Tying Text Features into Science and Social Studies


Are you studying text features?  Here is a simple way to tie text features and reading strategies into science or social studies.  Not rocket science, but a lot of bang for your buck!

Find a science on social studies text- big book preferably.  Start the lesson by looking at the table of contents and creating questions using the table of contest.  This accomplishes two things. 1.) It teaches students to use text features to create questions- which are important for setting a purpose for reading. 2.) If you use the DRA kit as an assessment this is required with text starting at the end of second grade.  My itty bitties are clueless at first unless this has been explicitly taught. 

Then look through the first chapter (or small selection of text- the chapters in this social studies big book are only about 4 pages) of the book, flipping pages so students can preview each page.  Ask students to note what text features they see on each page.  Have students turn and share with a partner. Share with the whole group and LABEL each text feature with a post-it note.  Then examine each text feature, reading captions, and modeling thinking aloud how they help the reader.  I think this is where I ran out of time and picked up with the following the next day!!!

The little red arrow points to the labeled post it note!  You can see a stack of other post it notes behind it marking the other pages!!

Review the questions created.  Show students the HEADING of the first chapter.  Show how the table of contents and the chapter heading are related (this goes over some of my guy's heads!!).  Have students look at the brainstormed list of questions.  Ask students to share with a partner which questions will most likely be answered in the first chapter.  These required kids to reason using the heading, but scaffolds because you already started with the chapter titles (if that makes sense).    Circle the questions that will most likely be answered. Read the chapter and then look at the question.  Have students answer the questions and record on the chart.

Rinse and repeat for each chapter you would like to teach.

It may not be the most fascinating lesson ever, but it was SO easy to plan and my kids were with me EVERY step of the way.  They were really interested in the historical people we study in Georgia and the turn and share with partner broke up a lot of the sit and get.  We turn and talk a BUNCH.

If you are looking for resources for teaching nonfiction text features I just finished my new pack.  It is on sale right now with the big Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale! Don't forget to use the code CMT12 for an extra 8% off!


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Daily Math Pages (Freebie!)


I am lucky to work in a district that believes in using rubrics and standards based reporting.  We are given a pacing calendar of everything that must be taught in a quarter.  However, not everything has to be formally reported on the report card.  In grades k-3 we score on scale of 1 (limited progress), 2 ( making some progress) or a 3 (mastery).  Teachers are given a rubric that describes exactly (for the most part) what is a 3 in each area.  For example, exactly what is a 3 in addition and subtraction.  It is a blessing.

I have taken the rubric and turned it into a Daily Math Page (creative name, I know!!).  I look at the rubric and divided a page into the same amount of text boxes.  Each text box is an area on the report card.  Students get a packet for the week and complete one page each independent period (usually 3-4 times per week). The last page of the packet is a copy of the report card rubric.  I grade each text box with a  1,2, or 3 (since each text box is a different area in math) and then score the rubric at the end.  

Here is an example of the page:


While I do record the grades to show progress I will NOT average the scores together  for the report card at the end of the nine weeks.  Our district believes (as I do) in reporting what the child is able to do at the END of the grading period rather than averaging scores.  Averaging scores punishes the child that might take a bit longer to master a skill  but still mastered it at the end of the grading period.  I am recording more to note if students do or do not retain skills.  THAT is always enlightening!

Granted, I have only done this system for a week but I already love it!  It shows VERY clearly for parents the child's weaknesses in math- more so than random worksheets with each worksheet being a different topic.  Parents can really see the big picture.  

I will say that many of the skills we teach are recycled so it is easy to do this.  Whatcha think?

About ready to get your shop on???  Tons of great deals Monday and Tuesday!!!


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Addition and Subtraction without Regrouping Freebie

I have talked about my love from Grab and Go games in the past.  Here is another version of a Grab and Go game for math groups I will use after the break to watch how students add and subtract without regrouping.  I love how easily these games work and how the kids LOVE them!!!



Actually I won't do it.  My partner teacher is doing this with her groups.  We have changed up our math instruction (again).

We divided the class into three groups.  One group will be with her learning how to add and subtract.  That is her only goal for the quarter.  I am in charge of teaching the rest ( geometry, fractions, place value, measurement).  She is REALLY good at explaining addition and subtraction and we decided to capitalize on that.  We figured we can meet more often with kids and cover more concepts in the week if we do it this way.  The one group NOT meeting with a teacher completes a Daily Math page (I will share this one day- like Monday!) and then can play a game with a partner if available or alone if a partner is not available.

Does that make sense?

Click here for this great pack of FREE math centers, plus get tips and updates from me!



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TpT Sale and a Sneaky Giveaway

I know it has been a million years (or at least it seems) since I have posted but I have a good reason...I really do.  I just can't tell you. Yet.  But I will.  Soon. Pinky promise.

I am trying to get back on the posting wagon, but I am not making any promises on that front. BUT I do have good news.



First bit of good news.  Teachers Pay Teachers is having their HUGE Cyber Monday sale this er, well, Monday. It looks great- many sellers including myself will have their stores 20% and then TpT will take 10% off which somehow makes it ... 28% off.  I have no idea how that math works but people much smarter than me have explained it many times and I just nod my head and smile and ask them to pass the cookies. Just don't forget to use the code- CMT12!!

Michelle over at The 3am Teacher is hosting a lovely link up.

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I wanted to highlight a couple of my  favorites that WILL be on sale.
1.  My BRAND spankin' new pack (this is that second thing!!)
I am so proud of this guy.  The description is miles long of details  but let me just say it is packed with 50 pages of nonfiction text features goodies.  I am also giving away 2 free copies on my Facebook page by tonight if you want to clicky right over :)


Another favorite is my Christmas Vocabulary unit.  LOVE the crafts.  Since we teach up to the Friday before Christmas (I am already shakin' in my boots and praying for snow, which never happens in Georgia but still...) it might help keep kids engaged until the end (or close).
Please note that the super cute craft with the grouch green guy?  It had to be removed.  Apparently LOTS went around with copyright infringement and I don't want the good doctor (I am afraid to even type his name.  Maybe he is HE THAT MUST NOT BE NAMED guy?  Nah.) to take my house.  I am sure you understand.  I did replace it with another, not nearly as cute craft, but cute.  So sorry :(.

Are you ready to start buying?  My wish list is FULL and I am ready to charge (just don't tell my husband!).


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Flash Freebie: Division


Flash Freebie from now until Sunday morning!

Basic Division Tic-Tac-Toe Game!

Here is a description:
This is a math game that uses the tic-tac-toe format to reinforce basic division. Students will practice division with word problems with basic division facts. The only materials needed to play are a pocket chart and the provided game cards.
 This 10 page file includes
 *cover sheet
 *teacher direction
 *student directions
 *9 division word problem cards
 * one sheet of 6 o cards
 * one sheet of 6 x cards
 * thank you page
 * credit page

I would appreciate any ratings if you chose to download!  Thank you!

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