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Guided Reading- What do I do with fluent readers?

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Guided reading has been around for over 15 years. One of my graduate classes was on Fountas and Pinnell Guided Reading. It worked great in the younger grades for teaching small group. The older grades complained that it wasn’t helpful for them. There wasn’t a lot of literature for using guided reading with older grades back then. About 10 years ago one of my favorite author’s, Debbie Diller, came out with Making the Most of Small Groups.

I love her books! She is amazing. I have been to many of her workshops. She has so much knowledge on guided reading.

Finally more people began to write more guided reading books and more school districts began to provide professional development. I have been very lucky that I am in a wonderful school district that has excellent professional development. I have been going to guided reading trainings for over 10 years now and have read many books. Of course with all that knowledge comes lots of different ideas. Trying to filter through all of the ideas is tiresome. I have tried many ideas that did not work too well.

Some ideas worked great in 2nd grade but when I moved to 3rd grade I struggled. Many of those awesome lessons I did with my lower level reading students didn’t work with my fluent readers. My fluent readers didn’t need help with decoding or fix up strategies. Now what? I really needed to focus on comprehension. They could retell the story but when they took assessments they did not always do well. What was going on? They can read well and they could tell me what the passage was about. The problem was with the academic vocabulary. The rigor of my small reading groups was not where it needed to be. I had to get the kids to dig dipper.

I wasn’t the only one having problems. Many teachers at our school and in our district were having the same troubles. Our district started doing more professional development on how to teach guided reading groups with the fluent readers. Some of the ideas I liked a lot and some I didn’t really agree with. One of the main points that struck me was I had to get my questioning more rigorous. I did a book study with some other teachers at my school with the book The Next Step in Guided Reading by Jan Richardson.

I finally had that aha moment! This is what I need to be doing. I need to be preparing my students before they start reading. I need to be asking rigorous questions during their reading. I also need them to be doing a reader’s response after they read the passage. The reader’s response needs to be rigorous enough and cover the standards that we are  currently working on and spiral the other standards. I along with many of my colleagues have been doing our reading groups like this for several years now. I have had administrators, curriculum specialists, and other teachers come observe me and my students with our guided reading groups. I finally feel like I have a good grasp on my reading groups. My students are doing a better job at comprehending what they are reading. They also do well on the state test.

I have made a guided reading lesson plan and template for you to use in your classroom. I have made it editable so you can make it your own or tweak it for your classroom. I have included a sample of what one of my reader’s responses looks like. Just click on the picture to download it for free from my TPT store.

Guided Reading Lesson Plan

I hope you find this helpful! Let me know what you do with your fluent readers in the comment section below.

Thanks,

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Organization Hacks for Classroom Clutter

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Clutter can definitely take over the classroom quickly. As teachers we have every color pen, pencils, folders, and paper for organization. We color code and label everything. Before long all these awesome tools start getting disorganized. Here are some great ideas from Quill for you to get control of the classroom.

Organization Hacks That Triumph Over Classroom Clutter

Brought to you by Quill

Which of these ideas do you think you can do? Let me know.

Thanks,

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Pool Party Blog Hop & Giveaway

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I am joining up with Celeste at Education Highway to celebrate her birthday with this fun Pool Party Blog Hop.

Blog Hop ButtonI would like to share a fun summer idea I found on Pinterest.

Blog Something Fun

 

 

 

Pinterest has so many great ideas for the summer. My daughter loves painting. I found this great idea on Pinterest. Now let’s see if my daughter’s will turn out like this one.

pourpotstitlepicture from Pinterest

Blog Special Gift Freebie

 

 

 

Hopefully you are enjoying your summer. If you are still in school I have a fun math activity that you can do with your kids. If you are out for the summer, just save it for next year. My kids loved doing the activity where they planned a summer vacation with a friend. I hope your class enjoys it also. Just click on the picture to download the free activity.

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Blog Sponsors eBoo

 

 

 

Celeste has made this great ebook of all the sponsors from her birthday giveaway. Click on the image below to download it.

Now make sure to sign up for these great giveaways below.
Prize Pack 1
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Prize Pack 2
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Prize Pack 3
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Prize Pack 4
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Don’t forget to go by and visit Celeste at the Education Highway  and wish her a Happy Birthday! Make sure to visit the other blogs below.


Thanks,

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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

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We have finally made it to May! You deserve to have a great Teacher Appreciation Week. I am doing a Teacher Appreciation giveaway. I am giving away two $10 gift cards to TPT!

teacher giveaway

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week,  Teachers Pay Teachers is having a sale. These gift cards will be great to use during the sale on May 3rd and 4th.  My store will be 20% off and you can use the promo code “celebrate” for an additional 10% off.

Let me tell you what to do to win these $10 gift cards. Just sign up below on Rafflecopter and I will pick two winners tomorrow evening. The winners will receive the gift cards by email on Wednesday morning.
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Thanks,

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Currently May 2016

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I am linking up with Farley for the final Currently. I have really enjoyed this fun linky and I have met some great bloggers. Thanks Farley for all the fun over the years!

 

currently may

Listening:  I love the Walking Dead and now I have gotten sucked into Fear of the Walking Dead.  I love one of the main characters, Nick!

Loving:  We went camping over the weekend. I was very relaxing and exactly what was needed. Just wished it was a little cooler.

Thinking: I really need to do some laundry. I have last weeks clothes and the camping clothes to wash.

Wanting: I am so ready for the STAAR tests to be over. My 4th graders are so ready for the test  to be over and I know they are going to do great.

Needing: I have been absent from the blogging world for a while. Life has been busy but I know I’m going to get back on track.

Truth: We just moved into a new house in a brand new neighborhood 6 months ago (hence the reason for the absence from blogging). Our neighbors on both sides of our house just can’t seem to cut their grass. I don’t understand, you have a brand new expensive house and you don’t want to keep the yard mowed. Ugh! So frustrating. It’s such a new neighborhood that we don’t have a civic association yet. Hopefully they will find someone to cut their grass soon!

Have a great Teacher Appreciation Week!

Thanks,

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Teaching Place Value

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Teaching place value is one of the hardest concepts to teach in elementary school. I have found that you need to teach this difficult standard as many ways as possible.

The first thing I do is use place value manipulatives with the kids so they can see how 10 ones equals 1 ten and how 10 tens equals 1 hundred. Using the manipulatives makes it so much easier for the students to understand how numbers work.

Our state standards expect the students to know how to write the number in standard form, expanded form, word form, expanded notation, and pictorial models.  I make an anchor chart that explains the different ways to write numbers.

place value

I then have the students make a chart in their interactive notebook to help them remember all the ways to write numbers.  I have them write in on the right side of the notebook, I do it together with the students on my interactive whiteboard while they write it in their notebooks. We talk about each section as we write it down.

place value board

place value lesson

After the students have practiced with place value in work stations for a while I then check for understanding. I have them come up with a number and on the left side of the notebook I have them write down the ways they can write the numbers. I let them choose which way they would like to write it.

place value notebookThis is an easy way to see who is still struggling with the basics of place value. If students are still having difficulties then I can work with them in small group with the concepts they are still struggling with.

I hope I have given you some new ideas on how to teach place value. What do you do that works for your students? Leave a comment below and let me know.

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Gingerbread Man Activities

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I love teaching using the Gingerbread Man! My kids in 2nd and 3rd have loved doing all these fun activities.

gingerbread man activities

One of the activities that I have done with my students is a Gingerbread Ornament made with cinnamon. This is so easy and make the whole room smell like cinnamon. The ingredients are cinnamon, applesauce, and glue. That’s it!

gingerbread ornamenthttp://www.pinterest.com/pin/259097784788194919/

These are not mine but click on the picture to take you to the link on how to make them.

Another fun activity that I did with my 2nd graders several years ago involved water, milk, and a gingerbread man cookie. This easy science experiment has kids really thinking why the Gingerbread Man can’t cross the river himself. We came up with reasons why he can’t get wet before doing the experiment. Then I stuck a gingerbread cookie in a glass of water and a glass of milk to see what would happen. Of course the cookies dissolved. This lead to a great discussion of why the cookie dissolves.

dissolving cookiehttp://www.pinterest.com/pin/259097784788194873/

Click on the picture to see what a kindergarten class did with this Gingerbread Man.

I also love to have the students write their own version of the Gingerbread Man. I have them do a rough draft and then when they are ready the students write the final copy on Gingerbread Man  lined paper. They loved making these little books of their original stories.  You can download this free activity by clicking on the picture.

Gingerbreadshapedwritingpaperandorganizer_Page_1

I hope you enjoy these activities!

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December Pick 3 Pinterest Party

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Pick 3 Pinterest Party

I am linking up with some great bloggers to share 3 Pinterest ideas I am planning on doing this month in my classroom. There are so many activities that can be done in the classroom in December. It was hard to pick only 3. I teach 4th grade this year so I wanted to do something for older kids.

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reindeer artClick on Image to View Original Pin

I love this idea of reindeer portraits! I enjoy going to those painting parties and seeing how different all of our paintings are. I think the kids will enjoy following the easy directions and seeing how different each of their reindeer will be.

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P1020016Click on Image to View Original Pin

This is a fun way to study adjectives during Christmas. Everyone loves the Grinch. After they are done they write a story about their day with the Grinch. Can’t wait to try this!

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christmas brain breaksClick on Image to View Original Pin

Brain breaks are a necessity this time of the year. Rachel from Minds in Bloom has some great ideas for helping with getting through Christmas. I really love the Reindeer Game brain break. I will definitely have to try these ideas out the next couple of weeks.

I hope you found some great ideas. Make sure to check out all the other great blogs.

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Thanksgiving Read Alouds

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Thanksgiving is the holiday that seems to get overlooked a lot. We just finished all the fun Halloween books and we are getting all our winter and Christmas books ready. Don’t forget that there are some great Thanksgiving books that your students will love!

Thanksgiving_colorgraphics by A Sketchy Guy

One of my favorite read alouds is  Thanksgiving at the Tappletons by  Eileen Spinelli.

This is a story about all the trouble that come along with fixing Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey goes sliding out the door and the other holiday foods get ruined in humorous ways. So what do the Tappletons do? They eat a nontraditional meal for dinner.

I really like the older version of the story with people instead of wolves. After reading the book we would make No Bake Pumpkin Pies. I would put the recipe on the overhead and the students would copy it for their recipe book. Click on the title for the recipe.

A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting  is a fun story about having a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.

Mr. Moose goes out looking for a turkey to have for Thanksgiving dinner. The rest of Mr. Moose’s friends come along for the journey. Mr. Moose finds Turkey and brings him home for dinner. After getting to the Moose’s home, Turkey realizes he is a guest and not the dinner.

If you are looking for nonfiction books there are some great ones to share with your students.

Thanksgiving by Gail Gibbons is a nonfiction book that gives facts about Thanksgiving. There are facts about the Pilgrims and Native Americans. Gibbons also describes traditions we have with Thanksgiving.

Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Anderson is about Sarah Hale and her persistent pursuit in making Thanksgiving a national holiday. It took her 38 years of letter writing to get Thanksgiving recognized as a national holiday. This is an easy book to read for young students.

I have created a turkey story map that you can use with the fiction stories. Click on the image below to get a copy of the story map. If you like this activity, I also have a Thanksgiving Turkey Unit that includes this story map and other turkey activities.

turkey map_Page_1Let me know what your favorite Thanksgiving story is. Thanks for stopping by!

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Laborless Linky and Giveaway

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Hello everyone!

ARE YOU REAAADDDY!!!

Main Graphic Laborless

It is Finally here!

Today I am linking with Laura from Where the Magic Happens, Krista from Teaching Momster, and Lisa from PAWsitively Teaching! I have joined forces once again with my bloggy friends to bring you the best, most amazing giveaway on this Labor Day weekend!

All of us have been thinking about  good ways in which to treat our readers and followers.   We thought hard, and I mean it! Really, really hard… and decided that  we can treat you to our best ideas to work smarter rather than harder… at school and home!

I know what it takes to be a great teacher, the stress, the time, the energy… I could go on and on! I also know that we crave time to ourselves and our families.

So here I go!

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I think one of the best ideas I have ever implemented is giving each student a job. I have the students do everything in the classroom. I have a messenger to go on errands, a computer technician to turn the computers on and off, chair stackers, a pencil sharpener student, classroom library helper, and anything else that is needed. It serves double duty because everything that is needed to be done that I don’t have time to do gets done and the students feel like they have any important role in the classroom. I rotate the jobs every week so every kids gets to do every job. Here is a picture of my job board.

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So after a long and exhausting day at school with 4th graders,  I come home to my 4-year-old daughter. I love it! She helps me remember what is most important in life. I love snuggling with her on the couch watching a tv show or reading a book. That’s what I like to do to unwind at home!

snuggling time

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So at the beginning of the school year everything is very hectic. There is so much extra stuff to do besides teach your class. Make sure to make your life a little easier with a sub tub. Many schools make them mandatory to have at the beginning of the year for emergencies. I have several in my TPT store but my most popular sub tub is Click Clack Moo Cows That Type Sub Plans.

sub tub- click clack moo

Top all these great tips and ideas  with these top-notch prizes!
A $100 gift card to Amazon

A $50 gift card to TpT
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2 $25 gift cards to TpT

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1 $10 gift card to TpT
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Thank you for reading! And now don’t be silly and get your hands all over this awesome giveaway!!

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