Freebies

4th of July Giveaway

Posted by on Jun 27, 2013 in Freebies, scavenger hunt | 13 comments

4th of July Giveaway

Where liberty dwells, there is my country.  ~Benjamin Franklin

Slide1

 

My 4th of July scavenger hunt is a freebie on TpT. It has 16 cards providing information about Independence Day and symbols of our country.  A question sheet asks students about the information. Please download it and review it, add some feedback if you’d like.

For my giveaway, I am asking you to post a way you could use this activity this summer or during the school year. Everyone who posts a message with an idea can choose a product ($3.00 or less) from my story for free. When you post, let me know what you would like and provide me with your email address and I will send it to you. This giveaway will go through July 4, 2013. One free product per email address.

Here is something else I’d like you to have for celebrating our freedom!

Pledge bookmarks

 

Pledge bookmarks new

I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Ann

Read More

Discover, Decode, Dissect, Develop, Discuss, DEFINE

Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 in comprehension, conversation as learning tool, Freebies, vocabulary, vocabulary development | 0 comments

Discover, Decode, Dissect, Develop, Discuss, DEFINE

Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.

Harvey Fierstein

Well, now it is time for definitions. We’ve found the word, decoded the word, looked at the parts to learn more about the word, done activities to get to know the word, and talked about and used the word. The word should be our word now. It is time to tell what it means. When students define words they shouldn’t spout words found in a dictionary. They should be able to explain, make connections, use analogies, and draw the word.

It is OK, I think, if some of our quizzes involve matching new terms and their meanings, but it is only OK if the meaning that the students have actively built in their heads will be able to be  matched to the words on the quiz. Students should never be asked to memorize new words and definitions with little or no regard to meaning. The words will never be retained and never be used. Time and paper will both be wasted.

It is better for the new words to be used and tested in real context. It is much better for the words to become an established part of the student’s vocabulary. It is best for students to assimilate words as their own for life.

This activity could be a weekly addition to a vocabulary journal. Students should be given the opportunity to share their new words with classmates, family, and any other interested learner!

My New WordMy New Word

More vocabulary development to come.

Ann

Read More

Discover, Decode, Dissect, Develop, DISCUSS, Define

Posted by on Jun 20, 2013 in conversation as learning tool, Freebies, vocabulary, vocabulary development | 2 comments

Discover, Decode, Dissect, Develop, DISCUSS, Define

It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.

Yogi Berra

Do you ever feel like Yogi Berra in your classroom? There is so much talking, how can there be any learning? I wonder at times, being a strong intrapersonal learner, what prompted me to be a teacher. I love quiet. I love calm. Fortunately, I can put that aside for my commutes and computer time. I understand that students need to talk to cement their learning. My kids speak to their shoulder partner no less than 10 times a day. And I listen in and am amazed almost daily by their insights and their learning. In our daily poetry moment, the kids first predict the type of poem based on the title and a quick glance. They use complete sentences (learned by having stems on the whiteboard for as long as it takes to learn) to explain their thinking to their neighbor. Everyone gets a chance to talk. To train them, I sometimes have the partner closer to me go first or the partner closer to the door, etc. Next, we look at the poem and describe what we see and what new ideas we have with our partners. Then, we read the poem and add to what we know. Finally, students answer questions about the poem… setting, theme, author’s purpose, new title, what a certain line means, etc. Often I sum up what I am hearing by bragging about the great thinking that is being expressed.

Here’s a great source for daily poetry, http://www.gigglepoetry.com/

Another great source for vocabulary discussion in my class is Alphaboxes. I am including a generic form for this. I have made subject specific ones, but truly a piece of paper or student sized whiteboard works just fine! This activity can be done before a new unit of study, say frogs, everyone independently tries to fill the alphabet boxes with one or more word about what they already know about frogs. After 5 – 10 minutes of quiet time (I have to have some sometime), the students pair with their shoulder partner, sharing ideas and adding to their boxes. Again after 5- 10 minutes the pairs are asked to form squares by 2 pairs “squaring” up and the last conversation ensues. When the kids are all done talking, we quickly run through the alphabet shouting out words. This part is fun! It is also a good time to throw in any words that go with the unit that no one thought of.

This activity also works well at the end of a init of study. As you listen in you will see which of the vocabulary words of importance the kids are remembering.

AlphaboxesAlphaboxes

 

This may be my very favorite “D” word, so I would love some discussion about how you use conversation in the classroom or if you would be interested in trying mine.

Ann

Read More

Discover, Decode, Dissect, DEVELOP, Discuss, Define

Posted by on Jun 19, 2013 in Freebies, Uncategorized, vocabulary, vocabulary development | 0 comments

Discover, Decode, Dissect, DEVELOP, Discuss, Define

Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.

Dale Carnegie

Knowledge Rating Chart created by Ann Fausnight

Knowledge Rating Chart created by Ann Fausnight

Today I want to look at how to develop new words in the classroom. When teaching content subjects , it is beneficial to students to have some introduction to new words before learning more about the topic.  Of course, the new vocabulary we want to develop may not be new to everyone. It is important to have an idea of how familiar your students are with any set of words. This is why I developed my “Know or No” strategy. This strategy allows students to rate their understanding of a word. Do they “know” it already? Or is their answer, “No”, I do not?

Another way to develop vocabulary is to use the List-Group-Label strategy. With this strategy student groups make lists of all the words they can think of related to a topic. The next step is to find words in the list that go together in some way. Lastly, they label the groups by how they are related. This both a good introductory and concluding vocabulary activity.

List - Group - LabelMy List-Group-Label product is free on TpT.

I also have a book of vocabulary development strategies available on TpT.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Vocabulary-Development-Strategies-268011

This is such an important topic. I will be sharing more ideas over the coming months!

Ann

Read More

Discover, Decode, DISSECT, Develop, Discuss, Define

Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 in Freebies | 0 comments

Discover, Decode, DISSECT, Develop, Discuss, Define

Books are a uniquely portable magic.
― Stephen King

I love dissecting words! I love sharing Greek and Latin roots with my third grade students. They like to know that “manuscript” literally means “hand writing”.

Word Detective

Children need to look at words, known and unknown, to determine what it is they know about them. Dissecting words, to me, is going beyond decoding. I not just looking at the letter clue, the context clues, and the visual clues to decide what the word might say. I am looking at the word to think about what it IS saying.

Compound words are so fun. The two parts are supposed to make meaning together. A “bluebird” is indeed a bird that is blue and a “mailbox” is a box for mail. But we need to let kids recognize that “breakfast” is the time when we break our fast from the night before. They may need to learn a new meaning for fast, and that’s a good thing. “Necklaces” started out as lace for necks.

I like to think that “island” is a compound word that came about when sailor thought they saw land, but they weren’t sure, then they thought maybe it was, and then finally somebody shouted , “It is land!” It makes a good story to help the kids remember how to spell it anyway.

Some fun words are what I call “fake compound words”. For example, carpet is NOT a pet to keep in your car and while you will have to pay for each person to enter the amusement park, you are not being asked to pay per son.

Kids can dissect a word by covering part of it with a finger and thinking about the rest.

Look for prefixes. We learned un-, dis, re-, in-, mis, for a reason. And the reason is to use what they mean to help explain the word. I love the the word “mistake” actually means to take wrongly and the word “display” means not play.

So many suffixes and inflectional endings to give us more meaning for our words! -less, -ful, able, -ness, -ment, and could we, would we pay attention to -tion and let it help us with our spelling?

Maybe you already know that “triangle” means three angles. And, maybe, it won’t surprise you to know that quadrilateral literally means 4 sides. But I tell you, I was so excited when I was reading a list of suffixes recently and discovered -gon also means angle! So polygon is literally Greek for many angles! So then we have pentagon, hexagon, octagon, decagon, oh and my favorite dodecagon!

This word play can be fun for your kids! You just have to be excited by words.

Ann

Read More

Discover, DECODE, Dissect, Develop, Discuss, Define

Posted by on Jun 13, 2013 in Freebies | 2 comments

Discover, DECODE, Dissect, Develop, Discuss, Define

Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.

John Locke

Decoding for third graders and beyond should be reaching automaticity. According to Wikipedia, automaticity is the ability to do things without occupying the mind with the low-level details required, allowing it to become an automatic response pattern or habit. It is usually the result of learning, repetition, and practice. Yes, some third graders have some more learning of phonics rules and vowel sounds to master and obviously they need more repetition and practice, but, certainly some time should be spent celebrating the success they’ve had!

In my 35 years of teaching, I’ve had only a few reluctant readers remain so throughout the course of the year. Their reluctance usually comes from a lack of belief in their abilities to conquer the written word. While I can bring all readers to a love of books when they are read aloud and savored, I have a harder time bringing the desire to work at skills needed for decoding to make all of my students independent readers.

Children need to be shown patterns in our language. Then they need to be shown how to apply the patterns to their decoding efforts. Word Study Notebooks are one strategy that can help. For the student, the notebook is used to record word study activities and develop and apply word study concepts. To implement word study effectively, teachers and students alike must become word detectives, engaged in an ongoing attempt to make sense of word patterns and their relationships to one another. Spelling “rules” are not dictated by the teacher for students to memorize. Rather, spelling patterns and generalizations are discovered by students.

Ideas for Word Study Notebooks:

  1. Word Sorts – Example/Non-examples of a given sound, rule, parts of speech
  2. Flipbooks for prefixes and suffixes
  3. Foldables for syllables
  4. Headers to collect word types such as compound words, contractions, homophones, etc.
  5. Making Words – given a set of letters, create 3, 4, 5, even six letter words – glue the letters at the top of the page to make a word
  6. Word Jail for words that break the rules

Rhymes with Blue, Spellings for "oo"

Rhymes with Blue, Spellings for “oo”

Words Inside Words

Words Inside Words

Here are some fun activities to help with decoding.

I also sell headers at my TpT store:

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Headers-for-Use-in-Word-Study-Notebooks-326938

Headers for Word Study Notebooks

A poster is also included for each type of word. I don’t know why I don’t include that!!

Ann

Read More