Our unit of study for in our reading curriculum is about our Neighborhood Helpers. During our morning reading block I read the stories, books and readers in whole group and small group instruction. I am incorporating this theme into my afternoon content areas of social studies and writing. I like to weave a theme through out my day. I feel it brings a greater sense of cohesive teaching rather than isolated times of instruction for each content area. My students gain a greater understanding of the theme and vocabulary when we spend all day on a theme. I believe that after todays reading and discussion my students will be able to fulfill the standard for writing an informative text. Today is our seventh day writing about different careers. Today we will learn about the responsibilities of our school nurse.
I begin my lesson with my students seated on the carpet.
"We have been learning about our community helpers and today we will learn about our School Nurse. We learned that a career is a job that someone does. I would like to see what you already know about her. I will write all ou know on our bubble map. I will draw name sticks so my friends can name some things our School Nurse. does. I will write all your answers on the bubble map."
Our district uses thinking maps at every grade level, at every school. The bubble map is an especially easy map for my kindergarten students to learn how to use. During our discussion about a topic I write down their thoughts and ideas. The bubble map is a great way to organize their answers and it makes a great visual reference for their writing.
I call on students for things they think our School Nurse 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 an "inappropriate" answer, I will prompt them to 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 variety of community helper books. I love to use nonfiction books when I am teaching my students about real things. I like the books to have kid friendly text and real pictures. After I teach my students about the career then I will read a book about a fictional character performing a real career.
"You have named many things that our School Nurse does for their career. Now I will read a nonfiction story to you. After I read it, we will come back to the bubble map and see if we can add more bubbles to our School Nurse map."
"The title of the book is A Day in the Life of a Nurse I would like you to sit up straight with your ears warmed up for listening. Listen for things that we don't have on the bubble map as I read the story."
I read the book and point our picture details. We discuss things in the pictures that we have seen our school nurse do in her office. My kindergarteners are regulars in the Health Office. They know a lot of what goes on. Everyone seems to have a story to tell.
"Did anyone hear or see anything in the book that I should add to the bubble map? Let's review the bubble map one more time before we write."
We read the book to find out more about nurse. So we did read with purpose. Everyone was able to give a good answer as to what a Librarian does at her job.
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 want you to think of two sentences that you can write that tells about the school nurse. The students job will be to choose something from the bubble map to write on the line.
"You can use this sentence frame for your first sentence, The Nurse _______________. Let's think about what we else 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. I will give you two gummy bears if you write more than one sentence."
We came up with the sentences; The Nurse is nice. The Nurse takes care of me when I have a fever. The Nurse helps me when I am sick. The Nurse gives us band aids.
"Make up as many sentences that you can think of about the Nurse . 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. 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 when their friends are around them. Each students get the opportunity to read their sentences and show off their student writing. We applaud and cheer after each reading.