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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 6 Giveaway and Tried It Tuesday {Text Structures}!!

Are you ready to win some fabulous prizes??!!!
It's a great day...Tried It Tuesday is back in the second half of this post and I have a SNOW DAY!!    It's super cold and we are supposed to get up to 2 feet of snow, but I don't mind staying in (as long as we don't lose power!).  

Congratulations to Kathryn B.!! She won yesterday's Rafflecopter of products!

Some more fabulous ladies have donated treasures today! Be sure to check out their blogs to read more about how they use these products and follow them for additional ideas, tips, lessons, and freebies!

Bethany from Hunter's Teaching Tales is donating her Informational Writing Unit.
Perfect to teach nonfiction writing to your students!

Your students will surely be motivated to explore new reading genres!

Mandy from The Fourth Grade Journey is donating her Task Card Bundle! {152 cards!!!}

Soooooo many possibilities!!! Wow!

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, Tried It Tuesday is back after a little break over the holidays! :)

My Tried It:
Informational Text Structure 
I could have done a better job teaching this Common Core Standard last year: 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5 Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.

It just snuck up on me and then one of the short responses questions on the state test went something like this:  How was this passage organized?  That was it for the question!  Yeah, my students definitely were not very well prepared for a question worded in that manner.  This was the first time a question was being asked in this way on the state test.  It was a tricky question and there was not a very clear text structure that stood out so I am still not sure what the state accepted for responses.  Anyway, I knew I needed to do a better job teaching this skill this year.

I used this chart from Nicole Shelby's 4th Grade Interactive Reading Notebook (aligned to the Common Core).  When I have students record information like this on a graphic organizer, I usually project the sample picture of the completed page for students to use.  It looks like this from the product's file:
This is a picture of one student's journal and their completed notes on text structures. 
I have been copying the standard in different colored papers for students to glue in their notebook.  For more information about how I organize my writer's notebooks, see my posts here and here.  

Here is a link to a free text structures chart from Scholastic (the whole chart is not shown in the picture).  You could print this chart and copy it to have students glue in their notebooks for reference.
I also purchased Rachel Lynette's Informational Text Structure task cards (see more about how I use task cards in the classroom here).

Today, I played a modified version of SCOOT using these task cards.  We were limited on time and I want to keep coming back to this skill over and over.  My students' desks are arranged in groups of fours and I gave each student one card.  We played one round of SCOOT and only rotated four times, moving in a clockwise rotation in each group of desks.  After the group had answered all four cards on their task card answer sheets, I had the group share their responses and discuss discrepancies.  Yes, there were quite a few discrepancies!  It was great for discussion and sometimes it is effective to try a little practice at a time.  
I was walking around listening to conversations and verifying correct and incorrect answers with groups.  I had the students put the task card answer sheets in their folders to be used to practice more later.  Hopefully, they will keep improving their understanding of this concept with more practice!

I hope everyone is staying warm and safe wherever you are!  Our pipes to our upstairs bathroom are frozen for the first time ever.  Hubby is trying to fix that and he's sick with Type A flu! Yuck!!


  1. Happy Snow Day! I had one too. My sixth graders also have trouble with text structure. We go over and over and over it. I'll have to check out the task cards.
    Stay warm!

    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  2. Wow! Thank you for all the great resources. We are working on text structure right now, so this is a huge help!


  3. Thanks for the resources. We are also working on text structures and after more than 2 weeks off this will be good for our review. I love Nicole's Interactive Reading Notebook too.
    On the Trail of Learning

  4. Awesome resources!! Im from Jersey!! Yay for the East Coast. Where is NY? Woot Woot! I'm your newest Blog Lovin follower. =)

    Just Wild About Teaching

  5. We have a 2nd grade informational text standard in TX that says describe the order of ideas within a text. We have never interpreted that as anything other than identifying what happens first, next, etc...but we had to work this summer on data team assessments and alignment and after looking at the same standards for 3rd and 4th, it appears this leads to the description of cause and effect in 3rd, and then all text structures in 4th like your standard. Sooo, this year we are making sure to ensure our kids can identify and describe some of the easier structures like compare/contrast, sequence, and description. Hopefully this helps them when they get older.

    Literacy Spark

  6. Hope you enjoyed your snow day! This skill is difficult for students-you have provided so many great resources and practice opportunities! They will be text structure masters! Having fun celebrating our milestone together!!!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  7. My class is going to start nonfiction text structures next week! Great Ideas!

    Adventures in 4th Grade (smgibson15.blogspot.com