Sunday, October 30, 2011

The day after. . .

You know it's going to happen. The inevitable day after Halloween CRASH! Do you think you'll need an endless supply of Diet Coke...maybe even a IV of it?  Perhaps you'll declare it "read to yourself day"!  Maybe you'll pretend like Halloween never happened?

Nah. You'll turn the day after into a teaching experience, of course!

Why not let them share what happened on Halloween in an opinion writing piece?
 Here is a writing idea you can use on Tuesday!


Lower grades:




Upper grades:




Click {here} to download!






Also, remember these:





Well I had some requests to add a "how" to those posters...




So, re-download {here}




Natalie and I are SUPER excited for the blogger/teacher meet-up in Salt Lake City on Sat., Nov. 5th! 
If you are interested in coming, please email us! You don't have to have a blog in order to come! 
whattheteacherwants@gmail.com



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pinspirational!

I feel like we're officially into one of the busiest times of the school year. It seems like I am so busy all day long that I hardly have a second to breathe. 

Here are some little pick-me-ups that I've been pinning lately. Hopefully it gives you the extra motivation you need to make it through the week/month/school year! :) 






{Source: http://teachinginthecouv.blogspot.com}

And... Can someone please get me this necklace?! :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Just like that old time rock n' roll!

The kinda music just soothes my soul {insert Tom Cruise sliding across the floor in his tighty whiteys}! Here's a little Sunday pick-me-up!



Ya'll know that song, right? I love it! I did a dance routine to it when I was in 1st grade. I'm sure I rocked it...hahaha, yeah right!

I have made a time packet of activities{hour and half hour} based on games I've already played with my kiddos during my unit on time.  I just cutesified them!  This packet has 13 games {over 60 pages} that can be played whole group and in small groups {perfect for math tubs}. The best part might you ask???? I have made a colored AND black/white version for each game...just in case you like to save on the colored ink.






Here is one of the games in the packet that I'm giving to you as a a freebie {click here}!








Head over to my TpT and check out this packet of activities {you might just see EVERYTHING in my store on sale TODAY, including this packet}!  


Oh and I'm giving this packet away on our Facebook page so head over there and "like" us to find out how you can win!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Common core and YOU: Part deux!




Last week I posted some Common Core English Language Arts ideas. I've come back for more! :)

When I get to unit 3, in a few short weeks {according to my district's pacing guide} I should start to teach my kiddos narrative writing. I wanted to see how ready they were so I started it a little bit. I've started to make some things to help them understand the sequence. I also use the who, what, when, where cards I posted about before {here}.

We started talking about narrative stories because we were reading them everyday! After we read a book, I would ask what happened in the beginning, middle, and end. When they mastered that, we moved on to first, next, then, last. Then, I told them we are going to write our own narrative! AH!


  



Or perhaps you need these:

   



Oh narrative writing. Why do you hate me? By the end of the year, they should be able to:Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some  details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.

*NOTE: I DID A LOT OF MODELING AND SHARED WRITING BEFORE I LET THEM GO OFF AND TRY THEMSELVES!!!! It's all about modeling!
For this activity. I just read a book about a haunted house {you can do any topic} and I had my kids pretend they knocked on the door of a haunted house {sorry, I forgot to take pictures}. They drew a picture of what would happen:


Then, they took what they drew and wrote one or two sentences {rough draft} to go along with the picture:

Finally, they wrote a final draft after I had a mini-conference with them about their rough draft.


They will finish up the "writing process" by publishing their work in the classroom! :)
My kiddos did ok on this, but we were all exhausted by the end!
I get exhausted by narrative writing! 



What do you do that WORKS for teaching narrative writing? Do you do writers workshop???




Frames by:
 KPM Doodles
Paper Pixels

Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween Party Time and a Witches' Brew mini-unit {freebie}!

Does your school allow you to have a Halloween Party?  Well, we can't officially have a "party", but we can have Halloween activities as long as they have learning opportunities. Well DUH, I can turn anything into a learning experience!  We had our Halloween party last week {remember, I'm going off track} and let me tell you how fun it was! I have the best room moms!


How cute is this treat? One of the moms got Halloween Peeps and Oreos and put them on sticks!



Talk about a fun and exhausting game! The students raced their spider rings across the table by blowing in the straw!

We read {again} "The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything" and made the noises with each of  scarecrow parts. Then, we made the scarecrow at the end! You can find some more activities with this in my Halloween Unit.




Here's a fun activity I got from my 1st grade team that I'm doing this week! I made up the poem and activities to go with it. You buy all of these yummy ingredients at your local grocery store.
{split it up the list with like 3 classes so you don't have to buy all of the ingredients- 
you don't need a lot of each item}

You've got to go ALL OUT with this!  Dress up like a witch {or have one of your room moms come and do it}. Turn down the lights and use a flashlight!!!  You kiddos will really think you are making a brew!





After you make the brew as you read the poem, you serve it to your kiddos. I'll just give it to the kiddos in a little baggie. We eat some and we will do some of these activities.



You can download witches' brew mini-unit {here}. 




Sallie over at A Teacher Always Grows made the CUTEST class book from the ZYX Halloween Alphabet Song we posted about last week. It turned out so cute and I can't wait to do it with my class. Head over there and download your freebie! And grab the cover of the book {here}.



If you have purchased my "Being a Guided Reading Wizard" on TpT, please go download the updated/revised version! I added decoding strategy posters!!!!  
Stop by my Teachers Pay Teachers store and become a follower too and be the first to know when I'm having a "flash sale"!

Loving the clipart from:
Scrappin' Doodles
images copyright thistlegirldesigns.com
Kpmdoodles 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Reading in the Upper Grades

I thought I'd share some things today that may help you with the way you teach reading in the upper grades. If nothing else, I have some printables that you might be able to use in your classrooms. :)

1. Reading Conferences

I love conferring with my students! I love the one-on-one time I get with each student where I can genuinely focus on them. This sheet I made is very basic, but I love having a spot to give them feedback; I always give my students a positive comment and then one thing for them to work on.
2. Guided Reading

The best resources I've found for guided reading in the upper grades come from my bloggy pals at Lesson Plan SOS. You must check out their Become a Guided Reading Guru packet. Nothing I could say or upload could even come close to the amazing resources you'll find there. :)





3. Take Home Reading
(for my struggling readers)

I'm actually in the process of beginning a take home reading system for my struggling readers. I used ziplock baggies, put on a cute label, and made copies of this little document. I'll be sending home the bags on Friday and each day they should bring their bags back and forth between school at home. On Friday, they'll turn in the assignment and get new books. I'm excited to see how this will help my little cuties that need extra help! 



Our school is lucky! Our principal has bought every teacher subscriptions to this site for the past couple of years. It is an excellent resource for giving students access to books on their level. The comprehension quizzes at the end of each book, is a definite plus!! The listening and recording components are excellent for developing fluency, and the best part is the Rocket Room where students get to earn points for the books they read; it motivates students to work on this at home and to always do their best work. 


5. Literature Circles

I usually don't start my literature circles until after we come back from the holidays, but I wanted to share this now in case some of you are or will be starting soon. This is my literature circle booklet. I've been using it for the past couple of years, but I recently revamped the whole thing and uploaded to my TpT store
One thing I've struggled with in the past is how to keep my students accountable during their literature circles. This is what I've come up with: a booklet that runs students through the elements of literature and some of the reading comprehension strategies. 

The best part is these rubrics I've developed where students can rate them selves on their participation, effort, etc. I've also included a teacher copy, which I love! I love comparing the two scores and seeing if students are really grading themselves accurately. I've also included a reading journal where students can keep track of their days' reading. I've found that it helps keep students on track and accountable of their reading each day.
I will introduce this booklet during during our next read aloud, so I can teach them how to fill it out correctly and so all students know what is expected. Then, when I release them into their groups, they should know what I'm looking for.

If you like this, and feel it's something you'd like to use in your classroom, please stop by my TpT store and pick up a copy

Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Common Core and YOU!



Our district has taken on the Common Core State Standards for Language Arts FULL ON! 
Whoo-eeee! It's a great core, but it's a bit lot different from what we are used to and it's a lot of work. I'm sure once we all get used to it they'll change it. Am I right? ;)

We are very lucky to have a district who has laid out each part of the CCSS and made a unit/scope and sequence to go along with it. They've made a lesson for every.part.of.the.core!!! I don't follow it directly, but I pull from it every now and then. I'm really particular about things {some might call it OCD}. You can find all of this on my district's website {here} and then just click on your grade.

Hopefully each month I can feature something new I've done with my kiddos that relate to the CCSS's and I'll offer freebies and tips for you!

The next few things I've made relate to "Reading Standards For Literature"
 in the CCSS.



Just added:




"How" is also added on the new download! :)



When we read to each other in partners, we use these little check marks to remember our questions we ask to check for understanding.


This is your beginning, middle, end graphic organizer.  You just fold it in half and cut on the dotted lines. Then, you can color a picture or write something that happened under the beginning flap, middle flap, and end flap.







Check back for ideas on the new CCSS Writing standards! I'll be posting some new ideas.

I want to know.....Is your district implementing the new CCSS this year? If not, when? Do you like it? 


Here's a way you can keep track of what standard you teach and when.  Click the picture to see more! :)



       

     


     




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