Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Guided Reading: What's in your Drawer, Group 3?

Happy Tuesday!  I know you're probably heading to bed early the next two nights to prepare for what is usually the longest school day of the year... HALLOWEEN!  We are partying tomorrow instead because it's a half day.  On Halloween, it will be business as usual... with a Halloween flippy book thrown in for morning work!

I often get e-mails about running guided reading and how it works, so I'm going to be sharing over the next few weeks how it works for me.  While I run my reading groups, the other kids are doing Daily Five activities.  I shared how I'm doing rotations right now last week and it's working SO well for us!

I run five groups in my room.  Each group has between four and six students, depending on the needs of the students... I run them as leveled groups.  We all work on the same skills {generally} but with texts appropriate to each group's level.

I have always organized my guided reading materials in Sterlite drawers:

I like this organization.  It's right by my table, the kids can access things they need that are in the drawers (sometimes they have assignments and need stuff from the drawers or two turn stuff in to the drawers... but we'll get to that another week!), and it's just a quick way to organize!

Each drawer has a folder inside.  The folders are red, orange, yellow, green, and blue- like the labels on the drawers! 

Inside the folder are two pockets.  Since I teach ELA to two classes, the left side is for my morning group and the right side is for my group.  On the pocket is a list of the students in each group and then I can put necessary reading passages, materials, etc... in the pocket.

I use sticky notes on my anchor charts so I can re-use them, so the sticky notes from our previous session are in the pocket in this picture.

I use red for the AM class and blue for my class.

I'm going to share Group 3 this week.  Group 3 is an on-level group of 3rd graders.

All groups are working on cause and effect this week (we're also using THESE passages to practice!).  At the start of our session this afternoon, we figured out where the sticky notes from last time we met went on the anchor chart.  I did most of the sticky note writing last time because I was introducing the concept of cause and effect but often the kids fill out the sticky notes, which they LOVE and it's a huge motivator for them to stay engaged in our discussion and reading.

We were reading a text about sea life and, as we found cause and effect relationships in the text, I added them to our anchor chart on sticky notes.

So today we continued where we left off...

We figured out where the sticky notes needed to be on the chart then continued reading our text.  This week I'm using some small group nonfiction comprehension folders from Lakeshore Learning for this group.  I have the 1/2 and 3/4 set and LOVE them!

So, group 3 is reading about ocean life and finding cause and effect relationships in the text.  You can see on my chart above that there are three causes and four effects.  That's because today I told them the fourth effect and they had to read the section about sea otters and figure out the cause of the given effect.

They had to write the cause on their table mat:

Which they L-O-V-E!  (Click here to find these table stickers on Amazon!)

They got to use Scentos dry erase markers to write... which always jazzes them up!

After the students revealed what they had written {and they were all correct!}, one of the kiddos filled out the cause on a sticky note and we added it to the chart.

At the end of the session, I peeled the stickies off and put them in this group's folder for when I see them again later this week.

And here's my small group table all picked up at the end of the day... ready to go for next time!

Next week (I hope!) we can peek inside another group's drawer and see what they're working on!

Monday, October 28, 2013

What's Been Up {and a chance to win!}

How have I not blogged in four days?!

Oh yeah... I know... my hubby's birthday was Friday, Saturday we left for Detroit where we saw the musical "Evil Dead" which, as a non-fan of the movie, I thoroughly enjoyed and had so much fun!  Sunday we went to the Detroit Lions game where, I am happy to say, they pulled out an AMAZING last minute (literally the last minute!) win over the Cowboys!  Today we celebrated his b-day with my family, so it's been a busy last four days!

Here's me sporting all of my Lions gear before the game on Sunday...  I even won a t-shirt before the game for knowing the entire fight song!  Can you say #1 fan?!

BUT... I did manage to get a new file finished late last week.  I've been making comprehension bookmarks for a while, but just jazzed them up to make a pack for TpT.  We've already started using these in class and my kiddos were so excited today to get their "cause and effect" bookmarks from me!  I also copied it on the back of my weekly newsletter so they had one to take home too!
 Check 'em out on TpT

This new pack has 25 bookmarks to use for supporting reading comprehension.  You can click the pick above to check them out on TpT if you'd like... they're on sale for $1 off for a few days!

If you want the chance to win a pack just leave a comment and I'll pick a winner later this week {if I survive Halloween in an elementary school, that is!}

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Guided Reading {aka- Daily Five} Scheduling!

Happy Thursday, teacher friends!

I'm popping in for a quick post today to share how I'm scheduling for Daily Five right now.  My students aren't yet ready to make their own choices, so I schedule by reading group like this...

I teach ELA to two classes so the AM class's names are to the left of each group number and my class (who I teach ELA to in the PM) have their names on the cards to the right of each group number.

Using color coded cards for the activities they are doing helps me see at a glance who should be where when!

How do you schedule your groups?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Plural Noun Quickie for You! {Also... who won the homework passes???!!!}

Monday.  Enough said.

Who won the homework passes???  You know... my new 81 different themed homework passes in color and black and white?
Find it on TpT

The winner was "More than Math by Mo" and I'm sending the pack your way as I type!  I was a tiny bit surprised that only 14 people commented on the freebie I posted that was from the pack... I am saying this with as much kindness as I can muster and using it as a friendly reminder to express gratitude!  Don't hate me forever... I know sometimes we want to use things before we leave feedback or post a comment, but it really does mean a lot to hear a thanks!  And if you missed the freebie the first time around, here's the link.

And now... a plural noun quickie for you!  Don't forget to drop a line if you like it!  It's been quiet around here!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Blog Post Rewind: Whoooo Needs a Quick Project?

Click the tape to head back to an almost 2 year old blog post with a fun fall project!  It's quick, easy, and so cute!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Blog Post Rewind: The Best of Halloween!

Just popping in today for a Blog Post REWIND!  Click the tape above to head to some Halloween posts to grab a few treats... no tricks, I promise!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Something New with a Sneak Peek for You!

I've just wrapped up a set of holiday themed homework passes!  Homework passes are a huge motivator and reward for my 3rd graders and I know they will L-O-V-E getting them as surprises with their holiday goodies from me!

The pack is on sale at TpT... click the pic to check it out!

There are 81 different passes for...
*Valentine's Day
*St. Patrick's Day
*and a page of random passes too... just for fun!

...with cute sayings and KPM Doodles' AH-MAZING clipart on every page.  Each page comes in color and black and white to save on the ink!

And... just because I love you... you can click the pic below to get the Halloween passes for free!  Please please drop me a line if you download them... I'll give away a set to one lucky commenter later this weekend!  My blog's been lonely for a few weeks so I'd love to know you're still here!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What We've Been Doing... in Pics!

We are working on our opinion writing unit using Opinions: Order Up!
Find it on TpT!

The students were given copies of opinion paragraphs and had to find the opinion, reasons, examples, transition words, and then the re-stated opinion.  They had so much fun and LOVED being able to highlight the info they needed!  We are so close to being able to write our final opinion paragraphs and I can't wait to see their progress!

We just finished up our state testing, so it was time for my favorite Halloween project...

We are also working on predictions and character traits.  We did lots of the activities out of my Character Traits pack.
Find it on TpT!

I loved reading Woolbur and Harriet, You'll Drive me Wild! and having students write character traits and then PROVE them for Woolbur and Harriet!

If you don't know either book, click the pics below to learn more... they are GREAT books!

We just read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane {and I did not cry when I read the last page, for the first time EVER} and studied his character growth.  Now we're reading The Chocolate Touch to study John Midas' character and work on our predicting skills.  The predicting cards in the pic below come from my Chocolate Touch pack.  The first page of each chapter has a picture that has some significance in the chapter.  We're using the predicting cards to predict what might happen in the chapter!
Do you read The Chocolate Touch?  Find the extension pack on TpT!

That's it!  Next week it's main idea and detail practice... always a toughie!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Loren Leedy Winner and my Reading 100 Club First Member!

Congrats to Abby! You've won an autographed copy of Loren Leedy's newest book...

Thanks to all who entered!  I hope you'll check out Loreen's amazing books which are all perfect for the classroom!

I got the first member of my 100 Club in class today!

If you haven't been introduced to my 100 Club, it's a "club" kids can be a member of once they have read 50, 75, and 100 books outside of normal reading time at school.  We've been in school about six weeks and one of my sweeties read his 50th book this morning!

I put his name on a sticky note on my banner!

Here's how the 100 Club works... you can click the pics to see more!

Students were given a parent letter and recording sheet in the 2nd week of school.
Find it on TpT!

The students read {outside of normal reading time} and record the titles on their sheet.  It is each student's responsibility to let me know when they have read 50, 75, and 100 books and, believe me, they keep me posted!

When a student reads 50 books, they become a "Bronze Member", receive a special award, and get to eat lunch with me in the classroom on Friday during my regularly scheduled "Lunch Bunch" that I do every Friday.
Find it on TpT!

At 75 books, the student is a "Silver" member and at 100, they are a Gold member!

I also give out special bookmarks when they achieve each level too...
Find it on TpT!

My students are so excited about this motivator and I love that it gets them reading outside of their comfort zones!

If you want to check it out on TpT, click the link under any of the pics!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Updates, Enter to Win, and What I Did Yesterday!


Don't forget that you can get an extra 10% off at TpT until MIDNIGHT tonight!

Enter to win this book!  Click the pic for more info... it ends TOMORROW!

And what I did yesterday...

I shared about a month ago that I had been doing Couch to 5K.  And I have found out that I actually like running!  I know, right?  Who knew?!  So, last weekend I ran the Color Run with my friends and yesterday I did a 2nd 5K with my mom!  My mom cracked the whip throughout the run and kept me running... so we hardly walked at all.  She figures less than 1/4 of a mile was walking... woot woot!

Here she is... my awesome mom and best blog stalker!

I've already got a 5K lined up for November and one for December too!

Saturday, October 12, 2013


TpT just announced that they hit 100,000 Facebook fans so they are having a FLASH SALE!
I'm putting my shop on sale to celebrate along with TpT so if you use the code FB100K, you can get 10% off all your purchases... and mine are going on sale too so that will be 30% off at my shop if you use the code until 10/14.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

File Update!!! {if you have the CCSS daily review packs!}

On Sunday {as the Lions were sadly getting their behinds kicked by the BOO!  HISS!  Packers...}, I shared one of the ways I'm using my ELA CCSS checks in my classroom.

I use them in lots of ways...

*for quick CCSS reviews during morning meeting
*as a "game" during transition times {students can get 1 NERD candy if they get the answer correct}
*as exit slips

And last week I used them to assess understanding about finding lessons/morals in a text and then proving your thinking by highlighting parts of the text.

I shared this pic on Sunday...

I used the text search feature to find the sheets that contained the word "lesson" and printed those out.  I printed out all of the "lesson" pages from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade packs so I could differentiate for my differing reading levels.

I cut the out and taped them onto a page with directions for students to write the lesson/moral of the story and then to go back to the text and highlight specific information that helped them understand the lesson.

It worked very well and was a great way for me to differentiate while checking for understanding.

If you have these packs, which are some of my favorite things I've ever made for TpT, you can re-download them to get this updated PowerPoint file that will allow you to create pages similar to the picture above so you can use the CCSS cards as assessments or extra practice pages!

If you don't have the packs and are interested in them, they are available for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade CCSS as well as in a 1st/2nd and 2nd/3rd bundle.  Click HERE to check them out on TpT.
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