Saturday, August 23, 2014

Interactive Notebooking Five For Friday, Super Late...

Well, what's new? I'm late to the party at the beginning of the school year. :-P I know you all feel my pain, so I don't feel so bad about it. ;o)
We are in full swing with our interactive notebooks! I am using activities from a few different notebooks, including Nicole Shelby's Reading Notebook. This week, one thing we worked on was finding the main idea.
We used some articles from The Sweetest Thing about Native Americans (our current social studies topic) to practice finding the main idea.
These articles are fabulous because they include five different passages written on three different levels. I can give all of my students the same information, but on their reading level! She has several packs of SS/ELA integrated articles in her store. Make sure to check them out!
We also worked on inferring this week. Erin from Lovin Lit has some really fun ideas in her notebook products that integrate videos into your lessons. I've been using some things from her Grades 2-3 Literature Notebook (yes even though I'm 4th, it's still totally appropriate) and her idea of using "In Summer" from Frozen was a huge hit with my kiddos!

(The title at the top is from Nicole's notebook)
We have been taking interactive notes on our Native American tribes. (For more information about what this is, read here!)
Some sad news this week at Jivey's house... Timmy had to have surgery on his knee and he is just pitiful!
He has figured out how to get around now with it (and he totally looks like a pirate with a peg leg) but you can tell it definitely bothers him. Poor pup!!!
I love a good deal, don't you? I ordered a few things from Twice this week and I was so excited when they arrived! We had Curriculum Night this week, and I wore this blue Calvin Klein dress:
I love the ruffle!

I also got this shirt- it's a New York and Co brand shirt that still had the tags on it! 

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you all have a great weekend! :o)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Monday Made It: Math Games {FREEBIES} and New Book Nooks Chart with Washi Clothespins

Well, I thought I'd have more than two things to share with you today but... I didn't get pictures of it all! So, there will be more coming next Monday. :o)
We are working on Place Value in math, and so I've been working like crazy to get them ready for stations so I can start pulling small groups. I think you'll agree when I say, kids love games. I have made some games and also purchased some games that keep my kids learning and having fun at the same time. I like to laminate the games when I can to save on copies- the kids just use dry erase markers to write on them! This also helps with the, "we're done!" dilemma. Erase and play again!

I made a game called Making Millions based on the same game called Put In Place (which you can download from my TPT store for free).
I ran both games on cardstock front/back then laminated them so the students can play either or both games at the station. You can grab Making Millions for free!

I also printed my card games from Math Aces on colored cardstock! My students will also be playing Greater or Less? next week in a station.
The directions are printed on one side and the gameboard is printed on the other. They will use a dry erase marker to write on this as well.
I made a new book nook chart this year - I wanted it to hang on my cabinet, so I made it vertical (last year it was horizontal).
And the best part... if you clicked the link to see last year's book nook chart, you might have seen the clothespins clipped on the chart- these are the same ones! Because I covered them with washi tape last year, I just peeled off the tape and put new tape on this year! Hooray for re-purposing! :o)

I'll be back next week to share some more goodies! :o)

OH! Also, don't forget, you can link up all of the must-haves for our second chance BTS sale this Wednesday! :o)

Don't Miss This Second Chance!

Have you heard the fabulous news? Teachers Pay Teachers is giving us a second chance sale to pick up those Back to School items we missed out on during the first sale! Most sellers will be marking their store down 20% on Wednesday, August 20 and TPT will be offering an additional 10% off with the code BOOST.

So, what did you buy during the first sale that we must make sure to get this time? What is still on your wishlist that you WILL buy this time around? And what item in your store is a must-have for everyone? You'll be able to grab the banners and product display pages at the bottom of the link-up. Feel free to join in the fun!

Here are my second chance items!

First up, I bought this awesome set of dice games from forkin4th during the first TPT sale:
I have my Math Aces Card Games, but I also LOVE using dice (and so do the kids) and these games are just perfect for my kiddos! We will be using one this week in our first round of stations!

Next up, I missed getting this item during the first sale because Joanne had just released it, so I will definitely be snagging the Back to School Reading and Writing Activities to Build Community this time around! She has compiled activities with all of my favorite books!
Last, but not least, if you missed out on grabbing my Better Than Basal pack during the first sale, you will definitely want to get it this time!
It has over 100 activities to do with 40 of your favorite books, and all of the answer keys are included! (In other words, you are set for the year!) They are great to leave for a sub, too. Check out the feedback on the product to see how it has already become an invaluable resource to so many. My students are loving the activities - we have used the activities for First Day Jitters and Enemy Pie, and we'll be reading Saturdays and Teacakes next week! You can also get this pack in my Biggest and Best Mentor Sentence Bundle, which also has all of the mentor sentences and interactive language arts notebook activities that are aligned to the same 40 books! If you don't know about mentor sentences yet, read about them here! The value of all of the items in the bundle is $89, so buying the bundle during the sale will save you over $32!

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to shop one more time! :o)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five For Friday!

Happy Friday! Whew, what a week!! You with me?? Here's what I was up to this week...
I've been working on getting all of our workshops set up and rolling! I got this goodie during the TPT B2S sale - I have been using Math Workshop for several years, but I loved that this had foldables to go with my set-up!
We also started working on building our reading stamina this week. My kids are up to 13 minutes! :o)
You can grab this freebie poster here! It's also included in my Launching Reading Workshop Pack!
I always start Writing Workshop by having the students collect some good seed ideas. I found a book that I used to use in 3rd grade (...that I had totally forgotten about!!! Do you do that, too?) and the kids loved it!
It is seriously the cutest book! Click here to buy it on Amazon!
I had my students make 12 boxes in their notebook, and after reading each page, I had the students write down a time they felt the same way as the girl!
These will make great stories later! :o)
I was actually able to get in a few mini-lessons this week! One of them excited my kids SO very much. I like to show Pixar short films in reading for comprehension strategies... after all... they are just visual stories! We watched Partly Cloudy and used Lovin Lit's awesome summarizing flapbook from her Interactive Reading Literature Notebook to practice "Who, Wanted, But, So, Then."
I was a good kid when I was in school (no, really!), but the only thing I ever got in trouble for was talking... I think sometimes my classes are my payback for that. :-P
I'll leave you with this little funny. I certainly have a couple of these kiddos this year...! :o)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Using Mentor Texts in the Classroom: Maximize Your Time!

I LOVE a good piece of literature, don't you?? And I REALLY wish that I could just read all day long, but I can't... because there just isn't enough time! (Can I get an AMEN?) So instead, I maximize my time with my favorite texts by using them several times for several subjects!

I'll start with reading since that's usually where we think of using a good book. We do not use a basal reader at my school. I know there are many of you out there that love your basal, but for me, it doesn't fit in with how I like to teach. There are definitely some good stories in the basal, and I see some benefits in all of the students having the same text in front of them... but I want my students diving into texts that are on their level to become better readers. This is why I use guided reading - to teach my students skills on their level. I have small sets of different leveled books in my classroom, and my school also has a fabulous book room of sets for small groups!

Of course, that does NOT mean I don't ever teach whole group. This is where mentor texts come in. I use a Reading Workshop Model in my classroom (read more about that here). I start with a mini-lesson that teaches them how to demonstrate one of our common core standards; during my mini-lesson, I get to use those fabulous books that I love. At some point in my day (usually on Monday because I like to use a book for an entire week), I read the mentor text to my students. Since this is the first time they are hearing the book, I generally read it just for the purpose of entertainment. Then, when it's time for my reading mini-lesson, I refer back to the book- sometimes just reading a few pages of it to focus on a skill. This helps to keep my mini-lesson "mini." I often use a graphic organizer to help guide their thinking. It also allows for an "I Do, We Do, You Do" lesson- I can start the graphic organizer with them, then they can help suggest something to add to it, and finally they can finish it on their own. Of course, then they'll also be able to use that graphic organizer with their own book to show their thinking!

Now, reading is over...but I'm not done using that text! That author got published for a reason, you know... usually because they show awesome craft and skill in their writing! Don't you want students to notice that as they read? I know I do! I use my mentor texts for grammar and writing through the use of mentor sentences. Haven't heard of mentor sentences? Read more about them here! I want my students to recognize what good writers do, and then incorporate those skills into their own writing. For 10-15 minutes each day at the start of writing time, we look at a mentor sentence that was taken from the mentor text we are reading that week. We notice all the wonderful things about it, we figure out patterns in parts of speech, we revise the sentence, and we imitate the author in our writing- all over the course of the week. I also like to use the theme of the mentor text for an on-demand writing prompt. (If we read Enemy Pie, for example, which is all about being a good friend and making friends, I might give them a writing prompt that week that asks them to describe ways they are a good friend.)

Writing is over......... but I'm usually STILL not done with the text! I love finding books that I can also incorporate in with science and social studies! There are so many great historical and science fiction texts out there. Now I can use that SAME mentor text to pull out information that the students need to know during science and social studies time, too! You can find a great example of this in a freebie I have listed on TPT:
This freebie uses the mentor text, The Wretched Stone by Chris Van Allsburg. There are so many fabulous skills that can be taught with this book in reading and writing, and it also lends itself well to exploration in social studies! (This freebie does not include the mentor sentence lessons for the book- it does include the reading lessons and the writing prompt.)

If you like the freebie and want more, I have also created a pack of FORTY of my favorite mentor texts to use in the classroom with over 100 graphic organizers WITH answer keys!
There is ALSO a nonfiction companion mini-set!
These forty texts are all of the same texts for which I have created mentor sentence units, too!
And...if you're like me and want more bang for your buck, you can pick up ALL of the mentor sentence units, interactive language arts notebook activities, and the Better Than Basal 40 book unit in the BIGGEST & BEST Mentor Sentence Unit Bundle, which will save you $20!

I hope this helps you "see" how to incorporate mentor texts into your classroom! For more ideas on using great books across the curriculum, check out my friends' blog, Amanda and Stacia at Collaboration Cuties!
They have a Must Read Mentor Text Linky and a tab of all the past link-ups so you can get even more ideas of how to use the same book in many areas!