Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Close Reading Passages

If you follow me on Instagram (msleslieann01) then you know what has pretty much consumed my life for the past few weeks. I've never worked harder on a unit and I can proudly say it's finally done!  I am so excited to finally be writing this post and show y'all what all is included in my newest creation: Closing Reading Passages featuring landmarks.
{Click here to get it on sale thru Thursday!}
Here's a little preview:





















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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Drawing Conclusions: Whole Group Lesson


Our comprehension skill this week is Drawing Conclusions, so I decided to also incorporate some close reading in with our whole group lessons. I've been LOVING this book. So many great ideas.

We use the Scott Foresman Reading Street series, which I'm still learning about so I can't give a full opinion of it yet. I've found some of the material to be useful and some not so great features of the program, but I'm still trying to learn what works best for me in 5th grade, so the jury's still out.
Our story this week is called The Gymnast, so we've been discussing the history of gymnastics and what all goes into training for the Olympics. The following passage is actually included in the students' books, but I always make a copy of it so they can highlight and write notes. The passages are fantastic, but they are so much better when the kids can actually interact with the text. This is eating away at my copies, but it's benefitting the kids. I try and keep that in mind when I see my remaining copies number dwindle down..

We "cold read" the paragraph first. "Cold Reading" is a neat little idea I learned from the fabulous Lyndsey from A Year of Many Firsts. After cold reading we take each paragraph and discuss. Sometimes I instruct them on what to write on the post it. Other times I simply have them jot down a question, thought, or connection. As they are doing this, I'm walking around to check their understanding of their reading. 

After this activity, we moved onto another passage that also had a graphic organizer with it so we could practice drawing conclusions. This passage actually came from the practice book, but I HATE the way the comprehension practice page is set up. They divide the passage into two parts, which is confusing when trying to number paragraphs and also just weird looking. I'm sure there is some reason as to why they displayed the passage this way, but I'm not getting it. So, I just typed it out and copied it for everyone so we could (you guessed it!) close it. 











Monday, March 3, 2014

Classroom Catchup


I had big plans to post this yesterday, but then I became glued to the Oscars. I watched all 3 hours just to see Leonardo Dicaprio finally win an oscar and then he didn't win! I was so disappointed, but I loved Ellen's hosting! Can she host every year? Love!
Here's what's happening in our classroom
We used Runde's Room's Paper Bag Character Project as our weekly project. They turned out great!!! I LOVE this project. You can find it here. It worked fabulously with my fifth graders, but it could easily be used with lower grades too!

"Graphic Sources" is our comprehension skill this week, so I made a helper chart for them to refer to.


We're tackling possessive pronouns this week, too. I so wish we had more time to focus on language arts. I would LOVE to just teach this subject! I love teaching parts of speech.

Isn't that light bulb sticky note too cute? Such a great Target find from this summer. I went back to get more and they were all gone!) I'm using my last set sparingly. 


My kids are struggling with vocabulary words, so I decided to display them in several places throughout the classroom in hopes that they click at some point during the week! Here's hoping!

I found this fantastic giant green post it at Office Max this week. It worked great for displaying the word analysis skill using different color post its. 

{GIVEAWAY TIME!}
While going through some of my first grade classroom things this weekend, I came across this set of Froggy Phonics books. This was one of the last things I bought at the end of last year before I officially decided I wanted to move to fifth. So this little gem hasn't been used AT ALL! I decided to give it away so it could be put to good use! There's a set of books for all short vowel sounds, as well as long vowel sounds. They are perfect to use in independent reading centers and would work great in a Jonathan London author study!
Enter Below for a chance to win!
Giveaway ends Friday and I'll announce the winner Saturday :)



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