Saturday, 24 January 2015

Close reading and the Four Resources Model (con't)

Last week I posted about a new project I was working on, linking the U.S. research on close reading with the Australian research around the Four Resources Model (Freebody & Luke, 1990).

I created three resources to use with a school I was working with this week.  The first one is based on the picture book, "Blossom Possum - The Sky is Falling Down-Under" (see below):
This resource was designed for students in the early years (up to Year 3).
The second resource is based on two original poems by Angela Yardy - Seaside Senses and The Shell. 

Each resource includes purposeful reasons for the students to re-read the text and engage with it in different ways to deepen their comprehension.
Please click on the images above to find out more.

My third resource is based on figurative language, using a poem called "The Snake" from the NAPLAN (Australian National Testing) Year 5 magazine.  I am just waiting for copyright clearance on that one before I post it to TPT.  

Both of the resources based on poetry are quite challenging for students in Year 5 and above.

By linking close reading to the Four Resource Model prompts, students engage multiple times with the text for different purposes.  To me, this is much more rigorous NAPLAN preparation than practising past tests.

If you would like to win a free copy of one of these resources, please make sure you are following my blog.  You can do this for free by clicking on the "follow me by bloglovin' " button, or via email.  Please leave a comment below with your email address and which resource interests you the most.  I will choose 3 winners randomly over the next week.

A very big shout out to all the Australian teachers who follow my blog - enjoy your first week of the new school year, next week :)

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Close reading - bringing the U.S. and Australian research together

I am so excited about my latest project.  I have been dabbling at linking the U.S. research on close reading with the Australian research by Freebody and Luke (1990) on the Four Resources Model.  Find out more about the Four Resources Model here.

After reading, "Falling in Love with Close Reading" (Lehman & Roberts, 2014) these are the links I have made:
I am flying up north to work with a school this week around the teaching of reading.  I will be focusing on reciprocal teaching and you can read about my innovations on that in English and Mathematics here

My colleagues and I are also working with another couple of schools around improving their student data in reading, so I am very blessed that the poet Angela Yardy (click on her name to see her great website) has allowed me to use two of her works to develop a resource that focuses on close reading and figurative language.

In Australia, our national assessment program is NAPLAN and I wanted to be able to show the teachers that if, for example, figurative language was an area wanting in the data analysis, that close reading could be used, using the Four Resource Model as a lens, so that rather than drilling kids with past tests and practice tests, we can actually teach them explicitly in the areas where gaps have been identified for a cohort.

I will be sharing both resources I have created via TPT, so please make sure you are following me on TPT (Ripper Reading Resources) to be updated as new resources are posted.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Tweet tweet

You can now follow me on Twitter :)  

Many thanks to Jen Jones for the encouragement and invitation to join Twitter - still have a lot to learn.  

Please comment below if you are on Twitter so I can follow you as well.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Spotlight on Craig Smith's picture books - absolutely hilarious!

I just love Craig Smith's picture books as they use rhyme, rhythm and repetition which is great for early readers.  They also come with a CD of Craig singing the story, which encourages young readers to join in with the shared reading experience.

Don't know Craig Smith's stories?  You don't know what you are missing...

Firstly, The Wonkey Donkey.  View a YouTube clip of the story here.  This is a crack up - it's a cumulative story which the kids really love (and university students too!).  It has such a catchy tune.  

We used bee bots with those free jackets you can get online and put a donkey cover over the bee bots, with the children programming them to dance to the tune of The Wonkey Donkey.

We downloaded the free bee bot jackets from Primary Treasure Chest.

We also used the bee bots without jackets (just as bees) and the children programmed them to dance to another of Craig Smith's stories, Willbee the Bumblebee.  You can view a YouTube clip of the story being sung here.

My Daddy Ate An Apple is hilarious.  Have you ever taken a bite of an apple only to find a worm in it?  Not just any worm, but a fuzzy one, a buzzy one, a great big fat juicy one!  You can view a review of the story  here.
Finally, drum roll... I picked up Craig Smith's latest picture book, Square Eyes.  Again, the author uses rhyme, rhythm, repetition and humour to totally engage the reader.  

This is a really funny story about not being a couch potato and getting away from the TV, the screen, the electronics etc. and being engaged and active with all life has to offer.

Craig Smith has dedicated his book, "To all the children who sometimes struggle to get their parents off the couch, their tablets and phones to play with them."

When I was reading the book, I came to the page where they were in the swimming pool and I almost wanted to get out my red pen.  In my head I was thinking there was a spelling mistake, and it wasn't until I put on the CD and listened to the song version that I got it and laughed out really loudly!  I don't want to spoil it for you, but it is very clever :)

You can view Craig Smith, the author, singing the story in song, with a group of students here.  

If you know any children who find it hard to extract themselves from digital devices, this is the book for them!  It would also be a handy addition to any unit of work around health and exercise.

On that note, if any of us made health-related New Year's Resolutions, and we shared this book in the classroom, it could be a handy reminder for us - work/life balance etc.

Happy New Year everyone!