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Topic: Lesson Ideas, Tips and Tricks

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Subject: Lesson Ideas, Tips and Tricks
Date Posted: 7/14/2008 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 173
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Hi everyone,

I am hoping to start a thread of tips from other teachers.  Think of this thread to as a place to show off one of your genius lessons that you are so proud of and can't believe how well it turned out! lol  We all have at least one of those, right?  Or you can pass on a little tip for organization or set-up or whatever.  We can pick each others' brains!

Please include the subject and grade you teach. 

Subject: Fluency
Date Posted: 7/14/2008 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 173
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Fluency Activity

I am a reading specialist and I work with 3rd and 4th graders

Using a Tic-Tac-Toe board with a wild card in the middle.  Fill in the rest of the squares with the following fluency multiple intelligence activities:

Music Smart- Record yourself reading for one minute.  Listen to your recording and follow along tracking the text.

Picture Smart- Use a highlighter to highlight the groups of words or phrases, change colors at pause points and practice reading.

Body Smart- Read to a mirror and act out the characters.  Remember your reading should sound like the characters are talking.

Self Smart- Think of one thing you could do to improve your fluency and then use it to practice reading.

Word Smart- Write your own paragraph and practice reading your own writing.

Number Smart- Time yourself reading the same thing 3 times.

Nature Smart- Fill in this sentence:  Reading fluently is like a river or a stream because _____________.  Then read like a river.

People Smart- Alternate reading with a partner.

Have students select one, two or three squares to do as homework or as independent work in school.  If a student selects the wild card, then they can substitute it for any other square.

(The Tic Tac Toe board idea comes from a work shop I attended with Ellen Arnold.  She was fabulous BTW.)

Date Posted: 8/11/2008 12:14 AM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2007
Posts: 208
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Have students use highlighters to mark nouns, verbs, etc. in a newspaper

To encourage use of more descriptive language, have them cut out words and phrases from the sports pages of the newspaper that tell that a team won , i. e.  beat, handled, overcame, thrashed, etc.

Have a supply of Trivia questions handy, written on index cards.  When you have a few minutes left over, use them, either for volunteers who play while the others listen or for teams, etc.  You might be surprised the lack of General Information kids don't have today ( your state's capital, the governor, the largest state, inches, feet, dozen, etc.) Of course, you could add questions from your curriculum as well.

For a writing assignment, find the directions for making a hat from newspaper.  Direct the kids as they make their hats and afterwards, instruct them to write a short explanation of how to do it.  Provide a word bank if needed.  This appeals to a wide range of ages and the complexity of the writing can be varied according to ability and age levels.  A good way to teach using a topic sentence, giving details, and then a summarizing sentence, as well as using signal words, such as first, next, then, etc.  It's wonderful for practicing giving oral directions as well when you have a student tell exactly how he make his hat.  There are also several  read aloud books about hats in the school library that could be used along with this activity.

Use noodles as quotation marks on sentences that each student writes.

Find out about Flat Stanley activity if you don't already know about it.  It's great fun.