Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Journeys Common Core Resources

Implementation of a new series is a wonderful excuse to freshen up our out look on curriculum presentation. This year brought in the adopted of Houghton Mifflin Harcout's, Journeys Common Core series. While the website offers a plethora of online resources, there is plenty to expand on.

With some help from my second grade colleagues, I am almost through building a second grade  Journeys resources wiki page.  At this moment you'll find weekly, lesson plans, Tic Tac Toe homework assignments, and Magic Vocabulary. This is a work in progress, so you'll notice that the collection is growing.

Weekly lesson plans arrange Journeys curriculum  into a TEAM friendly format.  Microsoft word format allows for easy editing, so you can add or subtract throughout the documents.

Lesson Plan Images

Tic Tac Toe homework assignments include vocabulary/spelling,  comprehension, and grammar/language skills. The assignments compliment the various tasks we are completing in class.  They increase with rigor as the year progresses.  Tic Tac Toes are designed to engage parents and keep them informed about what we are learning at school.  A brief list of "I can" statements are included in the document.  

Directions for Magic Vocabulary can be found in an early blog post.   

Non Fiction: Biographies

Second grade has been busy, busy!

After reading My Name is Gabriela, by Monica Parra Brown, we jumped into the genre of biographies.  This was an amazing opportunity for students to practice close reading with complex texts.

The process began by reading several different biographies. Students collaboratively decided what a good biographer would include in an article.  Once important elements were identify, they were used to create a basic format.

Students chose a person to research and identified texts.  Pupils used Thinking Maps to record important information.  Peer discussions about their notes lead students to determine whether or not additional information was needed.  Internet resources were utilized to fill in missing elements and locate appropriate illustrations for final projects.

Thinking Maps

Final Projects


Differential supports were used to scaffold this lesson. Both of these examples utilized dictation. The example on the left illustrates dictation followed up by the student tracing and reading aloud text. Here the student needed physical support to get the information on the paper. The second example is from an emergent reader. This student had adequate verbalize skills, but lacked the repretoire of written language and reading skills needed.  Both students participated in the writing process and followed the basic format for research and reporting.