Friday, February 21, 2014

Five for a rainy Friday and a few fabulous Freebies!

Yes, you read that right! We actually had a thunder and lightning storm tonight over our two feet of snow! It's been raining all day! This is a huge change from the constant snow, but don't worry, CT is supposed to get hit with another storm next Wednesday. We already have a new revised school calender marking our last day on June 23rd! Ugh! Although we only had school Wednesday, a half day Thursday due to ice on roads, and a full day today, we've done a lot of work. I'm excited to link up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday!

On Wednesday, we were finally able to celebrate Valentine's Day in the classroom and the kids couldn't have been more excited. It felt like Halloween with the amount of candy I received! 

I am pretty obsessed with my new learning board. I call it a "learning board" because we are learning how to voice out inferences and these are the perfect sentence starters for students to practice conversations with! These Inference Thinking Stems are bright, owl themed, and fun to look at! My students are now doing amazing with this skill.

We continued learning about Revolutionaries and finished up MLK, Jr. this week! I made some fun foldables that we tested out in the classroom! If you'd like to grab them for free, click on the picture below! In the first example, the students found character traits for MLK, Jr. and supported the traits with text evidence from his biography, timeline, or speech. We are constantly practicing going back into the text to support our thinking with evidence so this activity worked out well. We were also using multiple sources to gather information!

I talked about how we carefully close read MLK, Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech last week, but the next activity was a great extension. I found this wonderful MLK, Jr. timeline on I'm Lovin Lit's AWESOME blog, and knew it would look great in our notebooks. The students did an excellent job putting together the timeline and they were amazed with how much he accomplished in his short life. 

We tried interactive note taking this week with a nonfiction article on Rosa Parks. My favorite TPT product, the Revolutionaries from the Past/Black History Month Unit is full of nonfiction articles and activities to supplement any lesson!

My students LOVED being able to illustrate the main idea of each paragraph and create a caption for their pictures. This was an amazing motivator for my reluctant workers and the pictures couldn't be cuter!

We also worked on point of view this week. We read two awesome books recommended by one of my BBB's, AMC! She suggested using Back of the Bus & Rosa's Bus to teach POV, so I added them to my Amazon list and bought them right away. It fit perfectly with my current unit and they were PERFECT books for this activity. I decided I wanted my students to portray themselves as the little boy who watched Rosa get arrested and also as Rosa... by writing journal entries. Since I was feeling creative, I made accordion foldables. I like the way this turned out because on the same notebook page you can clearly see the different point of views! (These are also available for a freebie, by clicking on the picture!)
I certainly threw a lot into these few short days, but I was impressed with the level of engagement and motivation in my classroom. My students really thrived on my interactive approach of teaching. 

A few of my favorite quotes this week were...

"I can't wait to take my reading notebook home this summer, when I get bored, I am just going to reread it!" 

"My parents are going to freak out when they see this at April conferences!!"

"You must have made this activity! It's fun and pretty!"

Oh ya, I bought some new shoes this week too and am SO excited for them to come in. They will be GREAT once the snow is gone...Have you heard of Zulily? The website has amazing deals and just happened to feature Toms! I bought two pairs for me and one pair for my 4yr old! :)

Before I go, I had to remind you of the awesome deal going on over at Educents!

You can get a ton of activities for only $10.99! 

Have a great weekend! :)


  1. You really did have a busy short week! Isn't it fun to hear the kids talking about their creations and being proud of them!

    Hopefully your weather will improve soon.

    Charlene/Diamond Mom
    Diamond Mom's Treasury

  2. I love those notebooks. They really do look great. No wonder your kids are proud of them.

    Terri Izatt

  3. You really did pack it in!! I can totally see why they love their reading notebooks. We are working on inferences and sentence stems right now too - in fact I am very stressed out planning for a huge observation on Tuesday! That is a load of candy - I actually threw out our remaining candy today - way too much sugar in the house on a snow day : ) Thanks for the shout out, glad you liked the book.

  4. Thank you for the freebies! I love interactive notebooks,and foldables. I tried to download the second foldable, and it keeps taking me to the first one on MLK. Would you be able to email me the second one? Thanks!

  5. June 23rd?!?!?! I totally feel for you!! This has been one crazy winter!! I am considering trying some of the "foldables" in our science notebooks, but I have so many kids that struggle with simple cut and glue tasks. I am also imagining them closing their notebook and smashing all the nice! Does this happen in your experience?

    Kate :)
    McDee's Busy Bees


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