McDougle Dolphin Digest

A newsletter from your literacy coaches

FolkTales in Second Grade

Second grade teachers enlisted the help of some familiar faces from around the school to teach the different kinds of folk tales. The teacher, tech facilitator, AIG specialist, and assistant principal took on the roles of fairy tales, tall tales, myths, and fables in order to describe themselves for the students, as well as get sassy with the librarian and squabble with each other. Fortunately, they were able to work out their differences and find things that they all have in common.

Kindergarten Students use "BIG" Words!

After reading How The Grinch Stole Christmas, kindergarten students participated in a variety of integrated literacy activities. Without prompting, students used "Tier 2" vocabulary words that had been previously taught through rigorous text talks to describe how the Grinch changed from the beginning to the end of the story.

Students used words such as dreadful, cross, envious, disguise, rascal, mischievous, clever, and smug for his behavior at the beginning of the story.

Words such as grateful, tend, clever, amuse, noble, wilted in happiness, and compassionate were used for his behavior when he gave the symbols of Christmas back.

Next, they placed the vocabulary words in a graphic organizer that was used to organize their thoughts before they began writing and creating similes.

Teacher, Hope Kilgo said, "At first I was skeptical about teaching kindergarten students such big words, but it works! I was amazed to see students referencing the word wall and using the previous taught words in class discussion and writing, with no prompting.

Kindergarten teachers stated, "We have affirmation of the significance of exposing children to "Tier 2" vocabulary words to enrich classroom discussion and enhance the application of these words in our students' writing. Having the words as a very visible reference that we teachers model referring to, helps the children access and apply these words outside of the context in which they were taught. Furthermore, parents are reporting that their children are using these words at home and they are seeking ways to support what their children are doing at school even going as far as coming into our classrooms to take pictures of our word wall."

Celebrating Similarities and Differences in First Grade

First grade celebrated similarities and differences by learning about different cultures. Students created and shared "Family Culture Posters" that included information about their own family traditions, holidays, and celebrations. As a culminating activity, all families were invited to participate in a "Holiday Potluck Night" bringing foods that represent their culture to share.
One first grade class celebrated a sendoff for a classmate returning to France who played a songs on the guitar and donated Swedish folktales for the classroom library.