Sunday, December 2, 2012

Wow! Did You Know??

For the past few weeks, we have been studying expository texts. I refer to them as "expository" texts rather than just general "non-fiction" because it gives a more specific reference to the type of non-fiction we are reading. Anywho, I have been having an absolute blast learning right along with the kiddos!

I have been reading my few fav find, Strategies That Work, and I was reminded that- duh- kids should be directing their learning and asking the questions, not me. It's crazy how we lose sight of the basics when we feel the crunch of stress and testing! The authors of the book provide some great sentence starters to help kids write down the information they learn when they read expository texts. By the way, this book is full of great information. It's a must-read for any reading teacher. A blog post about this book will be coming soon :)

It is true that expository texts provide a wealth of information and can sometimes be hard for kiddos to grasp, and that kids need to understand the importance of text features and how they help readers comprehend, but most importantly- kids need to realize that you can learn so much COOL stuff from reading expository texts!!! At the end of the day, I want my kiddos to crave reading more expository books so they can fill their minds with interesting facts about our world and quench their curiosity.

To stimulate that excitement, and to tie in text features, I created a little recording sheet that my kiddos will be using to record their learning when reading expository texts. Kids use sticky notes in my room to record their learning, but I like the idea of having a central place where all of their thoughts can be stored on one page.

We will use this together as a class when we read a text, but I am also thinking about putting it in a station. It's versatile! I am going to have the kiddos glue the small cards in their reader response journals to serve as prompts for recording their learning and laminate the larger poster for the station and to hang in the room. The note sheet provides a place for the students to record the facts they learned, take note of the text features the author used, as well as record questions they still have about that topic.

If you would like your own copy, click any of the pictures below:

Tomorrow, we are reading about animals and how they use a variety of tools. I can't wait to hear the kids' reactions and read the cool facts they write down!

Now to finish my growing mountain of laundry and get ready for the days ahead. Just a few more weeks until a long, relaxing break! Hang in there!

Have a great week!


  1. Megan, how do you like the toolkit? I read your blog posts about them. Do you feel like they are effective? Our school doesn't have a toolkit, but I have been thinking about looking into it. Would you recommend it??



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