Read Alouds and Centers

Do you do read aloud chapter books with your students? I mean, of course read aloud picture books, but I also try to read aloud chapter books every day too. It's our calm-down time after recess. It works really great for the transition. After I finish reading for the time that day, I pull sticks and that person gets to pick an M&M (or sometimes I have Skittles) and then whatever color the Bloom's Taxonomy question is (they are leveled), I ask them a question from that level. If they answer correctly with a valient effort, then they get a few more M&Ms. It's AMAZING what kids will do for 2-3 M&Ms - ha!

This last week, I read My Father's Dragon to my students - it was a GREAT book! and a QUICK chapter book read! I actually have the 3 Tales book, where all 3 books are in one, and my kids were begging me to move to the next book!

Here's how I have my posters hanging up....on the side of one my bookshelves. I just don't have any wall space this year for some's driving me BONKERS! lol. BUT, this works out great because my reading rocking chair is right there next that bookshelf, so all I have to do is reach over and grab the posters off the shelf (they are hanging up with magnets).

When we finished reading the book, I "test" them with doing one of the higher level questions on paper...I print up the page and the journal prompt, finish writing in the prompt, they cut it and glue it on the paper and then they answer the question. 

Click on the pictures of the books to check them out on Amazon.

****Update!*** I just got the brilliant idea to print them 4 to a page, glued them to black paper, laminated them, and made a ring of them to hang on my board!

You can check out {THIS} post to see more on my Bloom's Taxonomy!

I'm now reading Gooney Bird Greene - I just LOVE this book!! She's like the older version of Junie B. Jones! The kids love to just see how she's dressed during the whole book and our memorized by her stories.

Yesterday we made our new names using the formula that Gooney Bird Greene used. My name was Mrs. Beatrice Wynonna. All day I heard "Mrs. Wynonna!" This is an activity found in my Gooney Bird Greene activity pack. You can check it out at TpT or TN.

Yesterday, I was able to sneak around the room during centers time to take a few pictures! It's always so hard for me to do that because my small group time is always so jammed pack, I barely get through everything I need to get through. BUT, I got a few pictures so you can see some of my January Menu Centers being used.

Math - Roll and Add

Measure and Compare

Mixed up place value - I don't know if you can see, but the expanded form is mixed up to make them really apply their place value knowledge.

Spin a word - silent e edition

Missing adjectives - love this one! It's amazing what they come up with... they really need to use their context clues to figure out which ones belong there. 

I know January is almost over, but I also have my February ones posted now!



Mandy said...

First, LOVE your chapter book choices. Those are some of my favorite. And the colorful Bloom's? BRILLIANT! This is a fantastic idea. I don't even know what the rest of the post is about because I had to stop right then and there to make a comment! Now I will go back and read the rest of the post!LOL!
Mandy's Tips for Teachers

Miss B. said...

oh my goodness the M&M/Skittles idea is genius! I've had a pack of Bloom's questions that I've been trying to figure out how to work into guided reading time and this is perfect! Thanks!!

Real Teachers Learn

Mallory Weeks said...

Love the skittles idea! I have been struggling this year with my questioning and this is just what I need! I also like how you have incorporated the written response.

Mrs. Wheeler said...

I love your Bloom's pack! It's so awesome for EVERY read-aloud!!!

Mrs. Wheeler’s First Grade
Mrs. Wheeler TpT

Jen R said...

Haha! Mandy - I'm glad you like them!! and thank you Megan!! <3 <3

Jessica said...

I wish I had time to read aloud chapter books. This year, I have to do so much small differentiation that I'm running out of time for other things. I love teaching in small groups, but it means I have to make a choice on whether to teach with picture books or read a chapter book during our Read Aloud time, which is the only whole group reading time I do.

What I Have Learned

Jen R said...

That's so sad Jessica! I don't do it in my reading block though, I take about 10 minutes after recess to do it...but I know how tight time is!

Stacey- Monkeying Around in First said...

I absolutely LOVE your idea about using m&m's or skittles to determine the level of questioning. I definitely have to do this with my firsties. My kids love Junie B. Jones books. I've never read Gooney Bird but I think I'll make that our next read aloud.

Monkeying Around in First

Unknown said...

After reading your blogpost, I purchased your Colorful Read-Alouds using Blooms Taxonomy. In your blogpost, you had shared that you printed the colored poster 4 to a page, which is the perfect size to have clipped near my whole group area and a large selling point for why I purchased the product. Would you be willing to add that option to your TpT product?

Jen R said...

Hi Angela! I'm so glad you like the posters :) I actually did the printing 4 to a page in my printer settings. When the print dialog box opens, you can choose to print multiple pages on a page and it gives you the option of what you want to do - I did 2x2 on a page. Try that out. If not, you can email me at

Unknown said...

Thank you!!! I always forget about the "4 to a page" printer setting.

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