Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bright Ideas Blog Hop - Informational Writing Bracelets

I just love this blog link-up!  It is my absolute favorite.  It makes me want to go in and start completely revamping my classroom from the inside out.

I'm SO excited to share this idea with you.  I love it, my kids love it, and the biggest thing is that it HELPS THEM WRITE!  We've been working on writing informational books lately.  Getting first graders to give lots of details is sometimes a struggle.  They aren't quite sure what all to write about.  Although we read lots of mentor texts, share the pen, and use graphic organizers to plan our writing, some of them still can't quite understand what they need to do.  I came up with a quick little reminder for them when they sit down to write.  This is really going to help them at the end of the year on their end-of-year writing assessment!

I give you...

Informational Writing Bracelets!

Supplies Needed:

-Black pipe cleaners
-Pony beads in the following colors: green, white, orange, brown, blue, yellow, and red

Each color bead represents a different sentence that goes into their paragraph/book.  In the end, the students end up with 7 sentences!  It's just a quick and simple reminder of the information they need to include.

We created an anchor chart to help the students learn to remember what each color bead stands for.  I have it hanging in our room so they can easily refer to it if they need a quick reminder.

It's such an easy thing to put together and use!  I got all of the supplies at Hobby Lobby.  I distribute them at the beginning of each writer's workshop and then collect them when we are done.  The kids want to take them home so badly, but I know I'll never see them again.  ;)  They'll be so excited when I send them home at the end of the year!

Let me know if you end up trying this and how it works out for your students!  :)

If you enjoyed this bright idea, consider following me on Facebook and Instagram!

For more bright ideas, click on any of the links below.  Thanks for visiting!  :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Informational Writing and the Debut of My Guided Reading Binder!

Tomorrow is FRIDAY!  Hallelujah!

This week we've been working on our informational writing.  I am LOVING this unit, and so are my kiddos!  We've spent all week exploring features of informational text and diving into the world of nonfiction.  They are so excited to start writing their books!  Getting my firsties to understand that an informational book is more than just a couple sentences is pretty tough.  So we made a web/bubble map.  It is the start of a 5-sentence paragraph!  They put their topic in the middle and then 5 facts about it in the different extending bubbles.

My girls are writing all about puppies, flowers, swimming, and all things girly.  My boys however...all things boy, that's for sure!

For this sweet little fella, I had to majorly scaffold for him.  He is one that really has a hard time picking things up.  He had his idea, but couldn't quite comprehend anything beyond his topic.  I wrote down some questions/phrases in his bubbles to help guide his thinking.

I will continue to share things as we progress through this unit!  I'm so excited I can hardly take it!

I want to take a minute to introduce you to my good friend, Stephanie.  She has just opened a store on TPT and she is working her tail off!  I know a LOT of you use my Reading Street products.  I would LOVE to do the kindergarten units, but I don't have the time or energy.  Grades 1-3 are keeping me plenty busy!  Stephanie asked if she would be stepping on my toes if she created kindergarten packets for RS.  I said, "Heck no!  PLEASE go right ahead!  Then I won't have to worry about it!"  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE creating stuff for Reading Street, but it's soooo time-consuming.  Stephanie is SO talented and funny!  She has a creative mind and enthusiasm for her kinders.  If you love my RS products, I HIGHLY encourage you to check out her store.  You will not be disappointed!  I mean, if I taught kindergarten, I would totally be using her stuff in 2 seconds flat.  It is adorable, it's practical, and it's meaningful.  It will make your planning so much easier!  She is creating as she goes and will eventually have packs to correlate with all of the Reading Street stories.  So check it out and follow her so that you can be informed as she keeps adding!!!!


One last note, I know many of you have been DYING to get your hands on my guided reading plans.  I had e-mail after e-mail, comment after comment, Q&A after Q&A asking if I would please share my template.  The wait is over, friends!  I finally got it done!  You can snag it in my TPT shop!!!!!

Have a great weekend!!!!  Don't work too hard!  ;)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I'm linking up with my very good friend, Christina, over at Sugar and Spice for WORDLESS WEDNESDAY!

Today I prepped all of my end-of-year writing diagnostic assessments for my firsties.  Have you started prepping for end-of-year assessments?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Currently and an April Fool's Day Prank!

What do you think of the new blog design!?!?!  I'm OBSESSED!  Kassie, from Designs By Kassie, just finished everything and I am beyond amazed!  She was absolutely wonderful to work with and so timely!  I HIGHLY recommend her if you are looking for a blog makeover!!!!

It's April!  I feel like this is the time of year when things start to speed up and before you know it, it's the end of the year.  I'm ready!!!

I'm linking up with Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade for this month's currently!

*Disclaimer: Between sitting in silence and wanting to huddle in my living room with no disturbances, I do NOT hate my children.  But any mamma knows...silence and a moment to yourself is GOLDEN!  You forget what being a human feels like...

Ok, on with the week!  I haven't been up to much.  Last week was spring break and it was ah-mazing.  MUCH needed rest, doctors appointments, and playtime with the boys.  It made me crave summer break, though!  But it definitely recharged me to come back this week.

Since today was April Fool's Day, my student teacher and I decided to trick our kids.  She put Jell-O into clear, plastic cups last night with straws in them.  She poured a little bit of juice on top of them this morning to make it look like it was sloshing around.  This morning we told them we wanted to give them a little pick-me-up and treat them to a little juice!  Oh man...when they tried to take a drink and it wouldn't come up the straw, they were sooooo confused!  They thought it was hilarious!  But I think my student teacher and I thought it was TOO funny.  We have a good time.  ;)

While on break, I picked up a few things.  One thing I absolutely MUST do is organize.  Everything.  That includes all of my stamps at school.  I mean, there are only so many ways you can organize stamps, but this works perfectly for what I need.  I found the caddy at Hobby Lobby.

Now I have all my stamps and stamp pads somewhat organized!

Have a good week, friends!  Be back soon!