Category Archives: Writing

Read and Write 180-Day 82/83

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I.can’t.catch.up. 🙂

Short recap of what we’ve done yesterday and today.

Writing-Finished our research for our reindeer(caribou) reports. Did the outline today, and they are actually having to write the report tonight for homework. This is what I’m going to change for next year. I’m going to extend the time that we devote to this report. I started out good and took baby steps with them for the research part. BUT-time got away from me so I zipped through the outline with them today (and my afternoon class REALLY suffered because we took them outside after lunch since it was in the 70s yesterday and today)! I think I would actually need to devote about 3 full weeks to this writing project for the research, outline, rough draft, editing, and final copy. Live and learn. I will also make sure we finish it BEFORE the week before Christmas break! But let me tell you what we did yesterday with our final research that they liked and I liked!!! I had 3 stations that I rotated them through. 2 of the stations had copies of articles, and the 3rd station had encyclopedias. Since I had guided them through the process of highlighting info and taking notes from articles, they got to do these stations by themselves. They had about 10 minutes at each station. You should have heard them reading (some were reading out loud) the articles/encyclopedias and getting excited about new facts AND thinking about what they were reading!!!! IT WAS AWESOME!!! Here are a few pictures:

We finished making our Christmas cards for the military personnel who have been injured and cannot come home for the holidays to be with their families. Here is a picture of our finished products!

Here we are with our cards:

We practiced our readers theater script today-we will be performing it Friday in our classroom. I read it with them today so they could hear fluent reading! 🙂

We made Christmas ornaments for them to take home and put on their family trees. They turned out so so so cute!

We didn’t put up a Christmas tree in our classroom-I know, I know-I’m a BAD TEACHER! Time got away again!! 🙂 But my homeroom class made this ADORABLE “book tree” today. One student called it “The Tree of Knowledge” to which I responded that some people don’t seem to partake of it too often! 🙂

 Of course I got this cute idea from

Good night! 🙂


Read and Write 180-Day 81

Monday, December 12, 2011

What a fun day! We only have this week and 1 1/2 days next week before we get out for Christmas vacation SO-we are “reviewing” this week. We are not reading a story out of our textbook this week-we are doing a Christmas readers’ theater-“Goldilocks and the Christmas Elves”. Here is a link to the script:

It is on this website:

I have 24 kids in 1 class and 25 in the other. We will have a total of 4 groups performing. The kids were ecstatic about it!!!! It’s a super cute and funny play.

We also caught up with some emails from our wonderful truckerbuddy. If you are interested in becoming a part of this program go to their website and read all about it: It’s totally free, and we have been connected with a super husband/wife team from our own state of ALABAMA!

We worked with our English sentence and wrote our paragraphs and edited. Always fun. For me anyway! 🙂

We read another article on reindeer for our informational reports and took notes. Tomorrow we will do sort of a rotation in groups to get more information from a few more sources. That will finish up our “research” part, so we will try to put all of our information into an outline on Wednesday and write the report on Thursday. I may have pushed it too close-I hope we finish!

We also made Christmas cards for the military people that will not be coming home for the holidays. First I read them a picture book-“The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy for Christmas”. Then I had them think about what they have asked for this Christmas and then we talked about how what we want is probably A LOT different than what our military people want for Christmas! The cards are going to turn out to be so amazing. I’ll take pictures tomorrow and post.

Good night!


Read and Write 180-Day 79

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

What a great, oh so great, great day! And no matter what you think, it is NOT because we only have 8 more days before Christmas break! 🙂  I was thinking about how the day went after school today and trying to pinpoint what made it so good in my eyes. Our time devoted to english is always great nowadays since we ONLY work with our one sentence by labeling things and then write a paragraph from that sentence. Most of the kids are engaged during that time and participating. YEA! When we analyze someone’s paragraph on the ELMO they are VERY engaged and on task because I have them work in groups. They have to discuss what kind of “star” they would give the person and then what kind of “wish” they have for the person. Then they actually talk about what kind of grade they would give the paper and why. I really think they are loving this so far. So-that part of our day is always good. The other 2 things we did today were reading and writing. Here’s what we did-

Reading: We partner read our story and asked questions and discussed our thinking. They were so on task with this. Well, AFTER I explained that partner reading is not reading silently 🙂 to 1 group! They had a partner read sheet that I borrowed from another teacher (Thanks, Becky!!) that they used to set a purpose for their reading and guide them through the text. Now this is the 3rd time they should have read the weekly story. The 1st time for homework by themselves (and we know not all of them do this!), I read it to them while they “followed” along, and then the partner read today. I wandered around the room as a “facilitator” (I love that term and have never really felt like one until today!). I listened in on kids reading and their discussions-of course I had to get in on the discussions, too! 🙂 They were really talking, thinking, and wondering. Some even went back in the text to clarify things!!!!! OMG!!!!!!! That is exactly what I have been hoping for and dreaming about this entire year!!!!!!!!!! I would keep putting exclamation marks here, but you might get tired of them! 🙂 So let’s just say that this “partner reading” with the guide sheet is SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPEALIDOCIOUS! 🙂 Here are pictures of them partner reading/discussing:

 If you want to play “I Spy” here you go:

Find the one with the mohawk. Find the one that looks the most comfortable. Find the 2 partners that match. Don’t they all look engaged?

Writing: Yesterday we started out reindeer (real) (caribou) reports. We are taking baby steps with this so that I can teach and guide them each step of the way. Yesterday we read a website together and took notes from the website with me telling them what to jot down. Today I gave them copies of an article and I put my copy on the ELMO. They read the article silently, then I read it to them. Then we highlighted the parts that would fit in our notes. After we highlighted facts and info, I told them to add this info to their notes from yesterday. I did the 1st paragraph with them. I told them that some of the information from this article has already been jotted down from yesterday so just check it off on this article. Some of it was new information that needed to be added to their notes and then checked off. What delighted me was that my co-worker who teaches math, science, and ss told me they came into his room today telling him about it. He said they are loving it! OMG again! 6th graders loving something???? Why have I waited until lately to really write with them???? I think what has gone so well with this assignment/activity is that I’m not trying to cram too much in at one time!!!!! I am taking it from ground zero with them and not expecting that they already know how to do this! So-here is a picture of our article today that we highlighted and began to check off:

Now I’ve got to figure out how to complete this process of report writing BEFORE our Christmas party next Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yikes! 🙂

Read and Write 180-Day 78

I loved what we did with writing today. Maybe it wasn’t a lot of writing but I loved it anyway! 🙂 If you have been following me lately, you know that I have d.r.o.p.p.e.d. spelling from my instruction and also taken away the english workbook page that wasn’t getting us anywhere, and I have replaced those with writing. Writing has always been put on the back burner so I’m bringing it to the front! Yesterday we finished up our persuasive writing with the reindeer job applications ( will post pictures tomorrow hopefully), and we began a little unit on informative writing today. We are going to write informational reports on reindeer-real reindeer! So today I showed them a video clip about reindeer (caribou), and we read some slides full of information. Let me back up. Before we did all that, we decided “what’ we would want to research and write about in our reindeer reports. Here’s what we came up with in both classes-THEY came up with this.

1. Eating habits

2. Where they live

3. Physical characteristics

4. Habitats

So, back to the information slides. We read it and took notes. I REALLY stressed what plagiarism is and how NOT to do it! I told them how to jot down notes from the information they are reading. The notes will be what we write our reports from-NOT the articles. We talked about having at least 3 sources, especially when gathering information from the internet. I’m excited about doing this report writing with them. Here’s the link to the information/video clip we used today.

I am proud to say that on our english tests last week the majority of the grades were A’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We finished reading our story today-Juan Verdades: The Man Who Couldn’t Tell a Lie. Tomorrow we will partner read it and discuss.

Only 9 days left until Christmas vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

Read and Write 180-Day 35

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Today was english test day…need I say more? Let me tell you about the positive and the negative. I’ll start with the negative so we’ll have something to look forward to. 🙂

Negative: My english test is always a 1 page test with about mmmm….15 sentences on it. Today’s test had 3 sections.

Section 1: 4 or 5 sentences to label the dependent clause and the independent clause

Section 2: 5 sentences to label the simple subject, simple predicate, complete subject, and complete predicate

Section 3: 5 sentences to label each word as the part of speech it belongs to

I would say it should take the kids about 20 minutes (at the most) to complete the test.

Are you ready??????? Including the review of english and the test itself we spent 1 hour on english today in once class and 1 hour 20 minutes in the other class.

I know I have already said this in a previous post (or previous postS)

It is taking entirely toooooooo long which takes time away from our reading and writing. I talked with another teacher today to ask their opinion and have decided to shorten the test-maybe only have 2 sentences in each section. OR-I might go ahead and start my Daily Grammar Practice and this will be the ONLY english we do each day each week. Anyway, whatever I decide will be implemented beginning Monday-I CANNOT afford to spend this much time on english each day!!! You would think that english is a foreign language to us and not our native language. 🙂

Positive: I separated the 3 sections of the test onto 3 different sheets of paper for about 6 students in each class to help them focus and not be so overwhelmed. This decision was made after meeting with a parent earlier this week. Also, I let them take the test at my small group table AND I helped each one with the test. Like really helped them. Like gave them a few answers. 🙂

Anywhoo-I’ll let you know what I decide for next week’s plan for english!

We made up some sentence with our spelling words-I am using 10 high frequency words that are being misspelled and misused in their writing. After the test they will go up on our word wall so that they will BE SPELLED AND USED CORRECTLY!!!

We read our passage again and practiced our “reciprocal teaching” in groups. They changed roles today. We will do this again tomorrow before the test so that they will have had 3 jobs in their groups. The jobs are PREDICTOR, QUESTIONER, CONNECTOR, AND SUMMARIZER. I think I might add CLARIFIER onto the CONNECTOR job. It went much smoother today. This is what I overheard while walking around and listening:

1. It is impossible to predict something-we have already read the entire text!

2. I’m having a hard time making a connection to anything in this passage.

So, I think I’ll let the connector also clarify things that need clearing up. 🙂

We did 2 short rounds of FAB FIVE(Daily 5). BUT-I also got 2 mini-lessons in!!!!!!!! Here is what it looked like:

Mini-lesson: Anchor chart for writing a comparing/contrasting essay. (Each class gave me their input, I wrote it on the board, and had a student record it for me on a sheet of notebook paper, then after school I made the actual chart on chart paper)

Round 1-I pulled my 3rd small group this week to finish up our note sheet on our comprehension strategies.

Mini-lesson: We talked about “reading voraciously” or reading A LOT! I had them work with a partner to come up with 2 places they either like to read or just 2 places that you can read. Then they had to think of when they can read. We shared these with me writing them on the board and one of my students recording onto notebook paper-then I made the actual anchor chart after school. (I have to do it this way since I teach 2 classes)

 This is one of our reading goals that I added to our CAFE reading menu board.

Round 2-I pulled my 4th and last small group to finish the comprehension strategy note sheet. I love working with small groups! 🙂

Then I helped 1 of my students with his reading response letter. I love working with individuals EVEN MORE than small groups! 🙂 🙂

Now I’ve got to figure out how to make my small group/individual time about1 hour or a little more!!! HELP! 🙂