How to Get Early Readers Responding to Texts

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Once you’ve got your students in a guided reading routine, it's time to have them exploring what they’re reading and completing activities that develop their comprehension skills. This is no small feat when it comes to young readers because their writing skills are generally not developed yet which makes it difficult for them to express themselves independently. In order to set your students up to become comprehension experts, here are some tips and an overview of the order of progression that occurs. 

Step 1: Diverse Verbal Questioning

To begin their reading journey it is essential that students are asked LOTS of diverse questions. This is a great way to help readers develop a large repertoire of comprehension skills, particularly when they aren’t able to articulate their ideas in written form yet. It also gets them thinking about the text and gets them accustomed to responding to it which will be useful in later activities. When using verbal questioning, it is important that stuents are asked a variety of different questions. Questions should go beyond recall knowledge such as "Who is the main character?" and include higher order questions too such as "When have you felt the same way as the main character?" You want students to think critically and most importantly, you want them to connect to what they are reading.

Here are some question ideas:


10 Fun Activities to Teach Adjectives

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Aren't adjectives just so much fun! They are one of the most important parts of speech that you can teach. Why? Because adjectives make writing more meaningful, vivid and interesting. Adjectives are the key to getting students to become accomplished, creative writers. Let me give you an example. Here is a sentence without adjectives:

The bird is in the tree.

And here is a sentence with adjectives:

The baby bird is in the lush, green tree.

See the difference? The second sentence helps you to create a clearer image in your mind and visualize the text more effectively. I've put together a list of engaging ways that you can teach adjectives in your classroom.

10 Fun Activities for Teaching Adjectives
Teaching adjectives does not have to be boring (or full of worksheets). Here are 10 fun ways that you can teach adjectives in your classroom. Many of the activities are free and super simple to set up.

1. What's in the Box?

The best thing about this activity is that it is fun and free! Simply gather some things laying around at home or in the classroom such as an apple, pencil, glue stick, bottle etc. Then, place one of the objects inside a box or bag and choose a student to take a peek. That student describes what is in the box to the rest of the class using adjectives. The remaining students try to guess what the hidden object is by listening to the clues. For example, to describe an apple, students might say that it is round, it is red, it is crunchy, it is sweet.