Text Detectives ONLY!!!

I am constantly telling my students, "Read like a detective!!!"  Every week, we take our anchor text and dig deep for about 3 days.  I use whatever that week's anchor text is and create a theme for the week.  If it's about kites, everything we doing in reading is kite related.  All things ELA tie back to that theme.  Our reading series always has a paired text that we use, as well.  But I also rely a lot on Read Works.  There are tons of passages related to all kinds of themes.  I also love that you can search by lexile level, grade level, text type, and comprehension strategy.  




I was trying to think of a way to keep my favorite selections organized and within easy reach when teaching a particular skill.  Last year, I just went to the sight and printed what I needed, which worked okay.  I did print some and stick them in my weekly reading series file folders. So, I decided to go ahead and start printing off appropriate 2nd grade passages that targeted those essential literature and informational text standards.  


I also had to make my students some detective swag.  ;)  They have to have magnifying glasses to dig into the text!  These are printed and laminated on card stock.  I may look into buying some, too, that will last for years to come.


Give a child a name badge, and they will feel super important!  These fit in those standard name badge holders.  I got some from Oriental Trading last year and they held up really well.



{HERE} is the link for the free hat template!


Since I am teaching my students to read like detectives, I have organized case files for each literature and informational text standard.  The one above is for main idea.  I have a main idea graphic organizer that will be used all year, short reading passages with questions, a mini graphic organizer for Brown Bag Book Club, and any small books that I feel are easy for students to find main idea.  I make enough of the case files envelopes for each group.  When we work in groups during whole group reading, I usually have them work by table (I call each table a text detectives book club when doing this).  I have 4 tables most years, so I printed 4 case files per standard.  

On Monday, I introduce the skill, we may read a short passage together, and then we work on the skill within that passage whole group.  I like to make our anchor charts at this time.  We do read the anchor text, but the focus is more on vocabulary.  

On Tuesday, we dig a little deeper into the anchor text.  We work on that strategy together while reading.  If it's a new skill, we do a lot together.  If it's one that we have covered before, I start letting them work more in groups.  I give each table the case file filled with the graphic organizers, and they work together to find main idea and supporting details, for example, together with my support.  They use the graphic organizer to record their text evidence.  

We usually finish this up on Wednesday and I also give them a new passage from Read Works that they use to practice that skill again if time permits. If note, we will use one of those passages on Friday.

On Thursday, we are doing the same thing but with the paired text in our reading series.  If I am not crazy about the paired text, I will sometimes find short books that relate to the theme and stick those in the case file envelope.  Each group gets a different book.  



On Friday, we like to have Brown Bag Book Club.  If you haven't check that out, head over to First Grade Parade to see how it works.  It's one of the best teaching ideas I have found!  You just have to print half-sheet sized graphic organizers to put on the brown bags.  I either have them do it over the anchor text or over a cold read depending on the week.  If you do a test over the anchor text, it's a great review before the test.  


I keep the case files organized in baskets so I can just go pull from those baskets.  One is for literary text and the other is for informational text.  I know I will need to add more baskets as I make them for each of my essential standards.  


The case files and all other elements you see here are from my Text Detectives ONLY!  Book Club pack.  I currently just have it for second grade, but I am finishing up the first grade pack and then will work on the third grade version.  My little detectives get so excited when they see the detective swag and the case files come out.  (I have been doing case file activities for years, but I just haven't had them organized to fit common core as well.)  Play it up like it's a mystery that needs to be solved, and they are in!


Who's excited about Vegas next week?!!!  I cannot wait to meet some of my favorite bloggers!!!  I am ready to start packing now!  I hope to see y'all there!





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