Shades of Meaning, I Finally Get It!

Hi bloggy friends!

I am so excited to be back full time with blogging and TpT. I finally finished working on my project for the GTN, soccer season is coming to an end, and the weather is just plain beautiful!
If you read my blog, you probably remember that I presented at the NCRA last March. While I was there, I met the sweet and talented Jen Jones from Hello Literacy. #starstruck  If you are like me, you are probably  a Hello Literacy fan and love Jen’s blog and store. She is someone I deeply respect and I truly admire her work ethic...especially because her products go WAY beyond any worksheet, and help me be a better teacher for my students.

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I am not afraid to say that after 13 years of teaching, there are many things that I still don't know. For example, ever since I started teaching first grade, I have had the most difficult time understanding “the shades of meaning” outlined in this standard:

Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs differing in manner (e.g., look, peek, glance, stare, glare, scowl) and adjectives differing in intensity (e.g., large, gigantic) by defining or choosing them or by acting out the meanings.

Click on the picture to check this product at Hello Literacy!

I have no words to express just how this is the perfect literacy  center to meet this standard because:
  1. It gets kids talking about words and their meanings, contexts and connotations.
  2.   This is the type of activity that I use in a cooperative learning structure. Because I teach first grade, I decided to pair my students to do this station during Daily 5. They get SO much out of group work, and I consider it a fundamental step in the gradual release of responsibility model.
   3.  Not only have my students  understood that there are different shades  of meaning to one word, but they have also learned to agree and disagree on their  reasons  to justify their reasons behind their choices. #hellocriticalthinking


Please keep in mind, I teach first grade. What are you thinking so far? Very much on target!
         4. I also love that this center gets my kids moving
         5. Students also   sort and rank!  #hellodepthofknowledge
              6. It  increases receptive and expressive vocabulary
              7. It is one of the most  engaging activities! It is NOT busy work at all... kids are really on it!
              8. It  meets the standards to the max!
             9. It is very low prep on the teacher's part...and not a worksheet!!! Can I get an Amen??!!??!!

I started by doing a whole group focus lesson on how to do the station. I also modeled with Mrs. Wilson (my awesome sidekick) the kind of accountable talk that I wish to hear while my students work on it.


Ideally, I would love to have a longer pocket chart with 10 compartments… but this one did the trick just fine!


We also discussed the rules of successful learning teams, and this is what my students decided. #bestclassever #IlovewhatIdo #thankyouHelloLiteracy

Thank you for reading! Until next time!