Monthly Archives

December 2015

Day 10… What The Rigorous Owl Did Today In Their Reader’s Notebooks!

 Hello! Welcome to Day 10 of our series! We made it!!!!
It’s Friday!!!!!!!!! Yaaaa-hoooo!!!!!
Well, if you are just joining this blog post, please be sure to check out the following links for more clarification: Day 1 Interactive Reader’s Notebook  Day 2  Day 3  Day 4   Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 and Day 9.
 Here are our assignments for Day 10. This Friday, we decided not to do sentence frames.
We just enjoyed reading for 20-30 min. Isn’t it nice just to do that sometimes?! Our students love it too! We finished reading Rise of the Guardians today. The kids absolutely loved it and gave it 5 stars out of 5 stars  with a standing ovation! I just love how they were like, “NOOOOOOO!!!!!” every time a chapter ended and begged to read another chapter. That’s why we do this, right?! I told them not to be too sad because they got to watch the movie too! I love comparing the book to the movie…. and they do too! Anyways, let’s get going…
 Here is something new to us this year. We created this Mentor Form, and we absolutely LOVE it!
It is a great review before testing! It allows students to review and to catch any final misunderstandings they may have about what we have been focusing on.
Students filled out the Mentor Form independently, and then they paired up and shared what they wrote. They had the option to change what they wrote based off of their discussion or to add to it. This activity is awesome!
 Today, students also wrote a Teacher Letter in their Reader’s Notebooks. Here is the template that they have glued into the front of their Reader’s Notebook to guide them when writing the Teacher Letter. Our requirements is that it must be a page long and have three paragraphs. When we grade Reader’s Notebooks, we LOVE to read these and comment back to them. The Teacher Letter really shows you a student’s understanding of the content. We will go over how we grade Reader’s Notebooks in a future blog post. Be sure to follow us so that you are notified when we do!!!! We have a ton of ideas that we are just waiting to share with you!!! Sorry, I kind of went off on a tangent there… I guess it is Friday….
Our last assignment today was “The Cream Filling” activity. At the beginning of this unit, students were given this form to complete. We shared the responses today.
This is a simple activity and you just have to do it! It is so cool to see what students write.
Well, this sums up Week 2 of our blog series.
We are going to shorten next week’s assignments into one blog post,
since it is all about writing and testing.
Stay tuned on Monday!

Day 9… What The Rigorus Owl Did In Their Reader’s Notebooks Today!

 Hello! Welcome to our Blog! If you are just joining this post, please follow the links:
I promise you, it will make a lot more sense if you follow from the beginning! Let’s get goin’!
 Here are our assignments from today. Thursdays are all about the domain of Key Ideas and Details. The purpose of the second week is to hit our focus for the unit, but also to spiral back to everything that we have learned in Key Ideas and Details so far this year.
Today is all about: CHARACTER CHANGE.
 Our book talks from today focused on CHARACTER CHANGE. Since students should almost finished with their Fantasy books, they can complete these  sentence frames for Character Change.
We model with our class book, Rise of the Guardians, in the first row, students apply the same concept to their fantasy book during Reader’s Workshop, and the bottom row is for homework.
 Here is an activity that WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE!
You should hear our discussion!!!!! It is probably our MOST FAVORITE ACTIVITY! You can see that there are some X’s on the paper. This means we have not covered those areas yet. We still need to cover MOOD, TONE and Point of View.
If you need all of these resources, we have bundled them ALL together into 2 bundles….
ALL ABOUT CHARACTERS MEGA BUNDLE CLICK HERE
THEME, MOOD, TONE MEGA BUNDLE CLICK HERE
 Next, we reviewed CHARACTER CHANGE with these fun task cards!
(Click Character Change Task Card Activity Bundle to buy these from our store!)
We love these task cards and so do our students. I crack up because every time I pull them out, I hear students whispering, “Oh it’s that GAME again! Yes!!!!” Okay… “game.” Whatever works, right?! Students paired up with a partner, took turns reading the task card and noted how the character was at the beginning, the event that changed the character, and how the character was at the end of the story.
This sums up Day 9!
We hope that you were able to take something useful with you today to use in your classroom.
We would love to hear any comments or questions you might have!! 
*All notes/ practice pages you see were made by us, and for the most part, are available in our store…
*For Posters/ Anchor Charts on Key Ideas and Details CLICK HERE

Day 8… What The Rigorous Owl Did In Their Reader’s Notebook Today!

 Hello! Welcome to Day 8!!! If you are just joining us, please follow along with these links:
It will make a lot more sense if you do!
 Here are our assignments for the day. Wednesdays are all about Craft & Structure and Integration of Knowledge & Ideas. In this unit, our focus is Themes Across Cultures. We have chosen to teach this with about 30 different Cinderella stories that the students are reading (and loving!). Since we focused on college yesterday, we focus n a career today. We will explain.
 Students started the morning by copying down their sentence frames . Wednesdays’ sentence frames are a little different, since these two domains are so specific. We focused on their Cinderella books for today. The first row was done together, or guided, the second row was done during Reader’s Workshop and the third row is for homework. Students will write what their main character would post to Facebook after their reading with another character making a comment on their Facebook page. For more detail on this focus, see: Day 3
 This is the back of our poetry form. See the front by clicking the link Day 3. The back of the poetry form is to spiral back to the elements of poetry that we have already taught. Students begin by identifying the theme, noticing figurative language and pulling out textual evidence, noticing poetry elements, and then, our favorite… writing a tribute poem! What is a tribute poem? I’m so glad you asked! Check out below.
 Here’s why WE LOVE TRIBUTE POEMS… To start off, check out those student examples!!!! Talk about amazing, right???!!! When students write tribute poems, they are mimicking the poet’s craft and style. They are picking up on their figurative language and all of the poetry elements that the poet used. Also, if you noticed the characters that the students chose to write on, they are straight from our book, Rise of the Guardians! These students FULLY comprehend what they read! Tribute poems can vary. Sometimes, I like to have them write an antonym poem as their tribute poem. They will write the complete opposite… For example, if a poem is about winter and snowflakes falling, the students will write about summer and the sun’s rays. Tribute poems can be tweaked to make them work for what you are teaching. Students just love creating their own, publishing them, and sharing them with the class!
 Here is our Career Form. In each unit, we focus on one career, since we are College and Career Ready. We try to pick a career that matches up to our book. Since we are reading Rise of the Guardians, and it is all about Jack Frost, we chose to feature doctors, because of the cold! A stretch… I know, but whatever! We usually just type in “Doctor Career Facts for Kids” into the search engine and pull up an article to share with the kids. Then, students fill in “A Day in the Life,” “An Illustration,” “Helpful Habits and Skills,” “Possible Character Traits,” “Possible Hobbies or Interests,” and  “My Thoughts.” In the “My Thoughts” box, students tell if the career is totally for them, somewhat for them, or not for them, and then explain. At the bottom, they list all of the possible careers that they are considering when they grow up. It is really fun to look at this page. You really get to know who your students are! Also, you can watch their list go from “Professional Soccer Player” to “Marine Biologist, Doctor, and Veterinarian!”
We ended our Language Arts Block by having students practice their root words for the unit.
This sums up Day 8!
We hope that you were able to take something useful with you today to use in your classroom.
We would love to hear any comments or questions you might have!! 
*All notes/ practice pages you see were made by us, and for the most part, are available in our store…

Day 7… What The Rigorous Owl Did In Their Reader’s Notebook Today!

 Welcome to Day 7! Happy Tuesday! If you are just joining our Blog Series, please follow along from Day 1 with these links. Day 1 Interactive Reader’s Notebook  Day 2  Day 3  Day 4   Day 5 Day 6 I promise… it will make a lot more sense if you do! Let’s jump on in to our Tuesday!
Here is our coversheet with all of our assignments listed for the day. Tuesdays are our Language/Grammar days!
Here are our sentence frames for the day. Students start by copying these down first thing in the morning. The purpose of week 2 in our unit is to hit our Language focus: Conjunctions and Compound Sentences, but also to spiral back to everything that we have focused on so far in the domain of Language. The first row is to practice with our class book: Rise of the Guardians, the second row is for students to complete with their independent reading book during Reader’s Workshop, and the third row is for homework. You can see that we hit Conjunctions and Compound Sentences, Punctuating Dialogue, Progressive Tense VerbsCapitalization (which we have as a FREEBIE in our store) and Fragments. I try to always save the easier standards for home where there is less support than the classroom.
 I know that this College Focus is random, but at our school, each classroom has adopted a college. Every Tuesday, we wear our college t-shirts. We love the spirit that this creates at our school. We have college rallies that the students love. Each class has a cheer and the students just love it! We are the Arkansas Razorbacks! WOOOO-PIG-SOOOOIE! (My university was taken, so I went with my brother-in-law’s… I really picked it because their cheer was fun!!!!) Anyways, since we are wearing our college t-shirts on Tuesdays, we thought that we would get students thinking about college. We decided to pick some college vocabulary that we thought our students should know. You can see the words on my flag on the white pieces of paper. On our college focus day, the students pick a word they want to learn more about. We create a pennant in the center and then learn more about it in the boxes surrounding it. The students get all into this!!
We always start off by practicing our Language Focus one more time. We did a fun Interactive Notebook Foldable that practiced using each conjunction that we are studying.
 Here is our Language Form. This is similar to our Word Study Form from. The purpose of this form is to spiral back to all of the Language Standards that we have taught so far. This form has all of the standards on it, so you will see that there are some X’s. This simply means that we have not covered that standard yet. By the end of the year, students will be able to complete the entire form independently. The writing that is in blue is what I give the students. The writing that is in black is what is filled in by the students.
This is our Dictation Activity. The purpose of this is that we want to see if students can USE what we have taught. We create 4-6 sentences that review our Focusses. Each sentence has something in it that we are checking. We do not grade on spelling (except for our spelling words). We only grade the standard that we have taught… see the list in the top picture for specifics. Students fill in the paragraph on the bottom picture. We love this because students are USING what they are learning and we can see who still needs work on which standard!!!
This sums up Day 7!
We hope that you were able to take something useful with you today to use in your classroom.
We would love to hear any comments or questions you might have!! 
*All notes/ practice pages you see were made by us, and for the most part, are available in our store…
For Language Posters/Anchor Charts, click here

Day 6… What The Rigorous Owl Did In Their Reader’s Notebook Today!

 Welcome to Day 6! Happy Monday!!!!!!!! If you are just looking at this post, you will want to check out Day 1 Interactive Reader’s Notebook  Day 2  Day 3  Day 4   Day 5
It will make a lot more sense if you follow along in order.
 Here are today’s assignments. The second week of a unit is to spiral the unit’s focus, but also to spiral what we have learned in that domain so far this year. Mondays are all about Vocabulary. Our unit’s focus is Prefixes (Prefix Resources ), but I am also spiraling what we have learned so far this year: Similies and Metaphors, Proverbs, Idioms, Synonyms and Antonyms. We HATE the idea of teaching it and leaving it. We try to reference back to past units’ focuses whenever we possibly can to keep it fresh in their minds. When we focus on only one domain each day, it is a lot easier to do this!!!!
 This morning, students copied down these sentence frames.
The sentence frames spiral everything that I mentioned above.

Here is how we reviewed our Unit’s Focus: Prefixes. Students wrote the meaning of the prefix under each flap. Them we colored similar meaning prefixes the same color to notice groupings and similarities. This also helps as they are studying!
Prefix Resources

 After Reader’s Workshop, students practiced their Root Words. Again, we use Got to Teach’s “Get to the Root of It. We love how easy she has made it for us! We cut out the practice from the worksheet and glue it into our Reader’s Notebook. We do one of these each day this week for practice.
 This is our Word Study and Vocabulary Form. This is stapled into the students’ Reading Contract. We love this because it spirals what we have learned and students practice all of the standards with each unit throughout the year, so that they MASTER them! We fill in the idiom, simile, metaphor, proverb, phrase, words for synonyms and words for antonyms off of the lists in our
Students then completed their Vocabulary Activity. Their Vocabulary Activity is based off of their Dictionary Dig that they did on Friday Day 5. This student chose to do five words instead of three! Oh ya! Above and Beyond! In the Vocabulary Activity this week, students wrote the word, used it in a sentence, listed a synonym and an antonym, and drew a picture.
This sums up Day 6!
We hope that you were able to take something useful with you today to use in your classroom.
We would love to hear any comments or questions you might have!!
*All notes/ practice pages you see were made by us, and for the most part, are available in our store…

Day 5… What the Rigorous Owl Did In Their Reader’s Notebook Today!

 Welcome to Day 5! It’s Friday!!!! Woooo-Hoooooo!!!!!!!!
We made it!
If you are just joining us, please check out
This will make a lot more sense if you start from Day 1!
Let’s get started!
 Here are our assignments from today!
Friday is our Review/ Extras Day!
 We started with students copying down their sentence frames. In the first box, we reviewed the concept of Character Change from yesterday’s lesson. On Fridays, we always like to try something fun and different for the students. Today, you will see, in the second and third boxes,that we did a Facebook Status Update from one of the characters in our books and a comment from another character. The students absolutely love this.
Anything with Facebook is a hit with them!

Next, we did a Character Change JOT to review Character Change. Students chose a book that they have finished reading and showed how the character was at the beginning of the story on the left and how the character ended up on the right. Students also stated the event that changed their character.

*For resources on this, click
 On Fridays, we do “Dictionary Digs.”
We go to our Mystery Word Collector
(See  Day 1 Interactive Reader’s Notebook Blog Post for explanation).
They choose the top three words that they would like to learn more about and write the definition.
On Monday, we will do more with these words, so stay tuned!
  Students also had a Journal prompt. I always type up their prompt and they glue it to the top of their page. This one was longer than most, but I think it’s a good one. Our Journals usually follow the genre of writing that we are teaching, but instead, I decided to go with a personal response this week. Normally, Journals need to be 3/4 writing and 1/4 illustration. This week, it will be different. We loved this prompt because it reviewed character traits, which is what we learned in a past unit. Anything that spirals back is a win for us!
We hope that you were able to take something useful with you today to use in your
classroom.
We would love to hear any comments or questions you might have!!
Well, this sums up Week 1! Stay tuned next week for Week 2!
Have a great weekend!

*All notes/ practice pages you see
were made by us, and for the most part, are available in our
store…

Day 4… What The Rigorous Owl Did In Their Reader’s Notebook Today!

Welcome to Day 4! If you are just joining us, please see Day 1 Interactive Reader’s Notebook & Day 2  & Day 3
Here are our assignments today, so let’s just jump right in!
 This morning, students came in to copy down these sentence frames. The sentence frames in the first row reviewed a previously taught concept and introduced the concept for the day… Character Change! This was modeled with our class book Rise of the Guardians. Our second row was a bit different today since students are reading their Cinderella stories during Reader’s Workshop. The second row is working on our Integration of Knowledge and Ideas focus: Themes Across Cultures. The third row is for their reading at home… again, a review and lesson from today. sentence frames
 After Reader’s Workshop, students reviewed yesterday’s lesson with a quick JOT. In this JOT, they found the similar themes from two Cinderella books that they have read. All students have read three Cinderella books at this point. They loved it so much, they read two yesterday and one this morning. Students put the theme in the center. Then, on each side, they wrote down words that they saw in their book that showed the culture. Students had a hard time with this, so we let them work together with someone that read the same book. We talked about how we were looking for words that we do not normally use, or words that showed the setting.
 Since it is Thursday, we are all about the domain of Key Ideas and Details (our FAVORITE!) Today, we introduced the idea of Character Change. We started by filling in our notes and practice with a book that we had already read, since it wouldn’t work with the book that we are currently reading. Students need to read the entire book in  order to know how the character is at the end of the book. We discussed one of our favorite characters, Opal, from Because of Winn-Dixie. Then, students applied the concept to a book that they read last month in our Greek Mythology unit.
*All of these notes/ materials can be found in our Character Change Bundle We also have a new product that we will be using next week!! Character Change Task Cards
 Students then practiced noticing Character Change with our “APP”lication activity, Cookin’ Up Character Change. (Available for purchase separately Cookin’ Up Character Change or in our Character Change Bundle) Students read a passage on the recipe card, and then they filled in a graphic organizer. The bowl is character at the beginning, the stove is the event that changed the character, and the plate is the character at the end. They enjoyed it and it came out really cute!
So that’s it for Day 4! Stay tuned tomorrow for Day 5!!! We hope that you were able to take something useful with you today into your classroom. We would love to hear any comments or questions you might have!!
*All notes/ practice pages you see were made by us, and for the most part, are available in our store…

Day 3… What The Rigorous Owl Did In Their Interactive Reader’s Notebook Today!

 Welcome to Day 3 of our series! If you are just joining us, please see Day 1 Interactive Reader’s Notebook & Day 2 blog post for more details. If you’re following along, welcome back! We hope you can get some good ideas today!
 Here is Day 3’s assignments. Wednesdays are all about Craft & Structure and Integration of Knowledge & Ideas. We merged these two domains into one, so in each unit, we are teaching one or the other… not both.
As you know, we start the morning off with students copying down their sentence frames. We always review yesterday’s lesson and briefly introduce the new lesson for today. We modeled with our class book, Rise of the Guardians, in the first row. Students then read 20-30 min independently during Reader’s Workshop to practice with the second row. The third row is for Homework… I usually put C C H, but it looks like I forgot today! I’m shocked that I wasn’t “reminded!”
After reading, we always do a quick JOT about yesterday’s lesson. This morning, we reviewed Conjunctions and discussed how conjunction “bridge” together two complete sentences. This anchor chart was awesome for students to visualize what happens when you use a conjunction. 
Next, we moved into our focus. In this unit, we are studying Themes Across Cultures. Last year, we had some money to spend on books, so we decided that we would get about 30 different Cinderella stories, each from a different culture. Students will be reading one Cinderella story each day. We started by reading our traditional Cinderella story so that they all have a common text to compare their Cinderella story to. They are LOVING it! We have also studied Native American legends and Greek Mythology this year, so we had a discussion why two very different cultures would both make up stories about how things came to be. We discussed how there is a common human need to know this! We had a great discussion! It is time like this that I am so glad that we have read one traditional literature book each month! For more details on what I mean by this, please see our  
In order to cover the standard of Poetry, Drama, and Prose, we made a form for each genre. We spiral them in our Reading Contracts. In this Reading Contract, we are focusing on Poetry. We always try to find a poem that relates to either our season or the story that we are reading in class. This time, we hit two birds with one stone! We found a poem on Jack Frost! This is just the front of the form. Students practice interpreting, connecting, evaluating and visualizing! Stay tuned next Wednesday for the back of the form!
We hope you enjoyed today’s blog post and we welcome any comments/ feedback/ questions you may have!
*All notes/ practice pages you see were made by us, and for the most part, are available in our store…

DAY 2… What The Rigorous Owl Did Today in Their Reader’s Notebook

DAY 2!!!
  If you are following along with us, thanks for joining again! If you are just joining this post, please check out “Day 1 Interactive Reader’s Notebook” for more details!!!
 Here is our cover sheet from Day 2. Each student has a copy of this on the front of their Reader’s Contract and as we complete each assignment, we highlight it. This serves as a checklist to me and a reminder in case we fall behind. It is a great study habit for students to start also!
Tuesdays are our Language days. On Tuesdays, we teach our Language focus and review our Vocabulary focus. We started our Language Arts block out by having students copy down their sentence frames for the day. Notice that the sentence frames are purposeful! We reviewed prefixes and taught a very quick mini-lesson on our concept for the day… Compound Sentences. While students do this, we take roll/ lunch count/ etc… Then, we start by reading our class book, Rise of the Guardians, and modeling the sentence frames. Students then log in for 20-30 min to read their own Fantasy book and practice using the sentence frames with their books during Reader’s Workshop.
 After reading, we always review what we learned the day before with a quick JOT. Again, JOTs are a way to show the concept visually, and it also helps to make it fun for our artistic students! Our JOTs are like a mini anchor chart for students to refer back to. Today, we reviewed prefixes by choosing a prefix to write in the train and then attached different root words to make new words.
Since today is Tuesday, we spent the majority of our time on our Language focus, which is Conjunctions and Compound Sentences. We taught the mnemonic FANBOYS to help students memorize the Conjunctions. We filled in our notes and then practiced. Another activity that we did that is not shown here is we created examples and non-examples on our whiteboards. Students often think that just because the word “and” is in a sentence that it is a compound sentence. We made compound subject sentences and compound predicate sentences as non-examples. Students underlined the nouns once and the verbs twice to prove their answers. Because our Sentence Frames were on Compound Sentences this morning, we looked back at our Sentence Frames from our reading and decided if they were truly Compound Sentences. They worked in groups by passing their sentence frames to each other and having discussions about them. We had a lot of students changing them because they were either compound subjects or compound predicates. As you know, students often learn more from their mistakes! Because this is a new concept, it helps lower the affective filter, making it okay to make mistakes! After all of this, we did a fun “Conjunction Anchors Aweigh” practice page as independent practice. Students loved cutting out the anchors and gluing them into the correct sentences! 
Well, that sums up Day 2! Stay tuned to our blog tomorrow for Day 3! We would love to hear any comments you may have or questions! Thanks!
*All notes/ practice pages you see were made by us, and for the most part, are available in our store…