Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thursday Throwdown

So I'm trying something new, something that is uncharted territory for me!  I'm linking up with Erin Cobb's Thursday Throw Down!  Erin is one of my favorite TpT sellers and teacher bloggers.  I bought her Interactive Reading Literature Notebooks pack, which was a TpT splurge for me at $12, but it is totally worth it! Erin teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th reading, so her examples and templates are perfect for my classroom.  

Well, without further ado, here is my first attempt at contributing to the blog world of teaching!

Right now, since it is front and center in my lap, I'm focusing on vocabulary.  Over the past 14 years, my vocab instruction has varied quite a bit.  Currently I am in the yikes-we-need-to-focus-on-that-more-diligently mode.  My colleagues and I tried a free unit of Word Wisdom last year and loved it, but our district isn't adopting the curriculum, and since we'd need workbooks for each kid, our plan to use it is out.  We have used a version of Words Their Way as well, but I didn't feel like the kids were really getting/retaining the words.  Of course, I've spent many years previewing the words, noting them during reading, and then having the kids do the vocab worksheet from the textbook company. thanks!!

Going forward, we are trying to use some of the skills and structures of Word Wisdom as well as adding more visual and interactive components. Carly and I plotted out our first few weeks when we met to plan last week, and so I've begun at the beginning (ha!) with a short story I'm really comfortable using, but we are revamping the vocabulary component in a big way.

Enter my free vocabulary sort for this story!  I actually made two different activities (I wrote about this the other day) but the first one is full of nice Google-searched images that are not for re-sale, so that one's just in my files to be printed and laminated.  I do realize that I've been writing about this vocabulary sort for the last day or two, but I have to admit that my slow-to-come-around brain is finally putting several ideas together.  Yesterday I wrote about an alternate activity where instead of having small groups sort the cards/slips, we could hand a card out to each kid and have the kids do a mingle and mix, walking around the classroom to find the others who would complete their vocab word/synonyms groups.  When I wrote out the alternate directions on the directions page in my Powerpoint, I realized that this method would probably work best as an EXTENSION/follow-up to the initial activity and that it's probably weak as a stand alone activity.  If anyone has thoughts on that, feel free to comment!

I posted several photos of the activity yesterday, but here are two again for the Thursday Throw Down!  Find the free activity either here or by clicking on my TpT gadget to the left.  Enjoy!

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1 comment:

  1. I downloaded your freebie earlier this week and love how you've got it laid out. Like you, I'm also in the same mindset with vocabulary. I've done it differently every year yet I haven't been satisfied with how I've done it yet. I teach this story with my 7th graders and your hard work will definitely come in handy... :)
    Thanks so much for linking up!