Saturday, February 26, 2011

Word Attack Strategies

First grade is such a pivotal point in a child’s education. This is why it is SO important to provide children with solid reading instruction. Part of this instruction is a focus on word attack strategies...what to do when you come to a word you can’t decode. A colleague gave me a copy of these cute decoding strategies posters a couple years back. I love them because they are a perfect method for helping first graders become aware of and responsible for applying decoding strategies.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Antsy for Anticipation Guides

One of my students’ favorite activities are the anticipation guides we complete prior to reading a story. I love them because they encourage the use of pre-reading and during reading strategies. These guides are aligned with our school’s Harcourt Trophies First Grade basal stories. Anticipation guides can be completed whole-group, small group, or for use in independent literature circles. Students learn how to make predictions, read for details, and then confirm answers. I notice such a great increase in student engagement as my students excitedly read to see if their predictions were true! I have created anticipation guides for Harcourt Trophies First Grade basal stories in books 1-4 through 1-5. You can purchase these on my TpT page. 

Before Reading: Making Predictions

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Eager to "Egg"speriment

Over the past week, our class has been learning about dental health. I love teaching this subject by using the famous “egg”speriment. We discussed how eggs are a model for our teeth (hard enamel on the outside; soft dentin on the inside). 

Students felt the hard-boiled egg’s shell. Using Cara Carroll’s “Brusha, Brusha, Brusha Enamel 'Egg'speriment" pages, we wrote the question: “What will happen if we don’t brush our teeth?” Students then made a hypothesis. We placed the egg inside of jar of vinegar for 2 days.

Today we took the egg out of the vinegar and students were able to feel how the shell had been eaten away by the acid. The students were amazed, shocked, and excitedly wrote down their observations. 

This year a colleague of mine introduced a twist to the experiment. For the past four days, we have been soaking an egg in fluoride toothpaste. Tomorrow we are going to place this egg inside a jar of vinegar. 

Students will go through the scientific process again by asking a question (Does brushing our teeth keep our enamel strong?), make a hypothesis, note observations, and come to a conclusion.