Saturday, July 7, 2012

Writing Strategy Songs and the Common Core

So I recently did a professional devolpment week with the Lucy Caukins summer institute. It really excited me and made me want to revamp some of the things I was doing during writer's workshop. I don't know about you but writing is often shoved around when time constraints arise. This really isn't good because we all know writing is crucial to reading ability.

 So as I was listening to these wonderful speakers and examining mentor texts I decided I had to find a way to help my kids remember writing strategies better. We need a common language during our day that they can reflect back on and say 'Oh yea, commas. I remember those!'

I set out to create this pack and I can't wait to use it. I use lots of little songs in my room anyway because I love music. These will go along well with my mini lessons. I wish I had some kids to practice them on but I don't. EEK! But you can help me with that.  I've posted this pack but I will share it with the first person that leaves me a comment with their email. Let me know what you think!

These songs cover a range of skills. There are sixteen in all and they are set up on a half sheet of paper. I may hang them around my writing wall after we learn them. I'm not sure. I consulted the common core, Lucy Caukins, and some Six Traits writing when I wrote these. I hope you like! :)


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Facts in a Snap: A writing activity

So far this summer I have pinned a ton of ideas for next year but am having a little bit of trouble getting started. I did create this freebie and am excited to share it with the blogging world. My mother in law is addicted to Snapple. I'm not much on tea so I've never payed attention to it. Then I randomly noticed there were odd facts written on the caps. How cool is that! I do an Odd Fact collaborative journal in my class and use an Odd Fact app on my kindle. It is a great way to turn on reluctant readers because it hooks them. Now I'm trying to take it a step farther with my reluctant writers!

So, introducing Facts in a Snap!

 I have saved probably about 20 caps so far. I'm even drinking a little bit of the Snapple myself, but mostly they have come from the mother in law. The container I have used is an empty applesauce container. Really any container would work, I just like the way it looks. You can download this for free at my Teachers pay Teachers store. Just click the picture!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


So to celebrate the summer I am having a sale! Please head on over to my store and load up on your favorite items. Click the image below!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Math Common Core

We recently did a lot of math common core training. I am no expert, but I feel so much better about what is coming. I'm excited for a chance to teach my kids without as much pressure to cover all of our state standards. I made two documents to help me for next year so I am sharing these freebies with you!
Click here to download an overview for getting math workshop up and going within your classroom. It is modeled after the First 20 days, but it is far more general. Hopefully you will see a lot of things you are already doing.

Click the picture below to download a set of posters for the Standards of Mathematical Practices. These are the broad overview that guides your math lessons. It's important for students to use these daily. I plan to hang them on my math wall as we discuss and learn them during those first weeks of school.

What are you doing to prepare for the common core? What changes have you made since adapting to the common core? 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pin It to Win It

Well friends, it has been a while since I last blogged! The summer has officially started for me, but not for long. With common core on the way I will be in training the next two weeks. As much as I love the summer I do appreciate the chance to grow professionally.

 I am busy planning and doing for next year and am sure you are as well. That being said I have decided to participate in the 'Pin it to Win It' contest through Teachers Pay Teachers.

You can click here to view my Pinterest boards. Pin away until Thursday! One Friday, June 15th I will choose some winners!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Hip, Hip Array!

I just love math crafts when they help the kiddos get a concept. We have been building arrays for the last two weeks and will finish with them this week. All of these patterns are available in my TpT store found here.

 Here are what we've done so far.

The birthday cupcakes have colored marshmallows glued to them! We used Bingo dotters to make spots on our butterflies. the cookies are glued onto a real plate! How neat is that?

We used division to draw on an alien's eyeballs. This was a hit! Then we made watermelons and their seeds. Last is the ladybug and her spots. 

Hope you see something you can use!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Character Traits using Literature

Whew, TGIF! I had a rough week with my kids and ironically we have started our Character Traits unit. I'm not sure why we save this in our district until the end of the year because so many kids would benefit from it sooner. I have enjoyed it a lot more this year because we have done more read and respond with it. Here's a look at what we've done so far.
Here is our 'Hall of Fame' and 'Wall of Shame' chart. Around the chart are 16 vocabulary cards with various traits we are studying.  The sentence strips have the trait written on it with a color picture of the book that exhibited that trait.
We read the book Kate Shelly and the Midnight Express. My class loved it! Kate really demonstrated the character trait of determination and bravery. There is a picture of the book cover on that sentence strip, too.
Here is our 'Wall of Shame' characters - so far. These are some of my most favorite books!

Here is a foldable we made comparing and contrasting what Elbert did in Elbert's bad word vs. what we would do. Notice the Angel and Devil in the picture.
This was a great place to write a brief summary of the story.

Funny, this was the common reaction of my students yet I don't believe they would all pretend like they didn't hear that bad word!

Here is our 'Most Wanted' posters. They are about Camilla Capybara. They include a description of her crime, whereabouts, and reward for her capture. She was obviously a shameful character!

 All of these items can be found in my Character Trait unit. Click below to head on over and get a copy for yourself.