The Unit from our Harcourt Reading Curriculum is about neighborhood helpers or careers. The stories we read about in small group are all based on neighborhood helpers. I carry this topic into my social studies and writing block. I will assign a different career or neighborhood helper for each day. I would like to incorporate my student's parents in visiting our classroom and explaining what they do for their career, but none of my parents every agree to come in. Today we will learn about the career of a teacher. We will brainstorm all that we know about the teacher's job and then write about it. Writing a sentence about what we know about the teacher fulfills the expectation of writing an informational writing piece.
I begin my lesson with my students seated on the carpet.
"We have been learning about our neighborhood helpers and we learned that a career is a job that someone does. I want to see how much you know about the career of a teacher. I am a teacher. What do you know about my job? Lets begin a bubble map with the teacher in the center. I will draw name sticks so my friends can name some things that a teacher does. I will write all your answers on the bubble map."
I call on students for things they think a teacher does at her job. I let every have an opportunity to orally participate in this discussion. When all the students have had a turn we stop and review all the bubbles on our bubble map.
I like to use Thinking Maps when conducting a discussion with my students. I give everyone the opportunity to orally speak their thoughts and ideas. By writing down their answer, validates what they have to say. If someone gives a "not so accurate" answer, I will turn it around and prompt them so they can say something I can write on the bubble map. I love teaching them to take turns and listen to each other.
For my neighborhood helper readings I have chosen all nonfiction books. I am so glad the library has a set of these books. This set of books are just right for my ELL students. I love the real pictures.
As I read the book, I point our picture details. We discuss things in the pictures that we have at our school and things that we do not have.
"Did anyone hear or see anything in the book that I should add to the bubble map? Let's review the teacher bubble map one more time before we write."
Our bubble map is now complete. The bubble map has everything on it that we know about the job of a teacher.
"Let's take the information from the bubble map and write our sentence. Today's sentence will be an informative sentence. An informative sentence "TELLS" something about the subject which today is a teacher."
I model the writing activity using the document camera. By putting my writing on the smart board, all my students can see the writing from their seats. I have several students that wear classes when they remember to. So large bold print is important in my classroom. I made a writing paper that has the sentence frame; The teacher _________. Their job will be to choose something from the bubble map to write on the line.
"Here is your sentence frame, The teacher _______________. Let's think about what we can write. I will call on a few students to help me with this sentence. If you can write more than one sentence, please write them."
We came up with the sentences; The teacher is nice. The teacher teaches me to read. The teacher teaches me math. The teacher reads to me.
"Make up as many sentences that you can think of about the teacher. Remember your spaces and periods. I will come around and help you with your papers.'
I dismiss my seated students from the carpet on row at a time to go to their tables. My class helpers pass out the papers to every seat. I love to use class helpers. My students gain confidence and feel an ownership in the class by performing these small responsibilities. I collect the writing papers as my students finish writing. I have my students read library books until everyone has finished.
When everyone is finished, we clean up the books and sit on the carpet ready to listen to each other. I love this part of the lesson. It is like a miniature assessment that doesn't seem like an assessment. I will learn if my instruction was intentional enough for all my students to gain comprehension of the CCSS I used in planning the lesson. I will learn if they liked the subject. A detailed sentence and drawing indicate that they were interested and learned some information. I will learn if I need to change my instruction to encourage the students participation in the discussions. I will learn if I need to differenciate my expectations or give more instruction to my lower students.
When everyone is sitting on their squares, criss cross apple sauce, I call a row up at a time for the reading to begin. My ELL students seem to be braver and more willing to read to their friends are around them. Each students get the opportunity to read their writing and show off their student writing. We applaud and cheer after each reading.