Sunday, September 27, 2015

READING THANGS - Schema: Our Mental File

You read that title right. I'm about to post about READING!!

This year, I'm teaching reading to my homeroom (along with math and science to my homeroom and my partner's homeroom). I'm LOVING it BUT I've been math/science only for the past 3 years and it's taking me a while to find my reading groove...

I wanted to share a couple lessons (but I'm tired so I'll post the other another time- lol) I did the first few weeks of school that I loved, my students loved and I'm definitely going to do again next year. I'm going to try and set this entry like a lesson plan so you can see all the components!

Morning Message: I asked my students to use their schema to write two things they know about owls on a sticky note. Side note: My morning message is a message I write on my white board and students read and respond to (usually on a sticky note) as they trickle into the classroom.

Morning Meeting (on carpet): This is where I introduced what schema was to my kids. We checked out the anchor chart I talked about how our schema grows and changes as we learn new things. The kiddos give me their sticky notes on owl facts and I read them aloud (well.. most of them), then we discussed the similarities and differences on our owl schema. I then put the sticky notes on the anchor chart.

Read Aloud: I handed out another sticky note (a different color) and introduced the book we're reading, A Perfect Place for an Elf Owl. I let my students know that their schema on owls will grow and change as we read, and I wanted them to write down two new facts they're going to store in their schema. Side note: This book is so great! It has a cute story and is illustrated by first graders (adorable) and is a fictional story with non-fiction paragraphs on different types of owls on each page.

Discussion: After reading, the students talked & talked about their new learning. I then asked students to pass up their sticky note and we added them to our anchor chart. I pointed out how specific our new schema was, and how a lot of people chose different facts to write down. This is where we talked about how everyone's schema is different.

On my anchor chart, I had a small file folder that says, "Our mental file". I told my students our brain is our mental file - it's where I, and they, store everything I know. I forgot to take a pic of the inside of my file, but here's what I wrote: Colorado, fourth grade and cats. We discussed my schema and students were able to add in their connections (their schema). I then dismissed them back to their desks.

Activity: I passed out mini file folders to all my students. I gave them a minute to think about three things from their schema that they'd consider themselves experts on. Then we started our mental files! I wrote down my three expert topics from my schema (Colorado, fourth grade and cats) and then I expanded on those things by providing three specific details about those topics. Then the students started on their mental files! Once the kiddos were finished, I gave them time to look at other student's mental files so we could share our schema.

This activity was SO FUN! And their mental files turned out so cute they're still hanging in my room. :)

What activities do you use for schema? I'd love to hear about them!

1 comment:

  1. Love your mini file folders. Did you make or buy them? :)