Thursday, October 30, 2014

Let's talk about Halloween + freebies!

It's Halloween week! Or rather, it's been Halloween week and I've just been a little bit too busy to blog. But fear not, I have some juicy things to talk about today! 

One of my favorite parts about our ELA block is the read alouds, and since I'm in charge of the read aloud plans for my grade level team, I chose a variety of Halloween-themed books for this week. Also as a rule with read alouds, I try to incorporate some sort of follow-up writing activity or craft. This week, I saved the crafts for our Halloween party and stuck with writing pieces. These are the books we are reading this week!

We read this story twice. The first day, we responded by completing a beginning, middle, and end graphic organizer to summarize the story and the second day, we talked about what the central message of the story was.

My students loved this book! They especially loved the "mysterious dark figure" who delivered a note to Farmer Brown :) After reading this book, we wrote our own invitations to our Halloween party to give to our families. You can grab a copy HERE.

For the two books listed above, they tell the same story of Halloween monsters getting ready for kiddy trick-or-treaters and in the end, the children get too scared because they realize the monsters aren't wearing costumes at all! So the monsters then enjoy their own party by themselves and have a great time. For the follow-up activity, we compared the two stories together and talked about how they were similar and different and then, students picked their favorite version and explained to a partner why it was their favorite.

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Still on the topic of Halloween, quite frankly I was feeling a little lazy this year when it came to drawing my Halloween treat labels so I created some on Powerpoint using Creative Clips adorable Halloween cliparts and uploaded them in my store for your particular use. Click on the picture below to get them!

Back to the topic of read alouds, what are your favorite Halloween read alouds and activities you do with them? I know there are a ton of great ones out there and I can't wait to switch them up next year!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

New layout reveal and word problem centers!

TA-DA! This is the big surprise I was talking about in my previous post. The blog has finally gotten a makeover, thanks to the amazing Blogs Fit for Queens. I worked with Sharon closely and I have to say, I'm sure I wasn't the easiest customer to work with because I asked for so many changes here and there, but Sharon was attentive and patient with me and tweaked things as much as I requested. I would absolutely recommend purchasing a custom layout from her. She is wonderful and does equally wonderful work, as seen by this page as well as the many examples on her website. Just click on the button at the bottom of my page to check her out! Thank you again to Sharon for such beautiful work :) I am beyond happy with my new blog and can't stop staring at it. Hopefully it's as pleasing to the eyes as it is for me.

Now, moving onto all things teaching. In the month of October, my class, which we call Team 109 because we're a team, has been working on a variety of word problems, with a focus on subtraction word problems and missing addend word problems this upcoming week. Since I don't have many word problem centers, I created a quick 12-question word problem center with a fall theme. Included in the resource is a recording sheet so that you can keep your students accountable for their work. You can grab a copy at my store by clicking the photo below.

How do your students do with word problems? Do you like teaching word problems? Any struggles, tips, insights?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Doubles Troubles Flashcards Freebie!

I'm back, as promised, and with a freebie! The Common Core-aligned graphic organizers will come at another time, but I made some doubles flashcards for my class since we're working on adding fluently within 20 and wanted to share it with you all in case you could find use for it this fall. They are doubles addition flash cards to 20, meeting standard 1.OA.6 that states students should be able to add within 20 fluently. The cards are perfectly sized to introduce as a whole group, maybe in your morning meeting or even use as partner work with students when they are done with centers. They are also fall-themed, which I thought would be perfect for the weather we're in (at least here in Chicago) and included at the end of the pack is a bonus flash test for students to complete 12 doubles facts in 30 seconds. Click on the picture below, leave some feedback, and enjoy!

P.S. Something very exciting is going to be happening this week on the blog. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Alive.. ish.

I promise I'm alive. It's just been hectic and I've been going through some things that have made me recoil from all social things, including blogging. Then I had dropped my Macbook and had to go get it fixed. Well, it's finally fixed... $350 later. Sigh. So I guess this is just a little update post to say that I am indeed here and haven't abandoned this blog. I promise to be better and be back with something to share (I'm thinking some Common Core aligned graphic organizers, anyone?). See you all soon.

Much love.