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! :)





Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Motivating Readers: Book Trailers

Happy Wednesday, friends! We are officially halfway through this week! Since today was my first day back from Fall Break, it has felt like a Monday ALL DAY LONG! Thank goodness it isn't!

Today I wanted to share something that has been working great in my classroom: Book trailers! Let's be honest: it's a struggle getting some kids to pick up a book and actually read it! I've been struggling majorly with this this year and I started doing something that has generated some excitement about books in my classroom and that's book trailers!
You can find tons of book trailers on Youtube (just search for the name of the book + 'book trailer') to show your kids and I guarantee you you'll have a line of kids waiting to check out that book. Will they all read it? Nope, but I promise it will lead to more excitement about reading and motivate kids to pick up books!

I created a page on my class haiku site that makes it easy for students to watch in their spare time. Click here to check it out. I LOVE Haiku Learning!! :)

Do you use book trailers in your classroom? I'd love to hear! :)


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Plan with Me (Week of Oct.12-16)

Hi friends! I'm currently on Fall Break and loving it! As you can see, we get a two day Fall Break this week, so it's a short week. I'm using this week to extend our learning of determining the theme of a fiction text. Last week we learned how to do this and I tried a different way of using my Teaching Theme resource that I really liked! Instead of printing and laminating each story and posting them around the room and having kids partner up and work on each text, I made a little book and copied enough for each student (per class, so I made a class set of books).
Using these texts (which were written specifically for determining the theme) we made a table in a Google doc and listed the title of each passage and determined the theme. We did the first 3 together and then they were responsible for the rest. This worked out really well! I was excited to finally start using Google Classroom, which was so easy to use! Love, love, love! Do you use Google Classroom? I'd love to hear ideas!


So here's the plan for this week! I'm using Rachel Lynette's theme task cards for iWork (independent work) while I work with small groups composed of students who struggled with theme from last week. We are also on short schedule this Friday, so that will be used to start on vocabulary journals, which I promise I'll post about! It's just been busy, busy! 



Aren't these pencils adorable? Target Dollar Spot is just the best! :)

I included this after taking pictures, but we are also working with two passages included in my October Comp Files. Since our first assignment in Google Classroom worked so well, I'm going to post reading response questions and have them submit their work that way. It makes it so easy to grade and return back to the kids! Let me know if you want to hear more about Google Classroom!

Also, I will share and post my No Abandon Book Challenge later this week. Last week became too busy and I decided to wait until this week since it was a three day, more laid back kind of week! :)

Resources Mentioned:

Don't forget to check out my latest post on my Life+Style blog, Southern Belle Inspired



Monday, October 5, 2015

Plan With Me (Week of October 5-9)




Hi friends! I meant to post last night, but the night got away from me, so here we are today! Better late than never, though! Here's this week's visual plans. I don't have the digital version, but you get the idea! I'm playing around with creating a Haiku Learning site for my class and working on understanding Google Classroom better, so I hope to post about those two sites later this week. We had a ton of technology training this past year and learned a lot of neat sites to use! 

Time is a huge problem for me again this year (surprise!), so I'm trying something new this week and spending the entire time in whole group on Monday and Tuesday and then meeting with small groups on Wednesday and Thursday while students do iWork (independent work). Hopefully that will help me get in some small group time! 

I'm also introducing my No Abandon Book Challenge this week because we are having a HUGE problem with abandoning book after book and not finishing anything! Let me know if you want to hear more about the challenge :)

Comp Files (October) You can find Aug/Sept here

Don't forget to check out my September Favs on my Life+Style blog Southern Belle Inspired and my September Book Review!



Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Comp Files

My October Comp Files are finished and uploaded! Yay! You can grab them on sale tonight! You'll get 10 nonfiction and 5 fiction passages that are October themed and designed to get kids to show text based evidence! :) Grab yours here