Yay... the end is near!!  This is our last full day of school in my school district, so I get to see each period of my Reading kiddos for an hour.  Last year I did reading rotations with them and my kiddos LOVED them.  We are doing them again today, so I wanted to share them with my bloggy friends.  If you stay until the end you will get a freebie!!

I had four rotations set up: poetry, acrostic poems, idioms, and compound words.  At the end of the post, I've added the link for the posters for each station.

Poetry:  The students get to pick from 7-10 poems that have been printed out.  They read the poem and then use watercolors to paint their visualization.  This one is a hit and one of my poems is "Oodles of Noodles".  

Acrostic Poems:  This rotation is pretty self explanatory, but... I put out acrostics that were printed out for myself, my two teammates, and fifth grade.  The students get to pick which one they would like to complete.  There are dictionaries and thesauruses for them to use.

Idioms:  The students have a list of idioms to choose from.  They draw the literal meaning on the front and put the idiom on the back.  We will use these tomorrow to play a game.

Compound Words:  The students have a list of compound words to choose from.  They draw the two words that make up the compound word and put the word on the back.  We will also use these for a game tomorrow.

If you have any ideas or feedback, let me know!!

As this school year is winding down, I am starting to see linky parties and posts about next year.  I have a dilemma folks!!  I am trying to figure out a way to organize my "stuff" and when I say stuff I mean lesson plans and activities.  I have seen many lower grade level blogs about binders... as a middle school teacher I am wondering if a binder per six weeks would be a good idea.  And to go along with that should reading and writing be in one binder or separate?  Next year is the first year I am teaching language arts/WRITING and trying to coordinate it to "mesh" well withe Reading.  Super stressed already... Our school district does not have a scope and sequence since we are so small, so if your district/you have one for reading/Writing combined I would love to see it...

What a ramble for a Friday, but I am really wanting some feedback, so whatever you can throw my way... I appreciate it!!!

I have decided to link up with Amber over at Adventures of a 3rd Grade Teacher for an end of the year linky party... and quite a year it has been! :)

Let's look at the greats first!!
  1. Using literature circles during novels has been an amazing experience... I was a little worried because my group this year was quite immature, but they loved the independence and rose to the challenge!
  2. Using the Daily 5 with my Title group the 1st sememster... this is the second year I have done this and it has made an amazing difference with those kiddos.  They got the small group and boost of confidence they needed!
  3. Discovering the blogging community... I have learned and gotten so many new ideas from teachers and have been sharing the wealth with my math teacher.  What an awesome bank of information!
Need to work on...
  1. Organization... I am actively going through cabinets and draws ane weeding out anything I did not use in the last two years.  I figure if it hasn't been used then it is not needed.  So this is a work in progress....
  2. Interactive ELA Notebooks... I started them about halfway through the year and they were an amazing resource for the students.  I can't wait to create and look for ideas over the summer... (send ideas my way! :))
  3. Writing... I am very nervous to be teaching actual writing and not just grammar next year.  I have already bought several writing units from the fabulous Ms. Runde... if you have any ideas or thoughts about writing and interactive writing journals, please let me know!

I just noticed I am almost to 100 followers... woohoo! And this school year is almost over!! 10 days left!!
We have been continuing Lit Circles for the past week.  The students are enjoying it, especially my Title class because they did not get to participate in the previous one.  I have decided that the students to get a little talkative and don't make a good use of their time, being that the end is closing in on us.  I decided to let them meet with the other people that have the same job as them for only 15 minutes of their "work" time and whatever they are not finished with must be completed on their own. 

Let me backtrack and give you the layout of how a typical Lit Circle class period runs...

1. Read the assigned chapters. (This could be done in several ways... me read aloud to the class, reading with a partner, or reading independently)
2.  Meet with the other students who have the same job as you for the day. (complete job for the day)
3.  Meet with your group.  ( There are 4 groups going at a time)
4.  Come back together as a class and share ideas, questions, and interesting discussions.

This is the first year that I have read this novel with my class and I am just loving all of the connections and life lessons we have discovered so far....

Thinking ahead to next year... does anyone have good examples of biographies, autobiographies, or informational texts?  These are my areas I am really lacking in.  Also, if you know of any good mysteries or "scary" books I would appreciate you sharing that knowledge my way... Thanks in advance!

Thank goodness its Thursday!!!
I am linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the May currently.... I was patiently waiting and am soo glad its here!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo Eve!!!

I absolutely love the book Loser by Jerry Spinelli.  The main character Donald is such an interesting kiddo.  I also like for the students to get a prospective on how to treat others and this book is helpful. 

With all of that being said, we started our Lit Circles yesterday.  We read the first 6 chapter of the book and discussed what each job was again before I sent the students off on their own.  I took my jobs from something that I had purchased from teacherspayteachers earlier in the year.  I keep up example posters for each job so the students know what I expect.  Since it was our first day, I gave them a little extra time to work on their job for the day.  I also took some time to discuss and share with the class the paper the leader of the group will fill out each day for participation. 

Sorry about the horrible quality of the picture, but I think you can get the gist... :)
 When the classes came to me today, we did the meeting with our group and sharing aspect of the Lit Circles.  I had to stop them almost immediately because I had forgotten to how the circles should look.  The students were just sitting there reading off their papers and not actually having meaningful conversation.  I explained to them that they should be having conversations about the book, like when they leave a movie and discuss it on the way home.  Also, that their papers were just a resource or a helper for their discussions.  I was very impressed with my homeroom TITLE class after that.  The conversations they were having were priceless.  I just love to walk around and eavesdrop listen to & join in on their discussions!
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