Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Interactive Read Alouds

One of the most important parts of teaching kids to read is reading aloud to them. Everyday (well most days... we do what we can!) I read aloud a book to my students. 

When you do a read aloud, it is important that it is interactive. This is your time to stop and model the many strategies that you are teaching your students. 

I like to read aloud the type of book that we are learning. For example, right now we are learning biography, so I am reading Who Was Paul Revere? (Which I LOVE and I am learning so much... great series for students-- and adults). As I am reading aloud, not only are the students listening to my expression and fluency, but I also stop to model strategies by "thinking aloud." 

I always have the students bring their notebooks and pencils, so if I find a spot where they can "stop and jot," they are ready. Occasionally, I will just say "stop and jot" after a powerful scene. They usually stare at me for a second in confusion, but I just look at my book and repeat "stop and jot." They always come up with great reflections and usually hit the same thought that I did. 

Interactive read alouds are also perfect for teaching the strategies that your students might have missed in earlier years, and it is not in your curriculum. It is the perfect time to fill in those gaps!

Do you have any read alouds that you love?? Let me know!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Using QR Codes in the Classroom

Engagement, engagement, engagement... that was recently the big movement in my school. Everyone was searching for ways to engage the students. That is when I discovered QR CODES! Honestly, they were like the light at the end of the tunnel. Kids LOVE QR codes. When I say we are going to do QR Task Cards there is literally a gasp that goes throughout the classroom.

QR Codes are for EVERYONE! New and experienced, young and old, outgoing and shy, boy and girl!

I implore you to try them. 

Not sure how? 

It is SO easy... too easy. 

First, you have to buy or get something that has QR codes on it (obviously). TPT has a ton of task cards...check out my store ;) that have these codes. Have your students use any device. My students use chromebooks, but ipads, ipods, cell phones, computers or any device with a little camera on top will work. Either download a QR Reader App or go to any QR Reader Website. My favorite is https://www.the-qrcode-generator.com/scan. It is so easy to use. The kids simply hold the QR Code up to their camera and BAM! the answer appears!

The kids literally think its magic. 

I use QR Code Task Cards as a center because it's perfect for self monitoring. The kids are able to check their own answers. Sometimes, they'll even make it a game. I always tell them they can run the center however they want... man can they get creative!

This is my new set of Main Idea and Details Task Cards with QR Codes. 

Still scared? 

Just try it! Trust me... the kids will figure it out in 2 seconds and you can just pretend you know what they're doing... 

Comment and let me know how it goes!