Crafting Connections
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Anchor Chart: Making Deep Connections {FREEBIE}

Monday, September 21, 2020

Here is a scene that replayed itself more often than I would like to admit when I was teaching reading. Has it ever happened to you? When our reading group time was drawing to a close, I would announce the pages I expected my students to read on their own, hand each student a sticky note, and tell them their assignment was to read the assigned pages and record a connection they made while reading the pages. From previous lessons, students already knew that they could choose between making a text-to-self connection, a text-to-text connection, or a text-to-world connection. I had modeled writing strong connections several times, and I felt like students should know my expectations.

Much to my disappointment, however, more than half of my students would return to the next day's reading group with a very weak connection quickly scribbled on their sticky note... something like "I can connect with Peter because we both have annoying little brothers", or "Shiloh reminds me of A Dog's Life because both books are about a dog". I would ask questions to pull a deeper connection out of each student, but it often felt like I was exerting a lot more effort than my students were putting forth.

Then, one day, I ran across a blog post by Krista from The Second Grade Superkids. She shared a lesson she did with her students where she explained the difference between deep connections and surface connections. (The lesson can be traced back to Tanny McGregor's book called Comprehension Connections.) The lesson requires a glass of water, a ping-pong ball, and a golf ball. She began the lesson by dropping the ping-pong ball into the glass of water. Obviously, it stayed afloat on the surface of the water. She compared this floating ball to the surface connections we make while reading. Surface connections do not help us understand the story any better- they just sit on the surface of the text. Then she dropped the golf ball into the water, and it immediately sank to the bottom of the glass. She compared the golf ball to the deep connections that we should make while reading. Deep connections help us understand the story and infer the author's message.

This lesson resonated with me. I wish I would have found this blog post while I was still teaching reading groups!! I loved the analogy in this lesson so much that I immediately pulled out my anchor chart and markers, and created a connections anchor chart that illustrated the point. I believe hanging the anchor chart will serve as a reminder for students long after the initial lesson presentation is over.


Teach your students the difference between a surface connection and a deep connection with this anchor chart idea! After this lesson, your students will be more proficient at making connections while they are reading. A FREE personal anchor chart is also included!

I decided to share this lesson idea and anchor chart with you today in case you want to replicate it for your students! At the beginning of the school year, we teachers spend a lot of time teaching students our expectations, and this falls right in line with teaching students our expectations when we ask them to make a connection to what they are reading. If you want to dive even further into this topic and show your students several examples of well-written deep connections, feel free to check out my Making Connections PowerPoint or bundle of resources.

Finally, I want to share two personal anchor charts I made related to this topic. (I call them personal anchor charts because students can glue them into their reading notebooks and refer to them whenever they wish.) As you can see, the first one provides definitions of the four types of connections. The second one is a replica of the anchor chart shown above.

Use these personal anchor charts to teach students about the four types of connections that a reader can make, and how to write a strong connection. The chart on the right is a replica of a larger anchor chart, and it is FREE!

The anchor chart on the left is part of my Personal Anchor Charts for 27 Reading Skills resource. Click on the link to check it out.

The anchor chart on the right is FREE! Click here to download it.


If you are looking for some ready-to-go resources for teaching your students about making deep connections rather than surface connections, feel free to check out my PowerPoint and/or bundle. It includes many examples of surface connections, along with revised deep connections. Just click on the image to check it out!
Making Connections PowerPoint- this is an engaging, memorable way to teach students how to make connections while reading! It includes four types of connections (text-to-self, text-to-text, text-to-media, and text-to-world), along with stressing the difference between surface connections and deep connections.


Making Connections Bundle- Use these activities to teach your students about the four types of connections and how to write strong connections.


Thank you for stopping by today!

-Deb

Pin for future reference:
Teach your students the difference between a surface connection and a deep connection with this anchor chart idea! After this lesson, your students will be more proficient at making connections while they are reading. A FREE personal anchor chart is also included!


Types of Sentences: A Free Sorting Activity

Thursday, September 10, 2020
I frequently create sorting activities to use with my students. I am a huge fan of sorts for two main reasons. Most importantly, sorting activities require students to be actively engaged. When done with a partner, they involve many discussion opportunities, which is music to this ELL teacher's ears! I also like sorting activities because they are so versatile. Sorting activities can be an independent activity, a small group activity, or they can be easily adapted to create a whole-class activity, depending upon your current needs. In this blog post, I am sharing my types of sentences sort with you, and explaining how I have used it in a whole-class setting. I invite you to click on the image below to access it (it's free!), and decide for yourself how you want to use it with your students.

Have your students sort the 27 sentence strips into declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory envelopes. This FREE lesson can be used with small groups or the entire class. It includes the posters, sentences strips, and more!
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I designed this sorting activity to be part of a review lesson, done one or two days after the four types of sentences have been introduced. (I almost always introduce a new topic of study with a PowerPoint.) Click on the following image to view my Types of Sentences PowerPoint.


Step 1: Preparation

Before class, there are just a few items that need to be prepared. First, the four posters need to be printed and glued onto manila envelopes. (As you can see, my envelopes happen to be white.) The sentence strips also need to be printed and cut apart.

Have your students sort the 27 sentence strips into declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory envelopes. This FREE lesson can be used with small groups or the entire class. It includes the posters, sentences strips, and more!


Step 2: The Lesson

To begin the lesson, I ask students to turn to a neighbor and exchange interrogative sentences. Then, I display the interrogative poster (which is glued to an envelope) by placing it on the chalk tray, and we review what we already learned yesterday about an interrogative sentence's punctuation.

Have your students sort the 27 sentence strips into declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory envelopes. This FREE lesson can be used with small groups or the entire class. It includes the posters, sentences strips, and more!

I repeat this step with declarative sentences, imperative sentences, and exclamatory sentences. When this quick review is complete, all four envelopes are lined up across the chalk tray.

Now, it is time to sort the sentence strips. I tell students to take out their personal whiteboard, eraser, and marker. When everybody is ready, I pick up a strip and read it to the class. Each student writes what type of sentence it is on their marker board. (I let them use abbreviations- D, Intg, Imp, and E.) Using my popsicle sticks, I randomly choose a student to share their answer with the class. I invite the student to come forward, add the correct punctuation to the strip, and drop it in the appropriate envelope. This process is repeated with all 27 strips.

Have your students sort the 27 sentence strips into declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory envelopes. This FREE lesson can be used with small groups or the entire class. It includes the posters, sentences strips, and more!

Have your students sort the 27 sentence strips into declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory envelopes. This FREE lesson can be used with small groups or the entire class. It includes the posters, sentences strips, and more!

I hope you and your students enjoy this lesson! If you happen to be looking for additional activities, feel free to check out my Types of Sentences Bundle!

This types of sentences bundle is full of many engaging activities, including a PowerPoint, craftivity, worksheets, and games!



-Deb


Pin this image for future reference!
Have your students sort the 27 sentence strips into declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory envelopes. This FREE lesson can be used with small groups or the entire class. It includes the posters, sentences strips, and more!




Text Evidence: A Lesson for Upper Elementary Students

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Text Evidence... it's of huge importance in the upper elementary grades! After all, it's the first standard listed for Reading: Literature and Reading: Informational Text in grades 3, 4, and 5. For those of you who work with the Common Core standards, 4th and 5th grade students are expected to be able to answer text questions by pointing to a section of the text...
    1.)  that provides the exact answer
and 
2.) that helps them to infer an answer

I created the following lesson to use with upper elementary students. If you would like to replicate the lesson to use with your own students, click on the image below. You can download all of the printables shown in this blog post for free!


Teach students to support their answers by citing text evidence.This blog post includes free printables so that you can replicate the entire lesson with your upper elementary students.

Part 1: Anchor Chart

Prior to the start of the lesson, assemble the top half of the anchor chart so that it is ready to go when class begins. (Do not include the questions or answers shown at the bottom of the anchor chart.)

To begin the lesson with students, point to the anchor chart title, and then discuss what the dot dude characters are thinking. Ask a student volunteer to read the paragraph aloud for the rest of the class. Tell students that two questions follow this text. Read the first question to the students and ask them whether it is a "right-here-in-the-text" question or an "infer-with-text-clues" question. Write the question on the correct side of the anchor chart, and then have students help you answer the question. Repeat the process with the second question.

This text evidence anchor chart reminds students that some answers are explicitly stated, and some answers must be inferred. This blog post includes free printables so that you can replicate the anchor chart!

Part 2: Introduce Sentence Starters 

After you complete the anchor chart, pass out the bookmark papers to your students, and tell them that the two types of questions require slightly different sentence starters. 
These free text evidence bookmarks remind students that some answers are explicitly stated, and some answers must be inferred. This blog post includes free printables so that you can replicate the anchor chart!
The set of five sentence starters on the left is useful when the answer is explicitly stated in the text. The set of five sentence starters displayed on the right is especially valuable when students must infer in order to determine the answer. 

Tell students to cut around the outside box and then fold it in half to create a two-sided bookmark. This bookmark can now be used as a reference tool throughout your text evidence unit, and throughout the school year.
These free text evidence bookmarks remind students that some answers are explicitly stated, and some answers must be inferred. This blog post includes free printables so that you can replicate the anchor chart!

Part 3: Practice with a Partner

For the final part of this large group lesson, have students work with a partner. To begin, tell them to quickly decide which of them is Partner A, and which is Partner B. Hand each group a dry-erase board, marker, and eraser. 
1.  Place "The Cobra" passage under your document camera and invite the groups to read it quietly
     to themselves. (I recommend covering the questions for now.)
2.  Tell students that for this passage, Partner A will write on the clipboard while Partner B will 
     handle the bookmarks. 
3.  Display Question #1.
4.  Tell partners to discuss whether it is a "right-there" question or a "stop-and-infer" question and 
     then answer the question.
5.  Partner A should write the answer on the whiteboard. (Students must use one of the sentence 
     starters from the bookmark, as well.)
6.  When all of the groups are done, have them display their answers. Partner A should hold up the 
     whiteboard, and Partner B should hold up the bookmark so that the question type that they
     identified is facing you.
7.  Display Question #2 and repeat steps 4-6.
8.  Display Question #3 and repeat steps 4-6.
Free Text Evidence Passages! Teach students to support their answers by citing text evidence.This blog post includes free printables so that you can replicate the entire lesson with your upper elementary students.

When you have completed the first passage, place the second passage under the document camera and repeat the entire process outlined above. Instruct the partners to switch roles for this new passage. Partner B is now the writer while Partner A is in charge of handling the bookmarks.
Free Text Evidence Passages! Teach students to support their answers by citing text evidence.This blog post includes free printables so that you can replicate the entire lesson with your upper elementary students.

TEXT EVIDENCE... MORE PRACTICE OPPORTUNITIES!

In case you are interested, I have created a number of Text Evidence teaching resources that are available in my TpT store. Just click on the images to take a closer look at them!


Teaching students to find text evidence to support their answers is an important reading strategy and test taking strategy. Use this Text Evidence PowerPoint to teach your students this important skill.

Teaching students to find text evidence to support their answers is an important reading strategy and test taking strategy. This post contains a FREE text evidence lesson!  It includes text evidence sentence starters, a free reading passage, and other text evidence activities.


Thank you for stopping by!
~Deb


Pin for future reference:
Teach students to support their answers by citing text evidence.This blog post includes free printables so that you can replicate the entire lesson with your upper elementary students.

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