Friday, March 9, 2012

Thinking About My Thinking Cap

So many things to share!

In my immediate procrastination upon sitting down to blog, I had to share that I love this blog! Hope King is fantastic; but even beyond that, the post that is linked is such a great elaboration on what I attempted last week...I will have to do that next year.

We completed our own contraction surgery in class during Week 2 of reviewing for our summative test....which was fun and engaging and such, but we didn't have surgeon masks and supplies. Next time. Next time.

I teased before that we have been discussing metacognition in regards to reading comprehension. School-wide, teachers have taught lessons to show that "Real Reading" is a combination of both thinking and reading. This leads to discussions that cause the students to really consider how they are thinking about what they read, and how they are responding to the literature. All of these ideas are listed and discussed in this book.

Most things are scripted, but you kind of run with what you've got when your kiddos are listening. Mine enjoyed it so much when we got started that they ask to do "reading salad" nearly every day during our read aloud.

Before I get into the posters, let me first explain that I didn't feel like I had an ideal place to hang the posters that go with this concept. Then, let me also explain that the only tape with any lasting quality that I have in my room is neon orange duct tape.


Having completed the introductory lesson to metacognition, together you create a venn diagram that shows students they must think about what they are reading to really get something out of it. The salad activity illustrates that by using different colored papers to represent "text" and "thinking," and you put one or the other into a big bowl if you do it while you're reading to them...another demonstration of the same concept: You have to think to really read.

All of this connects into several Thinking Stems that we use to encourage metacognition. I positioned these posters on my back window, which just happens to be behind me when we are on the carpet.....hint hint. "Hey kids! Look at me! I am the way you are supposed to start your sentences!" The thinking stems are fantastic! We have been integrating them into nearly everything that we read....this also includes using them in sentence frames during science and social studies lessons. As a whole, it is incredible to see some of the thinking that comes out of their shiny brains sometimes!

We have been using white boards to take notes using these thinking stems/sentence frames while we read our Scholastic News these days. I put a frame on the board (ex: I'm thinking __________________, because I'm noticing _________________. or I'm noticing _________________, because I'm seeing ________________) and have them fill it in using their own words. Some, like my ELLs, write shorter sentences, while others fill up the board with their notes.

Finally, for today, back to my poster-hanging implements: Binder Clips and Duct Tape!
Oh, how I make my father proud! All the daily uses of duct tape in my classroom are amazing :) This was my particular favorite.

As I said, I have limited space for posters where they will be easily accessible for regular reference. Also, I wanted to be able to move and change the posters as we add to them. For instance, we have been using a lot of opinion phrases these days,

but I may want to add our inferencing poster on top when we do that activity. This also helps with some of the storage issues that I have in my portable classroom.

I have read about using binder clips with command hooks to store sentence strips or bulletin board borders, but I didn't have any command hooks handy (where are they when you need them) and I needed a place right away. To the duct tape! Who cares if it is neon orange!?

That's that! My excitement of weeks and weeks consists of metacognition and duct tape. Oh, and Pi Day....but that would be too much for one post. Perhaps I will Pi Blog this week....that would be impressive of me! In my blogger defense, it was report card time, so I sort of lost track of life outside of a correcting pen and my classroom for a while.