Genre is one of those topics that ALWAYS appears in testing! Doesn't matter what type of test - accelerated reader, NWEA Map, state, there will always be a question that relates to genre! It's also one of those topics that is very hard for students to memorize.
In our classrooms we don't so much as teach genre as we experience genre! These great posters are hanging up in the room and as we have small group one of the graphic organizers to work on skills is asking the students to identify the genre of the text we are working on.
Another great way that we experience genre is through daily check-ins. Prior to independent reading 4 or 5 students are asked what book they are reading, what page they are on, and what genre the text is. This is a great way to have the students experience genre in the moment. If the student is struggling (let's be honest, some books are HARD to classify....) the class turns to a shoulder partner to discuss the genre and then sticks are picked to call on someone.
Picture sorts are a great strategy for learning phonics.
Students sort the picture cards depending on the phonics rule given to them. The rule can be simple for beginners, like beginning letter sounds (A and B in the picture above), or more complex for more advanced readers (the vowel sounds inside of words).
Not only does it get the student thinking about the sounds in the word, but it is a highly engaging strategy. Students LOVE sorting the picture cards!
How to use this strategy?
Get pictures of the phonemic strategy you are working on. If you don't have some already, you can find them these picture sort cards at our TpT store (Word Sort Cards). we use this T-chart for sorting. Some teachers like to use note cards or post-it notes with the categories. We, however, laminate the T-chart and we use them throughout the year. We also use this chart for the analogy strategy so it's just easier for me to have the one chart. If you need your own T-chart click here for this one.
Once the strategy that is being focused on has been identified during a small group or individual teaching time explicitly teach the rule(s) to the students. Then, explain (the first time) that they will be sorting according to that rule.
An example (that follows this picture) is: "Some words start with the a sound. Say "a" (students say the sound for a). Some words start with the b sound. Say "b" (students say the sound for b). We have a pile of pictures that either start with the a or b sound. Go through the pictures with the students then (they all have the same pictures in their personal piles, or we sometimes just do this as a group using one pile) because you don't want them to spend too much time trying to figure out the picture. You want them thinking more about the sound the word has.
Round Robin is another great strategy to use during group work. It is a strategy that is used for 3 or more students.
How to use Round Robin:
1. The teacher gives a problem (a question, a probe, or an activity that has multiple
2. Students take turns responding.
*Hint: Time each students response to keep the sharing even.
When to use Round Robin?
Round Robin can be used for a variety of reasons. It’s a great strategy for playing games, sharing during literature circles, completing group work, working on projects. Really, if 3 or more students need to work on something Round Robin is a great strategy to help all students participate.
Click HERE to get a printable set of directions for Round Robin!
Turn and Talk
A great strategy for getting all of the students in your class engaged! It can be used whole group or with small groups of students!
Turn and Talk
1. Pose a question or prompt to the class and/or group.
2. Have the students turn to a partner.
Possible names for partners:
3. Set a timer (each partner should get the same amount of talking time) and allow each partner talking time.
4. Allow the groups time to share with the whole class or other groups.
When to use turn and talk?
Turn and talk is a great strategy for ANY lesson. It engages 100% of your students. Some examples of great times to use it:
1. As an exit slip
2. Any time a question is posed to the class. Students then get a chance to practice the
answer before answering before the class.
3. As a wrap up or discussion point to chunk and chew new information.
4. During warm-up activities.
Click HERE to get a printable version of these directions.
I'm a mom, wife, and teacher that loves to read, hang out with my family, and learn. I love to use our blog to share ideas with others and to help keep me learning!