Thursday, July 11, 2013

Writing About the Beach With Kids

What Fun!  Writing About the Beach With Second and Third Graders!

I made a beach-themed writing activity for my summer rock stars camp kids, because I really, really needed an activity that they would not consider "school work". They enjoyed this a lot. Normally, this type of activity would be best suited for the younger kids-the first graders. But I discovered that my incoming third and fourth graders enjoyed hunting the room for these words to fill out their recording sheets. 

This is a lot like a write-the-room activity, which is often considered a first grade activity--
But this is more challenging!  My kids seemed to get excited about this!  And even though it was a hot, humid day inside our little rock stars camp, they really wanted to finish!  

I added a few other templates or writing frames to go with this--since kids do love to write about summery things. I've posted this resource (Common Core aligned) to my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Check it out!  If you do visit my shop, please know that I appreciate any and all window shoppers! 

Summer Rock Stars Camp --Whoo-Wee!

We're on our third week (2 days a week) of summer rock stars camp, and I feel like I've been at it all summer! Another teacher and I are working as a team to focus on a group of kids that we feel are kids who need that little summer push--as opposed to sitting in front of the TV or bugging mom all day!  I'm doing the literacy end of it, and she's doing the math intervention. So far, we've mixed in some fun with it, including
marbles and pipes, ball games, armadillo crafts, word searches/puzzles, and yet to come--the best of all--soap boats and balloon rockets!

So...besides all the fun stuff, I needed Common Core Standards aligned reading for my kids...since that was the whole point why were were targeting these kids. Well, I was worried about all that, since I did not want to pull out the usual textbooks in my classroom and hear the kids mutiny and drop out of summer camp.  Then, I remembered....!

Early this spring, I attended Dr. Elfrieda H. Hiebert's conference on reading and building fluency, and her philosophy of teaching reading based on 4,000 simple word families. (I have her conference sheet filed away, so I don't have the exact title of her conference.) But I can tell you that I latched on to some crucial information that made me think twice about how I teach reading. Her work is quite extensive in the research of how young children learn to read. So, I went to her website that she talked quite a bit about, and was happy to find that she has so much on there that I can use for my summer program. Her Summer Reads program is just perfect for my grades 3-5 kids--the very group which I was targeting this year.  I didn't want these kids to lose skills over the summer. We all know that it's pretty tough for many of them to advance over the summer, so as a reading specialist, I'm happy if they at least, do not lose reading skills over the summer.

So I'm passing this along to you--if anyone out there is reading my blog!

Dr. Heibert has some great teacher resources, check out her site called THE TEXT PROJECT. The following link will take you to some free text passages for kids going into grades 3, 4, and 5, and lots of good reading on her research. Please check it out:  SUMMER READS

(P.S.--I do not work for Dr. Hiebert, nor do I get any monetary value for promoting her website. I just love her resources, that's all! :-) )