Hey everyone! Lindsey here…
Have you ever felt like Alexander from Alexander’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? That was my day…I even considered moving to Australia…until I remembered the big bugs and Great White Sharks that live there and then I thought…mmmmm…maybe not.
So here I am, trying to get myself out of a grumpy mood by telling you about our new passage set AND the reason we have made these sets.
We work at a VERY diverse school…primarily Spanish. Which means we have a wide variety of student levels because we have students at different levels of learning English. On any given year, I begin with a range of 11-15% of my kids in tier 3, or significantly below grade level. This averages out to be about 4-6 kiddos. At the same time I usually have 6-8 kids in tier 1, or on grade level. The rest fall in between…enter our passage sets. I have been looking for a way to teach all the kiddos the same concept….at the same time….whaaattt?!?!?!? CRAZY! Also, we were trying to focus on vocabulary which is SUPER important for our kiddos learning English, and all the ones who aren’t. Now maybe you have kiddos at different levels and have some great strategies for teaching a diverse population, believe me I am all EARS!!! I LOVE to hear other teachers wisdom because I need ALL I can get! But for now, this is what we have come up with.
Here are some of my kiddos working on our Owls passage.
These students are working on level D/E.
Now these next kiddos are working on a level H/I. Notice that they are both working on the SAME questions!!! Let me say that again…THE SAME QUESTIONS!! With these passages you can have them answering the same questions, I know I just said it again, while reading AT their level.
The reason I love this is because the students are all getting the same information and answering the same questions AND can talk about the same topic, all while using the same facts! This is a life-saver for me.
We also wanted to use these passages to help the students gain some vocabulary on the topics.
These students are working on matching up the definitions to the words. Now, for some of these you may need to read the definitions to the students. I have also paired the students up and have had one student read the definition while the other finds the matching word. We also wanted the students to practice the words and be able to read them when they encounter them in the text.
Here they are playing a game with the vocabulary. If they read the word correctly they get to keep it BUT if they get the the special cards, lose a turn, go again or steal a card, they get REALLY excited. Any time you turn something into a game…they eat it up!!
This kiddo is finding the vocabulary words. This student is in tier 1 and needs a little challenge. So for him, I read the definition and he had to find the word and color it. For the tier 3 kiddos I tell them the word and they have to read it and then color the owl. You can really vary it to meet your needs.
There is also an exit slip that is similar that lets you assess your students and their understanding of their vocabulary.
I like to use these passages both in whole group and in small group, depending on my purpose. They lend themselves to be used both ways vary easily.
This is a product that I have found REALLY helpful and our hope is that they will be helpful for you as well. Our new set, Perfectly Autumn Passages, contains 7, that’s right, SEVEN different themes:
If you are interested in these passages you can get them here, click on the title above, or click on the picture.