Monday, January 14, 2013

Martin Luther King, Jr. & DIBELS Success!

First, I feel the need to brag a little... 
My whole class hit their DIBELS benchmarks!!!! 

Okay, well technically, one little guy hit 3/4 of his benchmarks and the last section he's in the intervention section. Either way, I still think that's AWESOME!!! I have this secret mission that even though I teach SPED, I'm determined to never let my kids fall behind in reading or math.

Now my mission is to work on comprehension with my fast readers, and blending skills with my little kinders. One step at a time! Now the end of the year assessment will be the true test.

Now I have a secret... SHHH! Don't tell anyone, but... Martin Luther King, Jr. is my favorite thing to teach all year!

I really truly love teaching this theme! I love that my kids are so little that most of them have no idea who he was, and they find it amazing that things were so unfair before, and how the world is fair now (Yes, I know not everything is fair, but in the grand scheme of things, it's a heck of a lot better).

Today we read Let's Read About Martin Luther King, Jr. I'm not sure they make it anymore, but there is a new version that looks similar on the Scholastic site. The image is the link to the Amazon copies from sellers. I really like that the words are simple enough for my kinder kids to point with their fingers as I read. Then we did "stop and think" to talk about the meaning and the history behind what happened in the story.
Martin Luther King Jr (Scholastic First Biographies)
If you count myself, my class is exactly half white and half kids of some sort of color. We talked about how a long time ago we wouldn't have been allowed to be friends, or to be in the same class together. I talked to them about how the laws were mean, and even police were mean because the law said we couldn't be together. Then we talked about how Martin Luther King, Jr. helped make things fair like they are today.

I have a young group so I really don't want to focus on the fact that he was killed. In previous years I had kids who were more mature, but not this year. One boy asked if he was alive and my simple explanation was that "mean people hurt him, so he's not alive anymore." Then we moved on.

Here are a few more of my favorites for this unit:

Martin's Big Words... I don't even know where to begin. Such an amazing book! The illustrations, the concepts, everything!
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Crayon Box That Talked, such a great way to teach about how color doesn't matter, and we're all special. Perfect for the little guys who aren't ready for the serious stuff.
The Crayon Box that Talked

Our Friend Martin. This one is actually a movie. It is sooooo hard to find! It's the best ever and I still don't own it. We shared one copy at my last school. Now if I want it I have to check it out as a VHS at the library, or rent it from Netflix.
Our Friend, Martin

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