Five for Friday - March 28 {Freebie}

Early in the week, I noticed that my new potatoes were starting to grow eyes (again...). I remembered blogging about a {recipe} last year that was really good, so I pulled it out again and made it. Oh. Yum. Highly recommended if you need an easy side dish (or main dish) idea this weekend.

Yep. I bought it. I don't even know what it means ;)

Spring will come... someday!

I made these Elsa capes for my two girls. I need to attach the snowflakes accents, but my girls love them! I am pretty sure at this point they can reenact every scene...

The colors in this pic are horrid - the one on the left is light pink and the one of the right is light purple.

{Here} is where I found the easy tutorial. I actually did it myself instead of together because I'm a little (lot) OCD...

Note to self: When spending time creating a QR code project that you want students to do because you're too lazy to do whole-group instruction that day, make sure the iPods are available.

Plan B:

See {Chalk & Apples} for the rundown! She just posted about it on Wednesday, and I didn't want to be redundant! ;)

And two extra!

Freebie testing sign - 'tis the season!

I am joining some of my friends to participate in a Spring Cleaning Sale. This is probably the easiest spring cleaning that you will do.

1. Comment on all of the purchases you have made in TPT. Did you know that you get credit for leaving feedback? This adds up and you can get discounts when you check out.

2. Open your wish list and add the items to your cart that you just have to have to make it through the rest of the year!

3. Purchase these fabulous items with the credit earned from leaving feedback!

Click {here} to go to my store. I'm going to examine my wish list...


The American Revolution - The Plan

American Revolution Linky

I put a question out on Facebook yesterday about what you do to teach the American Revolution. It seems that I have pinned so many ideas that there is no way that I can teach it all. So with nine weeks left, here is what I plan to do this year.

These two products are great for the events leading up to the war. I've used the book by Michael Gravois for the last several years, and I'm excited to add in some more interactive notebook elements with {Jivey's product}.


Then I'm going to use {Amelia's FREE tax simulation}. I've never done anything like this before, but I know other teachers who have done similar activities with a lot of success. Amelia's looked really easy to implement, and it was FREE!

As for the war itself, I will be using these biographies and lapbook elements.


Of course, there will be fair amounts of Liberty's Kids sprinkled in!

Then our culminating activity will be from {Sabra's blog}. It is the ABCs of the American Revolution. Students brainstorm something for each letter then draw or write about it.


Spring Break Freebie

As I was not acknowledging the fact that I have to go back to work tomorrow, I remembered that I had this spring break freebie sitting in my store.
I give kids ten minutes to write or draw in each square, then go around the room and have everyone share one thing. It gets spring break out of their system and allows us to go on with school as normal. Click {here} to get it!


Reminder and Expanding My Teaching Wardrobe {aka Got Another Stitch Fix!}

Get those picks in tonight!! It's not too late if you want to join us. Out of the 100+ invites I sent out, only 30 brackets have been completed, so your chances are great! Remember that I will draw random entries to win every round in addition to the leader!

Now, on to the fix!

Update: Ended up not keeping this. I don't think the color did anything for me, and the price was too high.

Curious? Click {here} to complete your profile and sign up for your first fix!


Monday Made It - Close Reading

Man, I haven't linked up with MMI for a long time, and I wish that I had something more creative to share. I've been working on April close reading texts, and they are finally done! So this will be a lame MMI, but maybe I'll come up with something crafty to share next month since I'm on break this week (Woo!).

Here is the awesomeness included inside! I tried to go away from the usual holidays...

High interest articles with three levels of differentiation...

Interactive notebook options...

They are on sale for 25% off today and tomorrow by clicking {here}. Or, pick up the Opening Day section as a freebie {here}.


Tried It Tuesday - Close Reading

A few weeks ago, the fifth grade teachers received some training on close reading. Like many of you, I thought that people were always saying "cloze" reading, which I already did.

Turns out, it's quite different. Close reading comes from the Common Core, which states in the Corresponding College and Career Readiness Anchor Standard - "Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text."

HMH Journeys does use the close reading strategy, but it's not quite the same unless you can interact with the text. I made copies of the story to distribute to the students, two pages of the story on one side of the paper.

We listened to the story with a recording for the first read. Students made marks on the story when they had some sort of reaction to it. These are some of the symbols that we used:

Then I had the students share their thoughts at their tables. I overheard some really great conversations about why they chose to mark things a certain way.

Then I asked the questions that Journeys provided throughout the story. We worked on them one-by-one and highlighted the text that we used as evidence.

We took another color of highlighter, and marked words that were used for sequencing, since that was a skill that Journeys wanted us to focus on in the story and would be tested.

Finally, we worked on main ideas and supporting details. When we were finished, our stories looked a little like this:

Overall, I really liked how the students were much more involved in the text when I gave them a copy to annotate and highlight. They seemed to have a much deeper understanding because they were more engaged in the multiple readings, rather than moaning and groaning that they had to read it AGAIN.

I decided to take a stab at creating some monthly-themed close reading passages and activities. I decided to also include some elements so that they could be used in interactive notebooks. Since I know that many of you probably know more about close reading than I do, I would be interested in your opinion. I have the first text and activities ready, but the rest is still a work in progress. If you are interested in checking it out, I will have it available {here} until I finish and get it uploaded to TpT. Like I said, it's a work in progress, so let me know your thoughts!

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