The One and Only Ivan
Writing about Reading (W.A.R.)
I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Teachers College Reading & Writing Project August Institute on Writing. I attended Kate Robert's session on W.A.R.- Writing about Reading. This post is on how it's coming together in my class. If you'd like to see the notes from her session, read my older posts from August.
I have this book on the brain since we're reading it in class. I read The One and Only Ivan aloud during Reader's Workshop and we discuss it. We are working on using post-its to annotate our thinking. I model how to use sentence starters depending on what our focus is. Right now, we're focusing on applying reading strategies. One week we did asking questions, the next we did inferring. Kids have the option of reading Ivan or a book of their choice when reading independently. We use post its to leave bread crumbs for our thoughts. If kids have a copy (uh, I only have one copy in my class- but it is signed by Katherine Applegate!), they put the post its in their book. If they are reading it on the Kindles, they put them in their Reader's Workshop notebook- collected on one page. On Friday, they pull one post it to write long about. It seems to be working well so far. On Tuesday, I'll take some pictures and include them. I'm the worst at taking pictures.
For our close reading work, we do that during our Reading Comprehension block. When I do close reading, I provide the work sheet and model the first few lines. What would I underline and what does it make me think?
The focus question is already there for them and there is space for them to underline or highlight and write their thinking on the right side. When they are underlining, they are noticing text. They may see patterns, ideas and language. Then they need to write about why that stuck out at them. When they finish their annotating, they need to go back and answer the focus question. My close reading unit can be found on TPT. The unit has questions for every chapter and there are close reading worksheets with a gradual release lesson for the more pivotal parts. So far, we have completed one close reading lesson so the operative word here is modeling but I hope they become as proficient as my students were last year!
One thing I have not done yet with these students but Kate brought up was infographics. You can read more about them here. I need to think about them some more...