Browsing Category

Interactive Reader’s Notebook

Interactive Notebook Secrets That Make YOUR Life Easier!

Interactive Notebook Secrets GUARANTEED to Make YOUR Life Easier!

PSSST… Wanna Know a Secret?

Interactive Notebooks Can Be Time Consuming for the Teacher!

Not really a secret? You’re right! We know Interactive Notebooks can be time consuming and you do too, but we are here to share three interactive notebook secrets that we have discovered over the years that are guaranteed to make YOUR life easier!

Hello and Welcome to our third blog post in our Interactive Notebook Series! ‘

If you missed the first two posts, we went over How to Start Interactive Notebooks and How to Effectively and Efficiently Grade Interactive Notebooks. You can check them out below! (You’ll grab some freebies too!)

Click Here for Post #1

Click Here for Post #2

Now that you’re caught up, check out these Interactive Notebook Secrets GUARANTEED to Make YOUR Life Easier!

How to use Parent Communication with Interactive Notebooks

Interactive Notebook Secret #1: Getting Parents Involved Will Make YOUR Life Easier

If you’ve ever looked at or graded an Interactive Notebook, you know that there are two types of students. You have the organized, neat and thorough student, and then you have the HOT MESS student. The HOT MESS student has incomplete assignments, organization issues, pages falling out of their notebooks and sloppy work. Teachers do what they can in the classroom, but there is only so much time in our day, right?!

When we first started Interactive Notebooks in our classrooms, we never thought to involve parents. We thought that it would be too much work for them and that they wouldn’t truly know what the assignments were. After dealing with these HOT MESS students for a few years in a row, we decided it was time to get parents involved.

How to use Parent Communication with Interactive Notebooks

In order to get parents involved, we decided to start off with a parent letter explaining what Interactive Notebooks were and how they could help their child. We also created notices that stated when their child’s notebook would be graded. We followed these notices up with reminders when their due dates were approaching. The result was that more students were prepared to turn in their Interactive Notebooks on their due dates and they were also more likely to have their assignments completed. ( This is also because of the checklists that we use, as we stated in Post #2 ) We have found that parents want to help… they just don’t know how to most of the time.

How to use Parent Communication with Interactive Notebooks

How to Create a System for Interactive Notebooks

Interactive Notebook Secret #2: Implementing a System to Grade Interactive Notebooks Will Make YOUR Life Easier

As with everything in life, having a regular routine and system in place makes everything that much easier. Here are some of the routines that we have put into place with Interactive Notebooks. Our students know that before they turn in their Interactive Notebook, they have to get a peer to check their work! Peer checks create motivation to get their work done! Another system that we have in place is that after Interactive Notebooks are checked, students reflect on their work and examine what they did well and what they would like to improve before the next Interactive Notebook due date.

How to Create a System for Interactive Notebooks

One Interactive Notebook Secret that we simply could not live without is having a Interactive Notebook Collector! Since we grade Interactive Notebooks on a daily basis, there were COUNTLESS days where we forgot to collect the notebooks that we needed to grade. Forgetting this, even one day, caused us to fall behind on our grading. Students love helping! Let them!

How to Create a System for Interactive Notebooks

Learn how to give students recognition with Interactive Notebooks!

Interactive Notebook Secret #3: Recognizing Students Will Make YOUR Life Easier

We saved the best Interactive Notebook Secret for last. Student Recognition is the most powerful tool that you have to make your life easier when using Interactive Notebooks!

Learn how to give students recognition with Interactive Notebooks!

The first way that we use this Interactive Notebook secret is that we created these colorful stickers to place throughout a student’s Interactive Notebook while we are grading. We love watching them flip through their notebooks when they get them back to find the stickers!

Learn how to give students recognition with Interactive Notebooks!

Another way that we use this Interactive Notebook secret is that we will sometimes reward them with an Interactive Notebook Incentive Coupon! These are no cost rewards that students can use at any time. THEY LOVE GETTING THESE!!!!!

Learn how to give students recognition with Interactive Notebooks!

The last way that we use this Interactive Notebook secret is that we have an Interactive Notebook Hall of Fame posted in our classroom. When we notice that a student has consistently done a thorough job in their notebooks, their name, or number, gets posted on a Hall of Fame star. They are also awarded a “Ask Me! I’m an Interactive Notebook EXPERT!” badge. They become the Interactive Notebook experts and help students who may have questions (which also makes your job easier!)


We hope these Interactive Notebook Secrets will help to make your life a little easier. We applaud you for using Interactive Notebooks in your classroom… and your students do too!


Interested in grabbing this life-saving

Interactive Notebook Management System?

Click the image below!

Grading Interactive Notebooks Effectively & Efficiently

They’ve Finished their Interactive Notebook Assignments… NOW WHAT?

My students have finished their Interactive Notebook Assignments... NOW WHAT?


You’ve made the decision to use Interactive Notebooks in your classroom and now you have questions…

“Do I really have to grade all of that?”

“How will I find the time?”

“How do I get my students to turn in quality work?”

“What do I grade and when?”

Well, friends, you’ve come to the right place!

We are going to answer these four questions for you,

so let’s jump right in!

Top Mistakes Teachers Make When Grading Interactive Notebooks

Top Mistakes When Grading Interactive Notebooks

One of the greatest concerns of teachers when using Interactive Notebooks in their classrooms is the amount of time that it takes to grade the assignments. We have watched many teachers set out on the journey of implementing Interactive Notebooks in their classrooms, only to see them burn out and complain about the amount of work it is to keep up with grading the assignments. Teachers will give an assignment, collect all of the notebooks, flip through multiple pages, grade a few assignments and then pass back the notebooks. Pretty soon, teachers fall behind and the amount of grading gets so overwhelming that they stop grading Interactive Notebooks altogether.

Another mistake that teachers make when using Interactive Notebooks in their classrooms is that they don’t grade assignments. Interactive Notebooks are called “INTERACTIVE” for a reason. Yes, Interactive Notebooks are a way for students to “Interact” with their content, but they are also meant to be “Interactive” between the student and teacher. This interaction is the key to making Interactive Notebooks successful! Students want you to see the work that they have done. You should want to see their understanding of the content you are teaching! If teachers do not check their students’ work, they will get lazy and they won’t give the assignments the attention that they need to master a concept. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to get to know your students!

3 Ways to Not Pull Your Hair Out When Grading Interactive Notebooks

There’s Another Way to Grade Interactive Notebooks!

What if we told you that grading Interactive Notebooks could be low stress and manageable? What if we told you that all it takes is 15-20 each day when grading Interactive Notebooks? It’s true! Are you ready to learn how? We are going to help you with three ways to make grading Interactive Notebooks less stressful and manageable for you!

Before we begin, we are going to ask that you erase the idea that you have to check all of your students’ assignments on the same day. For example, if a teacher assigns a journal, most teachers think that they should grade all of the journals on the same day. We are suggesting the complete opposite. Give students time! If you want quality work, give students time to put their best effort into their assignment! Give yourself the gift of time and push this idea out of your mind. It’s simply impossible and it will lead to burn out if you don’t!

First, we are going to give you two images that might help you visualize when we grade. Look at the images. Notice that we teach an entire unit before we grade an Interactive Notebook. (Our units are a month long.)

Learn When to Grade Interactive Notebooks HERE!

Learn When to Grade Interactive Notebooks HERE!

We teach a unit, give a list of assignments that will be graded to the students, and then check those assignments while we are teaching the next unit. We conference and set goals based off of this grading for the next unit.

Informal Grading… “Spot Checking”

For us, there are two steps to grading Interactive Notebooks. There is the formal grading with the checklists and feedback forms, and there is also informal grading that we call Spot Checking. We definitely “Spot Check” on a daily basis. We will circle missing assignments and give suggestions to students informally. To “Spot Check”, we  simply have all of our students open up to an assignment and glance over the work to offer suggestions and note any incomplete work. We will document this on our homework checklist to catch it right away, rather than let it pile up on a student.

Formally Grading Interactive Notebooks

After a unit is over, we will pick the top 10-12 assignments that we want our students to complete with excellence in their Interactive Notebooks. Did you catch that? We only pick 10-12 assignments that we will grade. You do not need to grade EVERYTHING! Time Saver Alert! Teachers can glance at an assignment to check for completion, but all assignments do not have to be graded. If you graded every assignment, you would be overwhelmed… not to mention, your students would be overwhelmed trying to complete all of the assignments to the level of quality that you expect. Let them focus on the most important assignments that you have identified. We always have students glue in a checklist of these assignments at the end of a unit, along with our Teacher Feedback forms. Assignment checklists are also great for parents so that they know which assignments will be graded. Students can use the checklists to focus in on the assignments that will be formally graded by the teacher.

A Schedule for Grading Interactive Notebooks

In our classroom, we have between 30 and 32 students. In order to make grading Interactive Notebooks manageable, we grade three Interactive Notebooks each day over the course of two weeks. The first concern that a lot of teachers might have is: “Wait, you’re telling me that some students will have their work graded on day 1, while other students will have a week more to complete their assignments? That’s not fair!” Our answer: It might not be fair this month, but it will be the next month. (And plus… All of your students have already had a month to perfect their assignments!) Notice in the image below that we shuffle everyone’s number and spread them randomly across two weeks. It’s not fair if you grade #1-4 first every single month and have a set schedule. Mix it up!

 That’s a wrap, everyone!

We hope that this blog post has helped you to see that grading Interactive Notebooks is worth your time, can be manageable, and will make a difference in your classroom!

This blog post is a series of blog posts that we hope you will follow along with!

If you missed our first blog post about Interactive Notebooks,

Check it out here! (Psst… there’s FREEBIES!)

Next up in our Interactive Notebook Series:

-3 Ways to Make Interactive Notebooks EVEN Better

-Setting Goals through Interactive Notebooks

-Conferences after Grading Interactive Notebooks

Need resources to support you when grading Interactive Notebooks? We’ve got you covered!

Here is a toolkit with everything you need AND it’s Editable!!!!

CLICK the image below!

Interactive Notebooks... A Classroom Management System!

If you ever have any questions, we are here to help you out!

Leave a question in the comments below or you can always email us at


Interactive Notebooks… A Love-Hate Relationship

Interactive Notebooks... A Love-Hate Relationship. Read all about our journey here!

Interactive Notebooks… A Love-Hate Relationship

Interactive Notebooks: Scary. Intimidating. Overwhelming. Problematic. Unmanageable. The list of words that come to mind can keep going. Are we right? This is where we started out seven years ago. Seven years ago, we were used to using the basal reader, doing the worksheet pages and calling it a day. Easy. Turn the page and do it. No sweat off my back. No fingers pointing at us if it didn’t work. BORING.

When we discussed the possibility of switching over to Interactive Notebooks, the thought was overwhelming. Many questions came up: Are we allowed to do that? What will we do in these Interactive Notebooks? Will the students like them? Will we like them? It was scary. We will be the first to admit it.

Once we made the decision to switch over to Interactive Notebooks, our Interactive Notebooks took on a life all of their own. We started out scouring Pinterest for ideas of what we could do with our students inside of our Interactive Notebooks. We would plan these ideas out together as a team and then go do them with our students. This didn’t last long. Once we started, it just became part of what we did. We would come up with ideas right on the spot. Students would come up with ideas. It was fun. It was engaging. We fell in love with Interactive Notebooks.

Here are the Top 3 Reasons that We Fell in Love with Interactive Notebooks
Interactive Notebooks build student relationships. Find out how here!

Interactive Notebooks Build Student Relationships

Building student relationships is the number one reason why we love Interactive Notebooks. Teachers get to know their students on a personal level and students look forward to their teacher reading what they have written. We always have a couple of students that insert little notes by their work or little illustrations for us to see. It is seriously the cutest thing ever! We really get to know our students through their writing responses to prompts, journals, free writes, and art work. We love writing notes in the margins of their journal prompts to show that we value what they have to say. With this comment, we know that we have just turned a lot of teachers off. “You mean I have to read everything they write?” Yes! If Interactive Notebooks are not “interactive,” students will quickly see that their work does not matter and it is not valued.

Now, with this being said, how can you manage reading through a whole class set of Interactive Notebooks? We have found that the easiest way is to have due dates for each student. We read through three notebooks each day, and with a class size of thirty, we get to each notebook two times a month… each every two weeks. Going through three Interactive Notebooks takes us around fifteen minutes each day (five minutes per notebook). The time that is spent on grading is time that is well invested, and you will see results. We have a lot more to share about grading and checking Interactive Notebooks, but we will go into this more in depth in a later blog post.

Interactive Notebooks have your year's worth of learning in one ready to reference place! Read all about it here!


Interactive Notebooks Have Your Year’s Worth of Learning in One Ready-to-Reference Place!

The beauty of Interactive Notebooks is that your entire year’s worth of learning is documented in one easy to find resource. These notebooks become EVERYTHING to your students. If they have questions about a topic, they can just look back at lesson notes, foldables or prompts. The notebooks become their reference source for their year. We love having students glue in lists of character traits or lists of common themes that they can refer back to for other assignments. Students learn to treasure their Interactive Notebooks and see their value. We had one student come back to us to tell us that she still used her notebook… and she was in the eighth grade!

Not only are Interactive Notebooks valued by students, but they are also valued by parents! We want you to imagine for a moment that you have a child in fourth grade. They come home from school and you ask them what they learned about. This common question is usually answered with one simple thoughtless word… Nothing. Now, in a classroom that has worksheets that are turned in after every lesson, the parents would never truly know what their child actually learned throughout the day, and in turn, you, the teacher, lose credibility. But wait!!!! You don’t have this kind of classroom (phew!) You have a classroom that uses Interactive Notebooks (applause inserted here)! The parents of the students in your class can grab hold of their child’s Interactive Notebook and be AMAZED at what their child is actually learning. And it gets even better! “What?” you say,  “How can this be?” If the parents of your students have questions about homework, they have the answers!!!!! That’s right, take a bow… you’ve earned it!

Interactive Notebooks are useful to more than just students and parents…. they are invaluable to YOU! Let’s say that parent-teacher conferences are coming up. Some teachers would need to spend all of their time gathering work samples and data to show parents, but not you! You simply grab the child’s Interactive Notebooks and you are good to go! Imagine your administrator walking into your classroom and browsing through a student’s Interactive Notebook… BAM… YOU ARE AMAZING! Imagine going to an IEP or other Intervention meeting and you need to show a student’s progress. Grab their Interactive Notebooks and mission accomplished!

Interactive Notebooks are the Perfect Goal Setting Tool... Find out how here!

Interactive Notebooks are the PERFECT Goal Setting Tool

Many teachers aim to set goals for their students and also want their students to set goals for themselves. Interactive Notebooks are the perfect tool to make this dream a reality. After grading each notebook, make a note at the end that states something that you noticed while reading their work. Maybe they used run-on sentences or maybe they aren’t giving enough details when they write. Maybe it’s a capitalization issue. Whatever you notice, write a quick goal for them to achieve by the next time you check their notebooks. Then, the next time you check their notebook, take a look at the goal you set for them and let them know if they reached it or not. If they did, set a new goal. If they didn’t reach their goal, keep the same one until it is accomplished.

Students can set their own goals in their Interactive Notebooks also! Students can evaluate their work right before you check it and tell you something they are proud of and one thing they want to improve for the next time. If you set a goal for them, they can also evaluate if they think they have achieved it or not. They can do this on a checklist, in a letter to you or just by using symbols. Interactive Notebooks provide a short span of work that can be measured and evaluated.

Interactive Notebooks... A Love-Hate Relationship. Which will win? Find out here!

Interactive Notebooks… Start TODAY!

If we have done our job in this post, we hope that you can see the value of using Interactive Notebooks in your classroom. Interactive Notebooks have been our answer to effectively teaching our students. You might be thinking, “Yes, I want to do Interactive Notebooks, but I don’t know where to start.” We are here to help you with this common thought. Our advice to you is to start small. Find what works for you and go in that direction. We have created five activities for you to use with your class TODAY that will help you get started down the amazing path of Interactive Notebooks. The best part is that these activities are FREE! ENJOY!

If you enjoyed this post, please let us know in the comments below! We would love to help you out however we can. Stick with us and we will walk you through how to make Interactive Notebooks successful in your classroom! Until our next post, Bye!


CLICK THE IMAGES BELOW TO GET STARTED WITH INTERACTIVE NOTEBOOKS!Key Ideas and Details Interactive Notebook Lessons and Practice

Language Interactive Notebook Lessons and Practice

Language YEAR LONG Interactive Notebook Bundles


GRADING INTERACTIVE NOTEBOOKS MADE EASY!Interactive Notebooks- Find out about how to grade interactive notebooks here!

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….
 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
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

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…