Differentiating Reading Goals in the Classroom

As teachers, we all want to promote lifelong reading.  That's a given.  How we DO that as teachers, grade levels, and schools tends to vary.


Developing Point of View with Mentor Texts

One of my absolute FAVORITE reading strategies to teach is Point of View.  Students really begin to think deeper about literature!  Understanding character is the building block to so many other skills.

I love...just LOVE entering the 2nd grading period of the school year!  We start to really delve into books and have the BEST book talks!  I generally begin a standard using our basal reader then expose my children to as many mentor texts as I can.  I certainly have my favorites, but each year I happen upon a few new ones to share my my kids.

I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff is such a CUTE story!  This a a GREAT text to not only support characters with different point of views, but it lends itself nicely to Persuasive Writing!  In this story,  Alex wants to have his friend's pet iguana after he moves away.  The story unfolds as Alex & his mom exchange letters to each other.  

Creating anchor charts together is a great way to model graphic organizers--like simple T-charts.  Hmm--do you see some comparing and contrasting going on???

Doreen Cronin's "Diary of a _____" series are great fun, as well! If your school has access to Tumblebooks, any 1:1 classroom can have a class set of Diary of a Fly and Diary of a Spider.  Perfect for some quick Lit Circles or Guided Reading! 
Devin Scillian's Memoirs of a  Goldfish and Memoirs of a Hamster bring in the point of view of house pets!  There is a great video available on You tube, too!  Great resource to use for your D5 centers to Listen to Reading.
Another favorite in our classroom is Stellaluna.  Story Online also have a read aloud for your children whole group or Listen to  Reading.

The absolute ULTIMATE point of view mentor test is Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg.  This selection is also in our basal reader.  Lucky us!  I like to read it aloud without showing them the pictures.  Only after I have read the page do I display the picture.  Pretty quickly they see that there is no forest, mountains, or brown lake.  They get so excited trying to predict what the ants are describing! There's a pretty neat free resource online that you might like to use with this.  You can find it HERE.  All of your CCSS are linked up for you, too!

Need a collection of graphic organizers?  Here's another great link for you!  

Story and characters are labeled for you in a familiar organizer each time!  I plan to put these in a Reading Center, along with the books for my students to read during Read to Self.  I can't wait to see how they grasp the concept and OWN it over time!

You can find organizers for:
  • Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
  • Miss Nelson is Missing by James Marshall
  • The Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume (Boy! Did my kids have opinions about THAT one! Amazing point of views from a brother and sister.)
  • The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill
  • Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
  • Rotten Ritchie and the Ultimate Dare by Patricia Polacco
  • The Sneeches, The Cat and the Hat, Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Seuss
I hope this collection of mentor texts will get you MORE than inspire to dig into and love exploring Point of View in your classroom!


All I Want for Black Friday is….

Hi sweet friends!  I'm only a day and a half into my Thanksgiving Break, and I am LOVING this time to get refreshed!  AND…..get all of my lists GOING!  I've got 
  • Grocery lists (Low Country Boil for our alternative Thanksgiving dinner this year) and…
  • My online shopping lists are going by the DAY!  I'm al title addicted to Jane.com right now.
  • My Back-to-School lists to squeeze in all of the academics before  Benchmark Testing & have some fun along the way!

So, I was super excited to join in the FABULOUS ladies at The Primary Pack a super fun linky!

Here goes!
I've got some BIGGIES on my list this year!  
I'm really hoping to gift MYSELF with a new laptop!  I've worked SUPER hard this year to help with the extras for my  TWO kids in college!  I've been using my school-issued Mac Air…which is a DREAM, but teachers do not have Admin rights!  It is so frustrating!  AND….I might have filled it up by linking up my Google Drive to it.  Just maybe…..
I'm also hoping  that my sweet hubs will catch the hints I've been dropping about some Hunter Boots for this winter.  I may live in Alabama, but honey…it gets cold and just stays WET!  Our parking lot always seems to have several inches of water.  I've already had to change my shoes and wear slippers in my classroom TWICE and it's only November.  Dear daughter says they're kind of heavy' heavy but…Hey!  won't that my my steps on my Fitbit WORTH  more??  I just love how cozy and SASSY they look!
Do you think he'll take the hints????  Any helpful advice?

The TOP two products on my list are these two beauties!  
I've joined a new team this year, and they really love doing a huge unit on Tall Tales!  Can not WAIT!  I already have Rachel Lamb's awesome unit, but I think this set will complement that one perfectly!  Hope King is super talented!
My class this year is just WAY too pokey with the cutting and pasting in our math INBs this year.  We just finished up the addition set of this No-Cut series by Teach Clubhouse, and it was just perfect!  Now…I'm hoping to snag a sale!  I'm pretty certain some CLIP ART will wind up in my final purchases, too.  Oy!  The addiction!

Click the image to find this in my store!
Now is the perfect time to prep for those three final weeks of the school year before Winter Break!  I think  you'd love this set I used in my classroom last year!  You can read about how I put it together last year HERE.  My kids went bananas over the little gift bags!  How sweet is THAT!  I loved setting them out and having purposeful centers that reviewed some key skills.  We were hitting fractions pretty hard when I snapped this picture---the Freezing Fractions and Fraction Frenzy task cards are part of other task card sets.

If you use Reading Street and haven't stumbled upon these, I'm about to make your life a bit easier!
Click the image to see all of my Reading Street Interactive Notebooks & Focus Wall Posters
I absolutely love INBs, and the set I created to use in my classroom has been SO well received my by sweet TpT friends!  I completed 3rd grade last year and am creating 4th grade THIS year!
They come in a paper saving format with two per page!  Definitely a plus for me!  Makes it so much easier to use my pretty paper, too!

So many of my pages are versatile enough that you can use them with ANY reading passage--not just the basal reader pages!  I just love the structure of having a routine that includes three elements each and every week:

  • Comprehension Skill
  • Vocabulary Skill
  • Selection Vocabulary
My Focus Walls for 3rd grade Reading Street provide a "One & Done" set up that allows you to switch out each week in a snap!

Hope you have a WONDERFUL holiday sweet friends!