Friday, March 8, 2013

What a Great Way to End the Week - With Animals in the House!

I am sooo proud of my kiddos today.  They did an amazing job in reading today.  We have started using the Making Meaning program in our room as a pilot to see how it's going to work for us next year.  The program not only teaches reading skills, but works on social skills as well.  This week, we've really been working on building on others' comments during discussions.  All week I've been trying to get them to talk to each other (as in, "I agree with you, Sally.  I also think..." or "I disagree.  I think...") and they've really only been talking to me.  Well, today it all came together.  We were reviewing the vocabulary from this week (delighted, rapidly, timid, and bold).  They gave the kids the following scenario:  Bridget is in art class and is painting a picture for her mother.  She wants to give it to her mom after school.  Should she paint rapidly? The students talked about this with their shoulder partner and then shared their opinion with the group.

Of course, once one person shared their opinion ("She should not paint rapidly because she will mess up), everyone agreed with him.  So over and over I hear the same thing.  Then, magic happened.  My sweet little quiet one says in her sweet, quiet voice, "I disagree.  I think if she doesn't paint rapidly, she won't get it done and then she won't be able to give it to her mom."  Then, someone else said, "I know what you mean, but I think she should paint slowly because otherwise she'll mess up."  AWESOME!

Then, we read this book (which is great, by the way):
In the story, the boy has a great time imagining what would happen if a bunch of animals came inside.  As we are reading, the kids are using the vocabulary we've been working on all week.  I heard things like: "He looks delighted!  I know that because he has a big smile on his face."  "I think his sister is timid.  See how she's hiding behind him?"  The story repeats, "Oh what a terrible mess we would make."
Then, in the story, the animals go up to the boys room and start taking his toys and painting on his wall.  My kids notice a difference and I hear comments like, "Oh...I see that the boy doesn't look so delighted anymore."  Then, one of my little girls says, "The words changed.  Now it says, "Oh what a terrible mess THEY would make."  This led into a discussion of how some stories have a turning point where the attitudes or ideas of characters change.  We then discussed why this is the turning point in the text. 
On the next page in the story, the rhinos are watching tv and someone notices that they are watching Arthur.  When I asked them why Arthur was on tv (I was thinking because Marc Brown is the illustrator), one of my little boys says, "Because Arthur is always getting himself in trouble and this little boy has gotten himself into trouble with all these animals!"  Wow - really?
After the lesson, the kids went off to do independent reading time and I ran across the hall to tell my buddy how awesome the lesson went today.  When I came back (2-3 minutes), you could have heard a pin drop and this is what I saw:

All in all, a pretty good way to end the week!

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