Before beginning this lesson please read the message of the day - Comments about this day.
Gather students on the rug using a preferred classroom management technique. I like to use my “Stop, look, listen.” The students stop what they are doing, look at me and listen for the direction. I usually preface the direction with, “When I say go…” This reminds the students to listen to the whole direction before moving to follow the directive.
In this case I would say, “When I say go I would like you to clear your space, push in your chair and go take a spot on your dot. Walking feet go.” By saying walking feet I am reminding the students to use walking feet in the classroom to ensure safe movement between areas.
When all of the students are seated on their dot in the rug area I ask them, “What season is here?”
“Yes Rachel you are right it is fall.”
“Who remembers the scientific name for the season of fall?”
“Autumn is right Finnley. We are going to watch a very short video with autumn words. See if you can figure out the words using some of our reading strategies.”
I play the video clip.
During the video we read together as a group and call out the words we know. I mention how one leaf is a leaf and more than one is leaves. I would say the only thing I do not like about this little video clip is the fact the words are written in all caps and it uses contractions.
After the video I introduce the book for the focus lesson of the day.
“The book for today is called It’s Fall, by Linda Glaser and illustrated by Susan Swan. Looking at the cover is there anything you can tell me about this book?”
Most of the students notice the child jumping into the pile of leaves.
“I notice that this seems to be a recurring theme with many of the books we have looked at read. There always seems to be children, or a child, jumping into piles of leaves. Why do you think that is?”
I begin to read the book to the students. During the reading we discuss words such as migrate, hibernate, prickle, etc. Shared reading time is a great time model many different literary strategies - decoding words, tracking finger, vocabulary exploration and expansion, and also word types (verb, adjective, noun, etc). There are many action words and we discuss onomatopoeia (words that express sound; such as "boom," "quack," etc). The discussion during shared reading time is one of the best times to discuss unfamiliar words because the words have come up during the book so you are able to discuss them within the context of the text - hence making the word discussion not just a random lesson of unfamiliar words. The words also relate to the main theme so they are relevant to the discussion.
When the book is over, I ask the students “So who can tell me one of the vocabulary words we discussed?”
I use the fair sticks to select four or five students to respond to the question.
“Those were all great answers. Well today at one of our integrated work stations we are going to play a Fall BINGO game. This game will use some more fall words and here are a few examples.”
I hold up the picture cards and we decode the words as a group using the different strategies we have worked on during reading work station time.
Strategies from our reading work station time include:
Once I feel the group has a good grasp of some of the words I send the students over one table group at a time to maintain a safe and orderly classroom. It usually sounds like this;
“Table number one go have some Fall BINGO fun.
Table number two, you know what to do.
Table number three, hope you were listening to me, and
Table number four, you shouldn’t be here anymore.”
We play the game at my work station for 15 minutes.
In this BINGO game I like to show my students how you can take the skills you learned in one lesson (reading work stations) and apply them in another lesson (this game). It is important for students to be able to transfer skills from one activity to another. The ability to take the skill from one activity to another shows true mastery of a given skill.
For some groups I will use only the word cards. This is mainly my high readers and we work on chunking and/or framing to help us decode the words. By chunking and/or framing I mean that we look for words and sounds we know within the word we are trying to decode.
Other groups I will use just the picture cards. This group includes my low readers. I will write the words down as we try to name/label the image. When I write the word we turn the picture card over and check to see if the word we decided on is the same as the label on the picture card, If it is not, we start over.
Yet other groups (mainly my middle readers) I will use a combination of both the word and the picture cards. I will use a combination of skills with this group as many of the students use varying strategies to decode unfamiliar words within their text readers.
When the time is up I blow two short blasts on my whistle and use the “Stop, look listen” technique mentioned above. “When I say go, I would like you to clean up your space remembering to take care of our things, push in your chair, and use walking feet to go and take a spot on your dot.”
Once everyone is seated on their spot I tell the students the “exit slip” for today is to tell me one fall vocabulary word.
“You can tell me a fall vocabulary word from the book we read, or from the BINGO game we played. You may even tell me a fall word you have come across at reading work station time, but here is the deal. Once a fall word has been used, it is off the menu for anyone else to use.”
I use the fair sticks to select the order in which the students go. If a student is unable to give me a fall vocabulary word they can do one of two things;
Once a student has given me a fall vocabulary word they are able to use the hand sanitizer and go to get their snack.
Having the students recall fall words they have heard throughout this lesson helps to reinforce the word meaning as the students usually pick words that stood out for them. As the students become more and more familiar with the words they are more likely to use them in everyday conversation, thus reinforcing the words meaning even more.
For this activity I make anecdotal notes of students who attempt to use new words in conversation and those who have little to no interest in using new words.
The anecdotal notes help me as a teacher because I am able to see which students are more confident in their ability to attempt to decode unfamiliar words and those students who struggle with unfamiliar words.
I can see which strategies students prefer and this is helpful because I want to make sure I address other types of strategies in reading work station time (guided reading). I want to stress the importance of being to use different strategies because not just any one strategy will always work - in particular "Use your picture clues."
Have inventory bags set up with a variety of different colored plastic leaves. If you do not have small plastic leaves you could print out and laminate some leaves. Place a small variety of leaves into an inventory bag. Students take the leaves out of the bag, sort and then graph their results.
Make leaf creations using leaves you have collected from outside. A great book for this activity is Look What I Did With a Leaf by Morteza E. Sohi.