Back-to-School Freebie Frenzy

Welcome to everyone hopping through for the freebie frenzy! I'm sure that you've gathered some great goodies so far.

My freebie is something that I used last year for Constitution Day. I don't know about you, but Constitution Day sneaks up on me every year, and then I frantically look for something that I can use in isolation while I'm right in the middle of my Native American social studies unit.

Last year I decided to address Constitution Day in reading instead of social studies. I wrote some close reading passages about the Constitution with second read, third read, and writing response activities. I also included a basic how-to on close reading if you've never tried it with your class before. They would integrate nicely into your reading workshop format. Click on the picture or click {here} to get your copy.
I hope that it will come in handy for your last-minute Constitution Day planning!!
Before you keep hopping, make sure that you've entered our giveaway!


Following Directions

One of the challenges of the first week of school is trying to find a good balance of the required teaching of rules/expectations and easing students into some academic work.

During the back-to-school TpT sale, I bought Rachel Lynette's {Following Directions} task cards. I thought that it looked like a lot of fun, yet the students would have to use some math and literacy skills to complete it.

I originally scheduled one class period for this. I wanted my students to work together at their tables to complete it since I have a wide variety of reading levels as well as a few ELL students. I gave each table one sheet of four directions, and they were to take turns reading them to each other. When they finished the sheet, then I would give them another one. That was the plan, anyway.

Oh. My. Gosh. This product was a lot more (appropriately) challenging for my students than I thought. The directions are complex and usually involve more than one step. There was some serious teamwork and problem-solving going on in the groups. Lots of concentration. Lots of rereading. But the students were not discouraged. Needless to say, I needed to have this activity bleed over into next week, which is a good thing since I have to be out of the classroom for a training on Tuesday morning.
We'll see how much they get done while I'm gone, but I anticipate this will take a few more half-hour chunks of time for them to complete. I may also use this as a reading workshop rotation or morning work over the course of the month since it is something that requires a little more brain power.

Can't wait to see the finished products!


Classroom Pictures

I'm sure you haven't been missing my blog posts. I'm guessing that you have been as insanely busy as I have been. So I'm just taking a quick second to share some pictures from my room. I don't remember if I shared any pictures of my room from last year, but I had 4 different types of desks and 6 different types of chairs. Just the fact that everything now matches makes my Type A brain much happier!
 View from the door.
 My corner of the world. Sign on the front of my desk was a gift from {The Teacher Crafter}.
 I love the look of my library this year. I attached wall files to hold my thinner books. Above the windows are awesome posters from {The Brown Bag Teacher} and {Digital: Divide and Conquer}.

Back table with a whiteboard waiting for me to figure out reading and math workshop rotations. Also features a non-negotiable poster set from {Joanne Miller}.
I post my {check-in} and {check-out} posters by my door.
 My looonnnggg and fabulous counter! Oh, the storage!!
 And since I had extra shelf space, I made a little display with some prints from IKEA and my DIY poms. The black case hold my Walkkits for {The Walking Classroom}.

So there you go! The bulletin boards will fill up over the course of the year, but this is the starting point for the year. Hope your year is off to a great start!

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