So bored with summer school...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jun 21, 2011

    I just finished week 2, day 2, and I think we're all ready to be done!

    I have 4th grade (going into 5th) remedial reading. My first class has 9 kids, and my second class has 4 kids (90 minutes for each class). My day typically looks like this:

    -Warm up activity (10 min)
    -Explain independent work (5 min)
    -Guided Reading Groups (45 min)-I meet with 3 groups for 15 minutes each. The rest of the kids are doing Read to Self for 15 minutes and then some other sort of activity. I have a book of Guinness World Record articles with corresponding questions that I have been copying for them to do.
    -Break (5 min)
    -Sharing of some sort (10 min)-Going over Guinness Book article, for example
    -Read aloud (15 min)

    I just feel like everything is so blah and boring. Part of the problem is that I'm a kindergarten teacher teaching 5th-graders, and I really don't know what is age-appropriate for them. I just feel like I want to make things more fun. The thing is, however, it is remedial reading and I do have to provide individualized instruction. So, I'm doing a lot of small-group and one-on-one conferring. While I'm doing that, the other kids have to be doing something, so it has been mostly just independent reading.

    I also feel like I'm maybe not holding them accountable. I work closely with them during small groups and our class read-aloud, but their independent reading time is pretty relaxed. However, I'm worried that they aren't applying their strategies, and I don't know how to keep track of that.

    Gosh, I swear I am NOT cut out for 5th-graders! Any advice is greatly appreciated!
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 21, 2011

    Can you ask them to read for 15 minutes and then journal about something that would apply to the strategy.

    For example: when teaching connections, you might have the students explain a connection in writing.
    When teaching visualizing, you might have them draw the most detailed drawing.

    Maybe your other activity could be creating a group poster on the strategy that they learned. Reading a poem together and then using the strategy and creating something to show their strategy use.
     
  4. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jun 21, 2011

    Can you do journaling with them? Let them read a story about something and then use sentence prompts or reflection questions that they can write journal entries about. It's something that you can grade at home and it also allows for you to write your own thoughts about their thoughts--- its a great bonding experience and helps develop reading and writing skills.
     
  5. teacherhoosier

    teacherhoosier Companion

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    Jun 21, 2011

    I am doing summer school also (not in a teaching capacity per se, but facilitating a computer program-PLATO) at the high school. While the job itself is easy (just monitor the kids and run the occasional report), it is very boring. There are only so many books I can read, and I also spend a lot of time on the forums. I also have a kid that is not going to finish his course-even though we are only halfway through, with the way he is working, he's most likely not going to get it done. I've went to the principal about it, called parents, sat next to him to focus him, but there's not much more I can do-he has to do the work and this is not a class where I teach the subject. I also feel like I am not cut out for high school. I took this job as a favor to the sped ed director (I did it last year with a completely different group of kids), so I don't need the money. I'm kind of regretting my decision, but it's an easy way to earn money..
     
  6. ami6880

    ami6880 Companion

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    Jun 21, 2011

    You could have them journal to a prompt when they are reading such as making connections (text-text, t-self,t-world), how they are feeling about their character, predictions, and so on. I did that during my rotations last year and would give them a few mins after Read to Self. They also could do reading games, vocab work, and listen to reading. Maybe you could switch it up for them on different days.
     
  7. novalyne

    novalyne Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2011

    I'm also doing 5th grade summer school, and within the first few days I was losing them (doing the specific guided practice recommended by the summer school curriculum - too much talking it through and not enough independent/partner work). So I got out the markers and construction paper. Each day, after the guided practice, they do some sort of skills practice. So far they've done Venn Diagrams (compare/contrast), a sequencing activity (I cut the passage apart and they glued it back in order using logical sequencing), fact/opinion charts, cause/effect charts, etc. The only reason that I mention the construction paper and markers is that when they are producing something that I can staple to the bulletin board, they are much more enthusiastic and on-task.
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 21, 2011

    I don't have any suggestions for 5th Graders (I'm not cut out for those older kids either). But if it makes you feel any better I'm teaching my grade level and still bored to tears! We go all day straight-no break-the kids even eat lunch in the rooms. I only have 9 kids in each group (it just makes the day go so much more slowly)and switch halfway through to do the same lesson a 2nd time (not used to that being self-contained throughout the school year).

    I usually have fun with summer school but for some reason not this year.
     
  9. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Jun 21, 2011

    What about doing some Readers Theatre. Maybe they could present their play to some of the kids at summer school.
     
  10. MrsLilHen

    MrsLilHen Comrade

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    Jun 21, 2011

    I'd try readers theater...
    What about theme weeks or days? Like a beach party day, summer sports, water olympics... Then on those days the activities could be related to the theme... They could read on towels....listen to sports poems etc.

    Also... Check out super speed reading and the crazy professor game at whole brain teaching... Those would liven things up!
     
  11. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jun 21, 2011

    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.

    It sounds like I need to make better use of the (empty) reading response journals I put together for them.

    I FINALLY got ahold of the IT guy today, so my 6 mini laptops should be working tomorrow. I also bought 2 bananagram games today, which I think they will really enjoy. Anything to mix it up and little bit. (BTW, It's comforting to hear that I'm not the only one bored with summer school!)

    It would be fun to do a reader's theater with them, but I'm honestly not too familiar with reader's theater. I have looked at some scripts, but they are all meant for large groups. Like I mentioned, one of my classes has 9 kids, and one has only 4. Any suggestions for reader's theater resources for smaller groups of kids?

    Thanks again for all of your help!
     
  12. MrsLilHen

    MrsLilHen Comrade

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    Jun 22, 2011

    What about mlti voice poems? I have a few books of those... Poems for two voices... My 6th graders love them. I'll try to fond the links.
     
  13. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jun 22, 2011

    Can you have them play Superspeed 1000? Google it and print it out.

    I did that with my class this year and they LOVED it and begged for it! We would do 4 rounds, meaning each child started twice. I gave them a partner, and they stayed with that partner the whole time.

    Another thing I had them do was work with a reading partner and do fluency passages for 1 minute with that partner. They would trade. It would take about 5 minutes altogether, including recording the change. They did the same passage for 4 days.

    With only 4 kids, it seems like they are spending a lot of time doing independent work, when they really could be relying a lot more on a partner, or a teacher for practice or instruction.

    For Bananagrams, one thing I did with that game is have the kids use ONLY the list of words I provided to make the words. I chose the more sophisticated words (for my 3/4 class) from the high frequency list. This way, they didn't make up words or misspell them. They got practice spelling those high frequency words.

    Even with 9 kids, I don't think you should have to do true guided reading. It's SUCH a small group. I would do 3 kids in each group, and then have the other kids either doing the independent practice or a game with the other kid. The problem is, if it's remedial, they probably need more focused activities than simply reading and responding. They aren't going to get the most out of their time with that.
     
  14. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jun 22, 2011

    Well, I'm glad I spent $30 on Bananagrams! I just did it with my first class, and it was very difficult for them. I heard "I'm bored" about 10 times in 15 minutes. :(
     
  15. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jun 22, 2011

    Did you try it with lists of words to choose from?

    You could even use "silly" words so at least they are reading them. Nonsense words are great because they have to decode them. Have them make nonsense words from a list, then at the end of the game, they have to read them.

    The nonsense words should follow regular phonics/spelling patterns, or if the kids are ready, have regular affixes:

    specdupulous
    depructment
    revisatate

    etc.

    And WORSE CASE SCENARIO, you can teach your kindergartner's to use the word tiles from bananagrams for making CVC words, their names and things like that.
     

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