Sunday, November 4, 2012

Non Fiction Book Study - help!

This is a little embarrassing. I have to admit something...
I am a total hack when it comes to teaching reading to fourth graders.


Seriously. I don't know what I'm doing. I mean, yes, on some instinctual-teacher level I know what to do. But having never taught reading to anyone older than 8 years old, I'm feeling a bit out of my element.

Tomorrow we start our tier 1 intervention block for reading. I chose a non-fiction text to read with the three girls I am working with, because we've been talking about expository texts in our mini-lessons. I chose the most interesting, weird, cool, gross book I could. It's about germs.

Here is what I need some help with: I created a book that I want to use with the kids so that they can write down various elemental parts of thinking while reading non-fiction texts. I want the kids to have to write, because backing up their thinking with evidence from the text is something I've noticed all my Fab 4s struggle with. AND....since the CCSS is heavy on non-fiction writing, I figure the more I can sneak it in the better off we'll all be. What I would like is some constructive feedback. I'm asking if you would please download the file and look it over. You are welcome to use it, but I'm not feeling very confident that it's finished. Anyway, would you mind and leave me some comments on what I should change? Ideas for improvement?

You can download the pdf file here, off of google docs.

Many, many, many thanks. This whole year I feel like a first year teacher again.


  1. I understand how you feel - I was exactly the opposite. A few years back I had taught middle school and 5th grade and I got preggo. I wanted to teach a non-testing grade so my Principal agreed to move me to 2nd. 2 weeks before school started, I got a call from her telling me I was being moved to PK! AHH...I had no clue how to deal with kids who couldn't write their name. What I learned was, I'm good at teaching students reading strategies, or reading to learn but I'm not great at teaching kids how to read. I was good, but not the most effective teacher. Now, I have those same kiddos in 3rd grade.

    I looked over your document. It's a foldable or a flipbook right? I have a few suggestions, but you can ignore I won't be hurt;) Since this is for intervention, I might include some choices with "boxes" they could check. For example, create a list of 5-8 text features (some they will see and some they won't). Instead of "my favorite parts" since you're trying to get them to use text evidence, maybe put "interesting facts". I actually read an article from a high school teacher that explained students are in such common practice of making personal connections that they have a hard time using text evidence to support their conclusions/answers.
    This one might be a no way, but instead of Q's before, during, after - I might put predictions based on captions and pictures. I would also move Main Idea to go by Headings and Lead Sentences since they will probably all tie in together. If it's one book, will it have more than 1 Main Idea? If not, maybe you should put the Main Idea and Headings together to show that they relate to each other.
    I hope this made sense. I use TEKS, so I do know that Common Core has different requirements and won't be upset if you just ignore this.

    1. OOps, not had taught, just taught

    2. This is awesome! Your advice is just what I am looking for. I'm going to take all your suggestions and refine the document in the morning. I'll re-upload it to google again when I've finished.

      Thank you so much! (those 3rd graders are lucky to have you!)


    3. Thanks! I'd love a copy when you're finished:)