Saturday, February 2, 2013

A guest blogging we will go - a wonderful "Wonder" unit

I'm so excited to announce my very first guest blogger, the awesomely talented and creative (seriously she is the queen of cute fonts) Stephanie Rye.  Stephanie is my coworker and if you are an upper grades teacher, and especially if you are from Michigan, you need to follow her TPT store RIGHT now!  She has all kinds of resources available to support the Michigan Citizens Curriculum (MC3) social studies units as well as the new Oakland Schools CCSS (Atlas Rubicon MAISA) reading and writing curriculums.

You all know how much my students and I are enjoying the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio, well if you're thinking of reading this book aloud as well, you should check out her unit to go along with the FREE lesson plans written by Oakland Schools. 




I'm using it in my classroom right now and it is fabulous!  You know how your students have the best of intentions, but the great thinking that they record on sticky notes in their independent reading books gets lost in the shuffle of backpacks and bells!  Well no longer will you find stray sticky notes all over the floor, Stephanie's unit will help your students keep all of that great thinking organized.  I'm also finding that it's helping me formatively assess my student's ability to apply the daily learning targets within their independent reading books. Further, having a task to think about while I'm reading aloud and for when they are reading independently, keeps them accountable. And we ALL know what happens when we don't hold fifth graders accountable.......daydreamers in the back of the room anyone????  And lastly, she also created a set of learning targets posters to display in your classroom while you are teaching the unit. The posters display the daily goals of each lesson, in "I can" statements.  Seriously cute!



Okay, enough of my blabbing......  here she is......

I created this student packet to use along with the "Following Characters Into Meaning" unit by Oakland Schools. The unit is based on the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio. The FREE lesson plans and Common Core reading standards that are covered in the unit can be found HERE (Lesson plans can be found when clicking at the link at the bottom of the page).

The packet includes a blank Building Theories About Characters chart, a page for each section of the book that is read aloud with questions, prompts, and a section for journal 
entries, and pages to use to teach about point of view.

I am in the middle of the unit right now, and my students are loving this book!  Some of them honestly cheer when I tell them to get out their packet, because they know they get to hear more of the story.  The packet is definitely helping me to keep my students focused and organized.

   
I start each session by reading the identified pages from the book.  Immediately after reading, I have my students answer the two questions for that section in their packet on their own.  It provides some accountability for them to know they have to listen carefully to the story.  Then we discuss their answers as a class.

 
After that, I discuss the focus of that days session using the lesson plans from Oakland Schools.  The students record the focus (learning target) for that day on their Building Theories About Characters chart, and I record it on a class chart.  Students then read on their own and record their thinking on sticky notes.  Towards the end of the reading time, I have students record entries in their packet based on sticky notes they have completed today.  Then they share these with a partner.
 
Keeping everything in this packet means I will have something I can assess at the end of the unit.  

Stephanie
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Thanks all for reading and supporting my colleague!  Lastly, I'm joining in the TPT Super sale on Sunday!  Can't wait to shop till' I drop while my husband and son are watching the SuperBowl!

7 comments:

  1. Hi Missy,
    Thanks for your interest in being a guest poster for All Things Upper Elementary. I'm in the process of choosing posters, but I didn't get your Email address. Could you send it to us by re-submiting using the form on our website at All Things Upper Elementary? Your blog and TPT store are cute so you're definitely in the running :) Hope to hear from you soon.
    --Amber Thomas

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  2. Just resubmitted the request. Thanks for considering me, and for the kind words. :)

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  3. I just finished reading Wonder - fantastic book! I'm your newest follower!

    ✿Sue✿
    Science for Kids Blog

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    1. Definitely a great book!!! Thanks for stopping by!

      Melissa

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    Replies
    1. Glad to see you are a Michigan Blogger and teacher, however where is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on your graphic?

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    2. You're right, I never noticed the "missing" upper peninsula. If you click on the graphic it will take you to the creator and you can let her know.

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