Monday, April 6, 2015

Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites Chapter 8: Metaphors, Analogies and Similes

OMG! I was sure I was at least 4 chapters behind in this study but turns out I just missed two! Yay me! Catching up won't be nearly as hard as I thought =)

So, backtracking to Chapter 8: Metaphors, Similes and Analogies.

Here's my thinking...

I think I use this strategy more than I think I do. I know that I use metaphors, analogies and similes in daily conversation a lot but also know that I could stand to improve on using these strategies deliberately.

So, here's what I know I do:

Reading strategies...I use the Beanie Baby strategies for teaching the different reading tricks for solving difficult words. These trading cards for six of the strategies are from Let's Get Fancy in First. She has strategy bookmarks that you can send home to parents. I am so going to do that this year!
I love using the animals to help the kids connect to the strategy. It really does help them to remember all of them! As with so many things this year, I haven't taught it as in depth as I have other years but we are currently reviewing all of the strategies during our Daily 5 mini-lessons. 

I also like to use the PB&J Sandwich analogy for teaching reading. I tell the kids that reading is like a sandwich. One side is the reading of the words (decoding) and the other is the understanding (comprehension). In the middle are all of the parts of the writing (story, plot, characters, setting etc.) I tell them without both sides they just have a one sided sandwich and that they need all three parts for the reading to be meaningful. This always works! What kid doesn't know what a PB&J is?

Making connections...we do this ALL OF THE TIME in our Literature books. We connect to our own lives and other stories. We are beginning to work on connecting to the outside world as well. I love to use good literature to help the students make meaningful connections. It improves their understanding of the story and also helps them to remember it!

Poetry writing...we are doing this right now. And I use the same book recommended by the author for one of my poetry lessons. It is called Quick as a Cricket and is by Audrey and Don Wood. 


It is a great way to get the kids to think about all the parts of themselves that make them unique. 

Another book I use every year is called The Very Lazy Ladybug by Isobel Finn. It is perfect for the start of the year since it is about a ladybug who doesn't want to do what it should (fly) and so hops rides on other animals only to find that none of the other animals works out for her. It is about doing it yourself and finding your own strength. After reading the book, if a student is not doing their best I tell them not to be "a lazy ladybug" and they know exactly what I mean. Works like a charm every time!

Behaviour strategies...this is one where I do a lot of verbal use of this strategies. Like telling the class if they are "as quiet as mice" when they come to the carpet they will get a smilie on the board (not sure mice is the best example here since they often come to the carpet squeaking!!!) 

Ways to improve...too many!!! I don't really use this strategy for teaching concepts (or at least I don't do so consciously) and know that this is an area in which I can stand to improve.

Especially given that the author makes a point of saying that this strategy is one of the most effective of all 20 strategies. So, I have some learning and practice to put in where this one is concerned...



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