Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Schema? What's your Schema?

Before Christmas, we wrapped up our comprehension unit on Schema. I cannot claim many of the ideas on this post because they mostly came from the i talk about too much fabulous book Comprehension Connections by Tanny McGregor. In her book, Tanny stresses the importance of making connections with our prior knowledge and experiences {Schema} while reading so that students are able to remember, make meaning (understand), and enjoy what they are reading.

Whoa. Major run-on sentence going on there.

Anyways! Here is a little about our SCHEMA ....
I talked a lot about making connections with our schema ... we discussed the different thinking stems we could use to help develop our thinking ... to see more about what I do with my paper chain connections go {here} The only difference is that I chose a different book this year -  a great, new book titled "One Cool Friend"! It worked really well with our explorer unit we are studying since the characters are named after Captain Cook and Ferdinand Magellan :)
{One my favorite Rockwell paintings ... and very relatable to 5th graders! he he} 
We did an "ART Museum" activity with Norman Rockwell paintings to help us practice our schema ... I posted large paintings around the room, then gave the students a sheet of paper with a thumbprint size picture. We pretended we were in a real ART MUSEUM. Complete, as they insisted, with serious stares and contemplative frowns as we "studied" each picture (teacher grin!) As they did this, they were to be making a schema connection in the section next to the painting. They really did well with this activity and enjoyed it. It was truly amazing to have 24 kids wandering around the room, clip boards in hand, seriously looking at "art", making connections ... and doing all of this COMPLETELY SILENT. Eerie! But totally fine by me!
{This just made me smile ... we were in the middle of "visiting the MUSEUM" when the lunch bell rang ... it's like the school version of the secret rapture! ha!}
On a completely un-schema-related topic, I GOT A NEW KIDNEY TABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I cannot even express to all of you HOW EXCITED I was about this! Over Christmas break my principal emailed a few of us teachers who are really trying to incorporate guided reading in our classrooms sharing that he had ordered kidney tables for all of us.
Best. Christmas. Present. EVER!
So here she is ... isn't she a beauty??
and yes, since you asked. I named her Gladys. Because she makes me, and my kiddos very very glad!
She makes such a wonderful addition to our room :) 
And in honor of our newest classroom member ... some guided reading shots of our schema practice ...


  1. Great blog!!! I am also teaching Grade 5 and look forward to doing this activity this year. Silly question, in your first poster, what goes in the center with the heart? Schema?


  2. Thanks so much Joelle! Always wonderful to find a fellow upper el teacher! NEVER a silly question when it comes to small details! That is SO something I would want to know as well, it must be a teacher thing ;) The center is the TEXT and it is at the "heart" of it all.

    1. Thank you so much!

      What activity did you do that you had your students post post-its all over the poster? I would like to do this in my class and would love more details :)

      Thanks again for sharing!

  3. One more thing, when your students are at the Museum, are they using the thinking stems to create a response for the handout you created? Ok thanks!


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