Monday, March 14, 2016

Retelling Woes: Problem Solved!

Some of the kids in my class have really struggled with retellings this year.  It's a scratch-my-head moment each time I see a child struggle because I've worked so hard to model them- oral and written-several times a week. Some tell a little of the beginning and basically jump to the end. What's the rush?  It's almost like the middles have been zapped away!  This is true for both written and oral retells.  

My struggling students weren't engaged in the retells at all. Were the stories too long?  That's what I assumed. So I've tried to have them practice with shorter stories with a clean, crisp story line like Ezra Jack Keats' books. Simple. Classic. Relatable. But I wasn't having too much luck with them either.  

So, I adapted my retelling anchor chart and made a retelling sheet that's fun to use. A Punch Card!  

How do I use it?  So glad you asked!  Partners each get a card and after retelling story to themselves to practice, (a must!) they get to tell story to each other.  As each one tells story, the partner punches the square as they say the words in the box and continue on with the details.  Ever since I started using them, the kid have rocked retellings!  Seriously.  Who knew a little punch would mean so much to them?  

Before I introduced the cards, I had them practice being MY PUNCHER as I retold stories. But PUNCHING is only part of their partner duties.  It's important for them to not only practice the punch part, but the other "P" part, too!  Yep- they are officially PPPs.  Punch and Prompt Partners.

Last week I read The Sandwich Swap to them and all the kids did a super job at retelling this lovely story.  Click here for a link to the video I found online.  if you don't have the book.

It's one of my favorite books with a great message on tolerance and friendship. If you want to watch it and try out the retelling above, click the retelling pic above.  It's a freebie that I hope you can use. If you have a different book you want to use, just white out the title and write the new title in.  No biggie!  I hope it motivates your little ones as much as it has mine.

So do you have any tips for retellings for me?  I'm all ears and eager to keep my kiddos on track now that they seem to finally have the knack for it.  All tips welcome!

Happy Punching!!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Milestone Celebration! Flash Freebie!

I'm so thankful for my milestone that I'm offering this fun Flash Freebie for the next week. It's also going to be featured/linked on the TpT Facebook page sometime this coming week.  Included are some partner/interactive activities.  Grab it and enjoy!

Kids love the wheel!  How do you use it?  See this post here.

If you already bought this from me, please send me your user name and pick out another one of these Practice Makes Perfect Homophone Packets...I don't want you to miss out on freebie fun!