Monday, January 19, 2015

Up Close and Personal With Close Reading

Close reading is such a buzz word these days so I have been reading a couple of books to extend my professional learning. First I read, Falling in Love with Close Reading: Lessons for Analyzing Textsand Life by Christopher Lehman. Great book with lots of ideas for close reading.  Next, I read Notice and Note: Strategiesfor Close Reading by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst.  I teach a 2/3 high ability classroom and felt like Notice and Note would be perfect for my kiddos. Finally, I put all of that professional knowledge to work with great TpT products by teachers such as Primary Polka Dots and 24/7 Teacher who both sell awesome close reading activities. Click on the images below to find these products in their store!

Next, I put together Close Reading Bags, which were simply a gallon-size baggie with a red, green, and blue Crayola pencil inside. I love Primary Polka Dots monthly passages because they can be cut and used as half sheets of paper. I throw three or four half-sheet passages along with the pencils in the baggies and pass them out to the kiddos.  I also prepare a poster of each passage I am going to use to model with my students. Then we get down and dirty with our close reading skills! Here's a picture of Lindsey Flood's product at work. (This is my poster I used for modeling!) The kids are active and we are hitting so many reading skills with just one short passage.  As soon as we get this down, I will start to introduce the signposts from Notice and Note!!

Did I mention that I had to buy new Crayola Pencils from Amazon and try out the new one day shipping? You get 240 pencils for $28. It's a great deal and my teacher next door and I divided this box up!  I ordered at 9:00 am and this box was sitting at my door by 5:00 pm. Love my Amazon Prime!!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014


We are two weeks away from our first big state test!  One of my colleagues found an ISTEP Survival bag and tweaked it so it fit our "Superhero Theme"!  We are going to have a pep session the Friday before we start testing and when the students come back to the classroom, they will have this goodie bag sitting on their desk.  It is our hopes that this will get them pumped up even more and ready to take the test!

We collected different items to use for each saying (toothpick, penny, gum, mint, eraser, smarties, and pencil).

Click on the picture of the bag for this FREE resource if you want to use to help your students Soar to New Heights with their testing!!  On the last page, I left an area blank above the SURVIVAL KIT so you can make it to fit your needs!


Monday, February 10, 2014

Word Choice

Whew!! This time of year is very stressful for both teachers and students.  With all the snow days and two hour delays, our state standardized testing prep days have been cut way down - YIKES!!!  Last year Beth and I planned four weeks of ISTEP writing prep.  We took information from Smekens website and incorporated those into our lessons.  We also had our teachers portray different characters from their site.  This week, we will be meeting Prunella Purple.  She talks to the students all about how to use Purple WOW words in their writing.  This is a resource we used last year and I thought I would share!  After reading Fancy Nancy and discussing her "fancy" words, students were partnered up and found words in the text that were boring and made them into Purple Wow words. This helped them realize the importance of Purple Wow words but at the same time when too many of those words distract the reader.  I hope that you can use this in your writing!
Click on the picture for the resource!

Here are the ISTEP ladies from the Smekens website!


Saturday, January 25, 2014

How To Writing - Root Beer Floats

During the month of January, we do some exciting writing!  Our third graders work on How To Writing pieces (How to Build a Root Beer Float and How to Blow a Bubble).  We just finished our How to Build a Root Beer Float.  We first start out as a grade level and build a Root Beer Float together.  By the students giving directions, they quickly realize how specific they need to be and they need to give every detail!  From there, students draw the steps and then work on writing out the directions step by step.  This is a great time for us to work on transition words and talk about using a variety of catchy transitions instead of first, second, third, etc. Here are some pictures of the finished work!  They really enjoy this writing and it is very "eye-catching" and they enjoy seeing them out in the hallway!
Click on the picture to get the organizer!

****  We are in the process of making our "How to Blow a Bubble".  When it is done, I will post pics! ****


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Snow, Cold, and Melonheadz!

Emily and I are on our third “Snow Day”!  The roads are still terrible in central Indiana but we are enjoying our extended Christmas vacation. 

Emily has been hard at work on a Martin Luther King Interactive Flipbook and I’m working on something for Antarctica-just can’t decide what!!

We are excited to officially be Melonheadz Addicts!!  We love Nikki’s graphics and any products we make using them are always top sellers!  Don’t you just love our new button????!!!
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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Who doesn't love a SALE!!!! Our wishlist is a mile long and we can't wait to get some great deals on great products!  Come by and visit our store!  HAPPY SHOPPING!!!

Click on the picture to be taken to our store!

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Turkey Persuasive Writing Unit

I know this is very last minute but I am hoping that there are some teachers out there looking for some writing plans for the three days of school this week!  We have done this unit the past couple of years and my students ABSOLUTELY love this!  I have found that I get some of their best writing out of this unit.  Everything is right here to make it easy planning for you!  The lesson is in SMART.  The one problem that I have with SMART is the inability to embed fonts so the font is Comic Sans.  If you are like me (a Font Fanatic) - you can change the font to your liking!  There is also the Planning Page for the students to write their paragraphs and turkey writing paper if you want your students to write a final draft.  Here are some pictures of what is included and a few of my students Turkey Persuasive Writing!

SMART Notebook Page!  The SMART is very detailed with everything you will need.

Planning Page for your students!

Two of the final products!  I tell my students these will be something their parents will save and they will take out and read to their grandchildren on Thanksgiving Day some day.  I think these are so stinkin cute!!

Photobucket     Click on the picture to be taken to our TPT Store!