April Showers bring…

Well, I may have learned this little rhyme in the United States, but it still holds true here in Indonesia. It’s been raining like crazy this month, but rain isn’t the only thing that April has provided. It also has given me two great themes to exploit for my Wednesday Reading Journal.*

How my students help the earth...

EARTH DAY: Last week we were wrapping up our theme “How The World Works”, with a focus on energy. One of the things we learned about was how we could save energy in our daily lives and since Sunday was Earth Day I decided to do a short craft activity that connected Earth Day to saving energy. After a short reading comprehension that talked about “celebrating Earth Day every day” my students used their Earth Day vocabulary in a fun word search to reinforce spelling and word recognition. Then we talked about ways we could help the earth—specifically by saving energy.

Closing the door when the air conditioning is on is a great way to save energy, especially here in Sumatra!

After our brainstorming session my kids wrote their idea down to be displayed in a special craft project. I found this incredible Earth Day “craftivity” via Fun 2 B in First! My kids love any activity that involves coloring and so this was the perfect combination of reading, writing and coloring.

NATIONAL POETRY MONTH: I realize that national, in this case, refers to America, but I am American so I decided to extend it to my classroom. In an effort to get my kids thinking creatively while still focusing on simple sentences, nouns, adjectives and verbs, we read cinquain poems. I chose to use a form that focuses on the number of words rather than syllables using the following pattern:

Line 1: a one -word title, a noun (a person, place, thing or animal)

Line 2: two adjectives (words that describe the thing)

Line 3: three – ing verbs (doing words that end in -ing such as running, jumping, yelling)

Line 4: a phrase (or sentence about the noun)

Line 5: a synonym for your title, another noun (another word for your title, rename your noun)

Using poems gleaned (with permission) from Squidoo I created the following reading page that the students read together before digging into the process of writing their own cinquain poems. We’re still in the brainstorming phase but I promise to share some of their poems when they are complete.

Cinquain Poems reading page PDF: Cinquain Poems_about

*A few notes about the Wednesday Reading Journal:

  • I started the journal as a way to incorporate additional reading into my students’ weekly activities while creating physical work that would track their progress and give them something at the end of the semester that they could be proud of.
  • Work that goes into the journal is actually completed throughout the week, but the main activity is on Wednesday (hence the name).
  • Every Monday students are given a home reading log where they record any reading that they do at home and they return it the following week. Completed logs go into the journal.  Home Reading Journal PDF: Reading Log
  • Every Wednesday the students are given a reading in addition to some kind of activity that connects to the reading assignment. The activity might be as simple as being word detectives and searching for parts of speech (most recently we searched for verbs) or a multi-week activity like the recent finger puppet drama. Any paper activities and copies of readings are added to the journal.
  • Every Friday we have spelling tests comprised of sight words and words grouped by sound (ie. -ow, -ay, -ick, -ock…). These, along with their accompanying reading comprehensions, are also included in the journal. (I use these great weekly lists from K12Reader)
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