem solving. She stresses the teacher’s role in helping the child learn to search and simplify the complexity of print. Searching is one of the strategies to be modeled and prompted by the teacher as he or she works with emerging readers and writers.

In Becoming Literate, she states that the search for meaning enables the reader to notice new things about words, print, and messages. The children can then link these discoveries to other things they know. This inner control of reading helps the child construct information from the text and what he knows. Clay expressed her belief that every child is “entitled to an introduction to a text before reading.” This introduction can allow the student to connect things he knows and the text as he reads. Searching strategies can lead the young reader from what he knows to something that he hears or reads.

A Look At Common Core Standards Connected To Inferring

First we will explore kindergarten. The following standards are related to inferring at that level. As you study these, you will see the importance of listening and speaking activities.

LITERATURE:

  • With prompting and support ask and answer questions about key details in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.1)
  • With prompting and support describe the relationship between the illustrations and the text in which they appear. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.7)
  • With prompting and support compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.9)

INFORMATIONAL TEXT:

  • With prompting and support identify the main topic and retell key details of a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.2)
  • With prompting and support describe the connection between individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in the text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.3)
  • With prompting and support ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.4)
  • With prompting and support identify the reasons the author gives to support points in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.8)

SPEAKING AND LISTENING:

  • Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify meaning. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.3)
  • Describe familiar people, places, things, or events with prompting and support. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.4)
  • Add drawings or other visual displays to describe and provide additional details. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.5)

I have selected three books that can be used in different ways to help kindergarten children as they receive modeling, prompting, and opportunities to problem-solve by inferring. I’ll introduce the first one today and the others in part two of this series of posts. In part three, we’ll look

Zoozoo_cvr_TheSurprise-300.jpgBook One: The Surprise

The first book I chose is The Surprise by Alan Trussell-Cullen, which is part of the Zoozoo Storytellers series of oral language books for fluency. This book can also be used in guided reading. Before reading, share the cover illustration using an Elmo. Invite the children to study the projected picture and think of questions they might ask based on the picture before they hear the story. Examples of questions might include these:

  • What might the man be writing?
  • Who is the lady in the picture?
  • Why is there a calendar in the picture?

Invite the children to share their additional questions and write the questions on the board. Ask them to think about answers to their questions as they hear the story. Ask for sharing and prompt for replies. 

  • The man is inviting friends to a birthday party for the lady.
  • The date on the calendar is her birthday.
  • The man did not want the lady to know about the party and asked the animals to deliver the note, but to be quiet as they did the deliveries.

As the book is shared the following inferences might be made:

  • On cover page the man is happy. Why?
  • On page two do you think the lady understands what is happening?
  • What do you do if you "pass something along"?
  • On page 8, why is the lady 'up in the tree'?
  • On last page, do you think she was surprised?

Discuss the role of the illustrations as they discuss the questions' answers. The page with the discussion idea can be shared as you invite responses for each question.

This is the end of part one in this series of blog posts on teaching and using leveled books for science in kindergarten. To read the next post in this series, click here. You can subscribe to our blog in the upper right sidebar to get new posts delivered to your inbox.

~~~

Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

~~~

To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which the post author has written books for, and Zoozoo Storytellers, which contains the book mentioned in this post, click the images below.

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[New Post] Using Leveled Books to Teach Science in Kindergarten: Part 5

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Apr 7, 2016 4:06:18 PM

GHaggardbiopicThis is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children.

This is the fifth post in a series of posts on teaching and using leveled books for learning science in kindergarten. To read the first post, click here. To read last week's post, click here. As always, you can subscribe to our blog to get our guest bloggers’ new posts in your inbox.

 

Today, we will be going over our final reading activity in this series about using leveled books for kindergarten science. Last week, we outlined and discussed two reading activities, based on two leveled books for kindergarten, Who Needs Water and Baby Food. During the reading activity for this week, we’ll be exploring a new book, Snack Time, from our series of 150 leveled readers for K-3, the Kaleidoscope Collection.



fruits-and-vegetables-kindergarten-science.jpg



Teaching Kids About Food  |  Kindergarten Reading Activity #7

This activity will be based on the book, Snack Time, from the Kaleidoscope Collection. To start, with your students, take out and display the cover of the book, and introduce the story’s two characters, Kylie and Max. Share with the class that both Kylie and Max are very hungry.

Tell the students that both Kylie and Max know that they need food to eat, and that one of them is going to make good choices, while the other one is going to learn a lesson about making good food choices. Ask the question to your students, "What do you do when you make a choice?"

Snack-Time.gif

Kylie and Max are making choices on the foods that they want to eat. As you read the story with the children, decide which child learns a lesson and what exactly that lesson is. Gather the students around you, and read this book as a read aloud.

Read slowly, and provide time for the children to make spontaneous comments. After the story is completed, ask the students to sit in groups of three to decide which child learned a lesson about eating food. Pose the question, "What did he or she learn?"

Put the names of the book characters on the board and, as the children supply the names of the foods that each ate, record those foods by the character's name.

The following series of questions may be used for group discussion:

  • How did Kylie feel at the end of the story? How do we know this?
  • How did Max feel: How do we know that?
  • Which character learned a lesson?
  • What lesson was learned?
  • Even though you are a living thing and need food, does that mean you should eat just anything?
  • What are some good food choices for you to eat?


In conclusion, tell the students that they need to eat foods that help them grow, and stay healthy and happy. Tell the students that it is okay to occasionally eat candy and cookies, but that they need to eat the good, nutritious foods also.

After these questions have been asked, the school cafeteria menu for the day might be studied and talked through. Ask the students, “Does it sound like good choices were made as the school menu was prepared and created?” In addition to this, a cafeteria person might be invited to visit with the children, to talk about and discuss food choices, as well as answer any questions that the children might have about eating food, and about food choices.

This is the end of Part 5 in this series of blog posts on teaching and using leveled books for science in kindergarten. To read the first post in the series, click here. To read the previous post, click here. As always, you can subscribe to our blog to get new posts in your inbox.

~~~


Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains the title mentioned in this post, click the images below.

 

 

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Kindergarten, Geraldine Haggard, Science

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