Saturday, June 23, 2012

Book Groups

First-I'm sure you have noticed my new blog design!  I love the polka dots and colors.   We're still looking for an owl instead of a bird to match....  Any ideas or persons interested in making a cutesy one??  ;)  The blog design I had won from Sprinkle Teaching Magic and it was from The Cutest Blog on the Blog.

I thought I would share how I ran my book groups this year.  Here's a few pictures to show you how I organized it.  I have the packet uploaded to my TPT store.  You can buy a complete set of Story and Informational books (I created an informational literature circle set to meet the Informational text standards---and well, they are much different than the roles that would occur in the usual book/literature circles!  Click on any picture to take you to my Literature Circle Packet on TPT.  (I do also have them listed separately)

 This is how I kept track of who was in each group.  (This is included in the packet)

 I made 5 sets (1 isn't shown because I didn't need it this year) of each job on a lanyard.  Each group is a color to help organize things.  I still haven't found the perfect home for these yet!

This is an example of a packet I put together for one of my groups.  Each group had a packet that was the same color as their lanyard.  It was then the name of their group.

This is an example of student work from one of the pages in their book journals (that's what we named them).  Each journal had a different rotation of jobs so that I didn't have to tell them what their next job was.  I wasn't always meeting with each group EVERY time.  I wanted them to have some responsibility to run their groups without having to rely on me all the time.  (Though, I did have an ear on the groups and could tell what was going on!!!)  

I had been searching and differentiating so many different literature circle groups through the years to use with my kiddos.  I am a believer that these can be done at ANY level.  I modeled many times how they should be run and we also completed the worksheets that are their "jobs" in the groups many times in class as a whole group kind of work before setting them loose in their new "book groups."  I had ALL work done in class.  Nothing went home (we had strict homework policies this year and I have had bad luck with students remembering books in the past---and they NEEDED their books to run the groups!)  We met 2-3 times a week, depending on absences and making sure all had their work finished.  If needed, they could read/do their job during the Daily 5 time that I was running in class.

I don't really have a new freebie for you right now, but wanted to remind you of one that I have had in the past!  It is something that can be used throughout the year for book "reports." 
Click on the picture to grab yourself a copy!

Also---for those of you who have 4th and 5th grade teacher friends who would like a cute checklist like I have made for K-3, I am currently working on those!  I had a special request from a few people---so I wanted to let you know that it's in the works.  I'd actually like to try to finish it this week because next week.....  shhhh!  I'll be in Disney!!  (and my boys still have NO idea!!!)  We'll see if they catch on as I try to "sneak" pack this week!

If you missed out on seeing my checklists----here they are!  (I just realized that I don't have a cover page for 3rd.  Click here to see third grade!)  I was SUPER excited to see that my Kindergarten checklist had been pinned over 1,000 times off of TPT!!  I could not believe it!!!!!!!

ALSO-before I forget!!!  Head over to Katie's blog to enter her 250+ followers giveaway!  You could wins some fabulous prizes----not to mention my newest "Whack It!"  ;)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Whack It!

So, today is my first day home with the kiddos!  And, it's rainy and COLD!  Too cold for shorts!  (but we're wearing them anyway!)  Hard to believe that in just a day or 2 it'll be almost 100 degrees!

So, I've been busy over the weekend in between celebrating Father's Day!  I found this adorable clip art at Scrappin' Doodles and I just had to do something with it.... and of course, I had a ton of ideas that popped into my head----and I couldn't sleep much till I finished!

First up---Whack-A-Number Sentence!  Students will have gopher cards with numbers.  They will whack number sentences to "win" the card!  In the set is number cards and 9+ ways to play!  It could easily be something that you can use all year!

Then----Whack-A-Word Family!  I have included 29 different word families (2 and 3 letter endings) where students will "whack" different letter combos to make words and record it!  There are 2 different recording sheets.  1 will just have students record their words and the second has them deciding on real and nonsense words they make.  At the end of the 95 page file, I included just the "toppers" of the worksheets so that you could just copy and laminate and have it be part of your word work stations/centers.  You could have them record anyway they'd like/you'd like!

But wait---there's more!  If you click on the DOWNLOAD PREVIEW of the listing---you can grab yourself a free copy of "Whack-IT"   I will have this unit on sale until July!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Address Change & Pet Peeves!


Hey all!  I was reading Jessica's blog tonight and she was listing her Blogging pet peeves.  I thought I would share a few of mine too :)  (Though, they are not much different!)  First, commenting.  I, like many others, did not realize that I had that robot thingy on for you in order to comment.  It's now O.F.F.!!!  Comment away!  :)

Second.......  I absolutely HATE how my blog name does not match my address...... so I'm changing it.  While in fixing my commenting issue-I realized that I can change it.  I'm giving you all a little heads up---though it won't effect those following me already---you'll still get my little post updates in the google thingy.  I never thought this journey would be like it has the past few months.  I started out without knowing what name I would be---and it just came to me.  There are a few personal reasons for me changing my address----but I want to do it now, before more find me at my old address!  

I will leave my address as is for the next day or two----but after that----please find me at

That's about it with my blogging pet peeves right now.....  other than sometimes when a blogger links to somewhere---it doesn't take me to where I need to be and I spend time searching...... and searching.... but, I haven't come across that too much recently!

One more day of school for me tomorrow then it's SUMMERTIME!  I can HARDLY contain myself tonight!  Who knows what I'll be remembering tomorrow while I'm supposed to be learning! :)  (that is, if you have me bookmarked!)

OH-and keep an eye out!  I won a little blog makeover!  The Cutest Blog on the Block will be giving me a new look soon!!!  New look----new address!  It's like I'm cleaning out my blog like I was cleaning out my room today! :P

Monday, June 11, 2012

Last Day! Freebie to prepare below!

Well, today was the last day with the kiddos.  It felt weird.  They came and went in a blink of an eye.  (We had an early dismissal at 10:45...)  A few of my firsties were sick :(  and one was on vacation.

Tomorrow is a staff day and Wednesday I have an in-service.  Then it's time for summer!  I'm also trying to plan a big "reveal" to my kids about our disney trip that is coming up QUICKLY!  I finally decided on having some kind of scavenger hunt around the house, right before we leave for the airport (to stay over night...) that will end with my oldest finding a Mickey Mouse watch (thank you Kohls and the 30% off and free shipping!!) with a note that says "It's TIME to go to Disney!"  I just need to think of the rest of the hunt.  Any ideas??????

I finished my September math stations.  I wanted to finish before the end of school, so that I could get copies made before leaving for the summer.  I finished it, but didn't get to the copies yet.  Guess that's better than nothing?!

While cleaning my room today, I found so many things that I have accumulated throughout the last 10+ years.  I found some GREAT stuff that I will be adding into my working with words station next year!  I also decided to redo my word wall.  So, here's a preview to what my words will look like:
The file is incredibly big, with 70+ pages and is taking forever to print.....  What I did is went through the Common Core High Frequency Words listed in the flip book that my school got us.  Each "level" is a different color of the rainbow starting with red.  I don't think the kids will notice it, but it will help me focus on the words they need to know, etc.  I'm all about color!   (the above words are from the last level of words)

I still can't believe the feedback for my Common Core Checklists!  THANK YOU!  It has really made my day/end of year, knowing that I've helped out so many!  I've now completed grades K-3!

Here's a little something that you may have not got from me in the past.  This is a free math game for you to use with your kiddos to help them understand the concept of the equal sign!  Click on the picture to take you to my TPT store to download a copy if you haven't done so already!  You can get it ready for next year!!!! :)

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