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Words We're Working With: Week of April 18th


Hey! I wanted to share what we've been up to this past week through the lens of words and language- because let's face it... I love language! You'll notice that I love to use post-its! They allow us to be interactive. I'll explain more for each word wall display.

We started our mystery book clubs. With that comes responsibility around our book clubs and the actual genre study. Let's first see how we tackled some of the genre vocabulary.
I put all the words that I wanted to teach into on separate post its. Then, while we discussed/reviewed the story arc, we added them to the correct part of the story where we would most likely see and use these words. After, we also added a definition. You see that there are 2 more still off the chart. They still need to be added. We are adding them when we get to them in our classroom read aloud since these are two words that are pretty challenge for my third graders. 

I broke the chart down into the story arc as well as characters, since mysteries have a lot of different kinds of characters. When we are talking about our books, we can think about what part of the book we are at and what to pay close attention to. 


We also did this mystery vocab sorting activity from McDee's Busy Bees. They worked on it with their book clubs. I then taped them inside their case file folders for them to reference.
 In writing, we've begun our fairy tale writing unit. We used traditional fairy tales to start as we thought about adaptations. My kiddos used the many read alouds (both traditional and fractured) to discuss and notice why authors change tales, what they change, and how they change.


I was so impressed with what they noticed. When we adapt ours, we will make sure that our "how" supports our "why" when picking out nouns, adjectives, and verbs.


I used Ms. D's Corner's Earth Day lessons and LOVED them! Whenever we learned a new topic, we made a mini-word wall. [I'll update this with the other mini word walls- I Just forgot to snap pictures]. Even better, we practiced using our dictionary skills to define each of these and put it into our own words.


The pictures for this poster were included with Ms. D's pack. I created the other ones just by using Google images. 

So that's some of the words we've been working with this past week! What have you been up to?


Books Teachers Love [May]

I couldn't be more thrilled to be joining the fabulous teacher bloggers that bring you the

monthly post! 

Each month, teacher bloggers share a book that they love for the upcoming month and provide you with ideas on how to present it to your classroom. Make sure you visit each post, as not only will you get an awesome book list with a variety of resources, but you'll also have the chance to win 4 of the amazing books featured (even better, you pick which 4 you want from our monthly book list!)

I'm sharing about a tried and true book that is great for all seasons, but especially spring and back to school time. We've spent 9 months with our class and the impact we've had on them *hopefully* is a lasting one. I love to use this book to encourage them to spread their joy, kindness and beauty to all that they encounter before they leave my little nest.




To start, we pay close attention to what Miss Rumphius' process of spreading beauty looks like. After we read, we put the events of the story in order. Not only does that help us recall the sequence and we get to practice basic story structure and order, but it is also setting us up to look at specific actions that will help us identify character traits for Miss Rumphuis. And in turn, they will help show us the traits we each will need to spread kindness and beauty around. (See how I stretched that?? Haha)


After we have the process, we can examine specific events and what they tell us about our main character. We record these examples and name them with traits with this graphic organizer- If you don't know me well- you'll quickly discover that I love a good ole' graphic organizer!

Now that we've studies Miss Rumphius and her ways, we can now brainstorm how we are going to spread beauty in our community.  I created a few different display options. I have a vision of using the circle display tags and printing them in shades of purple and making one huge lupine (the flower Miss. R plants) next to our classroom door.  It can be a daily reminder whenever they enter or leave of the small actions they can take to spread beauty around them.


Since this is my first time joining this lovely crew of ladies, you can grab any or all of these resources for free at my TpT store! Click the image below!

     





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Accountability without Speaking


By this time in the year, students *should* know all your routines and your classroom is a well oiled machine of productivity, even during small group time while most of your students are independently working!

Or it's not.

Or it's somewhere in between.

Because let's face it. Even some of the most organized and well-managed classrooms still have students that struggle daily with being accountable with their learning when you aren't able to be by their side throughout every minute of the day.

I'm still trying to find ways to help those kiddos without interrupting my small group time, which is so important. But for some reason, small groups are hard for me to get started and roll through even without interruptions, so I need to include some tools to help things run smoothly.

Introducing: Non-Verbal Accountability Tools

(I literally just had to name it something and that's what I came up with in the last 5 seconds- it could use some work).

My first tool I use, is a checklist for some of my students. I simply lay it down and use packing tape all over it to seal it onto their desk. Then, my students can use white board markers and check them off as they go. On the check lists are activities I want them to complete. Most of my readers are just supposed to read during our independent reading time. But others have some additional skills to practice as well. In between my small groups I can go check to see their progress.


The second tool isn't just for reading. I haven't implemented it yet, but I'm excited to give it a try to reinforce what I've been saying since day 1.

Do you have kids who are pulled out for one reason or another? The nurse? An intervention? An emergency potty break that just can't be avoided? It always seems to happen before you give directions on what to do for independent work time, doesn't it?

Well I'll be trying this tool to try to remind students of ways to get back into learning when they miss directions and I have a small group running. Right next to our door we have a shelf. I'm going to put this sign inside a frame and put a stack of colorful cups next to it. Then, when a student comes back and I am not able to stop what I'm doing immediately to help them, they can guide through it themselves with the verbal reminders I've given forever.

  1. Look for clues 
  2. Look at what your classmates are doing 
  3. Ask a neighbor (the whole "Ask 3 before me" thing really does work). 


But even if they are still clueless, they can take a cup and put it on their desk and take a book out to read. After my group is done, I can go check in and meet up with them to answer any questions. My group continues to run and my students are learning to problem solve and go with the flow (something that is very hard for many of them).

I also made some smaller ones to tape onto desks for students who need the reminder right at their desk, inspired by my checklist.


If you'd like the editable Independent Reading Jobs Desk tags click the image below.


If you'd like the signs for the cup thing-a-majig, click the image below.





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