Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Novel Approach

Next week we will be starting our novel unit on The Devil's Arithmetic. The book contains many Yiddish words that most students are not familiar with. I am looking forward to using the vocabulary Power Tools in order to enhance student comprehension.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Preparing Students For the Reading SOL

As I am beginning to prepare my 11th grade students for the English Reading SOL, I am thinking about everything I learned from the I-Tunes Literacy conference. I am trying to implement different strategies for helping my students become better readers. My seniors are taking the Reading SOL the day we get back from spring break--keep your fingers crossed that they keep in mind all that I have taught them this year!:)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Graphic Novels Help Student Comprehension

After a rocky start, the graphic novel Romeo and Juliet has finally helped some of my struggling readers. At first the students complained that it was hard to follow the cartoons and dialogue. However, we are making progress with overall comprehension as they become more comfortable with the format.


Looking for an activity that will incorporate all points of the Magnificent Seven? Collect from your library or public library all the Cinderella picture books you can lay your hands on. I have 15 different ones in my chalk tray right now. The Cinderella story is in almost any culture you can name. ( There are believed to be almost 300 versions) Her name is Sootface, Princess Furball, Ashpet, Rhodopis, Yeh-Shen, and even Becan, the Irish Cinderlad. I have my students read five from my collection. For each one, they fill in information about location, who helped them, who hindered them and the outcome. Then, they have to do a little research and write a couple of facts and opinions, they write descriptions of the Cinderella character using figurative language, write two cause and effect situations and they take two of the stories to compare and contrast. I will be reading aloud ASHPET- An Appalachian Tale and we will watch the video when we complete our readings. Most students can't stop at five and continue to read until everyone is done. (This takes about three days) If you would like a copy of my Cinderella Project, email me and I'll send it to you. Don't worry about the boys not liking the project, some verisons have the stepsisters slicing off toes and heels and birds pecking out their eyes!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Teaching Figurative Language With Picture Books

Working with reluctant/struggling readers, using picture books to teach figurative language is a great help. For example, I read aloud THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT. It's a very easy picture book, but the examples of metaphors are priceless. "The elephant is a wall, the elephant is a fan, the elephant is a tree, etc." Each blind man has a different perception of the elephant. Other books I use include ANIMALIA for alliteration, NIGHT IN THE COUNTRY for onomatopoeia, IF YOU HOPPED LIKE A FROG for similies, EVEN MORE PARTS, for idioms, SWAMP ANGEL for hyperbole and CINDERELLA PENGUIN for personification. As our picture book collection grows, we have five or more books we can use for each figurative language lesson. One of our lists came from CRASH, BANG, BOOM: EXPLORING LITERARY DEVICES THROUGH CHILDREN'S LITERATURE. Sorry, I don't have the author for that. Brooks Spencer - CLMS

Third Quarter

At last, the third quarter is coming to a close. My classes are finishing up their assessments and hopefully we will finish Romeo and Juliet in a couple of weeks. Even with the Power Tools, getting my students through this play has been excruciating.