Sunday, October 19, 2014

All About Reader's Workshop!

This year I implemented a new system for guided reading.  It really isn't "new", but it is a compilation of everything that I have gathered from here, there, and everywhere about teaching reading.  Most likely you are rocking all of this out in your room too!

I use a projector to display our rounds, but a pocket chart works just the same.   The students rotate through a series of activities that repeat every day.  In our room this year we do all 5 rotations for 15 minutes every day.  I have the guided reading rotations projected and set to a timer. It takes all the management off of me!  The students know that they have an allotted time to work at each rotation and it is unwavering in its faithfulness.  They quickly learn the pacing of our rotations and adjust.   The timer makes a chime sound and students see a the new station projected.   I have not yet had a day when we didn't complete this.  Mostly because it's the first thing we do after our morning routine and whole group reading lesson.
We call our reader's workshop, LEARN to readEach letter in the word learn stands for a rotation activity.

 First up, is L for listen to reading.  In our room this year students go to the computer to listen to stories, and answer comprehension questions.
 I used to have the tape player, or CD player, or nano device to play the stories, but now I keep it to our classroom computers using Raz Kids, and it has worked well for the last 4 years.  I know some teachers have shared that they do this on iPads. 

 Next, we have E for enjoy a book!  This can be interpreted any way that teacher needs!  It can be at your teacher table, it can be reading from a student's book box in a cozy spot, really anything to do with reading and books!  In our room, each student has a book box and can read in the class library.

A is for Attention to Writing!
This year we have a dedicated writing table and book shelf which houses materials.  The students sit together at the writing table and either edit and analyze writing, or create their own!  You can find engaging writing materials on the right hand side bar of my blog.

R is for Read with a Friend!  Just like enjoy a book, this rotation is another spin on getting into a good book.  I use this station at my teacher table since students are in groups.  We are all on our reading journey together, but our reading group is a safe place where we take risks and learn together!

N is for New Words!  I love spelling and phonics!  It's one thing that never gets old to me!  We are so great at finding out why words sound the way they do and having fun too!
If you need more spelling and phonics activities, you can find my phonics bundle on my side bar and each individual spelling pattern can be found in my store too!

 So much of what I create for my classroom can be used in one or more of these rotations.  It is so nice to have a variety of activities to use throughout the year to keep things engaging and motivating! 

Here's what it actually looks like for my students:
I open the power point file and click play slideshow.  The chime goes off and students see their first rotation for round one. 

You can display it in a pocket chart like this: It has all 5 rotations across from each group.
 (This is the math version-we call it stack)

So here's what each group was doing for round one on the projected version above.
L- Listen to reading

 E- Enjoy a book
 A- Attention to writing
 R-Read with Teacher (I use it for small group)
(At my table-we started our small group time with a phonological awareness activity)

 N-New Words
Students are using sight word sticks to review weekly sight words.

 You can see the bottom of the projected sign on the left in this picture below.  Sometimes my groups get iPad time for New Words or Listen to a Book.  This is optional.

If you want these posters to display to keep your students on track, they are free!  Just click the picture below.

 If you want the Learn to Read Rotation System just click the picture below!

Just like I have this system for guided reading, I also have the same system for guided math!  My students rotate through a series of activities every single day.  The routine makes for a calm organized day while allowing me to meet with every student in small group.  I feel that we make big improvements in smaller time due to our intensity and our familiarity within our safe little groups at my back table!

If you want more info on a particular area, you can click below to find more blog posts!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Non-Fiction Palooza Giveaway!

October is the time of year when the creepy crawlies come out!!! Kids are fascinated to learn all about these creatures!! It's the perfect time of year to dive into a little Non- Fiction palooza with your crew. A few of us are teaming up to  bring you some our very favorite resources we've created  to help you teach all about bats, owls, and spiders this month!

Check out the amazing packs we're offering up below!

We're keeping this one real easy. You can enter quickly using the Raffeclopter below. We'll each be giving away our packs to a winner and one lucky winner will win them ALL!! The giveaway is open through midnight on Wednesday. We can't wait to see whoooo all our sweet winners will be! :)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fire Safety and Planning for Next Week

 Last week we focused on fire safety.  Our local FD came out to share important safety information with us and we capitalized on that highly engaging topic! 
 Here's three ways we used the topic of fire safety in writing this week! 
 First, we shared the pen with some whole group shared writing about a time we got burned.  After reading a quick fire safety decodable on the projector, 20 hands shot in the air ready to share a time they were burned.  The stories began and I realized instantly that we would not have time for all the sharing, but it certainly was a "hot" topic.  {sorrynotsorry} {punny}

I asked them to help me write an example burn story and we were SO proud of our collaborative efforts.  Mostly I was proud of myself for handing off my beloved Mr. Sketch markers... without tears. 

Students also cut and arranged a mixed-up fire story.  Then wrote sentences for each picture.  I don't have the origin of this activity, but it looks like it came out of a sequencing skills book. I prefolded the big red paper to help organize student's thought and writing process.  They were thrilled.  I then let them sharpie their sentences.  When the sharpies come out the room falls silent and the students get super intense.  #winning 

In the writing center, we used some of the pictures from engaging writing to write a creative story about fire safety OR to write out fire safety facts.  {student choice}

I just LOVED these gorgeous owls that were up on Friday and HAVE to share them with you!  Our art teacher is really creative!  I love her ideas and my students LOVE going to art class each week. 
Look what she did for owls!  If she hadn't already done it with the second graders at our school, I would be stealing it straight up.  But hopefully you can run with the idea!!!  *mental note- begin newspaper hoarding* Just the word BOO in big newspaper letters outlined with black would be ridiculously cute.

And...LOOK at this mosaic!  It's not nearly as stunning in photos as it is in real life!  I am guessing each grade level was a designated color and they made a 3X3ish picture of themselves.  hellogenius.
It's beautiful! 
....Looking ahead for next week.  I don't have the time anymore to make visual plans to share. I know, right?  We have a system of inputting lesson plans that takes a very long time. #accountabilitykillscreativity 

But I can snap a picture of how I get ready for the following week in my classroom! 
First, at the front of the room, I keep the math journal and any other guided math practice ready to go. (top left)  This is the best place for it because it is up where I teach from.  I can reach right over and take it.  My students even look at it and then tell me what we are going to be doing.  #thankyounellyknowsalot 

I keep a set of three drawers for my small group in the back of my room, but you and I both know I never actually put the materials in the drawer.  I did one week and then forgot they existed.  Now I just set it behind me on my materials table.  Naming it "materials table" makes the piles acceptable. (bottom right picture)

The bottom left picture is my small group word work.  This is different from what students do independently during word work.  For that info you can click here.

This week in reading small group we are using:
Flipping for Phonics (Digraphs)
Roll and Write Phonological Games (Digraphs)
Magnetic Letters (h digraphs)
JD's Rockin Readers Guided Reading Toolkit  (Digraphs Activities)

For Math we are focusing on place value as well as continuing number relationships
This week in math workshop we are using:
Plenty of Pumpkins Math Centers with Journal Activities
October 10 Math Centers
Cara's Place Value Packet of Fun
Free Dice Games not in a packet yet. (Coming Soon)

For more about guided math stations you can click HERE

So can I ask what your school mascot is?  Our elementary is bobcats, we feed into the middle school to become jaguars, and eventually go on to high school to become cougars.  All this to say, I have a collection of shirts and other cute things that are paw-themed.  Can'tgetenough!  

I read a funny article last week about being able to spot teachers out in public due to our paw themed t shirts.  #soguilty  I have to share this pic from Friday.  A student brought me red sparkly paw earrings (they matched her earrings and my red sparkly paw shirt that I also happened to be wearing)
So here's my end of the week paw loving picture...
Proud to be a teacher!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Franken Authors

Hello! I just wanted to write a quick post to let you know that Frank is in town motivating authors to write their little brains out.  {see what I did there}

 There are many different ways to use this flip up book!

Reading Response-
Seasonal Story Summary (October themed book) 

Original Student Writing
A Spooky Story
A time I was scared 
On Halloween Night...

How To Writing 
(includes a different flap for characters and setting)
How to trick or treat
How to carve a jack o lantern
How to pick out the perfect costume
 Frankly, it's a fun motivator that will spark some new energy into your little authors! {seriously}

I have a giveaway to win this unit on my Facebook page right now.  I am going to use the random number generator to pick three winners tonight before bed.  I've been cracking up at some of the punny comments!  I love hearing from you! Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bat Science!

I just wrapped up the third in my series of science books: Bats Science, Pumpkin Science, and Apple Science!

This time around we have all new interactive activities for your science notebook or cute multi-page bat science book! 

Take a peek!  When I showed my 6th grade son the bat book he gasped.  He loves it and he helped me put my sample book together.  I can't wait to show my students!
So here it is the basic bat book. You can place everything upside down or downside up!  It's batty! I included a bat tracer to help you make the head and wings.

All the included activities will fit all over this bat science book (or in a science notebook)

 Genius boy googled brown bats just to be sure he could color this guy brown if he felt like it. 

This is everything at once!
I will have more on this as we tackle it in the classroom!  Start gathering those bat books! 

I plan to pair this with our book study on Stellaluna and our October Math Centers!

Pics below from previous years

 If anything was of interest in this post, you can click the pictures to see where it came from!

We are off to celebrate this beautiful birthday girl!