This sample gives you an understanding of how down-to-earth and teacher-friendly our courses are. There are nine lessons in this valuable course.
Like you, we are teachers who work in today’s classrooms with today’s children. We know you want to courses that will help you deal with day-to-day classroom issues. That’s exactly what we have to offer today’s busy teachers.
Thank you for taking time to review this material. Barbara & Sue
Build Essential Vocabulary and Basic Word Skills
What is ahead in this lesson?
Working with words is the focus of this lesson. We will discuss a wealth of ideas for lessons you can use with your whole class. Many of these activities can also be used with small groups of students. Reading, writing, vocabulary and spelling activities occur all through the day in classrooms. We will cover a variety of techniques so you can integrate word skill lessons into the entire learning day.
Active involvement is the key to getting children interested in working with words. We’ll discuss ways you can engage every child by having everyone respond instead of calling on just one child. Many activities in this lesson are lively oral activities rather than paper and pencil activities. Children are not bogged down with a lot of paperwork and yet they are learning how words work. The activities in this lesson help your students become skilled language users.
Use “Think Aloud” to Help Children Learn
“Think aloud” is a simply wonderful strategy to use every day in classrooms. This important strategy:
- takes no teacher preparation
- produces no papers to mark
- accelerates learning for all students
- is quick and easy for teachers to use.
Let’s say you have these sentences on the board.
Meg tasted a new flavor of ice cream.
It is the same color as strawberry ice cream.
The flavor is called boysenberry.
Read the first two sentences aloud sweeping your fingertips under the words as you read. Now think aloud by saying…”I’m thinking the ice cream is pink like strawberry, I wonder what it is.” Now, read the third sentence and think aloud again saying something like “I don’t know what a boysenberry is but it must be a pink or red berry that tastes good.”
By thinking aloud you are sharing with children the inner dialog that goes on in our heads as we read and write. You are giving children an opportunity to hear what is going on in your head as you read.
Use think aloud when you read stories aloud to the class. Make comments like:
“mmmm…that surprised me”
“I feel sorry for her”
“wonder what will happen now”
“that word must mean frightened” …
Use think aloud when you write. Think aloud as you write a thank you note to the bus driver for taking your class on a field trip. As you write on a large piece of chart paper, say to the class: “Let’s start the letter by thanking her for driving us to the museum.” Write the sentence and when you get to the word museum, use think aloud. Say, “museum…let’s see, I’m not sure how to spell that. Let me try it on the board.” Write the word museum and misspell it. Say, “That doesn’t look right; I think these two letters are wrong. I’d better try a different spelling.” Write the word again and spell it correctly. Look at it and think aloud by saying, “Yes, that’s right. Now I can write it in our letter.”
Use think aloud whenever you are teaching a lesson to the class on word skills. If you are introducing compound words, you might think aloud and say to the class, “I want to check to see if this is a compound word. I’ll cover one of the words and read the other word. cup Now, I’ll cover the word I read and read the other one. cake Then, I’ll read the two words together. Cupcake Yes…it is a compound word.”
Once you get in the habit of using “think aloud”, it becomes a part of the way you teach. It’s an effective strategy that is so quick and easy to use.
Maximize Participation with 100% Student Responses
Increase participation and save time and work by having everyone respond. Here are easy ways to get immediate responses from every single student. You’ll know at a glance if students understand concepts and you won’t have a stack of papers to correct.
You will need a set of response cards for each student. To make each set of response cards, use three 3” x 5” cards. Use a bold marking pen to number the cards 1, 2 and 3. Then, on the back of card 1 write yes, on the back of card 2 write no, and on the back of card 3 write a question mark. Place the cards in a small envelope. You will need an envelope containing a set of cards for each student. When you are ready to do a lesson using response cards, pass out the envelopes. At the end of the lesson, collect the envelopes for safekeeping. They get lost and damaged when kept in desks.
Teach the class how to use the response cards. When you snap your fingers or say, “Please respond,” children hold one card against their chests showing their answer. Once they put the card up, they may not change it.
If you are presenting a lesson on compound words, write a list of words on the board that includes some compound words. Have children place the cards on their desktops with yes, no and the question mark showing. Point to a wo……
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