Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Concept Question Board in Detail

If you're a Scott Foresman Reading Street teacher like I am, you eat, sleep, and breathe Reading Street. At least I feel like that sometimes. I've never taught reading with anything else, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I really like this reading series. Not a fan of some of the stories, but I love the way the book is laid out and the lessons are presented. We had a workshop on this series the first year I taught and I learned a ton from it. Plus, it also helps to have a really great reading coach like we have :) 
I design most of my boards around Reading Street since it's such a big part of our day. The first grade version includes 5 unit with 6 stories in each unit. Each unit has a theme. For example, Unit One is all about Animals. Each story in this unit deals with animals and each story also has a question. Each weekly question is related to the concept (or unit) question. I create a Question Board to help my kids understand the theme better. That way they can see the question that we are focusing on for the week and how it ties back in to the big, overall question. 
I wish I had taken a picture of all my question boards, but I could only find this one. It's the one I made for Unit 3, which was about changes.
The weekly questions are on the polka dot paper. Each section is dedicated to a story and if you can tell, there's an arrow that points to the globe, which is the unit question. 
The one I finished yesterday is done basically the same way, but I added something new.
See the blue at the bottom? That labels the 'mini theme' that's in the book. In Unit One, the first three stories are about Animal Friends and the last three stories talk about Wild Animals. At the end of the unit  we graph which we liked better, friendly or wild, so it helps to have this displayed. 

My focus board is themed around Reading Street and it worked so well last year that I'm thinking about trying out a math focus board. I'm *horrible* at creating a calendar board and even more horrible at keeping it up. At the end of last year, I started doing the calendar on the SmartBoard, so I'm not even displaying one this year, which frees up my Dr. Seuss Math board. Perfect for the Math Focus Board, right? :)
Sorry, I got off track. Back to Scott Foresman. I also had what I call a Building Background board. In Reading Street, on Monday and Wednesday there's a graphic organizer that you fill out with the kids and we are suppose to display these in the rooms, which I think is a great idea. That way the kids are reminded of what they've learned. At the beginning of the year, we talked about what it meant to 'Build Background' and they knew that it meant that we were talking about what we already know. This board worked great, but this year I want to focus it more on activating schema, rather than called it a 'Building Background' board. 
Any Reading Street teachers out there with ideas, I'd love to hear them! 


  1. WOW! We also use SF Reading Street. I am a Kindergarten teacher, but I always get great ideas from your blog. THANK YOU!!
    Live Love Laugh Everyday In Kindergarten

  2. my district has adopted SF Reading street but not implemented because of budget cuts- I am SUPER excited to implement now and start using some of your great ideas!!!

    ❀ Christine
    {heart} to Reed

  3. Thank you for such a thorough explanation! So it sounds like the questions are a part of the Reading Street program. Wow! Sounds like a great program!
    An Open Door

  4. Hey girl! Do you mind if I copy and paste the pictures of your 2 diff. concept board as examples onto a document that I am making for my kindergarten concept board to share?!

  5. I should add that I put under each picture I "borrowed"- photo courtesy of "lifeinfirstgrade1" but with the whole link so it links back to your blog! =)

  6. I really like this. How did you make the other decorations besides the book cover? That's my problem- I'm afraid my board would look too empty. :/ Maybe I could find some cute clip art or something. I also like the idea of a math focus board! Keep us posted on what yours looks like if you decide to go forward with it! :)

    +Teaching Happily Ever After
    ~Creative Teaching with a Technology Twist~

  7. hey I am sorry I can't help you out but i have a question. I am getting a smartboard and I hate calendar time. I wanted to try and do calendar on the smartboard. My question to you is where did you get the calendar that you use? I haven't been trained yet so i don;t really know how to ask you what i mean. Did you dl a calendar or make your own?

  8. Thanks for the idea. Now I understand about the concept boards.

  9. Hey there! I was just wondering what cricut cartridge you used to make the title "Changes". I love it!

  10. Kimcollatos- I used the Alphalicious Cartridge :)

  11. Okay thank you so much. I love that one. I actually think that I might have it :)