We studied Theme last week in Reading.  I must admit that I borrowed a few ideas from My Life as a 5th Grade Teacher ... the anchor chart was NOT my original idea.  We glued a foldable into their reading spirals defining what theme IS and IS NOT.  I also copied some questions that help find the Theme from Study Island for them to use as a reference also.  Finally, we spent 2 days reading Berenstain Bear books and finding the Theme and giving 2 examples from the book that supported it.  They thought that was a blast and I am excited about the papers that I have had time to look at... Sometimes they blow me away! :) I actually had a Marvelous Monday and hope you did too!! :)

Did you know that you need permissions to post things from other people's blogs on your boards? I didn't until I read this article. I have always not minded others posting things from my blog, that is why I have a teaching blog. Well now it is official because I am putting this button on my blog that gives your permission to pin from my blog.

It has been a busy and super crazy couple of weeks. The fabulous STAAR test is coming in less than a month.  Of course when you are needing the students full attention to review, they are all in full blown spring fever mode. 

  Any who, enough venting... onto the good stuff.  In our school district we use the Study Island program for STAAR questioning practice.  One of the lessons on the program is text organization.  Yes I know you are thinking "Why haven't you already taught that this year?"  Well I have been super stressed  excited to make sure that I cover all of the material in the rigor that is necessary for the upcoming tests and there are topics that u usually teach in the 1st 6 weeks or two that have gotten pushed to the wayside.  Text organization is one of them... Here are a few pictures to illustrate our study. 

First, we made anchor charts for the board.  As I was writing them on the chart paper, the students were writing it into their reading spirals and gluing examples to refer to.
The next day we added a chart for clue words.  I added those to our previously made anchor charts.
Then the students had to sort several short paragraphs between the 6 types of text organization. This activity was completed independently.

We also picked a topic in each period and wrote 2-3 sentences following each kind of text organization.  The next day, the students picked their own topics and completed the same activity independently.

Well, it is a super crazy Friday... I can't wait for some peace and quiet this weekend! :)

The Liebster award is given to blogs with less than 200 followers. Because I've been given the award, I need to find 5 blogs to give it to.  I am so excited to share 5 awesome blogs with you... check 'em out!!!

Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B
Katie at Katie Lately
Heather at Loose Shoelaces

Enjoy and happy stalking browsing!!

I have been posting and blog stalking browsing for the last few months.  I have enjoyed seeing what other teachers do in their classrooms and how they have their rooms situated.  I want to jump in on the fun and share some pictures of my classroom and my CAFE/FACE board.  Enjoy!
This is the view when you walk into my classroom.  I LOVE my letters that I made to go above the board.  What a fun and relaxing summer project.

This is my FACE board.  I did not make the headers, but I can't
 remember what fabulous person I borrowed them from. 
If you know, I'll be sure to give credit where it's due! :)

This is another view to the front corner of my room where my
FACE board and the chart is for them to pick their stations for the Daily 5. :)

This is a picture of my CRAZY desk area.  I need to get control of the clutter!

This is another picture of the right side of my room... Daily 5 choice board
and English & Social Studies word wall.  I also have my pillows in laundry
baskets on the floor, but they are hidden behind the desks. :)

Word of the Day wall and Plural Noun Rules

Back wall... Genres, computers, games, and turn-in drawers.

Library Area and yes I am totally OCD about my books being in
the correct labeled basket!  lol

I hope you have enjoyed your tour of my room... if I knew how to have a linky party, I would!! :)

So yesterday I introduced the plot map and we added it into our reading spirals.  I also read one of my FAVORITE picture books... Grandpa's Teeth By : Rod Clements.  The kids thought it was a hoot and it was perfect to make an example plot map with.  On Friday, the students are going to be pairing up to make creative plot maps on the picture books of their choice.... I can't wait!  My creativity is finally starting to rub off on them!! :)
I was up bright and early this Monday morning... 5:05 to be exact!

Next Monday, the 13th, we have our DREADED Reading Benchmark.  I know each and every student is capable, but i still feel a knot in my stomach.  I wish i could make sure EVERY student has a good nights sleep and a smooth morning before testing, but i can't be at 70 different houses that morning.  Teaching is my life.  I love my job and the stakes and pressures being placed on teachers are being increased EVERY year.  I, as a self proclaimed fabulous teacher, think that if you care about each and every student and give them the tools they need to be successful... that they will.  All the extra pressures do is cause unnecessary stress.  I am at the school on a Saturday getting everything together for the next week and can feel my heart wanting to race thinking about the benchmark.  I know my students will be successful, but as a human I will have stress and doubt trying to creep in.  All I can say is "Think Positively"!

Here's to a good rest of the weekend and an awesome week of lifting up my students!
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