Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher: August 2013

Sports Theme "I Can" Statements

I have been thinking about putting "I Can" statements up in my room since early in the summer but I never could never find the right ones. So I made my own! And I had to make them a sports theme!

Inside this kit, you will find an "I can" statements for every third grade standard! I included title sheets for each subject and each domain. I also made each subject a different primary color.

These would be perfect for all those sports and team themed classrooms!

You can find them HERE in my TpT store.


Reading and Writing Workshop- Mini Lessons

Yesterday, I shared with you my procedures for my reading and writing workshop. I am going to be doing several posts to give you more details about the activities I use in my ELA block. Today, I am starting with my reading and writing mini lessons.

I found this extraordinary resource from Jen Bengel on TpT.

Launching the Reader's & Writer's Workshops: Grade 3...40

Inside she has given you 20 mini reading lessons and 20 mini writing lessons to get your workshops launched! The lessons all use familiar back to school texts that help to build community. She even gives examples of anchor charts! Every lesson lists the common core standard addressed and has objectives for the kiddos to write or glue into their journals.

And the best part...she has units for narrative, informational, persuasive and figurative language! Plus she has written them for different grade levels!

The lessons are GREAT and they have made my lesson planning a piece of cake!

And I believe the reason that my kiddos are loving reading and writing and are having no trouble at all focusing during read to self or coming up with story topics is because of the mini lessons from this unit. I find that I am presenting things much slower and allowing students to practice and master skills before moving on.

We are just about done with the launching mini lessons and getting ready to start the narrative lessons!

Reading and Writing Workshop

I am very pleased with how well my reading and writing blocks are already running this year! I am blessed to have a large block of time, technology, and students who really like reading and writing! I thought I would write a few blog posts to share what we are doing in reading and writing.

Let me start by sharing my basic routine for reading and writing each day. I have my class split into 3 leveled reading groups. (I named mine basketball teams to go with my sports theme!) Honestly, I thought I would have 4 groups- because that is what I was used to. My school wanted us to try three and so far it is really working!!!

We start our reading block with a mini lesson on the carpet. (I'll tell you a lot more about those mini lessons in a future post!) At the end of the mini lesson, I always give the students something to be looking for or thinking about while they are reading independently that day.

After the mini lesson, we do our center rotations. We have 3 centers that the kids work at for about 20 minutes each. I have a pocket chart that shows the groups which order they do the centers in. (But they memorize the order quickly!)

Here are the centers:
Independent: Read to Self

Technology: Online (and on their level!) lessons through a program called i-Ready. We have only done the diagnostic testing so far, so the kiddos have been working on Spelling City during this center.

Meet the Teacher: Interactive reading journals (more on those later!), choral reading, i-Ready lessons, etc.

After the rotations, my kiddos do their word work centers using their spelling and vocabulary words. We have lots of fun centers and the students can choose whichever center they like best! I will be writing and entire post on these centers!

At this point the students meet up with their Peanut Butter and Jelly partners (leveled partners from their reading groups) to share what they were reading during independent reading time that day. They take turns discussing whatever we learned about during our mini lesson. Listening in during this share time is a great way to informally assess their understanding of the skill taught.

After a quick restroom and healthy snack break, we move right into our writing block. We start our block on the carpet for a mini lesson. The mini lesson often includes a mentor text. (A lot more about where I get these lessons in a later post!) At the end of the mini lesson, I give the students a skill to be working on during their writing time. I rarely give a writing prompt. Students then head back to their desk to work on whichever stage in the writing process they are. We have really taken our time learning the steps in the process and it has paid off! I don't have one single student who is struggling to find something to write about! (This was NOT the case in my class last year!)

I am loving my writing binders this year! (Of course, you will have to stay tuned for more details!) I also love our revising and editing procedures. The kids are actually taking the time to do a good job! We haven't gotten there yet, but I also have some fun ideas for publishing their work this year!

While they write, I have conferences with students. This is when we talk about their writing goal. I am using my clip chart and mini posters. LOVE!

The students have approximately 35 minutes to write. Then they get to meet up with their Peanut Butter and Jelly partner to share what they worked on and ask for suggestions if needed. They love the opportunity to share their writing with somebody everyday!
And after 2 hours and 45 minutes of reading and writing- we finally get a recess and lunch break!
This was just an overview! Make sure you follow my blog as I am writing more specific posts about things I mentioned today (and will be including links to some amazing products that help make my ELA block so successful!). Stay tuned...

Good Writers See...

My students are loving Writer's Workshop this year. I am putting together a whole blog post about the things I have been using in writing this year to get my kiddos excited. But for now I wanted to share my latest writing resource!

I made these cute revising and editing check lists. They are perfect to put in the writing folders as a reminder to students. I put mine in page protectors so the kids can use dry erase markers to check each one off!

There is a check list for narative, persuasive and informational writing. I have my kiddos use green pens for revising and red pens for editing. I made check lists that have the colors listed and a set without the colors.

And a new product couldn't have come at a better time! TpT is having their Back to School sale on Sunday and Monday! My entire store is 20% off!!! Come shop!

It's the perfect time to get one of my classroom theme kits or maybe my new Narrative Writing Goals Clip Chart!!!

I am off to nurse my back to school cold!!!

Super Hero Classroom

One of my coworkers set up her room using my Super Hero kit! It turned out so cute that I just had to share pictures. I took them on my phone, so I appologize for the poor quality.

She chose to use black background and bright colored star borders. Everything POPS!

I am obsessed with clip charts lately! Almost all my theme kits now have writing process clip charts in them. I love the way she glued the small super hero to clothes pins and put their names on them. So cute!

I made tons of small labels for this kit, but she wanted large labels for some of her bins on top of her shelves!

A job clip chart! More of those cute clothes pins!

I love how her rules and behavior clip chart look displayed next to each other!

My favorite part of the room is this adorable reading hour display that she made!!! Each of her kids will have one of those flying heros (from the kit) to attach to the number of hours they have read.

Calendar display...

Super work board! So colorful! And more cute clothes pins!

She has more cuteness in her room but I guess I didn't get pics of everything! Check out my Super Hero kit in my TpT store!

I also have FREE super hero schedule cards that you can download!

I am trying to catch up on creating, email and blogging so you may hear more from me today!

Narrative Writing Goal Clip Chart

I have so many things that I want to blog about! And yet, time keeps slipping away fro me! The first quarter is so exhausting! But I had a breakthrough. I did not go to school at all this weekend! I worked from home, but that is better than dragging the ids to school on the weekend!

I also made my first new product since school started!!! My kiddos are really enjoying writer's workshop, but I wanted to find a way to help them focus on a writing goal. So I made this writing goal clip chart!

As I conference with my kiddos, we will decide on their goal. They will put their clothes pin on that poster and even take a small version of the poster and put it in their writing notebook. The next time we conference, they will provide evidence of their work on their goal. Then we will set a new goal!

I can't wait to get started!!!

Everything you need to use this program in your class can be found HERE in my TpT store. Goals for expository and persuasive writing are already in the works!

Posts coming soon:
Pictures of my sports classroom
Pictures of a Superhero classroom
Ideas for word work

Stay tuned....

FREE Character Trait Posters

I am sorry that I ave been so quiet lately. I just forgot how exhausting the first few weeks of school can be! I come home from school, eat dinner and then fall right to sleep!

Somehow I squeezed a little time out of this weekend to make a FREEBIE for you though! Now you forgive me, right?!

I plan to spotlight one character trait each month and ask students to watch for peers who exibit the trait of the month. At the end of the month I will allow them to nominate their peers for an award!

You can find the posters for free HERE.

Enjoy! I have tons of blog post ideas and can't wait to have the energy to type them!