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 start randomly asking questions.
“Hey Finn, how was your night?” I listen to his response and then ask another question.
“Rachel when was your birthday?” I listen to the response.
“Holly, why did you wear that shirt today?” I give her time to respond and then move on.
“Carson, where did you have your birthday party?” I listen to his response and move on.
“Kallee, who is coming to stay at your house when mom has the baby?” After she responds, I ask the class as a whole, “Can anyone tell me what all of those sentences had in common, what was the same about them?”
Someone usually picks up on the fact they are all questions.
“That’s right Ava, they were all questions. A question is an asking sentence. Those questions helped me get information. I now know that Finnley had a good night, Rachel had her birthday last week, Holly wore that shirt because it is part of the uniform, Carson had his party at the pool, and Kallee’s aunt is coming to stay with them soon.”
“When I need information, when I need to know something, I ask a question so I can get the information I need.”
“Can anyone give me an example of a question? Remember, a question is an asking sentence.”
I use the Fair Sticks to select three or four students to respond to the question.
“Those were good examples, of a question. It is okay if you did not have a chance to tell me a question because you will get a chance later on at integrated work station time. Right now I am going to read the book to you and I want you to start thinking about questions that have something to do with bats.”
“The book for today is called Bat Loves the Night. The book is written by Nicola Davies and is illustrated by Sarah Fox-Davies. This book is a story about a bat and how she spends her night. Even though this is a story book it has some information in it which supports the information we have learned from our non-fiction books and the video clip we watched yesterday.”
“Looking at the cover and reading the title, why do you think the author called the book, Bat Loves the Night?”
“I agree with you Shawn. Bats are primarily nocturnal so I think they would love the night batter than the day.”
“Anyone else have an idea why the author chose that title?”
“That makes sense Carson. If my food came out at night I would love the night too. Those were both great responses to my question.”
“Remember while I reading I want you to be thinking about a bat related question ready for integrated work station time.”
During reading I discuss any new vocabulary words we may come across. Words like, beady, thistledown, plunges, pearly, roost, etc.
We review words like, nocturnal, echolocation, etc.
On page 17 we review the discussion we had yesterday about working each of fingers individually as bat uses her wing to net the moth with her wing and scoop it into her mouth.
When the book is over I inform the students that they will be making a bat book which has several questions and answers in it. At the end of the book they will need to come up with a bat related question of their own. “You will need to tell me your question and I will write it down for you, but here is the tricky part. Once you have told me your question you will need to tell me where you think you might find the answer to your question.”
Mini-Book of the Week: 40 Easy-To Read Books on Fiction and Non-Fiction Topics for Every Week of the School Year, by Maria Fleming. ISBN -13: 978-0-439-05921-3
“Can anyone tell me where we can go when we are looking for answers to our questions?”
I use the fair sticks to select students to respond to the question.
Once we have exhausted our ideas I say, “Those were all great ideas. Now when you get to this station you will find the bat cover, a sheet of pages for your book, scissors, pencils and a stapler. There is only one stapler so what will you need to do?’
“That’s right you will need to share and work together to make sure everyone gets a chance to use the stapler to put their book together.”
“Once your book is put together what will you need to remember to do?”
“Excellent. Put your name on it. Books that I find without a name will be put in the recycling.”
“Does anyone have any questions?”
Once I feel the group has a good grasp of the instructions 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 question book making 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.”
Allow the students 15 minutes to work on this activity. Set a visual timer and remind the students to look at the timer so they will use their time wisely. Students working Students working 2 Resource board
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.”
Students know to put completed work in the finished work bin. Any work that is not completed goes into the under construction bin and can be completed throughout the day whenever the student finds he/she has spare time or it will be completed during free choice center time.
Once the students are seated I tell them that their exit slip for today is to tell me one question. “Today your exit slip is to tell me one question. It can be a question about anything. Remember a question is an asking sentence. I am going to use the fair sticks to help me pick the students. Here we go.”
Once a student has told me his/her question they are able to use the hand sanitizer and go to get their snack. If a student is unable to give me an answer, they know they can do one of two things.
For this assignment I simply take note of whether the student is able to tell me a question at our small group time and also at exit slip time. Those students who have difficulty with coming up with questions I pull them aside during free choice center time and we have a quick mini lesson to review question words and practice asking questions of each other.
Later in the day we will watch the following video by Dr. Jean.
A great book we start looking through is Why? by Catherine Ripley. This is a great time filler and hallway book when you are waiting to go into assembly (community gathering at my school) or if a guest speaker is a few minutes late etc. I will ask the question and then give a few students a chance to respond before reading the books response. You will hear many interesting ideas.
During reading group I will use these readers to support my classroom instruction. The first one - Science Vocabulary Reader - Fantastic Bats is for my high flyer readers. The other one - Science Sight Word Readers - Bats is for my middle high group. I also have a bat book for my lower readers which is part of another Scholastic sight word reader pack – Guided Science Readers – Animals. I always try to tie my guided reading group books back to the focus lesson so students have some background knowledge before trying to read the guided reading group lesson book.