Friday Flashback - Recommendations

It has been an unusual week. Thank goodness that I still had a couple of boxes of chocolate to help get me through. On a side note, why do they bother putting anything in those boxes other than the chocolate-coated caramels?! The chocolates with the cream on the inside are a total waste of my time, but hey, I'll still eat them because I'm desperate. Unfortunately, the ratio of yummy to nastiness is about 1:5. Not the best odds. Anyway...

We have been wrapping up the early colonies (Roanoke, Jamestown, and Plymouth) in social studies this week. In addition to textbook, I also use activities from Hands-On History: Colonial America by Michael Gravois. I love his series of books. I also have the explorer and Revolutionary War ones.

We just finished the Roanoke datadisk pictured in the lower right corner and the Plymouth accordion book in the upper left. I think that projects like these give the students a nice change of pace, plus sometimes I let them use their projects for the test ;)

I also love this series of books for social studies.
I used them for the different Native American tribes, and the kids just love them! They are so interesting and talk about things that appeal to fifth graders.

In literacy this week, I FINALLY got around to having small reading groups. The problem that I have been having is keeping the others on task while I meet with five to six kids. Luckily, an associate is now assigned to my room for Tuesday and Thursday literacy. So that is when I decided to have my small groups. So far, so good! When I meet with my groups, I use a great resource called Nonfiction Reading Practice, Grade 5 by Evan-Moor Corp. I also have Grade 4 and Grade 6.

There are high-interest topics at three different reading levels. So all students are learning about Stonehenge, for example, but the kids have no idea that they are leveled. Stonehenge was this week's topic, and I was looking for a picture online to do with a Q-Chart. I came upon this one:

It made me laugh because we had just finished our Angry Verbs. The kids got a kick out of it. Here is the actual I will be using for the Q-Chart, BTW.

So while I was meeting with the small groups, I had a set of nonfiction graphic novel-type books to use with the rest of my class. I had them choose one of the eighteen topics, such as Pearl Harbor or Roanoke, and complete a generic text feature/comprehension worksheet that I created for the series. They were so into it that I could hear a pin drop. That is VERY unusual for my class this year!
This is actually the topic of the first Donors Choose project I made. The students were highly motivated to read these books, and luckily I can get a lot of use out of the eighteen titles that I borrowed. It would just be nice to have a set of my own :)

On Monday and Wednesday, we finished a story from our basal called The Marble Champ. We played marbles during class on Wednesday, and that was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures. But I guess that I could take pictures of the chalk circles that are still on my carpet. I had to put all of my OCD aside for that one...

And Friday was Snowmageddon 3.0, so we had a snow day. This one gets tacked on to the end of the year :(

This week I also started recruiting for a fun giveaway that I'm going to do for March Madness. If you have ever filled out a bracket (or even if you haven't), sign up and enter to win a bunch of prizes!

13 Colonies


  1. I am totally with you. I open the boxes of chocolate, fish out the chocolate covered caramels (usually by finding a square and squiching them because I refuse to eat the other nasty stuff) and then throw the rest away. ;O)

    We teach the colonies in 4th! It's so crazy how everything overlaps!!

    Collaboration Cuties

  2. Sounds like your week was super busy!!! Thank you for sharing the books...we're starting our colonial unit next week. I'm adding the hands-on book to my amazon cart now. :)
    Lattes and Laughter

    1. I don't know why they're so expensive on Amazon! You might want to shop around :)

  3. I had to laugh when I read your first paragraph! Thursday I asked a teammate if she had any chocolate, she ended up bringing me a left over Valentine's Day box of chocolate. I brought it out to recess and my teammates ALL searched for the caramel ones!


  4. I'm so glad I noticed your post on the colonies! We've finished that and I am not trying to tie up the Revolutionary War (two weeks before the semester ends) I'm going to check out the Scholastic Book you mentioned. I am always looking for new resources on this topic! I've almost polished off my Russell Stover's Valentine's Day Chocolates...vacation with lots of chocolate=too much chocolate. (If that's possible!) :)


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