Sunday, February 2, 2014

High Fliers

Hello and happy Sunday!  Welcome to our little stop on the Bright ideas Blog Hop!  We are so excited to share a little bit of what our high reading group looks like.  This high group of kiddos is always a fun and challenging group to plan for.  They always need something to keep them engaged and if we can find a way to give them some independence all the better!!

High fliers, reading group number 1, red birds, etc., whatever you call them, we all have our group of high readers. :)  My group this year is crazy, big!  I have 8 kiddos in my high fliers group.  They are reading anywhere from a 4th grade to a 7th grade level!  This is the biggest group I have ever had for my high reading group.  They are a really sweet, fun bunch though! I just happen to have 4 boys and 4 girls in this group so I meet with them separately, even though the boys and the girls do the same activities.  For some reason this just works out best for us! :)

We are lucky at my school because my principal allows each grade level to pick a magazine subscription for their class to receive.  Second grade has chosen to get National Geographic for Kids.  I can't say enough good things about these magazines!!!  I absolutely love them, they are nonfiction, and my kids seriously can not get enough of them.  If we have to miss a day of reading group for an assembly, class party, etc. they actually are disappointed that they can't read the next article! If you have a chance to get these for your it!
There are usually 3 articles in each magazine and I have my kiddos read one article by themselves or with partners (their choice) during our reading group.  Then they take this home to fill out after they have reread the article with an adult.
I love using this because they fill it out themselves and really all I need to have on hand are some fun markers (for writing the headings with) and white construction paper!  They do 3 sections: 5 Cool Facts, The Best Part, and What I Still Want to Know.  When they bring it back the next day they share with the reading group.  Once we are done with all 3 articles in the magazine I have the kiddos vote on what they would like to learn more about through a research project.  They pick from ideas in the magazine that they just finished. This year we have learned more about parrot fish, earth, rocks, geckos, rock climbing, Mars,and more!

Once they have picked a topic we head to the library and gather up books.
Then I have them find cool facts and information that they want to share.  They gather it all on a web and then organize it by topic.  After that they decide how they want to present.  I have had kiddos make posters, videos, power points, commercials, skits, books, and more!  I really have learned over the past 13 years that with these kiddos the less I interject, the more amazing things they come up with.  If I tell them what I want them to have as a final result they will do exactly that.  If I tell them I want them to figure out how to share the information and let them figure out how to present it themselves they will do 5 times more than I would have asked them to do!  It is amazing!
They are always so excited to present and the class loves learning more about the topic that was picked.  It is a win win!

Preparing props for a puppet show about their topic.
Gathering information to use for their project.
This has also been a good activity for my high kiddos because, this year alone, I have had 4 kiddos tested for our QUEST program.  This activity is always a hit as a challenge/extension activity for these kiddos and is a great way to show the extra activities they have had in the classroom when we are talking about if they need to be tested or not!

Now you can head on over to visit Catherine at The Brown Bag Teacher for another Bright Idea!!!

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  1. This is a great and meaningful homework assignment. Love it! Going to give it a shot. Thanks.

    Mrs, Rios Teaches Second Grade

  2. I'm wondering how long you do for the research project? When do the kids work on this? is this part of their reading time? would love to know more on the timing. This sounds like a great idea to have them delve into the topics more.