The schedule below is a sample of the many RBC literacy activities and lightly touches on the enrichment activities.
Reading Boot Camp Philosophy: Awaken or reawaken the desire for learning and imagination, let the light of wisdom and reason shine in. Solemnity, harmony, and literacy are distant visions for some teachers on day one, yet the seed is planted rigorously, feed constantly, and blossoms over the 20 plus days.
Reading Boot Camp is a teaching philosophy that uses collaborative teaching, cooperative learning structures, active student learning, and teacher made curriculum that has many levels, structures, and strategies designed to meet the needs of individual children and classrooms.
The only rules for Reading Boot Camp:
- Every half hour take a brain break!
- Sing lots of songs
- Repeat all declarative lessons (Ex. Vocabulary Tier 1, 2, and 3) within two hours to maximize long term memory of materials
- Keep it fun
- Play games and more games
- Be creative
- Use Cooperative Learning Structures
- Skip the published basal readers and computer reading software
Morning Song | Start the Day RIGHT!
The Legendary Lands
We use Tier 2 and Tier 3 Academic Vocabulary.
1st Grade Comprehensive English Vocabulary Tier 1, 2 & 3
2nd Grade Comprehensive English Vocabulary Tier 1, 2 & 3
3rd Grade Comprehensive English Vocabulary Tier 1, 2 & 3
Comprehensive Academic Vocabulary Tier 2 Blooms Taxonomy Vocabulary
9:15 Poetry and Prose: Students can read a quick poems with a reading buddy or come together for formal poetry readings and student recitation. Formal poetry readings start with soft jazz music and students sitting with their poetry books in hand, reading along as a student reads or I perform a selected poem. Students who have mastered a poem are invited to recite for the class. We critique the poem for articulation, emotions, and our thoughts and impressions. Extensions: Jazz and poetry can run longer than the five to ten minutes that I give it during Reading Boot Camp. Reading collections of poems from the same author and doing a more thorough analysis is time well spent and makes life-long readers of poetry. There are many "aah . . ." and "Wow!" teachable moments in poetry. Digging deeper into poetry helps teach the hardest concepts in reading, such as inference, author's view point, simile, metaphor, hyperbole, and allusion. Extensions: Riddles and Jokes are also used to teach inferential thinking skills.
9:25 Guided Reading: Students participate in an Oprah-style book club during Reading Boot Camp and throughout the year. All students (and the teacher) read the same award-winning chapter book. I usually start with a book that is one grade above the level I teach to insure a very steep learning curve. Harry Potter books are favorites. Whenever a student or I read to the class, the students always have the text in front of them. The students read along silently with the reader, their fingers following word-for-word. To begin, I read the first few pages (no more than half of the chapter). I stop frequently to do a 'think aloud' to show my thoughts and opinions. Any passage that has a teachable moment is seized to help students understand complex concepts. Background knowledge and challenging vocabulary are explained and simplified with synonyms and examples. Students have a short breakout reading session with their peers and reread what I read to them. Students are grouped in many ways, from picking groups randomly using popsicle sticks, to forming groups using student data. Students take turns reading two pages and then actively monitoring for understanding and decoding. The student who monitors the reader must ask three questions that show a deep understanding of what was just read. The impressions of characters feelings, motivations, author's viewpoint, and vocabulary are discussed and analyzed for meaning. Students who cannot decode a word or don’t know its meaning get assistance from their peers, or, if needed, from the teacher.
9:50 Brain Breaks: Games, Poems. and Music and Lyrics: Students learn to sing 10-20 songs during RBC. We usually start with the Beatles or classics from the great singer songwriters.
9:55 Quick Fluency drill: Students retake the previous fluency drill to improve their wpm scores.
10:00 Music and Movement: After sustained, focused reading and concentration, students take a music and movement break in the form of a high-energy tune and kung fu exercises. The kids do deep knee bends, push ups, and other stretching exercises -- think Tie Chi and New Wave Rave music. Extensions: I will turn the music and movement break into a longer lesson by having the students listen to a song with great poetic lyrics. The goal for the students is to listen and write down all the lyrics. The students' focus quickly turns to mania to get all the lyrics written down. Active listening is very easy to teach with this method, especially if you use a song from No Doubt to Katy Perry. '
10:05 Story Maps and Journaling: Students write a story map or journal entry to strengthen reading concepts. Students work together with their reading partners or with the teacher together for the second part of the guided reading instruction. We review important concepts to look for and discuss the main idea of the chapter. I model a proper story map on the chalk board and show students my thought processes on selecting important detail. Students break out into groups and revisit the chapter they just read earlier with their peers. They review the chapter again, stopping to write challenging and interesting vocabulary. Then they sequence important details as they happen in the chapter. Students can use the author’s words and phrases or put them into their own words, depending on their ability. Students take turns reading and helping with selecting important content and discussing what is actually important. Students usually have fifteen to twenty vocabulary words and ten to twenty sentences in sequential order.
We Spend 30% of the day goofing off with enrichment activities! Singing Songs, Playing Games, Hunting for Sand Rubies in the Sand Box, Dancing to Bollywood Songs, Dressing Up, Hand Weaving, and every other fun activity that makes learning fun!
We Take a Brain Break Every Half Hour!
The Praisers Club Affirmation Poster Party!
The Students Play Games Twice A Day!
The Kids Favorite Quick
Brain Break is Hand Weaving!
10:45 Word Work Vocabulary Practice with Buddy | Dragons and Airships or Alien Vocabulary Game | (Tier 3 and Tier 2 Testing Words) Use this free tier 3 academic vocabulary game to build test readiness. The game is designed to be a fun way to build academic vocabulary using a game students already know. A number of "CAMO Aliens" (ladders) and "Blues Aliens" (or "chutes") are pictured on the board, each connecting two specific board squares. The object of the game is to navigate one's game piece from the start (bottom square) to the finish (top square), helped or hindered by CAMO Aliens and Blues Aliens, respectively. Any time you land on an alien you have to draw a new card! If you land on the CAMO Aliens and answer the vocabulary question correctly you beam to the next highest CAMO Alien plus the move allowance on the card. If you land on the Blue Alien and get the question wrong you beam down to the next lowest Blues Alien. If you are on a Blue Alien and answer correctly you stay put until your next turn.
The game is a simple race to the top using the RBC Vocabulary Flash Cards, and is popular with children.
11:30 SMARTBoard Read Aloud: Alice in Wonderland, Chapter One: Students gather around the SMARTBoard to read and listen to Alice in Wonderland. I load the PDF ebook to display on the SMARTBoard, select the Librivox audio book, and start the presentation. I ask for a volunteer to use the pointer to help students follow the text as its being read by the Librivox narrator. The students relax and listen to Alice and I have time to work with a student or put my feet up and take a breather. I am lucky to have a SMARTBoard to help with reading instruction and lesson planning. Before the SMARTBoard, I was stuck using my Aver key and my TV.
Make Reading an Event!
12:00 Morning Wrap: Quick discussions of morning goals, learning, and methods are critiqued to improve the learning environment. Exemplary students who demonstrate excellent manners and etiquette are praised and celebrated.
12:05: Brain Breaks: Music and Lyrics:
12:10 Recess and Lunch: Students who are not on task, who play or goof around, lack manners or good school-etiquette are kept in during recess to re-teach those skills that are needed to succeed. I use an old-school method of positive behavior modification in the form of writing sentences. Positive affirmations are used to help modify attitude and behavior. Intermediate students, who are chronically off the mark, write twenty five affirmations to start the reprogramming and they lose their lunch recess.
12:40 Vocabulary Practice With Buddy: Vocabulary Building Activities
12:50 Quick Fluency drill: Students retake the previous fluency drill to improve their wpm scores.
12:55 Poetry and Prose: Students buddy read a poem or come together for student recitation or performance. We start the soft jazz music and sit with our poetry books in hand, reading along as the students recite or perform a selected poem.
The fountains mingle with the river
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle -
Why not I with thine?
See the mountains kiss high heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdain'd its brother:
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea -
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?
1:00 Academic Vocabulary Instruction: Six challenging words are selected, usually at a grade above what is taught. I use a fifth grade vocabulary list for some, and sixth grade for a few students. Vocabulary is reviewed, categorized (noun, verb, adjective etc.) and synonyms and antonyms are diagrammed on the SMARTBoard or chalk board. I give three examples of each word in a sentence to help students understand the meaning. Students then write one kid-friendly sentence per word, with at least six words, to show understanding. Students are allowed to use my sentences or write their own. Extensions: Students above grade level can assist with writing and editing of peers' work and reading if they are competent and good role models. Students can also assist with analyzing new poems and literature for challenging vocabulary and suggested lessons.
1:15 Fluency Drills or Math Blast Vocabulary Lesson Math Blast is a quick review of Tier 3 Math vocabulary on the chalk board with examples. Example: Obtuse, Mode, Median, Ordered Pairs or any other Grade level Tier 3 Vocabulary students must mastered. 1:20 Vocabulary Instruction: VOCABULARY MASTERS!
1:30 Music and Movement: After sustained focus and concentration, students take a music and movement break in the form of a super-high-energy tune and Kung Fu exercises. The kids do deep-knee bends, push ups, and other stretching exercises think Tie Chi and new-wave, rave music.
1:35 Poetry and Prose: Student volunteers read a favorite poem as the class reads along. Cracker Barrel Philosophy: Reading great poetry is bubble gum for the imagination. 'It's very hard when you start but the more you chew the softer it gets". Sean
1:44 Word Wall Fluency Drills
1:45 Quick Fluency drill: Students retake the previous fluency drill to improve their wpm scores.
1:50 Poetry Recitation: Students write, read, and memorize a poem to recite. The students read and reread the entire poem, practicing articulation and enunciation for public performance. They must memorize at least one stanza, and students with more skill can memorize up to four. We start with a simple poem like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star that most kids know.
2:15 Music and Lyrics:
2:20 Short Stories: Students select a short story from their anthologies, peer read with their partners, and take notes in their reading journals. Try to incorporate the classics, e.g. The Brothers Grimm and Aesop’s Fables to give students a foundation in classic literature.
2:30 Guided Reading: Students bring their Harry Potter book and join in as I read the first few pages of the next chapter that was read earlier in the morning. We read chorally, practicing speed and fluency, with me as the model. I stop often, explaining my Metacognition, to help student take deeper meaning from the material. I ask for volunteers to reread a paragraph or a passage, as the class silently reads along. Background knowledge and challenging vocabulary is explained in detail, and we try to make connections to books, movies, or other teachable concepts. The students then break out into their groups and reread what we read chorally. Each student may read or monitor for understanding, and all students are encouraged to read. During transitions to the next reader, they pause for inquiry and dialogue on important impressions. Students who cannot decode a word, or don’t know its meaning, get assistance first from their peers then the teacher.
2:45 Music and Lyrics:
2:50 Vocabulary Practice With Buddy: Vocabulary Building Activities A sample page from my NEW Eclectic Intermediate Speller (2012-2013) that meets or exceeds all Common Core State Standards for Reading and English Language Arts! A Sample Week
Academic Vocabulary Tier 2 Blooms Taxonomy Vocabulary
3:00 Short Music and Movement Cleanup: Always leave the student on a high point, if possible, with great music and lots of smiles and praise.
a Literary Adventure Game
In this RISK style “word domination game“ game of reading comprehension and reading strategies you are battling to conquer the world of literacy, literary elements, poetry and academic vocabulary in any domain. To win, you must launch daring adventures, assemble teams of scholars, build floating sky fortresses of learning (Sky Libraries), seek knowledge on all fronts, and sweep across vast literary lands with boldness and cunning. But remember, the dangers, as well as the rewards, are high. Just when the world of knowledge is within your grasp, your antagonist opponent might strike and take it all away!
Legendary Lands Map Quadrangle 1 of 8
Steampunk Airship From The Legendary Lands Game