Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Anchor Charts for Writing

If you would've asked me my thoughts about using anchor charts in the classroom a few years ago, I would've said something along the lines of them being more appropriate in a primary room--not so much 4th or 5th grade. I've come to learn that anchor charts are just as necssary in intermediate classrooms--and may even be more beneficial--than in a primary room! Anchor charts are very big in my school and the students here have learned to look for them in their classrooms over the years. My students in the past couple years really rely on these charts and I am always pleased to see a student referring to one when they are working independently. As usual, Pinterest has an adbundance of anchor chart ideas and I have chosen some of those ideas to use in my classroom. Here are a few of our favorites for writing (along with a link to show you where the inspiration came from in the first place!):
These are two of the first charts we do together during our Launching Writer's Workshop unit. Plus, they are just fun charts to have hanging up in a classroom. My students were impressed with my drawings. The inspiration for both charts can be found at Life is Better Messy Anyway.

As we began the writing process for our first piece, we read the book, Little Monster Becomes an Author, and then created the following chart to help us through the process. I made color copies of the pages to add to the chart. It's quickly become my favorite writing chart and we will use it ALL the time! The original post about it can be found here.

When I got to the revising and editing minilessons, we made the final chart below. The inspiration came from Confessions of a 4th Grade Teacher. I've been teaching for just about 10 years and NEVER heard of these acronyms--they are genius!

I think it's safe to say that using anchor charts has changed my classroom!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Literacy Night Goodies!

Literacy Night is being held here at Harding tonight, Thursday 9/20, from 4-5:30 in the cafeteria (following a short PTA meeting)! A note went home earlier this week! I can't wait to see our families there. Every grade level will host some kind of literacy activity for students and their families. Our grade level will have a bookmark making station. Students can decorate a bookmark that includes a sticker reminder about the "Five Finger Rule". Here is an example:

And here is a close up of the sticker--I always encourage the students to use this in my classroom (in addition to keeping track of their Lexile and F&P reading level).

Finally, each family will receive one of these handy dandy little bookmarks as a parting gift:
These are great for parents or older siblings to have when working with a child who is reading. If they come to an unknown word, use one of the prompts to help them!

**If you are a teacher, you can get the templates for the stickers and parent bookmarks in my TpT store for FREE!**

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Teacher Binder

So many papers, so little time! But--I am going to share my teacher binder so you can see how I try to keep my "teacher life" organized. I have kept variations of this before but really put together a set system this year after seeing other ideas on Pinterest. I really like the one put together by The Teacher Wife so a lot of my inspiration came from there. Here is the binder--not a fancy front but it is my favorite color.
It looks better when it is open. You will see the FREE lesson plan book I got from Lakeshore Learning this summer and the cute (and FREE) cover page I got from The Curriculum Corner.
I made tabs to divide my binder into the following sections: schedule/calendars,student/parent information, guided reading plans, assessment data, common core checklists, curriculum guides, meetings, and IEPs.
Schedule/Calendars--Our daily schedule and school and district calendars for the year.
Student/Parent Information--I have a sheet with the pertinent contact info for each student in my class, a parent contact log, and a weekly tracking sheet for each student. Another teacher in my building made the tracking sheets and they are great! I keep track of missing assignments, behavior issues and reading goals for each week of the trimester.
Guided Reading Information--Paperwork and plans for my leveled guided reading groups will be housed here when we start this the week of 9/24. We are still building our stamina this week and next!

Assessment Data--My data dissagregation sheets along with all assessment recording forms are kept here. This helps when I plan my lessons.

Common Core Checklists--This is my lifeline this year! I am still feeling my way through CCSS but I took the time over the summer to create these checklists for my grade level team to track when we cover each standard. I have them for sale in my TpT store. There is also a checklist for 5th grade available.
Curriculum Guides--I have mapped out my curriculum for Daily 5, CAFE, Everyday Math and Writing. I keep those guides here.
Meetings--Staff meetings, plan team meetings, committee meetings, etc.! All agendas and notes go here.

IEPs/Behavior Plans--This important paper work is here for quick reference.

Whew! I am really fond of this binder and consider it to be my "school bible". = )

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Literacy Strategies

I love these posters that are now a feature in our literacy rich classroom! We refer to them often and we talk about when and how to use these strategies. I found them linked to Pinterest and they can be downloaded here for use in the classroom.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Scholastic Book Orders

Want to order from Scholastic Book Clubs? Use the link below and your order will send a free book to our classroom library! Please contact me if you have any questions!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Must Read Article for Parents!

I came across this great article about how to help your child choose books to read. We talk in class quite a bit about choosing "Just Right" books. This article gives great tips for parents that will be helpful to you in a bookstore, library or wherever! Thank you for supporting literacy in your home!

Selecting Books for Your Child: Finding 'Just Right' Books | Reading Topics A-Z | Reading Rockets

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Newsletter for You!

The first monthly newsletter of the school went home on Friday. Hopefully, you found it in your child's folder sometime this weekend! This newsletter is just another way that I let you know what is going on in our classroom. It will usually come home the first school day of each month.