Tuesday, January 21, 2014

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

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! :)


  1. Your room is so colorful and inviting! I love using task cards with my kids. We normally do them in small groups, but I like the idea of using them whole group. I read Wonder aloud to my students this year and it is so very powerful. We have made references back to it many times. I am in awe of your purses. I follow you on Instagram and get giddy every time I see a different one. You are one lucky gal! :)
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. I love how bright and colorful your room is! I have also heard great things about the book, Wonder. I think I may need to check it out myself. I'd love to hear more about how you use the task cards. Everyone raves about them, but I have never used them in my classroom before.

    Sara :)
    The Colorful Apple

  3. Hi! I'm teaching in 6th grade in Québec and your ideas for the main idea will work perfectly for my class! I have to create all the task cards that I need because it doesn't exist in french... Thank you for the idea! And your classroom look lovely really!

  4. First off... holy cow woman.. you have put a lot of amazing pieces of furniture, decorations, chairs, pillows, baskets, etc. in to your room!! Wow.. it is amazingly beautiful. I, too, love task cards and luckily, so do my students. When I first started my TPT store, I thought I would post all of our writing activities and prompts. Turns out, all I keep making are task cards.. I hope next year's class loves them half as much as this year. We use them it seems 3-4 times a week and they never get tired of them! Thank you for sharing your room!