Saturday, September 28, 2013

Peek at my Week

We've been working hard in 3rd Grade! I really am enjoying teaching this group of kids. There are a couple of friends that are challenging but that's how it is every year. Here is a peek at what we did this week.

The kiddos picked their first story to publish last week. Before we get to revising I decided we needed to go over complete sentences. So I began by making an anchor chart together with the kids on subjects and predicates.

Then they had to read their first draft and look for a sentence that had a subject and underline it in red and look for a predicate and underline it in pencil. The next day we used the Complete and Incomplete Sentence Sort from my Sentences Supplemental Activities Pack. Table groups worked together to sort the sentences. 

You can see this group almost got it right. After they sorted them they had to discuss what the subject and predicate were of the complete sentences. I gave them a test from my pack at the end of the week and most of them did well which made me really happy! I can always refer back to these lessons when we write to make sure they are writing complete sentences. 

In Reading we worked on story elements. To model it I used the story Oliver Button is a Sissy because we had already read it for making connections. We used the hamburger to organize the different elements. Throughout the week the kids worked on their own hamburger using the book Little Grunt and the Big Egg. I just love that book!

I will be returning to story elements and plot development but realized that I really need to go over inferring first so they can analyze characters and how they develop. So on Friday I did the trash lesson from Comprehension Connections and the thinking stems. 

(I wish I would have remembered to take a picture of the trash.) If you haven't read this book it's a must for hooks before teaching the reading strategies. The kids had a ball making inferences about the trash so I know this lesson will stick with them. Inferences is my favorite reading strategy and I can't wait to do more next week. Well I hope you enjoyed looking in at some of the things we did this week. I realized that next time I need more pics of the activities in action. I have a busy weekend ahead of me and I hope you all have a great one!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Writing during Literacy Block

I have to say that things are going really well during independent work time. Most of my kiddos can work independently for a sustained amount of time. During my literacy block I have the kids write for one of their stations. I started out the year having them just continue the work they had done during writer's workshop. But I wanted to change things up to keep it interesting. So I am starting with three different activities they can choose from. 

The first activity is Roll and Write a Story. There are many versions out there like this one by Jordan Reads that I found through Pinterest and can be downloaded from TPT. I took ideas from   several ones I found and made my own.  I laminated three of them and used foam blocks for the dice. The kids choose one of the publishing papers that I created and write their story on that. They continue working on their story each time they have writing as one of their stations. Once the story is finished, they turn it in so I can bind all the stories together in a book.

Another activity I have added is writing prompts. Depending on how this month goes and how popular it is, I plan on changing the prompts every month. I got my prompts for September from Second Story Window and here.  I simply wrote the prompts on colored index cards that I had cut up and placed them in a purple tin I had gotten at Target a while back. I added a label and it was ready to go! They can change out the prompt two times while choosing one but have to keep the third one. They answer their prompt on one of the publishing papers and turn in so I can bind those also into a book.

The final writing activity I included in the station is class journals. I got this idea from Pinterest. The kids will pick a journal that has topics such as pets and special memories. I store them in a magazine bin and the kids choose one to write in, write their name at the top of the next blank page and then write according to the topic. 

I keep all the materials in my writing station which is a work in progress. There is nothing spectacular about it but it works for us for the moment. (If you look closely, you can see the baggie I taped to the desk on the left hand side. It is holding the dice for the Roll and Write a Story activity.) 

So there you have it! The kids really enjoyed this station when I introduced the new activities last week. I plan on adding and changing out activities throughout the year to keep the interest going. What kinds of activities do you you do for writing outside of writer's workshop?


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Giveaway Winner!

The lucky winner is....

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations Stephanie B. for winning a Classroom Friendly Sharpener! I'll be emailing you for details!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Giveaway ends soon!

My giveaway of a Classroom Friendly Supplies giveaway ends at Midnight! I will be picking a winner tomorrow!

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Word Study

We've already had two weeks of school. Crazy! We launched independent reading and writing (boot camp style) with great success. The kids LOVE it when given the freedom to choose what to read and write. (Well most of them.) Now that we have gotten to 20 minutes of reading and 12 minutes of writing, I am going to launch word study and reading on the computer next week. 

Reading on the computer is just the kids using Tumblebooks or taking an AR test. No prep work except for the anchor chart that will go over expectations. For word study, my students have composition books. I use Words Their Way and I gave them their first list of words on Wednesday. In small groups I showed them how to do a written word sort in their notebooks. When a new week of word study starts that is the first activity that will be in their notebooks. On that day they will also get a new Tic-Tac-Toe sheet for the week. 

When doing one of our Fab 4 stations, they can do 3 activities that create a tic-tac-toe on the sheet. (Fab 4 is just what I call our Reading stations.) Any work that requires paper will be done in their notebooks. If they do free choice they have to fill in the activity they did on the sheet. I got the Rainbow Roll and Write from a Cupcake for a Teacher here. (It's free!) Superhero Sight Word Mission is from Fourth Grade Frolics and I got that here. All the other activities I found through pinterest and created directions if needed. When I give the spelling test, they need to be finished with their word study sheet and glue it into their notebooks. They will also be gluing their word cards into their notebooks. I give word study notebook grades periodically, but in the beginning I will be checking their notebooks more frequently to make sure the kiddos are doing them correctly. 

One of the activities on their Word Study Tic-Tac-Toe sheet is Silly Sentences. It's an activity I found through Pinterest and made a directions sheet to hang up in the room. If you'd like a copy of it click on the title below. There is a color and black and white version. I will post some pics once we get word study going in my room. I'd love to hear how you all do word study in your class so please share some ideas or tips! 

Don't forget to enter my giveaway of a Classroom Friendly Supplies sharpener!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Classroom Friendly Sharpener Giveaway!

I posted a review for the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener yesterday. You can read about it here. Classroom Friendly Supplies is giving away a sharpener to one of my readers!

All you have to do is enter through Rafflecopter. The more entries you enter, of course the better your chances! I will announce a winner on Thursday, August 29th. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Classroom Friendly Supplies Sharpener

I was recently sent the sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies to review. I LOVE this sharpener. It is a manual sharpener but works better than any of the electric sharpeners I've ever had. 

There is a how to video on the website on how it works and how to remove lead that gets stuck in the blades. The pencils sharpen to a perfect point! What's even better is that the pencils stay sharp for a longer time than when using a regular sharpener. I have a pencil sharpener as the classroom job and it was easy training him how to use it. It has really cut down on how much time the kids ask to replace their pencil. ( I don't allow sharpening during the day. The kids raise a pencil in the air if they need another one until I acknowledge them. Then they switch it out for a sharpened pencil.)

Look at those points!

I have already recommended this sharpener to colleagues who have told me about their pencil woes. It's a BIG problem in elementary school! Definitely check them out. You will not be disappointed.