task cards, classroom face lift, and a good book!

3:18 PM

I have become obsessed with using task cards in my classroom. I absolutely love them and I think I have purchased every single one of Rachel Lynette's and Teaching with a Mountain View. It's so easy to just pull out a set for a particular skill that kids are struggling with. While I love using these in centers and during my small group instruction, I thought they would also be great for whole group instruction. I decided to take a few of the cards and write them on chart paper.

 I displayed them around the room and the kids got into groups to figure out the main idea of each passage. I also added two other choices to pick the main idea from, so when they were finding the main idea, they also had to tell me why the other two were wrong. 

Once we finished determining the main idea of each passage, we color coded our answers. I think it's so important to teach kids how to highlight. If we didn't go over this in class, every kid would be highlighting every single word that they had written. This way, it's much easier to find what they're looking for when I call on one of them. We highlighted each main idea in the same color and their reasons for why the other two choices weren't the main idea in another color.

Lastly, we filled out a graphic organizer where we named the main idea of a passage, along with details that supported the main idea.

Tomorrow we will work on a slightly harder passage where we will identify the main idea and find supporting details within the passages

I spent a little time in my classroom this weekend and rearranged some things. The room works so much better now and I'm loving the new areas. My kids were thrilled too :) We all need a little change every now and then, right? 

Have you ever read this book?
How wonderful is this book? Soooo good! I posted a pic on Instagram (msleslieann01) and I had several people say they read it aloud to their 5th graders. I would *love* to do this and actually had one student ask if we could do this with the book today but since I only have each group of students for around an hour and 1/2, I simply don't have time. I'm still struggling with fitting everything in, so a read aloud just isn't possible. Instead, I talked about the book with each group and asked if they wanted to read it. If they did, they put their name on a piece of paper and placed it in the green bucket. At the end of the day, I randomly drew a piece of paper and that person got to read the book. When that person finishes, the book will be passed on. There's also a copy at the library that they can check out. If you haven't read the book, you definitely need to. It was so good!!

Happy Tuesday, y'all! :)

#LAeveryday2014 Weeks 2&3 Recap

8:53 AM

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Day 6: Snow day! Perfect excuse to shop the HUGE Lilly Pulitzer sale. I got so many things for an amazing price!

Day 7: Reese's afternoon walk was a quick one! It was FREEZING cold here in Alabama

Day 8: I spent the night cutting out my new winter Language Arts centers, which you can find here.

Day 9: I found these amazing chervon pillows at the Dollar General store of all places! Perfect for my classroom.

Day 10: After an exhausting week, Reese and I curled up and enjoyed a good book. Who else loves Mindy Kaling?

Day 11: Grocery shopping at Publix!

Day 12: I spent this day working on my project for Jo-Ann Fabrics. You can read all about the finished project here.

Day 13: Rainy day! Finally got to wear my favorite Christmas present :)

Day 14: Shopping for a new desk chair. The one I have now is SO uncomfortable and kills my back. This one pictured was perfect, except for the price tag! I'm still looking! :)

Day 15: Double bows.

Day 16: Blonde Appointment made for a LONG day, in which I left my cell phone at school after having a dead battery all day. Jo Ann Fabrics project was shared on the blog. You can see that full post here.

Day 17: Stop the presses: I worked out! I absolutely hate working out! I hate it while I'm working out and I don't feel better afterwards. I'm trying to work on this! :)

Be sure and follow along with me on Instagram to see my daily posts for #LAeveryday2014. My username is msleslieann01

New Year's Resolutions

3:44 PM

Cara's 100th Day people are quite possibly my favorite craft ever and I always loved recreating them for New Years and having the kids write resolutions. Here's a couple of pictures from an old post so you can get an idea :)

I did this activity with my 5th graders today. I didn't remember to cut out the hats with scrapbook paper so they didn't turn out near as cute, but I LOVE reading their resolutions. After actually talking about what resolutions are and examples of common ones people always making, we wrote our own. As I was looking back through my first grade resolutions it's so neat to see how different 1st graders think than 5th graders! :) Here's the 5th grade version:

If I had remembered scrapbook paper this would have look precious with this great garland I found after Christmas for 75% off! It worked great for the hats. 

After we each made our own resolution, we decided on a few class goals that we wanted to work hard to accomplish this semester. I created a chart with each of my three classes, but forgot to take pictures of that! :) 

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