Wednesday, February 24, 2016

This Kid is on Fire! Freebie!


Do y'all ever have a kid that really shines during a particular lesson? Today we were working on level 4 questioning and one of my kids (who typically doesn't participate or volunteer to answer questions) was really on fire! We gave the kid a 10 finger whoo, but then I started singing "This kid is on fire", which tickled everyone! It gave me the idea to start rewarding kids that shine during certain lessons or parts of class. I made these bookmarks when I got home and thought I'd share with y'all in case you want to try this idea out! :) You can grab your free copy here!

I'd love to hear other motivational/reward tips and tricks! Leave a comment below! :)


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

Teaching Story Structure

Happy President's Day, friends! Do you have the day off today? Thankfully I do! Usually by now we've had a few snow days, but there's been next to nothing this year! I really need a day off to catch up on things! I'll be spending all day work, work, working! 

Last week we discussed story structure and I thought I'd share with y'all. We did several different activities and they seemed to finally be understanding it.

I introduced the skill with this anchor chart.

To start the lesson, we completed this interactive notebook printable, which also serves as a study guide for the quiz.


If you used my Teaching Story Elements resource, you might recognize this passage as the same one in the interactive notebook printable for that skill. I purposely did this to talk with the kids about the difference between story elements and story structure. I worried that they might confuse the two because there are 5 parts of story structure and 5 elements of a story.

We then watched this video clip and identified the structure on the back of the interactive notebook sheet. We did this part as a whole group activity.

               

The next day we started on practice passages!
We used these graphic organizers to help us identify the beginning, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution of a story.

I displayed these posters for the kids to refer back to.

You can check out this resource here :)




Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Teaching Writing


Remember how I said teaching generalizations scares me? You know something else that can be added to that list? Teaching writing! I teaching Reading/Language Arts/Spelling and I hate to admit it, but writing gets pushed back A LOT! There just isn't enough time to teach everything, but writing is super important! I decided to use Presidents Day as the perfect excuse to start writing our informational essays and I thought I'd share the process with y'all! 

I'm going to divide this series of posts into 5 different parts, using the 5 steps of writing as a guide. I'm teaching my kids about this process using my writing posters. 

You can find these posters here 
(They are also included in the Presidential Research Unit)



This week, we started our Presidential Research Project:

On Monday, we each randomly chose a president to write our informational essay on. We used the site ducksters.com to gather information about our president. I made sure that we only used this site to ensure the content would be appropriate (lots of other sites included the sexual relations issue with Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky and I wanted to steer clear of that!** This site does mention the impeachment part, but just says he lied about something. No details!) 

I created this info sheet to record facts about each president.


Once everyone completed this sheet, they grab a copy of the fun facts page and used the same site to find three fun facts about their president and draw a portrait

Once we had gathered all our information, it was time to organize it! We used several graphic organizers to help with this step (lots of my kids couldn't believe all of this was in step 1! I told them it was a long process!)

By this point, students are very familiar with their topic (in this case, their president) and have their info organized. Writing the 1st draft should now be easy! We'll start that part Friday! :)

You can find all the printable mentioned in this post here. :)
Happy hump day, y'all! 







Monday, February 1, 2016

Star Reading Growth Report Freebie

Hi friends! I'm back with another freebie today! Does your school use Star Reading as an assessment? (If so, be sure and check out this post!)There are 3 screening dates throughout the school year (fall, winter, and spring) and we took the winter benchmark back during the first week of December. I feel like there's too much time in between those screening dates, so I usually test mine (as a group) once in between. Today we took the test so I could see how much growth (or lack thereof!) my students have made since the beginning of school. I was really pleased with my kids' scores! I ran the growth report to see the numbers and realized how valuable this information would be to parents. Yes, I know there are many reports, including a Parent Report, that you can print off and share with the parents, and I send those home, but I like sending this kind of "report" home for several reasons:

1) It's easier for parents to understand
2) I feel like they are more likely to look at it since I have written comments on it (Plus, they are required to sign off on it!)
3) It allows me to think about each student and reflect on their learning. If I just print off a report and hand it out, I don't have as good of an opportunity.
No, I don't teach Jim and Pam :) I just wanted to show y'all an example of one filled out. 


I thought I'd share if y'all want to use it! Click here to grab your copy! Let me know if you want a math version and I can post that too! :)