Sunday, January 20, 2013

Response To Text / Tracking our Thinking

Hello out there bloggy buddies! It's been a long time! Life over at the Lutton house has been busy and rather exciting. Since I've talked to you last:

1. Rich (my husband) scored a new job as a full time fireman.
2. I looped up to the 4th grade with my wonderful class.It's going     well. I will post more on that at another time. :)
3. My Kids started at their new school. They love is. (shewie)
4. My baby started kindergarten.
5. Baby Lutton # 4 is on the way!!! CrAzY!!! ExCiTiNg!!
 BTW it's a .....................................................GIRL!!

Life in the fast lane just got faster!!

I recently stumbled upon a site called TweenTribune. It offers news articles geared towards tween aged kids. The articles are short and attention grabbing. 
I went on and created an account for my class. Each student is given a log in and password. Right now I'm using this site to take tracking our thinking while reading a step further. Students track their thinking on post its while they read and then use those thoughts/post its to compile a writen reaction to the article. Fun right?! At the end of each article we can read the reactions/comments of other kids their age. Then, my kids can log on and write their own comments. There is no greater motivation than seeing their writing published online! Of course as the teacher I have the power to check and ok all the comments before they actually get published. 

We have already discussed tracking our thinking while reading earlier in the year so the students are very familiar with this concept. But, I have noticed lately they are having trouble transferring their thinking into their writing. We do reading response logs and this area is one they struggle with.  

Here is what I did:

1. Picked an article I knew they would have serious opinions about. (Should We Have Summer Break?) Gathered them on the carpet around the chart paper with the ipads and had them all log on to that article.  

 2. We read the article and tracked out reaction/thinking on the chart paper as we read. 

 3. When we were done reading and discussing we looked back at our notes on the chart paper and compiled them into 4-5 coherent intelligent sentences that captured our thinking/reactions.  

4. We then checked out writing for things like using specific names, using proper grammar, punctuation, detail, etc.   

5. I plan to use this activity to give out both a reading and writing grade.  



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