Monday, May 26, 2014

Reading in the Wild {Summer Book Study}

Happy day, friends!

Today I am joining with several dozen bloggers to invite you to an awesome summer book study showcasing Donalyn Miller's Reading in the Wild!
An amazing reader and teacher, Miller's first book, The Book Whisperer, shares her experiences in middle grades classrooms and how she has fostered a love of reading in her students. Her classroom is INSPIRING! The book is so down-to-earth, a fast read, and filled with simple (but powerful) ways to create a culture of reading in your classroom. In The Book Whisperer, Millers leaves you with her frustration - students leaving her classroom loving reading but faced with future teachers that do not share Donalyn's enthusiasm for reading. Gradually, her students leave the practice of daily, just-because reading.

Here enters, Donalyn's second book, Reading in the Wild. This books acts as a follow-up to the first and discusses how to foster a love of reading that is lifelong and sustainable...even when a passionate teacher is not present. As a 5th grade teacher, this is powerful to me. How do I structure reading and sharing opportunities that set the foundation for life-long reading? Reading in the Wild address this question!

I would love for you to join us! You can click here or the image below to grab your copy.

So friends, are you in??

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hocus Pocus…Keep Them Focused!- Part 2

We all know teachers are magic, but it seems that this time of year, our magical powers need a little extra umph and a maybe even an ABRACADABRA to get us to that last day of school!  So, I teamed up with some amazing intermediate bloggers to create some magic of our own!  You may recall that a couple of weeks ago, we joined forces to swap some of our favorite resources, armed with the goal of putting a little extra magic in our lessons and keeping our students engaged during these final weeks of the school year.

Credit goes to these talented graphic & font artists: Krista Wallden, KG Fonts & CC Fonts.

As promised, we’re all back today with Part 2 of our blog hop giveaway – the big reveal – viola!

I am so excited to share with you the product that I used in my classroom this week.  I swapped products with Kelly Benefield from Teaching Fourth.  I used her Spring Themed Graphic Organizers to keep my students focused and help prepare them for the BIG state assessment they will take next week.

Here is a look at how I used two of the graphic organizers found in this packet with my students.  

First, we read an AMAZING story from Storyworks Magazine called Good Enough.  It is a sweet story about a girl that REALLY wants a name brand shirt, so she will fit in with the girls at her school.  Her father is out of work, so her family can not afford the expensive shirt.  However, for her birthday, she receives a "fake" or "knock off" version of the shirt.  Of course, she is embarrassed and ashamed of the shirt and does not want to wear it to school.  In the end of the story, Dori, the main character, learns that material things are not important.  :)
So, the students worked in small groups to read the story and discuss it.  I used two graphic organizers from Kelly's pack to help the students review some of the literature standards.  The students worked on identifying the characters, setting, the events that make up the plot, and the theme of the story.  Kelly's Plot Mountain graphic organizer reviewed all of these skills.

After completing the Plot Mountain, the students completed another graphic organizer to determine the character traits of the main character, Dori.  The students had to analyze the text to determine a character trait based on the character's actions and the words of the character.

Here is a look at a couple of my student samples.

I was SO pleased with the work my students did and the way they were able to take apart the text using these organizers to pinpoint key details.  The students loved the activities as well.  In fact, I teach two classes of ELA and both groups commented about much fun they had in class.  Music to a teacher's ears….the kids were engaged, learning took place, and the final products were FAB-U-LOUS!  Thanks to Kelly for an AWESOME product!

Now to our second round of magic giveaway!  We decided to switch things up a bit by having several winners this time around!   In fact, 14 classrooms will receive a little magic for their own classrooms!  Each of the blogs featured below will be giving their prize to a different winner!

So, perhaps you want to know what MY winner will collect!  Whoever is drawn as the winner from my blog will receive my Flippin' through the Common Core- Flip Flaps for Reading Interactive Notebooks.
If you would like to see how these can be used in the classroom, check out Kelly's blog post.

Here’s what you need to do for this giveaway:

Stop by each blog to read about all the magic that has been spread around classrooms near and far!

Enter to win each blogger’s resource using the raffle below.  Each blog is showcasing the same Rafflecopter, so you can just add entries as you go! 

While you are at each blog, if you’re not a blog follower already, sign on to follow!  (You can earn bonus entries for following all blogs once you unlock the additional entries.)

Again, a total of 14 winners will be named!   Each blog will award a winner.  That individual will receive the prize listed at that blog!

Here’s the list of blogs to visit: 
Swap Stop A
Teaching FourthTeaching with Blonde Ambition

Swap Stop B 
Fifth in the Middle

Swap Stop C

Swap Stop D

Swap Stop E

Swap Stop F 
One Lesson at a Time

Swap Stop G 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Well, friends, here’s the blogosphere sending a little magic your way this May! :)