Linda & John

The students were asked to generate questions they had while listening to The Giver being read out loud. They were challenged to craft questions about things they were wondering about in the text, and that might be answered in future readings.

Student #1: "What are Jonas' parents names?"

Student #2: "We already know their names. It's Linda and John. Next question, Mr. A."

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.

The Kane Chronicles, Book Two - Details Released

The second book in Rick Riordan's Egyptian Mythology series, The Kane Chronicles, debuted it's cover art and official title today. The follow up to The Red Pyramid will be The Throne of Fire. You can view Rick's post over on his blog to view the cover art.

For the next 24 hours, though, you can also read the first chapter of the book on

The Throne of Fire will be released on May 3. Looks like it would be a great summer read for you 3rd - 5th graders.

Reading Too Much

I was doing some guided reading groups with my 5th graders this week and we were doing pretty good. I had the kids all on the big table and we were reading quietly to ourselves and I was spending about 90 seconds with each kid and making the rounds.

Then after reading a few more minutes, one of the girls says to me, "I can't do this."

"What? You're doing a great job." It's only been about six minutes since we had started.

"I can't read anymore."

"How come?"

"I've got asthma."