October 25, 2015

A week 7 round-up

We had a terrific and busy week last week! 
As I predicted, we ran out of time.  I wanted to spend some extra time with the kids focusing on thin and thick questions as they relate to the stories we read. I wasn't sure everyone fully understood the difference. 

We came up with our own kind of formula for differentiating between the two.  We decided that thin questions are those questions that don't really help you understand the story any better.  They're kind of like, "Who cares" questions.  Thick questions, on the other hand, really help you to interact more fully with the text. Once you get your answer to a thick question, you might even start piecing the plot together or be really excited to get back to the book as soon as you can.  

We're using a story I wrote myself as a mentor text over the next few weeks. It's called "This is NOT a Halloween Story" and I wrote it to fulfill a number of curriculum expectations all at once.  It was a hit last year and my students this year seem to be enjoying it as well!  

If you read the excerpt from the story below and then the questions that follow, you'll see that some questions would lead to useful information and others are more of those "nice to know, but that doesn't really help me" kind of questions. Click on the picture to enlarge it.  
Why do they like cheese and crackers?
What kind of car does Victor's father drive?
How do you play flashlight tag?
These questions are important, but they won't really help the reader better understand the text or interact more fully with it. 

Questions such as: 
Why do the kids play outside at 3:00 in the morning? and What happened to Victor?  will provide answers that help the reader make predictions, meaning, connections and think about the story on a higher level.  We call these thick questions.  

We're going to continue our work with this story for the next week or so because there are many rich reading, writing and word-study activities that can we can pull from it. 




In Math, we spent a lot of time last week talking strategies and key words. We also reviewed fact families, which are also called "related facts".  We'll have one more day of review on Monday for the Math test and then I think students will be good to go on Tuesday.  

We plum ran out of time for Fun Friday (I know...who does that?) but we're really excited for *drumroll please* Marvelous Monday!  ←great name huh?  

I have a super-cute pumpkin craft to do with the kids and it's going to be a great way to start our week!  Be sure to come back and check out the photos!  

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