Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Nonfiction Text Features

This week we started looking at elements of fiction and nonfiction.  Of course, as the students compared and contrasted the two types of books, the kids quickly noticed some of the text features.  I used this as a segway to introduce the text features that students in fourth grade should know such as graphs, timelines, and diagrams. 

Today, the kids went on a text feature scavenger hunt.  The students were to look in their own nonfiction books (that they had check out from the library or the ones that I had available in the classroom- I prefer students to have a book on a topic they are interested in learning more about).  I used The Shabby Chic Teacher's nonfiction text features unit (freebie-check it out)  to show examples of text features on the Promethean Board. 

Here are some of my kiddos on their text feature scavenger hunt. 

Check out my improvising...I didn't have any small post-it notes, so we had to use the larger post-it notes and tear them.  :)  Also, to save on post-its, the kids only marked each type of text feature they could find ONCE. 

After all of the kids have finished, the kids traded books with a friend and they checked their friend's work.  The kids LOVED this activity!  When the kids were leaving my class, they made comments like, "Mrs. Shelby, the activity today was SO much fun!"  That's always a good thing to hear!  :) 

So, that's what we have been up to in my fourth grade reading class.  Do you have any awesome strategies you use to review/teach text features? 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chocolate Roots

I hope many of you took advantage of the big Back to School TpT sale!  I know that I spent WAY TOO MUCH!  In fact, I didn't just shop once, not twice, but three different times!  I just kept finding products that I wanted and couldn't quit.  I think I need a TpT intervention!  LOL!  Oh well, I will definitely be putting all that great material to good use. :) 

Speaking of great products, there is a teacher-created program called The Reading Olympians that I purchased this summer and have started using in my classroom this week.  This program was created by Julie Kiss and Krista Miller.  When I first saw this program, I was definitely intrigued!  With the new Common Core Standards, students are expected to learn Greek and Latin roots to determine the meanings of words.  I really had no idea how to even begin to approach this concept until I discovered The Reading Olympians program.  When I saw it, I KNEW this was an approach that I could easily use in the classroom and make learning Greek and Latin roots fun. 

This week, I started with an introduction to the program with a resource that Julie and Krista offer in their store called Chocolate Roots.  The students use the word chocolate and a list of common roots to make new (made up) words using the roots and chocolate.  Here are some of the pictures of my students in action.  They had SO much fun!  :)

I loved this one!  Gravchocolate- heavy chocolate 

I had one of those "proud teacher" moments today.  My students were in the Computer Lab taking their MAP test for Reading today.  As I stood by one student, I saw that his question was asking something where he was having to choose the definition of centennial.  He looked up at me, laughed, and clicked 100.  He whispered, "I knew that because it was on our root list today."  I was definitely doing a silent happy dance and in my mind thanking Julie and Krista. 

Tomorrow, I will be explaining in more detail The Reading Olympian Program and giving the students the materials from the Nike set.  You can check out this set because it is offered as a freebie on Julie and Krista's store.  I am excited about what this program is going to offer my kids.  I feel confident that it is not only going to help students unlock the meanings of unknown words to increase their vocabulary, but improve their comprehension and fluency as well.  I believe in this program and will be blogging about it periodically throughout the school year. 

If you are interested in more information about the program, you can visit The Reading Olympians website.  They have a program to meet the needs of both primary and intermediate students.  Also, if you have questions, I know Julie and Krista would be more than willing to answer them.  Believe me, I have done my sharing of pestering them.  LOL! 

If you are a 3rd-5th grade teacher in a state that has adopted the Common Core Standards, how do you plan to address the Reading Foundation Standard 3?  I would to hear your ideas.  If you were kind of at a loss like me....this program might be workable for you. 

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I LOVE a BIG sale!

I am sure by now most of you have heard that there annual Back to School sale on TpT will be tomorrow and Monday.  I must say that I am SUPER excited!  My wish list if full....33 items just waiting to be purchased.  :)  I hope that you will take advantage of the big sale to purchase great materials to use in your classroom this year. 

I will be participating in the sale by offering a discount of 20% off all my products.  TpT will take an additional 10% off the sale price.  You can't get much better than that.  Click on the picture below to visit my store and add items to your cart. 

I will also be offering a 25% discount on Teacher's Notebook. Click on the picture below to visit my shop there. 

Have a great weekend and happy shopping!  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pocket Charts, Calendars, and Sales...Oh My!

I am getting ready to leave for school.  We are starting our third day.  So far, things have gone really well.  The only issue that I am having is that as the week progresses, the more difficult it is for me to get out of bed.  I am SO tired!  We are having a BLAST getting to know each other, though. I have a really sweet group.  :) 

Recently, I have received several emails and blog post comments on where to purchase a black file folder chart, so I thought I would just blog about it.  I must say that I, myself had trouble finding them, but I emailed one of my blogging buddies and she sent me in the right direction. 

If you are interested in the black file folder pocket chart, you can purchase one at www.mardel.com. You can click on the picture below and it will take you straight to the item. 

I have also ordered a black calendar pocket chart.  It should be arriving ANY day.  You can purchase this at www.mathlearningcenter.org.  Click on the picture below to take you directly to the item. 
Last, but not least, I am super excited to announce that my girls, Krista and Julie, from The Reading Olympians are running a 50% off sale on ALL of the items in their store, including their Reading Olympians program that focuses on Greek and Latin roots.  I plan to implement this program in my classroom and will be blogging about it throughout the year.  To learn more about this program, please visit their site at http://www.thereadingolympians.com/

To check out their AWESOME products in their store, click on the picture below.  I hope that you take advantage of this super sale!  :) 

Well, I am off to school!  Have a great Wednesday! 

Saturday, August 4, 2012


I know many of my faithful followers use my Daily Fix-It Up Sentences and have been anxiously awaiting for me to finish the packet for August.  Well, I am happy to inform you that I have FINALLY posted a Back to School Daily Fix-It Up set that can be used for either August or September.  If you would like to purchase this packet, you can click on the picture below. 

I am currently working on a set for September and hope to have it posted later tonight or tomorrow.  Although I have labeled it as a September packet, it actually has a science theme and can be used during any month.  Here is a preview of the packet. 

Once this packet is complete, I will have Daily-Fix It Ups complete for the whole school year August-May. I plan to leave the individual months on my TpT store, but my question is, would you all like to see me bundle these up and offer them at a discounted price if you purchase the whole year? I have had a couple of requests for this...thoughts?  I would love to hear your opinion. 

Happy Saturday!  :) 

P.S.  My first day of school is Monday!  Yikes!  Where did the summer go? I am SO jealous of ya'll that are still on summer break.  :)