Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Motivating Students

Motivating 5th graders can be challenging anytime of the year, but the holidays are especially difficult! Students are wanting to do anything and everything EXCEPT what we are doing in school, so we as teachers have to get creative and make learning extra fun. I have two main areas that I struggle with student motivation: reading and homework. Luckily I found two fabulous ideas with The Mailbox Gold Toolkit. I was so excited about these fun, creative ideas that I made a video about them. Check it out!

Psst! There's an AMAZING giveaway brought to you by The Mailbox Company at the end of this post... be sure and enter! :) :) 

Want to win a $100 Visa Gift Card from The Mailbox Company?? Who doesn't! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win. I'll announce the winner Friday night! Good Luck! :)

                                                            a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 14, 2015

WBT {Whole Brain Teaching}

Happy Saturday, friends! I posted this picture on my Instagram (msleslieann01) earlier this week and lots of people commented with helpful tips on Whole Brain Teaching. Have you ever heard of this teaching system? Do you use it in your classroom? I discovered this through Youtube a few years back and was hooked. I only use a few methods, but after seeing a video of it being used in a 5th grade classroom ( I had only ever seen it through the eyes of a 1st grade teacher!), I was determined to learn more so I purchased this book. We started incorporating the game board Thursday and Friday and my kids were never more engaged in a lesson or well behaved! I'm sharing with y'all some of my favorite videos that you can check out if you don't know a lot about it and you want to know more. 





Monday, November 2, 2015

Carson Dellosa: Evidence Practice Passages and Story Starters

Happy Monday, friends! I'm teaming up with Carson Dellosa to talk about some absolute amazing products this month. 

Let me tell you, if I had a Holy Grail teaching product, this Applying the Standards Evidence-Based Reading would be it. Y'all, this book is perfect for practicing how to show evidence in short answer responses. #love

You get passages designed to specifically target standards for literature, informational text, foundational skills, and even language! I cannot say enough good things about this book! You will LOVE it!

Be sure and check out the video preview here

The CC Differentiated Reading for Comprehension book is another fabulous resource. This book comes with passages written below, on, and above level. This is absolutely perfect for providing practice for all levels in your classroom. 
You can get a video preview here

Another great resource that I'm sharing this month are these Curriculum Cut Out Story Starters that I use during Rain Writing. The kids love them and they are great when a child says "I don't know what to write". 

Learn more about this fun product in the video preview! 

What are some of your favorite Carson Dellosa go to resources? I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November Comp Files

Yay for November Comp Files being done and uploaded! You can grab them here. Check below for a below of what's included... In this month's unit I included girl AND boy evidence bookmarks for those who have asked! :)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The No Abandon Book Challenge

Happy Halloween, y'all! I know most of y'all are probably recovering from yesterday! Whew, there's nothing like Halloween in the elementary classroom! Today, I'm catching up on blogging, and creating. I *promise* the November Comp Files will be done either tonight or tomorrow morning! And I'm immediately starting to work on the December ones so I don't wait 'til the last minute like I did on October and November ones! 

Anyways, I DID finally upload The No Abandon Book Challenge and that's what today's blog post is going to be about. When I started the challenge, my goal was to have NO abandon books, but I learned something during this challenge: It's not always bad to abandon a book. Y'all may have already realized that, but I always took it as a reading failure when one of my kids decided to stop reading a book. And then I realized I did that too! Sometimes a book just isn't what we want to read at the moment or maybe we just don't like the storyline or the writing style. For whatever reason, if you aren't enjoying a book, it's time to move on and find one you do like!
At this discovery, the point of the challenge changed. Now I hope the kids will be challenged to work towards finishing a book and challenging themselves to read more. We had this discussion last week and decided to change the rules of the challenge a bit.  You can use the challenge two ways:
We play the competition mode because we are always up for a little friendly competition! However, we did stop and talk about how not to be afraid to tell me you don't like the book. What I'm realizing is that students are learning to find books that are right for them rather than just picking up any ole book! 

Starting the Challenge
On Day 1 of the challenge, each student will submit a book for the challenge. The challenge can last as long as you wish. Each day, students check in with you (if you do Status of the Class at the beginning of the class, this is the perfect time for check ins!) using the Student Tracking page. You ask them if they are still reading the book they submitted and you can ask them about the book. You can use the Student Conference sheets included in the resource if you wish or just notebook paper. 

The resource is completely editable so you can add your students' names in the charts or print them out and write!

You can grab this resource here and on SALE today! 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Plan with Me Visual Plans (Week of Oct. 25-30)

Hi friends! It's Sunday, so that means it's time for another Plan with Me post! Here are my plans for the week of Halloween! :) Any resources mentioned will be linked at the bottom of this post. Hope everyone has a wonderful week! :)

I've had a lot of questions about my lesson planner. It's actually an agenda! I love using planners/agendas for my lesson plans because it makes it more fun! I got mine at Target. It's the Blue Sky Daily Designer. :) The paperclips were a DIY project! :)

Here's the visual plans for the week. I've started using my skill passage packs as an individual activity, which takes longer to get through but I like that I can see which students are struggling and which ones get it. I copy each passage (there are 10 included) and make a "book" for each student and we work our way through the passages. 

This is from my Teaching Theme pack

Resources Used:
Quick Draws (Free!) I blogged about how I use these here

Friday, October 23, 2015

Writing Prompts using The Mailbox Gold Toolkit

Hi friends! Today I'm sharing how I use The Mailbox Gold Toolkit to incorporate writing into my daily schedule. Let me tell you: I majorly struggle with teaching writing. I teach Reading, Conventions (grammar), and Spelling and I have 3 classes everyday for roughly 1 hr and 15 minutes. Writing is often overlooked because there simply isn't enough time to fit everything in!

I try to include writing in our lessons each day, but on Fridays we usually do Rain Reading where students find a comfy spot somewhere in the classroom and write about a certain topic. I love using The Mailbox Gold Toolkit to find writing topics. 

I like to sometimes give the students choices about what to write and this printable provides fantastic writing prompts that are designed to get kids thinking, writing, and justifying their responses!

I also love all the writing prompts that you can use for different seasons/holidays or anytime!

Not a Mailbox Gold member? Sign up here! :)