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!

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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!


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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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