Monthly Archives

January 2017

Top 5 Reasons to Subscribe to Our Newsletter!

 Hello! We are Deserae and Michelle,
also known as The Rigorous Owl!
We are so happy that you are here!
We guide passionate educators who are determined to stand out from the crowd by providing thorough, high quality, no prep lessons that will keep students engaged and begging for more.
Our goal is to help students love their learning
and in turn love you, their teacher.
We are very passionate about our students, the materials that we use in the classroom, making learning fun, and sharing great ideas and strategies with teachers like you!
By subscribing our NEWSLETTER, you will get the
Red Carpet Treatment from DAY 1!
Here are the Top 5 Reason’s to subscribe!

 

The Rigorous Owl

 In every Newsletter, it is our #1 goal to bring you VALUE!
This means that you will not just get product updates.
You will get something of VALUE that you can use!
We have brainstormed a list of ideas to GIVE to you, our subscribers. We will send some new posters to use in your room, a video showing a strategy to use with your students, some cute homework passes that serve as a free gift to your students for holidays, and so much more! We are constantly popping into each other’s room to say, “Hey, we should give this to our subscribers!”
It will always be a Newsletter worth opening!
WE PROMISE!

 

The Rigorous Owl

 Here is the #2 Reason to Subscribe! You will get these colorful Key Idea and Details Posters for your classroom for FREE! These posters cover your basics from RL 1, 2 & 3, HOWEVER, they also dive SO MUCH DEEPER! For example, RL 3 says Characters… Well, we go over your basic Character Traits (that everyone else does…yawn…) AND we also include Character Analysis, Character Change, Character Motivation, and the Types of Characters!
These posters serve as great Anchor Charts to
use throughout the year!

 

The Rigorous Owl

 The #3 Reason is that you get our Literacy Center Toolkit (that’s completely editable) for FREE! Yep, another amazing FREEBIE! Students love using this board to guide their Literacy Center Rotations! Check out our blog posts on Literacy Centers by clicking herehere, and here!
 Are you ready for another FREEBIE?
The #4 reason to subscribe to our newsletter is that you get our 200 Key Idea and Details Sentence Frames for FREE! These are AMAZING and we personally use them every day and all year long in our classrooms! This is how students respond to their independent reading books. The possibilities are endless on how you will use them!
 The #5 reason to subscribe is that you will be the first to know about our new products. Why do you need to know this? Because all of our new products are 50% off for the first 48 hours! You can also follow us on TPT by clicking here to get notified! Just click the green star!

 

The Rigorous Owl

Now, if we weren’t who we are, we would have stopped at 5 reasons, but WE ARE THE RIGOROUS OWL! We aim to go above and beyond for YOU! There are definitely more than 5 reasons to subscribe to our newsletter. Inside of our newsletter, you will also find a schedule of private VIP sales JUST FOR OUR SUBSCRIBERS! We also include Blog Highlights from recent blog posts. We love blogging about themed activities, strategies for teaching a standard, and other ways to help you in your classroom! (By the way, if you aren’t following our blog, please do!)
So, there you have it!
Here are the Top 5 (plus more) reasons to
Subscribe to The Rigorous Owl’s Newsletter!
We hope you will subscribe and share in our adventure in the most rewarding job there is out there! We love what we do and we know you do too! Our goal is to make a difference in your teaching life and add value to your classroom!

 

What Comes Before and After Literacy Centers? Part 3 of a 3 Part Series

sequence of teaching

 Welcome to our third post on Literacy Centers! 

If you’ve made it this far, you’re almost an expert! 
We are so excited that you have found the value of implementing Literacy Centers in your classroom! 
We truly believe that this is where good teaching happens! 
Students need exposure to a standard through different modes of learning. Literacy Centers check off both of those boxes… and more! We believe that this is what our students have been missing all along!
In this blog post, you will learn about the ideal sequence to teaching a standard! 
Let’s get goin’! 
lesson plans
 Above, you can see the ideal sequence for teaching a standard. We gave the example of teaching Idioms. This is a common standard that everyone teaches, so the idea can be applied to whatever you are teaching. As you can see, students are given a plethora of activities to expose them to the standard! They have multiple chances at accessing the standard and you have a variety of assessment tools to monitor their proficiency along the way! 
This is what we have implemented in our classroom this year, and we can honestly say that we have had the biggest growth that we have ever had before. Our students are performing at a level they have never reached before… and guess what? 
THEY ARE HAVING FUN! 
AND EVEN BETTER… SO ARE WE!
interactive notebooks

 When we first introduce a standard,

we start with our “Week Long Lessons.” 
Day 1 starts with having students take notes on the standard and creating an Anchor Chart in their Interactive Reader’s Notebook. This provides a point of reference for later questions. It is also an excellent tool for parents to see what their child is learning and how to help them at home. Day 2 gives students more practice by providing them with a Practice Page. These practice pages are not just a worksheet! Students usually have a maze, ti-tac-toe game or other engaging activity in order to practice the standard. Throughout the week, students also complete a foldable, which is placed inside their Interactive Reader’s Notebook. Students also use sentence frames while they are reading their Independent Reading book. A sample sentence frame would be, “Idiom Alert on p. ____! The idiom is ____,” or “A great idiom for today’s reading would be ______.” These sentence frames are also applied to our class Read Aloud. This is great for Modeling and Teacher Think Alouds! Another activity included in our “Week Long Lessons” are JOT ideas. “JOTs” are a quick jot about the standard. Our JOTS include an art activity with a short writing piece applying the standard. There are two JOT ideas included. There is an assessment included in our “Week Long Lessons,” but we save the assessment for the very end… after our Literacy Centers and Task Card Activity Bundles.
differentiated instruction

Literacy Centers come next and they are our favorite! Literacy Centers allow students to use what they learned in the “Week Long Lessons.” Students have a variety of opportunities to master the standard! We have already posted two blog posts all about them, so check them out by clicking here for Post #1  and here for Post #2! 

the rigorous owl

 After Literacy Centers comes “Task Card Activity Bundles!” 

These task cards are not just your typical task cards! 
We love the differentiation that is included. From the Literacy Centers, you will get enough documentation to group students accordingly. We love using the Task Card Activity Bundle for Intervention! We rotate students into three groups. Each teacher uses the Task Card Activity Bundle at a different level. The Proficient group uses the enrichment, the Basic group uses the task cards in a larger group setting and the Below Basic group uses the task cards in small groups with a teacher, or assistant, at each group. The differentiation included is sufficient for all three categories of students. 
the rigorous owl

The best part of all three of these tools is that they are “Print and Go!” The work has been done for you! It’s as easy as sending it out to the printers, or doing the printing yourself at school. None of the activities require additional materials. It’s about as easy as it get at a thoroughness and quality that will have your students begging for more! You will stand out from the rest with your test scores and your level of differentiated instruction!

Here is a sample of what this post has been about… 
We have many more options available in our store!
WEEK LONG LESSONS
Context Clues Week Long Lessons Common Core Aligned   Quotes Punctuating Dialogue Week Long Lessons! Common Core   Proverbs & Adages Week Long Lessons Common Core Aligned    Relative Adverbs Week Long Lessons! Common Core Aligned L4.1a
LITERACY CENTERS
Context Clues Literacy Centers   Punctuating Dialogue   Proverbs and Adages   Relative Adverbs
TASK CARD ACTIVITY BUNDLE
Context Clues Task Card Activity Bundle   Punctuating Dialogue Task Cards   Proverbs and Adages Task Card Activity Bundle   Relative Adverbs Task Cards

Click the above images to check them out in our store!
Thanks for joining us on this blog post series! 
If you have any questions or comments, 
we would love to hear from you in the Comments below!

How to Run Literacy Centers in Your Classroom… Part 2 of a 3 Part Series

 Welcome to our second post of our three part series on 
Literacy Centers! 
If you missed Part 1, check it out by clicking HERE!
This blog post is all about how to effectively run a 
Literacy Center Rotation in your classroom! 
You will learn all about organizing groups, getting students engaged, keeping students organized and focused, improving the quality of their work, managing behavior, checking for levels of understanding, team building, and lastly, keeping yourself organized! 
Phhheeeewww! 
That was a lot! Let’s get started!
During a Literacy Center Rotation, we group our students into groups of four. This seems to be a manageable size because many of the activities require pair work with checking another pair’s answers before moving on. In this group of four, we assign a role, or responsibility, for each student. We simply laminate the cards above and use lanyards that we have collected over the years. Another idea is to use yarn and clip them with two clothespins to make a necklace. The team jobs that we use are Spirit Leader, Time Keeper, Clean-Up Crew, and Captain. Team Spirit Leader starts each center off with hands in the middle and a phrase such as, “Go Team!” If someone starts to get negative, they redirect and get their group back on the positivity train! The Time Keeper is in charge of monitoring the time. We display a countdown on our projector for students to use. We like using this Simple Online Countdown Timer. Our Literacy Centers are set up on a 15 min. rotation schedule. Time Keepers give a five minute and one minute warning to their group. The Clean-Up Crew is responsible for stopping at the one minute marker and reminding students to pick up their things, throw trash away and get the center ready for the next group. Team Captains read the directions at each station, settle difficult decisions, and keep their group focused. Giving each child a responsibility is crucial 
to building teamwork and engagement!
 Working in groups is tough! Especially when the teacher is unavailable to monitor students because she is working with a guided reading group! Teaching students how to get along and how to work together takes a lot of training. We believe that explicitly teaching students how to work in groups is extremely necessary. We love to teach off of these posters and post them in an area where students can reference them frequently. Our favorite is the pink image above because we get to role play each part for students to get a feel for how their conversations should sound.
 Because the teacher is unavailable, how do students monitor their own behavior? We teach them how to solve their own conflicts by using the steps on the purple image above. If students cannot come to a solution, or if a student chooses to continue the behavior, other group members can write the student’s name on the Behavior Report. We like to keep this next to us, so that students are less likely to tattle on each other. It seems to make it a little more serious because you can glance at it and send that special student your favorite “teacher look.” The key is to not allow the misbehavior to interrupt your guided reading group. We always deal with the misbehavior after our rotation is over. If it is a situation that the class could learn from, use a class meeting to solve future re-occurrences! 
 How to keep your students on track and organized can be tough! The forms in the image above are posted on our Literacy Center wall. Students can quickly see which group they are in and what they are learning. Students also use the Literacy Center rotation board to see which Literacy Center they are traveling to next. The first image in this blog post shows that board. Our literacy center rotations always focus on one standard at a time. We usually run anywhere from four to six stations at a time all focusing on the same standard. Each Literacy Center focuses on a different aspect of the standard, which makes it easy for us to see what parts students understand and where they may need more instruction or practice.
 Another way to see if students are understanding what is at each Literacy Center is to have them fill out a 
Levels of Understanding Emoji Survey! 
Each student shades in the Emoji that describes 
how they did at the Literacy Center. 
Quick, Easy and Fun!
 Now, here is the part that is a game changer! Because students are rotating through a variety of Literacy Centers, they all finish their work at different speeds. THIS is where you will run into behavior problems! Let’s keep them busy! Students don’t always know what to do when they are done, so TELL THEM! We always make a list of what they could do at each Literacy Center if they get done early. We also provide a Quality Checklist, so that students can improve the quality of their work when they finish! Ummmm, can we say A-MAZE-ING???? And the best part is that it is not coming from you! Students start to do these steps by themselves the more they are exposed to it!
 Here is the part that we LOVE! 
Why? 
Because it is so easy and it is yet another way to recognize 
students for positive behavior! 
It is also an amazing way for you to find out amazing things that happened at a Literacy Center that you may have missed! 
Whenever we think about this component, 
all we see in our minds are SMILES! 
Smiles are always an added bonus, are we right?!
It is important for the teacher to stay organized and collect data from the Literacy Center Rotations. Too often, we will run Literacy Centers and not bother to collect the data that could be used for IEPs, Intervention, Parent-Teacher Conferences, or anywhere else student data is needed. We have a Literacy Center Binder where all of our data is stored. We keep track of student groupings, notes of the groups that come through our Close Reading Literacy Center, levels of understanding, and grades from student work at each center. You’re already doing the work, so you might as well have something to show for it!
If all of this looks so good that you want to have it for your own classroom… Guess What?! You can! 
AAAAANNNDDD… 
YOU CAN HAVE IT FOR FREE!!!!!
Simply subscribe to our newsletter!
Don’t want to subscribe? 
You can also purchase it by CLICKING HERE
… but why would you, right?!
You can also CLICK HERE to get a little taste test 
of our Literacy Centers! 
This is a SAMPLE of our 
Character Traits Literacy Centers.

Want to Implement Literacy Centers in your classroom? We have a plethora to choose from!
Fragments and Run-ons  Formal and Informal Language Plot Character Motivation
Fragments and Run-on Literacy Centers
Formal and Informal Language Literacy Centers
Plot Literacy Centers
Character Motivation Literacy Centers

AND SO MANY MORE!

Be sure to follow us so that you will be notified when our third Literacy Center blog post is done!

Questions/Comments? 
We would LOVE to hear from you 
in the comments below!