Tag Archives: Close Reading

Say Something

Today at my school, students left school at 12:45 so that teachers could have time for Professional Developmnet.  I found this time to be extremely valuable with my fellow teachers.  Our Leadership Team provided spot on workshop material based on our previous work with the book, “Academic Conversations”.  Our focus today was on a learning routine called “Say Something”.  We silently read a complex text, chunked it by labeling paragraphs with numbers, decided with our partner who would “say something” after we read each portion of text, then analyzed vocabulary and interacted with a graphic organizer to help us give supporting reasons to a claim we made after reading.  In order to facilitate our “Say Something” conversations about text, we were provided with sentence starters which in our classrooms will go up on Anchor Charts or mini Charts for students’ notebooks.  We also documented our prior knowledge on our topic by writing words in Alpha boxes on a sheet before we read the text then again after we read it to gather more complex vocabulary.

We first talked about what had gone well since our last training then were sent out of the library to do a ghost walk around the school to see examples of student work in classrooms and bulletin boards where students had closely read text and of how teachers facilitated academic conversations with Anchor Charts in their classrooms.  I took many pictures which I compiled into an iMovie and have shared below:


I also am excited to have left the meeting and made plans for the coming weeks which I plan to do with my first and second graders using iPads.  I found some “Say Something” half sheets which I will use as mini individual Anchor Charts and give to students when I teach them during Tehcnology Classtime.

Here are some of my lesson ideas for how to use the “Say Something” routine which we learned about today:

1st Grade

Obj:  SW discuss moon text, make a claim, provide reasons for their claim and create a talking avatar who will share their reasons in the Tellagami app.


I will remind students that they have been studying the moon with their teachers. I showed some of them a Google Earth Moon Guided tour in our last class which described how Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon in 1969 and how dangerous it was. Today, I will have them watch another video about how astronauts live on the international space station: (http://wtvi.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/ess05.sci.ess.eiu.astronauts/expedition-8-crew-talks-to-students-in-japan/ or read aloud “Night Light” book or “The Moon Book” by Gibbons and go through the “Say Something” routine where I will pause the video and have them

Make a prediction

Ask a question

Clarify something you had misunderstood

Make a comment

Make a connection

I will first show them the routine that I will have them do with Say Something on my Anchor Chart. I will have them use some of the sentence starters on the Anchor Chart which I will show to help them know how to stop and “say something” the first time I stop the video, Partner 1 will talk and the second time I stop the video, Partner 2 will talk. After we have watched and discussed the video, I will have students tell why they think we should go to the moon again with people or why we should not go to the moon. They will write down reasons for why NASA should or should not send astronauts to the moon. They will need to use “because” in their complete sentences. I will require at least three sentences.

Lesson Jan.30 – Feb.6
In our next class, I will hand out their sentences that they wrote in our first lesson. I will show students how to record themselves reading their sentences into Tellagami, a video creation app. They will present their claim and their reasons as to why NASA should or should not send astronauts to the moon. The students will be able to quickly create a picture in the StoryMaker Free app which they used in the Lab when they watched the Guided Tour in Google Earth/Moon. They will take a screenshot of the image and then place the image in Tellagami where they will record their voices reading aloud their sentences. They will go to quiet corners around the room to record themselves reading. Some students may need to finish writing their sentences.

2nd Grade Life CyclesObj: SW listen to a butterfly book, use the “say something” routine to talk about the book, find images about butterflies on the internet by scanning a QR code and take screenshots of the images.

I will read aloud portions of the “Monarch Butterfly” book by Gail Gibbons.

I will ask them to “Say Something” after I read a few pages and give them a scaffold for the Academic Conversation of “Say Something” by providing the following Mini Anchor Chart sheets:

You will turn and talk but first you will decide who will “say something” when the teacher stops reading and who will “say something” second for each chunk of text that the teacher reads aloud.

When you say something, do one or more of the following:

Make a prediction

Ask a question

Clarify something you had misunderstood

Make a comment

Make a connection

3. If you can’t do one of those five things, then you need to reread the section.
I will provide a mini anchor chart for each child to use as I read aloud portions of the book found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByZ0eMz5vnK8QU9naDBFY1UxWWJYMlhjQnc4Zmsxd2t0ZjV3/edit

Once I have read aloud through half of the book, they will have had the opportunity to turn and talk about a topic of choice from the book.

Make a Prediction

Clarify Something

Make a connection

Ask a Question

Make a Comment


I will show them how to use Pic Collage app and they will learn to scan QR codes with the Scan app, open the pics, take a screenshot, resize the pictures by pinching out or in, etc. Next, they will be able to “play with” the Pic Collage app and see what it does. In our next class, they will create a poster with vocab words from the “Monarch Butterfly” book that I will have read in this lesson and show again about life cycles:
Lessons Jan.30 – Feb.6

2nd Grade Lesson – continuation of Lesson 1

Make a mini poster in Pic Collage of each stage of life cycle


Scan the images using QR Codes at this doc to get to websites where you will take a picture of the lifecycle and then add to Pic Collage:




I like how the “Say Something” routine helps students with being accountable to talk about portions or chunks of text with their peers.  I look forward to using this routine in my first and second grade classes in the next few weeks.  By having reminders on the Anchor Charts of how to interact with text and with peers while reading, students will become stronger as readers and internalize metacognitive strategies.

I would love for other teachers to share in the comments section about how they use the “Say Something” learning routine.


Trading Cards app

I love when an educational app stands out as having multiple uses, especially when it’s FREE!  The Trading Cards app has been a way for me to have students reflect on a book’s events.  This app is a creation of http://www.readwritethink.org.   After reading “Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears”, my third grade students analyzed various causes and effects in the story.  I demonstrated how to use the Trading Cards app on the iPad then students paired up and used our 14 iPads to develop their own digital Trading Cards to represent the characters.  I overheard rich conversations about characters’ decisions as they built their Trading Cards.  Even though I had modeled the Problem and “An Outcome” or solution to the problem, I noticed that several students had difficulty understanding the concept of “an outcome”.  I embraced these teachable moments and posed questions like, “How do you think that the problem was solved in the end?  Did the lion’s investigation lead him to blame someone?  How do we know that the mosquito has a guilty conscience?”. These questions helped students arrive at the definition of “the outcome”. After using this app for students to describe animal characters, I now want to have them CLOSELY READ articles about famous places and create a Digital Trading Card for them.   I plan to have them explore the National Parks app by National Geographic Society, choose a park that strikes a chord with their personal interests, then create a Digital Trading Card!  After reading biographies, students can develop a Digital Trading Card on the famous person.  I could even have them create a Digital Trading Card about vocabulary words from science and social studies topics.  The possibilities are endless.  I am thrilled that my PTO is purchasing Apple TVs so that students can project their Digital Trading Cards using their iPads too! I like that this app allows students to not only create, but also critically think about the topic.  I designed this lesson so that students did not do it in isolation, but collaborated and discussed elements of the story.  They liked pressing the arrows at the bottom of Side 1 of their cards and flipping to side 2 while also choosing from assorted background colors.  I gave my students the option to draw a picture of their chosen animal in the Doodle Buddy app then import it into the picture frame of the digital card frame for a finishing touch. I placed pictures that I took of iPad screens where students had built their Trading Cards here:   Image Image