Keep Track of Student Independent Reading by Using the Three-Way-3-by-5 Card Method

3-by-5 cards are really fun, and a great resource for learning in many different creative ways. Have you thought about what can you do to learn using a 3-by-5 cards?

One use I have figured out to help students with their independent reading is what I call the Three-Way-3-By-5-Card Method.

I want my students to choose to read, and to show me their efforts.  I also want them to capture the new and interesting words they encounter, and I always want them to be able to get back to the page they left the last time they closed the book, so this method is an easy way for students to  document and administer their reading accurately and handily using a simple 3-by-5 card. It all makes reading easier, so students are more likely to choose to read more often.

First, I teach students to get into the habit of having a 3-by-5 card and pen in hand whenever they read.  On one side of the card the students make four columns along the five-inch width of the card. The columns are titled; Date/ Time/ Title/ Duration. That is, D/T/T/D, which is easy to remember. Eventually, the students will begin to put the title and author at the top of the card once along the three-inch edge to have room to document Date/ Time/ and Duration more times.

On the other side of the card, the students are ready to jot down challenging words they come across. It is important to include the page number to find the word again later. Often times the meaning of the words can be determined well enough from the context, so I do not have a rule forcing the students to stop and look up every new word. It is upon review of the list of new words, after the book is finished, that the students will determine whether they need to look up words.

All the while, the three-by-five card serves as a handy book mark, and ready straight edge for underlining, if underlining is permissible. There is the Three-Way-3-By-5 Card. When the book is finished, the students turn the cards in for credit, and eventually, the cards go back to the students. We discuss the words found. We discuss the story or information using the words as a jump-off point, and the books come more alive between us.

If you try this method with your students at school or your children at home, I would be interested in knowing how it worked. I would love to hear your feedback, so I encourage you to leave a comment.

We are at the beginning of the new school year. It ia a geat time to incorporate The Three-Way-3-by-5-Card independent reading method!

Back attack: A new card game I invented using a standard set of playing cards

Here are the directions to a new card game I invented. It is fun, and I would like your feedback. Try it out! Let me know. I think it can teach students how to create strategies in new and novel ways.

Back Attack

A new trick-winning game for three to six players using a standard deck of cards

Directions:

  • Setting up the game
    • Dealer deals out cards, face down, to players evenly.
      • Left-over cards serve as a blind, additional hand until exhausted.
    • Each player must privately arrange cards accordingly:
      • Descending order, left to right, from Aces to threes,
      • Descending suites within each similarly valued cards,
        • left to right spade, heart, diamond, club,
      • Twos distributed according to arranging player’s choice.
    • Each player passes the arranged hand of cards to the player to the right face down.
    • Each player never sees cards in-hand until each card is played.
      • Each player fans cards out- face out- looking at the backs of the cards.
      • Each player can see the cards of all the other players, but not the cards in hand.
  • Play begins
    • The player to the right of the dealer goes first by choosing a card in hand, but not seen, knowing the higher cards are to the right, and the lower cards are to the left.
    • The next player to the right plays a blind, in-hand card knowing values increase to the right, and knowing all the other players’ cards.
    • Each player plays one blind card each round.
    • Any left-over card due to the number of players playing, is played blind last with the potential to win the round.
    • The player with the highest valued card wins the trick.
      • If the left-over card wins, the trick is discarded.
    • In subsequent rounds, the dealer is the player to the right of the last dealer.
  • How tricks are won
    • With aces and spades high, all the cards have a unique sequential value.
    • The highest-valued card wins the trick. Any card may be played any round.
    • The twos are all distributed throughout the unplayed cards in-hand.
    • The lowest of all cards, the two of clubs, is wild, and is therefore the highest card.
  • Sample strategies of play
    • Each player may attempt to win tricks using the lowest cards possible.
    • After playing a blind card, a player knows that the all the cards to the right are higher than the played card, and that all the cards to the left are lower- except for possible twos.
    • Each player can figure the number of twos in-hand by counting the other, exposed twos.
    • In the first few rounds, players can sample their hand by choosing cards according to position.

I wrote a Poem based on a borrowed Sentence. Thank you David Scheinker.

Cats Cats Fight Fight.

I had a cat.

She fought a cat.

The cat she fought

Fought her back.

Cats cats fight fight.

But  it is not just that cats cats fight fight…

My neighbor’s dog

Bit a dog

That bit him back,

And so now I know- Dogs dogs bite must bite.

I look around and learn:

Countries countries cheat cheat,

And- People people hurt hurt,

Leading children children hate to hate.

But, so- Lovers lovers love love.

And-  Friends friends befriend befriend.

Certainly- Believers believers believe believe.

So then- Experience experience wields wields.

And in the end- Hope true hope heals heals for Good.

                                               Scott Dodd

                                               March 10, 2012

Teaching Moments

I teach moments, and I float papers to students to do so.

From day-one of the school year, whenever I distribute paper to individual students in class, the students reach out to receive the pages and I give the paper a slight, early push. The paper glides for a moment into each student’s hand. For a while those floating moments go unnoticed, until one day, one of the students will glance up in recognition and delight in the moment we just shared between the giving and the taking of the paper. Other students soon notice, too. Eventually one of the students will say, “Why do you do that, Mr. Dodd?” and at that point I have earned the opportunity to explain.

I tell my students about my high school classmate, Bert Raddock, who taught me the notion, “If you can’t think big, think fast,” which I get them to agree is good advice-especially the “think fast” part. Then I go on to explain to my inquiring students that I float the papers to them to give them a concrete example of hidden moments they really need to use. “In fact,” I tell them, “even if I did not float the papers, there would still be a moment between the giving and the taking of the paper, and the same moment is there when you talk.”

Now here is the point. The students need to identify and learn to exploit that moment between the instant they think of something to say and instant they decide to say it or not. There is always time in there to think and make a decision. Using that “floating”moment of thought takes practice because it is an elusive moment for young minds to recognize, but the paper makes it real. Even some of my second graders get the idea. My fifth graders begin to perfect it.

Once we have had the floating moment discussion in class, I tell them that I do not need to float papers any more, but they usually convince me to continue the float, and I am glad, because it is fun to do, and it reinforces the point they need to remember: Think before you speak.