Integration success

Today I think I successfully integrated my district reading resources with my own social studies ones, without my kids noticing what I was doing. First time EVER!

Identifying and understanding text features is covered in our building reading program and it was time to review this concept, but I still wanted to press on with my social studies program since we've had so many days off in the past two weeks. Two snow/cold days. A conference day. A waiver day. A holiday. it's taken forEVER to finish this chapter, which should have only taken six days.

Instead of using the suggested model non-fiction text from the reading program, I used our Social Studies Alive! textbooks as a whole-group model. We made a list of the text features we could name off from memory and talked through them before turning the kids loose to find more in their books with a partner.

I pulled some of the reading program tips and encouraged the kids to make mental lists while thumbing through the chapter we are currently studying in Social Studies, then sharing their thoughts with their partner and then finally writing their ideas down on paper.

They worked pretty well for about ten minutes, and then we shared together as a group. We added to our class list and pointed out examples in the text so everyone could find them and spent a little while explaining what kind of information each feature provides. Some of the tricky ones were map scale and map legend/key, but I'm glad we covered those.

Later in the day, I pulled small groups to do guided readings through our Weekly Readers, continuing to point out the text features and important information that each provides. A lot of the kids noticed the maps this time around.

Then in the afternoon we wrapped up our Social Studies with some map skills, which they were required to study the map scale to answer some of the questions. Everything just seemed to work well together, and the kids didn't need to be reminded what a map scale was.

Looking back on it, I was able to cover the reading skills I wanted to review, while continuing to finish up our social studies chapters and incorporating our Weekly Readers, which I tend to fall behind on.

If only every week started off with a day off so that I could have enough time to plan thoroughly, every day could be as smooth.