Two for Tuesday - 50% off my two most wish listed products!

I'm linking up with the Teaching Tribune this morning for "2 For Tuesday."  Who can pass up a 50% off sale?!?  I can't wait to see what other products get linked up today so I can do a little half off shopping myself.

The first product I'm linking up is my MOST wish-listed item.  It's PERFECT for back to school season because these exit slips focus on Launching your Reading Workshop.

Today only, this product is a mere $1.75!!!

Here's a blog post I wrote on how we use exit slips to ensure accountability and purpose during Reading Workshop.

You know those readers who hide in the corner or under their desks, stare blankly at pages and pretty much do nothing during independent reading time because they don't have a purpose for reading and/or they're not being held accountable for proving that they actually read anything?  I've got em' in my classroom and I always stress every year about how to get them to really read vs. fake read.

First and foremost, I try my hardest to spread my love for reading to each and every one of those students.  I aspire to make reading enjoyable and show them the journeys they can travel through books. I pray that independent reading time becomes their favorite time of the day, but that alone doesn't always work.  They are still unfocused during reading time and I don't really know if they are reading each day unless I confer with them.  Unfortunately, I can't reach all of them every day.

So this year, I'm using Reading Exit Slips to quickly gather data each day on who is really reading, who is fake reading and who can apply the strategies I taught during the mini-lesson.  The exit slips are giving those distracted readers a purpose for reading that they can refer back to when they lose track of their thoughts.  Also, knowing that they need to respond to the prompt after independent reading time, and share their response with a partner, is keeping them accountable for actually reading and not just turning pages.

How am I using the exit slips?

First, I put the exit slip up on the SMARTboard with the document camera and use it as our "I can" learning target to keep us focused during the mini-lesson.  I explain the prompt and model it with our classroom read aloud.  I give the students time to respond to the prompt orally based on the classroom read aloud.  Then I hand out a prompt to each student. They head back to their seat, use a glue stick to glue it onto the top of the next blank page in their reader's notebook, and their job is to think about the prompt while they read independently from their just right choice books.  Many of them respond to the prompt while they're reading.  When the timer goes off I do give students a few minutes to finish and reread their responses. Then they meet with their reading partner and share their answers to the prompt.  Every few days I collect reader's notebooks and read though the responses for a grade and/or to inform my instruction/intervention needs.  I also read through the responses as I'm walking around conferring.  The responses are a great way to start each reading conference so you can check to see if the student is applying the taught skill.

The second item that I'm marking 50% off, today only, is one of my BEST sellers!!  An AWESOME deal at only $1.50.  That's cheaper than a Starbucks coffee!!

Here's a blog post that details how we tackle close reading in room 206!

First, we have a weekly subscription to a current events news magazine like Time for Kids or Scholastic News. If you don’t have access to either of these publications, with upper elementary students you can use your local newspaper. There are also many free websites that offer informational articles like Kelly Gallagher’s free article of the week site. 

Teachers should set aside at least one day a week to read current articles and opinion pieces, especially in English, social studies, and science.
(Focus - Schmoker, 2011)

After I determine the article from the magazine that we are going to read closely and debate that week, we start with vocabulary. We take 10-15 minutes to talk about 2-3 academic vocabulary words. The students talk in groups to determine a description of the word and a picture to represent the word.  We discuss the different examples and then the students complete this vocabulary sheet from my Close Reading resource. 

Before we read I have the students announce their initial opinion on the issue. For example last week we read an article about dodgeball so we took opinions on whether or not dodgeball should be banned in schools. I send the yesses to one side of the classroom, the nos to the other and the maybes in the middle.  We talk about why we have these opinions and I record their ideas on a chart. 

Next, we discuss our purpose for reading in our Close Reading packet (which usually has to do with their opinion on the article - example purpose: To find facts that explain why schools should or should not ban dodgeball). Then we read the article together closely - highlighting the facts and taking notes as we read.  After we read, I have the students cite in their close reading packet two facts from the article that support their opinion. They share these facts with a partner and we take a second poll on our opinions. It's interesting to see who has changed sides at this point based on the facts.  This is also when we hold our debate to try and sway our maybes to choose a side.

Lastly, students write an opinion piece to persuade their readers to take their side on the issue. They follow the rubric in their close reading packet when formulating their opinion piece.

And that's it!  It's fun seeing how serious they take opinion writing when they have a purposeful audience to address, a controversial issue to debate and strong facts to support their opinion.  We wrote to the gym teacher last week about whether or not dodgeball should be banned. In the past, we've written to our principal, cafeteria workers, custodians, politicians, bus drivers, parents, celebrities.....

Happy shopping!!! Check out all of the other great "2 For Tuesday" deals at the Teaching Tribune's weekly link-up.  I'll be checking back in all day to read about the new deals and steals.  Enjoy!!

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