OK ok ok... I know I am about 8.5 hours early, but I couldn't resist doing currently before it was officially January 2013.  If you have never joined this linky, here is your chance.  Head on over to Farley's page and get in on the fun!
Don't forget the rule of 3...
Hope everyone has a safe and fun NYE!!
2013 here I come!!
I can't believe that December is already here!  We have been running full steam ahead and I hope to get some updated posts up soon.  Since it is the first of the month, I'll link up with Farley's Currently first.

Wow! I have completely been MIA.  The month of October has been crazy... football, county fairs, and fall festivities.  We have also been super busy in class.  A week or so ago we worked on making connections.  I fully believe that good readers think while they are reading and actively make connections to help with their comprehension process.  Most of my students were making connections already, but didn't know how it was helping them understand what they were reading better.  When we were done with the lesson, I could see all kinds of light bulbs lighting up above their heads and I LOVE when that happens.  This as a strategy that will continuously be used through the school year.  All of the documents that I used for this lesson will be in my Teacher's Notebook store for free download.  I will add the link as soon as they are uploaded!

Making Connections with the Bullseye of Connections - From Comprehension Connections By: Tanny McGregor

A Closer look... 
We also talked about schema and I read a short story for them to make a connection with in their spiral.  Also from  Comprehension Connections By: Tanny McGregor
If you have any "Making Connections" lessons or ideas, please share!
Hope everyone has a fantastic Sunday!! I will enjoy watching RGIII playing (I'm also a Baylor Alumni) and enjoy not having to stress over my Houston Texans!! :)
I have decided to join Jennifer over at Rowdy in First Grade for her linky party.  I think it is an awesomely positive way to start this week!  So head on over and join in...

Something good at school:  I am really excited with how our reading spirals are working out this year.  The students have really used it as a resource as it was intended.  Next year, I hope to make it a little more interactive with the right side/left side concept.  If you want to check it out, here are several blog entries covering it:
There are severalmore posts, so head over and check them out!
Something good at home:  I have been spending a lot more time with my family.  I moved schools 3 years ago to be closer to them and am really taking advantage of it.
I have also been going to the gym 3 times a week and cooking healthy dinners for myself.  Trying to be a healthier me before I turn 30 in July! 

Yesterday and today we have been learning how to use our resources and what the purpose of each one is.  We made a foldable yesterday.  The students had an example of each resource so as we were talking about what they were used for they decided which belonged to which.  Here are several pictures of our foldables in our spiral. (I will add the foldable to my Teacher's Notebook Store.)

Today I gave the students a poem with certain words bolded.  They were to use their resources to find synonyms that would take the place of the word.  They also had to make sure that the replacement word was the correct part of speech and that it made sense. Here a some pictures of the students working in groups...  (I will also add the worksheet to my Teacher's Notebook Store.)

If you have any additional ideas that I could add to the lesson in the future, please let me know! 
 I can't wait... we start our novel study tomorrow and I will be sharing that with you all!!
This week we had a fun day and reviewed homophones and homographs.  The students had so much fun with the activities that I gave them a little time the next day to add to the spiral.  We filled out a chart and made several foldables.  The students were also able to look through magazines and newspapers to find examples... we had a blast!  I got all of the ideas from Dinah Zike's Vocabulary foldables book, so all I can share is pictures and there are plenty! Here we go...

Thanks for making it through the picture overload!! 
Next week we will be discussing Using our Resources (dictionaries, thesauruses, & glossaries) and we will also be starting our novel study. 
Check back!
I know, I know... 2 posts in a day but.... Its currently time again!!! Farley is so amazing that she has even made a currently you can use for your classroom... you go girl!  So head on over and link up.  Don't forget the rule of three! :)
These last few weeks we have been focusing and reviewing author's point of view.  In 5th grade, this is quite a concept to grasp especially 3rd person limited & omniscient.  I must say that everything I did with my students was borrowed or purchased except for one thing, which I will put up in my store as a freebie.

We started off the week taking notes in our Reading Spirals.  I purchased the Literary Elements Resource from the fabulous Jen Runde and used the chart to help with the note taking.  There are tons of other resources in this purchase that I will be using through out the year to review author's point of view.  Amazing resource... she is such a talented lady!

We also glued in our Author's POV chart. (freebie)  We have been reading several books and filling it in.  Sorry, I am missing a few entries in mine, but you get the gist. It is VERY hard to find books written in 2nd POV and I found one... Cow by: Malachy Doyle. 
We also watched the Brainpop video to go with POV.  It is located under writing, but it has very good examples and Tim and Moby are just a hoot!
Tomorrow we will be discussing homophones and homographs... I know you can't wait for that!
(If you have any extra info or resources for author's point of view, please share!)
This week our 5th grade train has been moving right along... We covered author's purpose and context clues.  All of the things we have covered so far this year SHOULD are a review. 
Of course we added items to our Reading Spirals... We put our author's purpose foldable into out reading spirals and talked about that each purpose meant and gave examples.  The students had a lot of fun with this and were surprised how often they use persuade at home.. lol!  We also did an author's purpose scavenger hunt.  I know, I know, scavenger hunts with every topic?? We won't be doing another one for a while and the kiddos just LOVE them.  We also rolled our author's purpose dice on a daily basis and pull a random item out of the mystery bag to have the audience guess the purpose. Fun, fun, fun and my students have it down!

For context clues, we glued our context clues guidelines into our Reading spirals and went over them to circle and make note of important words.  We also took made up words and  sentences and fill out our context clues chart.  I also went over appropriate highlighting.  ( 5th graders LOVE to highlight the entire page to make it pretty...)  We also did a reading passage with lots of "big" words and used our context clues to figure out the meanings.  I know we didn't do too much, but this is a skill we will use everyday for the rest of the year. 

Yay, for Friday and our football game at home tonight... now if we could just get a win!! (lol)
If you have any ideas for author's purpose or context clues, let me know!

All of the items that I used for context clues are either from teacher resource books or other bloggers.  I cannot send you a copy of them, but would love to send you in the right direction.  I an also going to try and upload the author's purpose foldable to my new teacher's notebook store Monday morning.
The context clues guidelines came from .  The context clues sentences used with the chart (from Katie at Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher) came from another book.  I will have to look it up at school Monday.  Sorry about all of the confusion... I am trying to upload anything that is my original to my teacher's notebook store. :)
Things have been crazy over here in 5th grade... The students are learning and loving their Reading spirals.  It has also helped me make sure to teach the essentials at the beginning of the year.  Last year I thought my kiddos would remember some of the basics that they had been learning from their primary grades.... and I was wrong!  Its like when they come to the middle school for 5th grade and have to rotate for classes their little minds lose everything previously learned.  Sorry about that... got a little off topic!
Last week we reviewed/retaught genres.  We many things with these which we put into our Reading spirals.  We started off the week with a PowerPoint and sheet to be filled out & placed into their Reading Spirals.  We also did a fiction & non-fiction sort and a literary genre sort, which were both placed in their spirals.  We ended the week with a genre scavenger hunt and the students had fun working in their small groups.
The end of this post is picture heavy so beware.... If you should have any questions, please let me know! Also, if you have some awesome genre ideas... feel free to share! :)

I am in the process of uploading all of the genre materials that are my originals to my Teacher's Notebook store.  This should be done by Mon or Tues.... so if you want a copy of something you will be able to find it there.
Wow... time has been flying by!! I am trying to keep my head above water, but I am loving the quick pace.  Last week I said I was going to share what we did with prefixes and suffixes.  I had pictures on my camera and everything, but life got in the way. (By life I mean lesson plans and grading papers... lol!) 
Well last week we covered prefixes and suffixes... I was nervous, but the kiddos has a lot of fun.  Of course we had to put some tools in our Reading Spiral.


First, we put in a chart of the commonly used prefixes.
(Sorry about the sideways picture.)

Then, we put in our commonly used suffixes.  We also added 2 envelopes for flashcards.  The students had a blast using these to study.
We also made some fabulous circle maps.  Each student got a prefix and had to write it's definition, give 5 examples, use one of the examples in a sentence with CONTEXT CLUES, and then illustrate it.  (I forgot to take pictures of these, which I will do tomorrow and upload for you to see!!)
We had a lot of fun... this week we are onto genres. Hopefully I will have time to post all about that tomorrow! :) 
If you have any resources to share for prefixes & suffixes or genres, please let me know!! Leave a comment or email me... :)

I am in the process of uploading all of the prefix and suffix materials that are my originals to my Teacher's Notebook store. This should be done by Mon or Tues.... so if you want a copy of something you will be able to find it there.

The students did such an amazing job last week putting together their spirals and collaborating with each other to come up with out Real vs. Fake Reading anchor chart.  I have 3 groups of kiddos that are soaking everything up like sponges, so the next couple of days we built on what we had talked about with the Real vs. Fake Reading. 
On Thursday, we continued with Comprehension Connections techniques.  We made an interactive real reqading salad as a class and then I finished the book with the students making a real reading salad in their reading spirals.  Not only is it absolutely adorable, but the students really got behind the text/thinking that happens while reading.
On Friday, we did the text/thinking graphic organizer that can also be found in Comprehension Connections.  The students automatically knew what went where and why... SCORE!! Then we learned a new BIG word... metacognition.  Finally, they practiced making thinking marks on a short story that also had several short answer and multiple choice questions.
My class is full of REAL readers and they are loving it!!  They ask me everyday why reading class goes by so quickly and I tell them... time flies when you are having fun!!
Hope everyone has an amazing Thursday.. next post will be on the exciting prefix and suffix activities we have been doing this week! :)

Its that time already... September is here and currently has arrived!
Go on over and link up...
Don't forget the rule of 3!!
Oh' boy fourth grade

Wow is all I can say about the kiddos I have this year... they are quite different from the group we had last year and I am thankful!  The first two days were crazy with all of the meetings and going over the campus rules, but finally we got down to the nitty gritty today.  I teach both Reading and English to 3 period of kiddos and wanted to share what we did today.  It was cram packed, but we got everything done and with a smile on our faces.  :)
During reading we started our reading spirals for the year... which included the table of contents, 2012-2013 Texas Bluebonnet list, and Real vs. Fake reading.
The table of contents will be a huge timesaver later in the year...
The students can use the Bluebonnet list to check off as they read and take AR tests.  They can earn rewards for reading and passing a certain number of tests.  Our goal is 10... pizza and ice cream party!!
We had an awesome time brainstorming and making an anchor chart for real vs fake reading.  After we discussed it thoroughly, the students got to move around the room and "model" real reading.  They also wrote this in their spirals.
We also put together our Writing Notebook. Today we focused on what authors do and the writing process.
We thought about the process that writers go through and wrote them in order in our spirals.  Some of the students even learned the word "jot".
On the next page we glued in the writing process.  We didn't talk too much about it today.  All we did was look at the order because we were going to use it in a GAME!!
We played battle with the writing process.  The farther in the process the more the word was worth, so rubric beat everything.  The students had such an awesome time playing!!
Wouldn't you want to end your day with these faces?!?
Hope you enjoyed our day... I am tired just thinking about it!!
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