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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Teaching with ACTUAL Novels All Year Long




















The following two pages are found in all of my units. I thought I would end them to the end of this post to show you the evolution of how I have changed as a teacher and as a teacher who teaches with novels. 



Thank you so much for sticking with me! 

Martina


Some people have asked about how I do vocabulary and more information on The Socratic Seminar. This is how our pages looked in my 6th grade classroom. Post on vocabulary and seminars are coming soon! I promise! 



Picture of my Socratic seminars. They talk, I write. That's seriously it! 





20 comments:

  1. I am very intrigued. I've always wanted to teach reading this way, but I never knew how to make it work. I've never heard of the Literacy Studio and want to find out more. Do you have a suggested place for me to start reading about the Literacy STudio? I teach 4th grade and would love to try this out. Do all the children have a copy of the novel? (Sorry if you answered this in your post. I want to go back and read your post again more carefully). Thank you for sharing!!!

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    1. People always ask me about Literacy Studio, and I have honestly never really found any information in terms of professional development, even in the form of books. My old teaching partner was trained in it, and had all the resources. She showed me a lesson she had created and we just built it off of that. I formed my ideals and direction based on that. I have researched the Socratic Seminar simply by Googling :). In my class, all students do have a copy of the novels because I really want them to cite textual evidence, however, we have made do with 1/2 class sets. I honestly haven't done it as a read aloud type lesson, but I really do think it could work because it really forces them to think and have deep conversations. For fourth grade I would just make sure that by the end of the year, that they have at least one unit where they have their own books so they can get in the habit of citing textual evidence for fifth grade and middle school!

      Hope that helps and thank you so much for your response.

      Martina

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  2. I am really impressed with all the work you have put into these bundles. I am trying to decide which products to purchase. I teach ELA to 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders. I have each class for 90 minutes each day. Right now I am considering option 2 for 5th grade (to use with 5th and 6th graders) and then maybe buying individual reading units for 7th and 8th graders as needed. I have limited money and need to use it wisely. At the moment I have no classroom library. My plan is to borrow loads and loads of books from the local library. I am new to the area and still have not checked out our local library. I am hoping they have an incredible young adult inventory. Also, does each student have a copy of the read aloud novel? What if I use the 5th grade bundle with all grades this year and then for the next three years add a grade level until I have individual plans for each grade. Do you think the 5th grade titles are too young for 8th graders? Thanks!

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    1. Thank you so much! I think purchasing option 2 for 5th and 6th grade would work great! I would do the same thing in your situation. I am working on 7th and 8th grade specific units now. They will be posted as the year goes on (because I am teaching 7th and 8th grade ELA this year). I will be honest and say that some of the units aren't my favorite because they are "classics" that I am required to teach because of my curriculum. I will still post some of my favorites though that I plan to teach (Freak the Mighty, A Long Walk to Water, The Finest Hours, The Crossover, and Booked). That being said, I really think that all the units would work in grade 5-8. A few might be too young, but Freak the Mighty, Ungifted, Titanic, Prisoner B-3087, Al Capone, and The Giver are all books I would do in grades 5th-8th. If anything you might just purchase The Maze Runner and a Long Walk to Water (only 6th grade units) for your 7th and 8th graders just because they are a little more complex and aren't in the 5th grade bundle!

      For the books, all of my students do have a copy of the read aloud novel. I highly recommend recomend that format so that they can cite textual evidence. It can work, but it honestly is just more difficult. I highly recommend Donor's choose to try to at least get one or two sets to start! That's how I've gotten almost all of my class sets! Hope that helps and than you so much for your response!

      Martina!

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    2. Thanks so much, Martina! I definitely plan on using Donors Choose to get some novel sets. I think I have finally narrowed down what to buy to start off the year. I still have one question, do you have a pacing guide for 6th grade that lists the resources you use for grammar, writing etc. like you do for the other grades? Do you think I can use the writing units from Appleslices, that you recommend for 5th grade, with 6th graders or do you suggest something else?

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    3. Keep us posted on the 7/8 units. I did get a class set of Maze Runner so o can start with that this year. I'm going to share this with with my Language Arts CoTeacher (I'm Reading) when we start our planning brainstorming on Monday.

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  3. When will the 6th grade Curriculum be available? Is that the same thing as if I do option 2? I just got moved from 4th grade to 6th grade with no curriculum for 6th. Eek!

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    1. The curriculum is close, but yes, option 2 is basically the exact same thing (and kind of better in a way because you just pay for the units in the growing bundle now and get the new ones as I add them). You will hair purchase the bundle and the ccss units separately but the pacing guide is still in there. Also.... So jealous you don't have curriculum! People think I'm crazy but my dream job is 6th grade self-contains with no curriculum! You will love it! 6th is my favorite!

      Thank you! Muah!

      Martina

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    2. Thanks so much! I'm a kindergarten teacher who has a passion for 4th grade, so I'm mostly just drowning in thoughts of, "What the hell am I doing!" Hahahaha! Excited to give your novels a whirl.

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    3. I guess my answer to that would be yes and no. They are aligned to the 5th grade CCSS standards in the units. That being said, when I have adapted some of my units from 5th to 6th (Freak the Mighty, Harry Potter, Ungifted) They are probably 80-90% the same. I just go through and make some of the interpretive and guiding questions different to fit RL.3 a little better. So you could essentially take the unit and where is says 5.RL.1 you are still really teaching 6.RL.1. If it was me, I would do it, and feel confident that I am still teaching the 6th grade CCSS. Hope that helps!

      Thanks again!

      Martina

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  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE all your hard work on sharing your curriculum, pacing guides, and how you put it all into place. My school has the teachers split up their ELA (one teacher does reading/vocab and the other does writing/grammar). I will obvious collaborate alot with the other teacher to work on this together, but what are some of your ideas for how to split this up effectively. I would be doing the writing/grammar aspect.

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    1. Thank you so much! It would require some collaboration, but there are a couple ways you could do this. First would be to have the reading/vocabulary teacher to do the reading of the novels and then vocabulary piece in her class. Essentially she would read and have the kids find vocab words, define them using context clues, and then discuss as a class. For your portion I would have them answer the guiding question, do the Socratic Seminar, and then answer the interpretive question as a class (this could all be done in 20-25 minutes in your class). For grammar, I honestly use Lovin Lit's interactive grammar notebook, so that's where the rest of the time could go.

      If you can't work this out with your teaching partner, I honestly think the other option would be to do the lessons just as I do them, where you read, answer the guiding questions, do the Socratic Seminar, and then answer the interpretive. Honestly, I have found that this method helps my students writing abilities more so than their reading because they have to write SO much.

      Hope that helps!

      Thanks again!

      Martina

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  5. I LOVE this so much. I'm moving from 5th to 6th and will have the flexibility to teach through novels (yes!!). I have class sets of many of these books already (double yes!) but some are in the 5th curriculum (Holes, Number the Stars, Watsons) and I have Freak the Mighty (in both curriculum of course). Would you recommend purchasing the 6th bundle and also buying the individual 5th novel studies for the class sets I already have? That way, I could use those units as needed. Or do you think the 5th units will be too young for 6th? I appreciate your thoughts and advice on this!

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    1. Hi! Thank you so much! I went from 5th to 6th last year too! If I could have stayed in 6th grade self-contained forever I would have! LOVED 6th! I think either way would work. Honestly, I just tried to pick some different novels so teachers didn't have to repeat. I would totally teach Holes, Number the Stars, and Watsons in 6th and I will teach Freak the Mighty no matter what grade I teach ha! Honestly, based on the novels you have, it sounds like the 5th grade bundle will be your best bang for your buck and then purchase 6th individual ones (if you even need to). They are not too young at all. In fact, sometimes I think I push the limits of them being too old for 5th (but I don't care ha!). The only BIG difference I noticed from 5th to 6th was that 6th was supposed to focus on plot development more and they were supposed to cite the best evidence instead of just any evidence. Other than that, that standards are VERY similar.

      Hope that helps!
      Thanks again!

      Martina

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    2. Ok, another question! Ha! Some of your 5th grade books are the "traditional" 6th grade novels at my new school. Would they cover 6th grade CCS or not so much?

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    3. Very helpful, thank you!! Can't wait to implement!

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  6. I just purchased your fifth grade growing bundle and I'm so excited to use it this year! I am going into my fifth year teaching, but this is my first year in self contained. In the past I only taught math. I have read through a few of the units and it sounds like you teach vocabulary by stopping and discussing words as you go. Do you teach vocabulary outside of the units? i.e. vocab tests, etc.

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  7. Hi! Thank you so much! I am so excited for you too! I love teaching with novels! So, my vocabulary instruction has really evolved over the last 2-3 years. When I was self-contained 5th, I had a separate 25-30 minute language block every day where I did Spelling and Vocabulary on an alternating schedule. I used Words Their Way for spelling and I used Chalk and Apple's Root Word Morphology program (on TPT). Last year, I didn't have as much time, so I did vocabulary instruction through my novels and through my short stories in my curriculum, and also through my bell ringers. My Bell ringers teach them a root a week and a word a week... No assessment really... They just had to figure out the meanings and we had discussions. For the novels, I used a 4-square planner model. I posted pictures at the bottom of the post (just for you and kind of randomly at the bottom :) so you can see). Sometimes I would pick the words, or sometimes I would tell them to be on the lookout for 4 words. They were NOT allowed to use a dictionary because I wanted them to use context clues! Hope that helps!

    Thanks,

    Martina

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