Sunday, August 30, 2015

Peek at My Week: Week #4

Y'all, I can't believe it is week #4 for me! This year had started off in a hurry, and I feel like it's still the first few weeks of school! I can't believe it's been a month since we started this school year! I have such a long ways to go before I start feeling comfortable with my new schedule! I have learned that we are just gonna go at a much slower pace than last year... and that's okay!

I'm trying to make every second count, and you can tell in my plans. Here are my weekly plans for week #4!







I will also be using some of my character passages that are in my seat work bundles. These are also GREAT for homework. You can get them here.
Here are some examples of them in action!
Here's a FREE sample!

What are you doing this week? Don't forget to link up with Dee Dee!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Five for Friday

Fridays are tough for me! I eagerly run around the room at the end of the day try to get everything 'just so' for the following week. I'm going to better utilize my time eventually, but until then I'll have to do my Five for Friday on Saturday mornings! Here are some pictures I've taken this week that never made it over to Instagram! I'm linking up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching!


I just finished my first full cycle of vocabulary and it went pretty well. You can read about it here. For my next cycle, I will implement some online tools to help the students study at home. I'll post about how that goes next week :)


I always write my lesson plans on a printable planner I use each week. A few weeks ago, Leslie Ann from Life in Fifth Grade posted about how she uses a Day Design Planner to pre-write her plans. I loved her idea so much that I went out and found me one... Only I didn't! If you saw this picture on Instagram then you know I was pretty disappointed! Luckily, my sweet friend from Not Jane had an extra she wasn't using. She mailed it to me and it's the best thing ever!


This past week I broke out my Intro to TBE unit
I used it to teach TBE to my students and how to support our answers with evidence. We only focused on one question because that took long enough! This product contains explicit directions on how to use TBE, bookmarks, anchor chart example, anchor chart student printable, 5 passages with 5 TBE questions, and many more! It's a huge timesaver! Anyways, the model lesson is a 'scary' passage about a mansion that two friends are dared to enter. It ends with the girl character walking through the door and getting a chill down her spine. Oh my! I had no idea 5th graders loved a mystery so much! In fact, they loved it so much that after we did our lesson I have them 10 minutes to continue the story. IT.WAS.UNBELIEVEABLE! You know the students that will not do any work?!? They were writing! It was amazing. These are pictures of the 10 minute free write. I'm thinking we will work on these this entire 1st quarter since they loved them so much! Then, we'll hang them up in a 'spooky' way!


Yesterday we had our first reading response day. Each Friday my students will have an reading response assignment waiting on them in Google Classroom. I {LOVE} this! Not only is it a great outlet for reflective writing and reading, but I get to know each student a little better! I add comments and they can comment back to me. This is one of my four classes working away!

Lastly, I can't wait to join in on all the fun! I'm hoping I will have time to post each day. This is going to be my goal(s) once I get all my papers graded this weekend!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Peek at My Week: Week #3

Well, another week is upon us! That means it is time for a Peek at my Week with Mrs. Wills' weekly link up. Here are my visuals, and I'm going to explain a little bit about what I'm doing!
Text Talker Cards // Text-Based Evidence Posters (Hello Lit.) // Comp Files (by LAR) // Task Cards (TWAMV)

To say that I'm a little disappointed with how last week went is an understatement. I am already so behind what I had hoped to have done. My read aloud time is pretty much non-existent, and only one of my classes has time for independent reading time. That is TOTALLY unacceptable! I'm definitely going to be doing some major reflection on how I need my literacy block to work and how I can accomplish that. To help a little, I have decided to have a formal grammar and writing lesson on alternate weeks.

After this week, I'm sure my plans will look a lot different. I am going to try to read a little more and talk a little less :) I already have an alternate plan for my co-teaching class. There are three teachers in the room and we are each doing a small group each day, so I will be teaching the same thing for three days while the others teach something different.

One thing that went really well was my vocabulary study. It took a little longer than expected, but I was pleased with how it finished out. 
If you want to read more about it, you can here.

Go link up with Mrs. Wills!


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Vocabulary Study Update

Well, my first full week of instruction was this past week. OH.MY!!

I have a lot of things that need adjusting... like the amount of work I have planned. My classes are about an hour shorter this year, so I found myself having way too much to do and not enough time to do it. Needless to say...  I was a little stressed!

I did manage to get my first week of vocabulary complete! It took a little longer than expected, but I'm hoping the time will shorten once we get the hang of it. If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably saw this picture!
Many were asking about my vocabulary planning sheet and how I use Chromebooks to help my students with vocabulary. To be honest, it was one of those times when you have an idea at the last moment. I really didn't want my students to search through dictionaries to find the definition, synonyms, antonyms, and other ways to use the words. I grabbed my Chromebooks, paired my students together, and sent them to www.merriam-webster.com. I tried to look for other sites, but this one was simple enough for my 5th graders and had everything they needed.

Here are some other pictures of them working.


 They absolutely loved this lesson! Here's what we did each day! It only took us 3 days to complete the work, but I'm hoping to get it down to 2!
Monday- we read the sentences and decided which words went where (close style). We then determined the meaning of the words by using context clues.
Tuesday- the students worked on chrome books and found antonyms and synonyms for each word.
Wednesday- the students used the kid-friendly definition we came up with together, the sentence on the chart, and synonyms/antonyms to create their own sentence.

Before I gave the vocabulary planner to my students, I wrote out kid-friendly definition for each word OR you could have them write it.

Here's what our chart looked like after our vocabulary work days!
 I have decided that I really need 2 black pocket charts since I am teaching two different books. Right now I am switching them out with each class (I teach 4 classes and we are doing 2 different books) and it is a pain! I think I'm going to take down the orange charts and replace them with a full-size. I'm planning on putting the orange charts near so I can place our words in as we finish each cycle.
 Are you interested in my Vocabulary Planner? Grab it in my store for free! It is adapted from Word Nerds. You can click on the image below to go directly to the page.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Peek at My Week: Week #2

We are starting week 2 tomorrow! Last week was our first full week. We spent a lot of time talking about routines, what our class schedule will look like, and choosing good fit books. We also had our first book share on Friday which went really well! I don't have any pictures to share because I was OH.SO.TIRED! I swear I went to bed around 8 or 9:00 every night. Tonight, I'm linking up with Dee Dee to share my visual plans for this coming week.

Before I get into my plans, let me say a few things. This is my first year teaching four classes. Last year I had a little over 2 hours with each class! I have no idea what this schedule is going to actually be like once I begin, and I can honestly say that I think I have way over planned! I just don't think I'm going to have enough time! Secondly, 4th & 5th grades are in a separate building from the rest of the school. We have a designated day every other week to devote to library time. It pretty much takes up the entire day. In between visits, my students use my classroom library and 2-3 book carts in our building. 

These are not my lesson plans. I am putting them in a visual format for you, my readers, to see. I use a lesson plan book that I write in. I've done digital plans the past three years, but I'm too OCD for that! I found that I spent more time on changing fonts and making them cutesy! It took me forever to lesson plan!

If you have any other questions about anything you see, leave them in the comments section below and I will try to answer them!
Resources Link

Since we do a lot of constructed response right away (in science & social studies, too) I always start off with this unit! This is the unit where I also introduce my text talker board. I will probably focus more on that during week #3. I always start my Monday off with an anchor chart. We usually use it for the entire week. It will go on my reading board in my classroom. 
I am going to use my lapbook that I created for this unit for note taking, partner work, and independent practice. I plan on blogging about this when my students finish it this week. After the lap book, my students will get more practice by using task cards. I will use this time to work with students who had a difficult time with their independent work from Tuesday. 

I can only devote 2-3 days to grammar and writing. I plan on alternating weeks so I can fit them both in. Even though I do not have it here, my students will have time responding to what they read with writing. I haven't figured it all out yet so that's why I didn't post it.

I will devote some time each day to read alouds. This will also be connected with the skill we are working on for the week. For vocabulary, we are using words from our read alouds as well. This is something new I am starting this year after reading Word Nerds. I'm not really sure how this will go, but I'm excited {and nervous}! Our first day is tomorrow! I also plan on blogging about how it goes this week. 

This week is pretty much going to be a try and see. I have a lot of new things I'm trying in a shorter amount of time. I can't wait to see how it all flows together. If you haven't already, go link up and see what everyone else is teaching this week!


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Classroom Tour #1


Well, folks! It's is finally here! A chance to share my classroom for this year. I'm in the same room as the past two years, but I changed it up just a little. I added in a bright coral and some black. I think the black really makes the colors pop! Evidently, I took way too many pictures! I am sharing some now and will share more in a few days! I'm going to tell a little about each picture. You can leave questions in the comments section below!

 This is what my classroom looks like when you walk through my door. Most of the time I only have on 2/3 of my lights. I have a lot of lamps and prefer those over the overheads. Just in case you are wondering (which a lot do!) the color over my lights are fabric rectangles. I put these over my lights because 1) I like color 2) It helps the lights not be so bright 3) My kids love them!
 This is my student supply area. Students are allowed to use any of the materials here. In the green bucket beside the lamp is a great haul of Mr. Sketch markers. At the end of the year, I always put my Mr. Sketch markers out for my students to use. We create a lot of student-created anchor charts and examples and the students love using scented markers!
 This is under my focus board and whiteboard. These are my Speaking & Listening standard posters. You can find them here. We are going to talk about these on Friday before our book shares begin!
 These are my Flip Books for Parent Night! I had these out for my parents at opening house. They loved them and all the information they were able to take home and read right away. You can download it here.
 This is probably one of my favorite areas in my classroom.... my classroom library. It has taken a while (and a lot of Donors Choose projects) to get this library where my students have plenty to read! My students are not allowed to check out books from our school library right away. It was so great to put books in the hands of my students on the second day of school! I plan on using the green board to display our Scholastic goal chart, anchor charts, and anything else!
 This is the view of my classroom from the back of my room. I have tables this year which I LOVE!
 Small group area and teacher desk area.
 This is behind my small group table. I store a lot of my teaching resources and personal things on these bookcases. I love having pictures of my family around my room. I think it helps your students feel that they are a part of your family! 
 This is where I store my task cards for reading and ELA. This was the best thing I did last year! You can download them for free here.
 My desk... there's a lot going on but everything I need is right where I need it :)
 I LOVE my Ikea desktop sorter :) It makes my heart happy!
 One of my favorite places in my room... my document camera station. I use this every.single.day! Can any of you NOT live without it?
 This is my adorable wooden door hanger by no other than myself! If you are interested in one of these, leave your email in the comments section and I can send you an invoice. I have two of these available for only $35 each! It even comes with a small chalkboard area for your very own personalization! {Please note they do not say "welcome back."}
 This is a view of my small group area from my classroom door. This is the area you first see when you walk in!
 I LOVE my Instagram wall and can't wait to change it out with some of our very own Instagram photos from the classroom!
Lastly, this is my beautiful view from my small group table. I think it's important for your room to be a place you love to be. I think I have accomplished that and I truly LOVE the bright coral and black I added this year!

Questions? Comments? Leave them below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!