It's about time! Charts, charts, and more charts

My last post was in September.. (I think). That goes to show you how crazy busy this first year of teaching has been. It's had a ton of ups and downs and has completely consumed my life. On top of that, I am trying to plan a wedding. The wedding has been helpful however, as it gives me a different focus so that I don't drive myself crazy. I love my kiddos at school, they teach me something new each day. I just hope that they know I am doing everything I possibly can to help them. I'm at school at 7 am (school starts at 9:10) and stay until 6:30-7 pm (school ends at 3:45). I also take more work home and work for another couple of hours before repeating. I've found a better balance over the last month or so, but I just have so many things I want to do and not enough time to do it all!
Here's a glimpse into some of the things we've created as a class to help us in some of our studies this year!

These were some of the charts we created for our character unit in RW. We used the front bulletin board as a reference board to help us with the narrative elements. We used this often to help us (solution was not up yet when I took the picture) 

We are in the middle of our non-fiction unit in RW. This is our text feature chart. We did an inquiry activity in the form of a scavenger hunt. This was a great formative for me, as I could see what text features they already knew about and used and which ones they didn't. We later (for review) had to match examples of each text feature to the actual t.f. I often see students looking at this chart to help them with their think packet (which will be talked about later).

Close up of actual features. Wording isn't perfect, next year I need to write down exactly what I want the chart to say and try to mesh that with what students say to have a more accurate chart.

Close up of actual features. Wording isn't perfect, next year I need to write down exactly what I want the chart to say and try to mesh that with what students say to have a more accurate chart.



Close up of actual features. Wording isn't perfect, next year I need to write down exactly what I want the chart to say and try to mesh that with what students say to have a more accurate chart.
Here's our context clue strategy chart. We found different strategies and kept adding to the chart each time. I've seen major improvements after these lessons in terms of students being able to figure out unfamiliar words.

Boxes and Bullets introduction to main idea. It has gone over really well!

Our NF reference board with most of our charts!

After a verb lesson, we created a chart to help us remember!

After a noun lesson, we created a chart to help us remember!

After an adjectives lesson, we created a chart to help us remember!

During independent reading time, students use a think packet (talked about HERE). The main purpose of it is for accountability and additional practice with their metacognition. Students write down 3 "codes" a day. For example, if they come across an unfamiliar word, they write down a U and then follow the example/sentence stem. This way, I am able to see who is using but confusing the strategy, or if I don't see any particular code over a week, I know I'll need to work with that student more on that particular strategy. 

Here are some of our writing reference charts in our writing center for our research paper.

Parts to a paragraph intro chart

Research Tips Chart

We are constantly using Post-Its for formative assessments. This idea has been floating all over Pinterest, so I don't know who to give credit to, but it's not my idea! Not to mention, my great mentor also created these before me, and gave me the push to go ahead and do one myself. I made a post-it parking lot and pick up board. That way, I can move their post-its over after I am done looking them over and they can pick them up to put them into their notebook and clear up the board for another post-it later that day.
We've done many, many, other things, but this is just a glimpse into why I haven't been around for the last 4 months. Hopefully, it won't be another 4 months until I get around again!


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