Friday, November 23, 2012

Learning About Turkeys

What a terrific Thanksgiving with my family!  This time of year really makes me think about all that we have to be thankful for.  We traveled to South Carolina to visit my husband’s family and now we are back home.  As you can see, I am back in “school-mode”.
We began our nonfiction reading and writing unit before the Thanksgiving holidays.  It was a perfect time to spend talking and learning about Turkeys.  Here are a few of the things I used to help teach about turkeys:

(Turkeys-can, have, are)
Free Thinking Map on TPT:
Turkeys: Can, Have, Are- FREEBIE

Wild About Turkeys-Reading and Writing Informational Texts
It does cost $5.50 but is well worth it!  My reluctant readers said, “Can you please get more of these?”
This unit has 3 different levels of turkey instruction.  Since I teach gifted kids as well as struggling learning, it helped me to differentiate among my students.  The kids LOVED going on a scavenger hunt while learning about turkeys.  We put the scavenger hunt in the hallway and let our students answer the questions while reading and learning about turkeys.  This was also a good introduction about to how to write informational writing!

Here are a few books that I used to help teach about turkeys:
All About Turkeys-by Jim Arnowsky

Kindle  Edition (for Smart board)-Turkeys! Learn About Turkeys and Enjoy Colorful Pictures-It is 99 cents but worth the buy.

Cute read-alouds!

Turk and Runt-by Frank Ansley

Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving-Dav Pilkey

Other books that I use to teach about Thanksgiving:
Thanksgiving Is-by Gail Gibbons

Please let me know if you have any other cool “turkey” ideas!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Units of Study-Lucy Calkins-Writing

Yes!  I am back. I can't give this blog up yet.  I am determined to post things on a more regular basis.

In my county, we use the Units of Study-Lucy Calkins to deliver our Reading and Writing instruction.  We have been trained for countless hours by the experts involved in the TCRWP.  I have found some awesome detailed plans for those just started out which correlate with the Common Core Standards and they are free!  I LIKE FREE!!!

Grade 2 Units of Study Writing Units and Resources

Here are the Units and order that we use.

Unit 1: Launching the Workshop
Unit 2: Authors as Mentors (not included on website)
Unit 3: Character Stories (not included on website)
Unit 4: Informational-All About
Unit 5: Informational-How to, Letter Writing
Unit 6: Informational Writing-Research

Exemplar Pieces to go along with our Units (I use these to pull up on my Smartboard):

(You can now get to these by using the CD that is included with the Units of Study Writing Kits or sign-up online at TRWP (for free) and you will have access to limited amount of resources.)

Included are exemplar pieces for K-Middle School.

That's all for now!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wow-How quickly the year has flown by!!

Even though it is February, my New Year's Resolution is to try and become more regular with the postings on my blog. I really got tied up this school year in making the math work stations for my classroom this year. I shared the books and websites, in an earlier post, that had some pretty terrific math station ideas! I have been steady making stations to include in each of our Math Units this year.

I am going to try and include some activities that I have made for my students over the course of the past year in case you could use them. I have made a few things for Writing-Creative Writing Prompts that I use during my Daily 5 time. During my Daily 5, which is not put together exactly like the Sisters would like (but I had to use what worked for me!!), I have a certain day designated to Creative Writing--this is separate from my actual Writer's Workshop time during the day. I am including a sample page from my Creative Writing Prompts that I use as weekly independent practice for my students.  I use the front side only for those reluctant writers, but also include more lines on the back for those CREATIVE MINDED students.  Included with the prompts, is a rubric to use to grade the them so that the kids still feel like they are responsible for doing it. I have found that if they do not think I am grading it, they will not do their best on it. With the rubric, I grade things like--capital letters at beginning of each sentence, complete sentences, etc. If you like this prompt, please check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store to buy the complete set of 28 Creative Writing Prompts to use during your Daily 5 time. Please know that I try to keep my prices on TPT affordable!

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