July 10, 2015

Tackling Trouble: Reading Strategy Unit

Don't get mad at me - I am NOT wishing my summer away! However, back-to-school does mean teaching my favorite reading unit! (Also, honestly, I have been meaning to blog about this since, oh I don't know, LAST SEPTEMBER.)

I'm unsure about what's going to happen at my new school, but with my old team, we were kind of left in charge of our own literacy curriculum so we used the Readers Workshop model by Lucy Calkins. The first unit for second graders is really quick, and then comes my absolute favorite unit, Tackling Trouble!

The unit ties in perfectly with the beginning of football season, and you know how I feel about football season...

The point of this unit is to teach kids strategies to help them decode tricky words. This is the next level, after students have developed decoding skills and a decent knowledge of phonics. Strategies build students' confidence so that they can approach books like this:

Anywaaaaaays, each Lucy minilesson has a takeaway strategy for students to practice that day. For almost every unit, I like to draw a huge, web anchor chart to fill out along the way. Don't forget to tie in those local or favorite teams to create excitement among the kids. It's hilarious to see how worked up they get about football teams, even the girls!

My completed bubbles aren't the prettiest, but you get the idea. 

At the end of every unit, we tried to do some sort of small celebration. For Tackling Trouble this year, we had a movie & popcorn afternoon and watched the football Airbud movie. 

Also on the last day, I did a wrap-up lesson where students shared their biggest takeaways from the unit. I actually brought in a real football and tossed it to each student that spoke. Talk about increased participation! During their independent reading time, they had to write their favorite strategies on a sticky note and stick it on my poster. 

Then, students got to decorate a football player and write down a favorite strategy again. They turned out to be super cute!

Of course one of my sweet girls made hers an Alabama player! Roll tide!

Poor Nick. His teacher obviously never taught him any reading strategies, so it's understandable that he is frustrated. Maybe he needs a bookmark to help!!

Click HERE to view the bookmarks.

Let me know if you have any questions!

You can hit me up too, Peyton.

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  1. Do you happen to have a template for the football players? They are just adorable!!

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