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September 30, 2013

My Class' Read Alouds

We read a lot in my class.  :)  I know, you are probably thinking - um, duh!  I wanted to share what chapter books we read together in case you were interested...

FYI - Links go to Amazon if you want to see a description of the titles.

Kids get a kick out of reading something with their new grade level in the title.  That's the main reason we start out the year with this text - plus it's a funny book that helps them easily connect with the main characters.  

We start the year with these 2 since I want to compare and contrast a 4th grade boy and girl main character with younger siblings.  They love the books.  We also watch the movie version of Beezus and Ramona to do a book/movie comparison - the movie is when the characters are older.

This is the first year that I'm adding Charlotte's Web to the mix.  We have a story in OCR that is a chapter from it, titled Escape - part of our Risk and Consequence unit.  It also happens to tie in to Food Chains/Webs & Spiders (for Halloween).  

& also

Our 2nd Reading unit is a Business theme - so there is a tie in with vocabulary.

I use this book to help teach about traditions.  In November we are creating our traditions books (as gifts for our families), and this book is all about thinking of someone else.

Another winter favorite.  With it being a short book, it works great with this extra busy time of year.

This is a good book for those mystery/detective kids in class.  I stick it in there to work on predictions and inferences.  

It's Chocolate Month (at least February is Chocolate Month to me) - so we celebrate it by comparing/contrasting the main characters, story plots, etc.  

In our OCR we have a chapter from Island, so I decided a while back to take the time to read the entire story...  it all starts back in my own 4th grade classroom that I remember reading it, then I was in charge of this book/unit during student teaching... and I really love the book!  

Tiger Rising is a pretty deep book.  I'm still not sure if this class will be able to capture it.  Last year was the first year I read it with them... 
and that was taking the place of Old Yeller.  So, we'll see what happens this year.  

In May we are coasting to the end.  We read Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger as a fun read.  

With all of these, I have made up little mini units (FREE) in my TPT store that help keep the kids on track and summarizing the story as we go through the chapters in class.  It's just a simple grid that they fill in during their silent reading reading response time.  After we finish up a book they also write a paragraph or two (depending on the time of year) about the text - making connections, favorite part, etc.

Where did I get all these class sets of books?  Well one set - Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing - I was given from Donor's Choose.  The others I picked up with bonus points or waited until they were only $1 through Scholastic over the years.  4 years ago is became very important to me (switching back to 4th grade from 2nd) that during class read alouds each child have their own book in front of them - so I started saving bonus points, using those $10 gift checks, using those free book picks, etc... all for class sets of books.  Now, I am literally out of time during the year and room to store them all.  Oh well!  

Happy Reading! 

P.S. - I uploaded a new FB Fan Freebie late last night.
It won't be there forever.  Hope it helps you!
{Like my products?  My TPT store is also 20% off through tonight.}

September 29, 2013

Peek at my Week

This week is going to be nuts!  It's the end of the trimester (meaning grading, projects, tests, crazyville...)

Here's what's up!

Retesting district math benchmarks and completing Jivey's Scholastic Catalogue Addition/Subtraction math project.  I need to finish up retesting fluency too!    

Cereal Box Book Report Presentations will be coming in... and then retesting AR/Comprehension when we head to the library/computer lab.  

Here's a picture from last year :)   

It's time for the Reading unit test!  Why a Reading Unit test on a Wednesday?  Because there is time to review on Monday and Tuesday, but still enough time to scan them before I need to enter them on the report card on Friday.  Hopefully no one will be absent!  That always throws a wrench into the plans...    

Grade day!  Today is the day I need to enter as much as possible.  We have a report card online window that opens at midnight (not that I'll be awake then) and then the timer starts to get everything onto the actual report cards.   

Here's my checklist to make sure everything is done today to get ready for tomorrow!  

It's time to dissect owl pellets!  We have a minimum day (to work on report cards), so in that 1 1/2 hour long block of time between recess and lunch the kids will be having a "bird's eye" view of food chains/webs.

Picture from last year - this year we are going outside to combat the stinkiness! 

Mrs. Laffin's Laughings: A Peek at My Week {September 15, 2013}

Linking up with Mrs. Laffin's Laughings!  

September 28, 2013

Five for Saturday


What a week....  It's getting near the end of the trimester (ends next Friday) so this week has been BUSY!  Linking up with Doodlebugs to share some of the craziness.

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This past week I couldn't get my Native Folder pictures to upload - so here they are!  

Cover: Illustration with Tribe Name - must include setting, shelter, food source, type of dress (unless they were naked - yes, we had a discussion about that), and any other information they wanted to include.

Middle had their 2 page research notes and their informational paragraphs (stapled into a little flip book).
Back had key facts.  They got up and shared with their tribe some "fun facts".  A little oral speaking practice before this coming week's BIG Book Report Presentation.  
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This week I became an adult - again!  The American Fidelity guy came to school and usually I don't sign up for anything.  I guess it's all the health issues in my own family that made me decide it was time to take the plunge (before something happens and I don't qualify).  Hopefully I'll never need it, but I now am the owner of a Disability and Cancer Protection plan.  Goodbye paycheck!    

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With the end of the trimester, it's all about taking a little bit of time to review.  I saw Confessions of a Teaching Junkie had this idea of creating a Place Value Poster - so I took what my kids had learned during our unit and wrote a list of things I wanted them to show me (place value headings, values, rounding, comparing, etc...)  It was a marathon of place value.  My kids got into it though - no complaining!  The little artists had a field day - and now I have another "project" grade for the grade book.

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A new parent helper started this last week.  She is awesome!!  She wants to help me prep materials in the classroom.  :)  She came in on Wednesday and laminated a huge stack of stuff.

I still need to cut it out, but that's only because she was busy also making mini flip books for me the entire time.  Every Wednesday afternoon is going to be very nice!  (P.S - I'm learning to give up control of every aspect of prep work (especially laminating) - It's been a chore for me, be proud!)  

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While waiting for the fall shows to start, hubby and I went through Netflix and started watching Burn Notice (somehow never heard of it before now).  Well in 2 weeks we are now up to Season 3.  We loved Alias, and this seems a combination of Alias and McGuyver.
It's not super smart staying up so late every night watching show after show, but it's been so much fun!

Have a great weekend!  Today the cub scouts are selling popcorn - so we are there being supportive.  After our service is over, there is a movie theatre nearby...

Shhh though, it's a surprise!