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November 4, 2016

Using Storyworks Vocabulary Slides in Reading Instruction

By Kriscia Cabral
Grades 3–5, 6–8

    Scholastic's Storyworks is way more than a comprehensive collection of articles to engage young readers. There is more to it than just a student magazine that covers fictional text, information text, poetry, vocabulary skills, opinion, creative, and description writing. Not only does it cover the above, it is a Common Core State Standards-aligned student magazine that focuses on language arts skill development, with the added bonus of online resources! If I haven’t sold you on this magazine yet, read on to see how I implement one of the Storyworks tools to help guide my instruction and enhance student learning.

     

    Storyworks Teacher Guide

    The first place I look when my Storyworks package arrives is in my Teacher’s Guide. This is where the magic for teachers begins. The Teacher’s Guide offers a complete teaching kit for every piece of writing in the magazine. The Teaching Support Package has everything from background information; Lexile, guided reading and DRA levels; learning objectives; content area connections; key skills that can be taught; and correlations to the standards. There are step-by-step lesson plans that begin with preparing to read, close reading, and skill building. There is support to differentiate your teaching and so much more! Storyworks provides students the opportunity to fall in love with reading in a whole new way.

    Vocabulary Slide Show

    My new favorite tool that has been added to the online teacher support page is the vocabulary slide show. This feature adds a visual support to the definitions that you are prompted to preview prior to your reading of the article. This tool supports the ELL students in your class and excites everyone when they start to wrap their head around the text they are getting ready to read. Here’s what I’ve tried with the vocabulary slide show tool!

     

    An Idea to Try

    One activity that I have done with my students is I take a screen shot of the images given in the slide show of the vocabulary words and create my own slide show without the vocabulary word.

    I’ve also created my own slide shows using the Preview Vocabulary section that is given in the Teacher’s Guide, and found images of my own to complete the same activity. Here is an example from the October/November issue.

    • Before starting our reading, I show students my vocabulary images with no word, just an image.

    • I ask students to share a word that comes to mind when they see the image on the screen. This gives students an opportunity to find a connection to the word prior to learning what the word means.

    • Students share with peers at their table group what their thoughts are on the word.

    • After we discuss our thoughts on what they word could be, I click to show the word above the image. 

    • Students then elaborate on their thinking of what the word could mean. After students see all of the images, we use the images as clues to predict what our featured article will be about.

    My prompt at this point for students is, "Based on the words that we’ve learned, look through your Storyworks magazine and turn to what you believe to be the article that matches those words." What I find the most interesting is the evidence that students use to prove what text we will be reading and how it is connected to the vocabulary that was shared.

    Storyworks is a win-win. The range of learning experiences stretches far beyond any teacher’s expectations. The amount of support leaves you as a teacher feeling like you can deliver quality reading instruction with a team of skilled professionals to offer all kinds of resources to enhance your lessons by your side.

    Do you use Storyworks with your students? What great ideas would you like to share? The Storyworks website also offers an Ideabook site, in case you’re looking for more ways to use magazines in the classroom.

    Thank you for reading.

    Smiles,

    Kriscia


    #SmartTeachingTips Social Media Contest
    You could win a $200 gift card from the Scholastic Teacher Store!
     
    Simply share how you use Scholastic magazines creatively in your classroom. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, and include a photo or video. Be sure to use #SmartTeachingTips. Three winners will be chosen based on the most creative submissions. Thanks for sharing—and good luck!

    (No purchase required. Open to U.S. teachers of grades pre-K–12 who are 18 or older. Void where prohibited. Ends 11:59 PM EST 11/13/16. For complete rules, visit http://bit.ly/2dn2p2m.)

    Scholastic's Storyworks is way more than a comprehensive collection of articles to engage young readers. There is more to it than just a student magazine that covers fictional text, information text, poetry, vocabulary skills, opinion, creative, and description writing. Not only does it cover the above, it is a Common Core State Standards-aligned student magazine that focuses on language arts skill development, with the added bonus of online resources! If I haven’t sold you on this magazine yet, read on to see how I implement one of the Storyworks tools to help guide my instruction and enhance student learning.

     

    Storyworks Teacher Guide

    The first place I look when my Storyworks package arrives is in my Teacher’s Guide. This is where the magic for teachers begins. The Teacher’s Guide offers a complete teaching kit for every piece of writing in the magazine. The Teaching Support Package has everything from background information; Lexile, guided reading and DRA levels; learning objectives; content area connections; key skills that can be taught; and correlations to the standards. There are step-by-step lesson plans that begin with preparing to read, close reading, and skill building. There is support to differentiate your teaching and so much more! Storyworks provides students the opportunity to fall in love with reading in a whole new way.

    Vocabulary Slide Show

    My new favorite tool that has been added to the online teacher support page is the vocabulary slide show. This feature adds a visual support to the definitions that you are prompted to preview prior to your reading of the article. This tool supports the ELL students in your class and excites everyone when they start to wrap their head around the text they are getting ready to read. Here’s what I’ve tried with the vocabulary slide show tool!

     

    An Idea to Try

    One activity that I have done with my students is I take a screen shot of the images given in the slide show of the vocabulary words and create my own slide show without the vocabulary word.

    I’ve also created my own slide shows using the Preview Vocabulary section that is given in the Teacher’s Guide, and found images of my own to complete the same activity. Here is an example from the October/November issue.

    • Before starting our reading, I show students my vocabulary images with no word, just an image.

    • I ask students to share a word that comes to mind when they see the image on the screen. This gives students an opportunity to find a connection to the word prior to learning what the word means.

    • Students share with peers at their table group what their thoughts are on the word.

    • After we discuss our thoughts on what they word could be, I click to show the word above the image. 

    • Students then elaborate on their thinking of what the word could mean. After students see all of the images, we use the images as clues to predict what our featured article will be about.

    My prompt at this point for students is, "Based on the words that we’ve learned, look through your Storyworks magazine and turn to what you believe to be the article that matches those words." What I find the most interesting is the evidence that students use to prove what text we will be reading and how it is connected to the vocabulary that was shared.

    Storyworks is a win-win. The range of learning experiences stretches far beyond any teacher’s expectations. The amount of support leaves you as a teacher feeling like you can deliver quality reading instruction with a team of skilled professionals to offer all kinds of resources to enhance your lessons by your side.

    Do you use Storyworks with your students? What great ideas would you like to share? The Storyworks website also offers an Ideabook site, in case you’re looking for more ways to use magazines in the classroom.

    Thank you for reading.

    Smiles,

    Kriscia


    #SmartTeachingTips Social Media Contest
    You could win a $200 gift card from the Scholastic Teacher Store!
     
    Simply share how you use Scholastic magazines creatively in your classroom. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, and include a photo or video. Be sure to use #SmartTeachingTips. Three winners will be chosen based on the most creative submissions. Thanks for sharing—and good luck!

    (No purchase required. Open to U.S. teachers of grades pre-K–12 who are 18 or older. Void where prohibited. Ends 11:59 PM EST 11/13/16. For complete rules, visit http://bit.ly/2dn2p2m.)

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