Are you READY???? We are! We are really excited to start blogging on a daily basis to show you what we do in our classrooms on a daily basis! Since we are new to blogging, we want to get in the habit of sharing with you regularly, and we hope that you can get some great ideas to use in your classroom!
We are so excited, and frankly a bit terrified, to announce an upcoming series starting next Monday!!! We will give you an in depth look at what we do on a daily basis. You will get to see our Reader’s Notebook, pacing schedule and activities!!!! Can’t wait!!! See you on Monday!
Hideout for Santa!!
What holiday traditions do you have in your room? This is sure to be repeated year after year in ours!
Year Long Plans… CHECK!
HAPPY DANCE TIME!
If you are a teacher that wants to teach EVERY standard EVERY year, you have hit the jackpot!
Our year long plans are done for the YEAR and we can say without a doubt that we will teach every standard every year with this formula! Yes, you heard that right! The YEAR and EVERY STANDARD! We would like to share the process with you to hopefully give you some tips that can make your year sail as smoothly as ours will! Everyone has requirements from districts of standards that MUST be taught… but how do you know you are really hitting every standard to mastery?
How Do We Plan?
We have decided that the best way to break down the standards is into 7 domains. The seven domains that work for us are: Genre (RL 10), Key Ideas and Details (RL1-3), Craft and Structure AND Integration of Knowledge and Ideas merged (RL 4-9), Language (L1-3), Vocabulary (L4-6), Nonfiction (RI 1-9) and Writing.
We start by filling in what our district requires us to teach with each unit of study. Then, we look to the supporting standards and other concepts that we think would deepen our students’ understanding of the priority standards. As you can see, our district’s requirements are in red. Everything in black is a “supporting standard.” Look at how much our students would have missed if we just followed our pacing guide! It’s crazy, right?!!!!!!!
Also, when we plug in each standard, we look at what combinations would be best for each book. For example, when we are doing our mystery unit with Bunnicula, we know that James Howe does an amazing job with quotes and speech tags in dialogue. Character Traits are perfect for Chester, Bunnicula and Harold. Context Clues are perfect for “investigating” in mysteries. Each year, we perfect our order a bit more and tailor them to each book when possible!
We Teach EVERY Standard EVERY Year!
We can guarantee that we teach EVERY standard every year! It is an amazing feeling to have. We can say WITH CONFIDENCE that we are doing what we need to do in order to cover our standards!!!!
We would also LOVE to hear your feedback and give any tips you have for your year long plans!!!!
Every year, we update our plan and perfect it. Check out our latest plan below!
As you can see, not much has changed. We’ve added some new books and changed the order of some standards. We can definitely say that once you have made your year long plan for one year, every year after is that much easier!
Trying to get students to read can be difficult and trying to get students to LOVE reading can be even more difficult. We all know that the number one way for students to improve in all areas is through READING!
reading level… their “Just Right Book.”
(usually 4th grade related at the beginning of the
year), Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Historical
Fiction, Biography and Mystery. But wait! That’s only 8 genres! We all have our
favorites and my teaching partner and I both live in the world of Fantasy, so
we tend to repeat it often. The whole goal of this is to teach your students
the elements of the genre by reading it aloud to your students. At the same
time, they are reading their genre book (the same genre as you) and pulling out
the same elements from their book. This genre book is also what we teach
through! So let’s say that my unit requires me to teach character traits,
relative pronouns, and similes. As we are reading the book aloud, we pull these
things out of our book. We model through the read aloud and students practice
through their own book. Genre books , often around 200 pages, usually take
students 5-8 days to complete.
Mythological Allusions! Traditional Literature books usually take students 3 days to complete.
text features. I could pull the character traits graphic organizer for my genre book, nonfiction text features for my nonfiction book, a theme graphic organizer for my traditional literature book and a generic graphic organizer or critics corner page for the free choice book! Students complete the graphic organizer as they read their
book. Because we use Interactive Readers’ Notebooks, we can tell who is reading through their responses! With
the breakdown of days above, you can see that most students finish their 4 books in just 23 days. That leaves plenty of time for slower readers and allows more time for advanced readers to read more books of their choice, which we call Extra Credit Books! We have created 41 graphic organizers… one for each standard with several generic graphic organizers for teachers to use throughout the year for their Golden Packets. Each golden packet is customizable to EXACTLY what you are teaching!
So what makes students want to read 40 books over the course of the year? I’m glad you asked! We have developed an incentive program that motivates students with many short term goals and rewards that MOST IMPORTANTLY doesn’t cost the teacher a penny! We have developed a game board that is in a lap book format.
Each child has a file folder with a game board inside where they track how many books they have read. At the end of each month, students who have proved that they have read their 4 books (by turning in the Golden Packet), get the chance to compete against other students who have also met their goal for a reward coupon. Students who complete their books are given a reward certificate. With this certificate, they get to compete in a different game, such as Battleship, each month. All game rules and materials are included! The winner of the game gets to choose from 20 reward coupons, such as “Teacher Answers One Problem on an Assignment.” These coupons have been included! Below is a picture of the reward coupons. We store them in baseball/trading card pages and hang them on our walls. Students love to look at them and choose which coupon they want to work toward earning!