Being departmentalized, I always felt envious of math and science teachers. Why? Well, it sure wasn’t because their job was easy…it is not! I always felt like they got to use the “fun” things with their students though. Pattern blocks, base ten blocks, experiments, etc. I mean, kids love those things right?
Let me back up. I made my reading lessons engaging when I was in the classroom (now I help teachers full time) but my lessons were engaging. I often felt I was the only one participating though. I had this amazing main idea lesson where I brought the fixings for a pizza (long story for another blog post) but it was great! The kids were engaged every year when I whipped that lesson out. Did they get to use their hands though? No. Maybe a few volunteers, but not enough.
As I began to help other teachers in their classrooms and in their districts, I realized…I was not alone. Kids and teachers were lacking hands-on reading lessons.
I began working on Hands-On Reading and I was so happy to see the response from other teachers! So let’s take a look at how this set of lessons work.
Each lesson comes with an instruction page for the teacher. When helping teachers incorporate this into their day, they have said they are very grateful for this instruction page! I mainly made it because I need a step-by-step guide in every part of my life! lol.
You will notice each instruction page comes with the supplies needed. Most supplies are reusable in case you are departmentalized. I had three 5th grade classes to teach each day one year. I know reusable supplies would have been a must!
Next, each lesson comes with a reading passage (dealing with the lesson topic.) The passage comes in three different levels (2nd, 3rd, and 4th) so you can differentiate in your classroom. Also, 5th-grade teachers have used these and just pulled the 4th-grade passage. The most important part for the students to learn is the skill!
You will also notice a rubric at the bottom of the page. After the entire activity is complete, the teacher will come around and fill out the rubric based on the student work. This page is actually the only page that is not reusable. Saving paper is always nice, so the graphic organizer (you will see next) is reusable!
After the students read the passage, they will look at their graphic organizer task card. Many teachers laminate these and have the students use them in partners. This is completely fine because the students are just looking at the task card then creating the graphic organizer on their desk.
The graphic organizers have instructions for the students also. The students will take their supplies and begin constructing their graphic organizers.
Once their graphic organizers are built, they can complete the task of filling in the graphic organizer.
After the students have constructed and completed their graphic organizers. The teacher comes around and checks their work using the rubric. The students can then put away their supplies.
Hands-On Reading makes reading more engaging than even our best lessons. The students love being able to use their hands to manipulate different tools and create a graphic organizer. Seeing these graphic organizers in a different way helps the students grasp the concept in a different way.
If you are looking for a way to make your lessons more hands-on and engaging, check these out. I promise your students will be talking about them for weeks to come. The purchasing of supplies is minimum (you probably already have all of the items or can borrow them) and the parents are usually eager to help too!
Let me know how Hands-On Reading goes for you! Feel free to tag me on Instagram (@hillarykiser) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org