Saturday, November 23, 2013

Character Study and Graphic Organizer Freebie

This past month we have been thinking deeply about characters in our stories through read-a-louds and independent reading. We have learned about character traits, noticed how characters change throughout a story, and thought about the components that make up a story. We have studied how a character reacts to a problem in their lives and how they go about solving that problem. This has also translated into Writers' Workshop as we work to create realistic fiction stories with a developed character. 

This week we have worked specifically on comparing the characters from two different stories. How are the characters different and what similarities do they share? We have also been working on backing up our responses with evidence from the text. 

Characters can teach us many important lessons about life. Although we read and discussed many different characters we focused on the main characters from Kevin Henkes books- Particularly Wendell, Chester & Lily. Who are some of your favorite characters to explore with your class? Click here or on the venn-diagram below to get a copy for your class... plain and simple but gets the job done! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thanksgiving Freebie

I can't believe it is that time of year again... Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! Although I am a firm believer we should be thankful all the time, it is a good reminder to be thankful for all the blessings we have. I am sure you have seen this cute placemats before but it has become a yearly tradition in my classroom. The kids love making them and we laminate them for extra durability. Do you have any fun "holiday traditions" in your classroom? Click on the image below for a fun freebie!
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Spelling Activities

We build word work into our daily routine. Research says that hands on, tactile formation of words is meaningful. We rotate different materials into our word work area each month to keep them fresh and new. It is an effective way to practice new words as well as continue to reinforce previously taught word patterns. Sometimes my kiddos like accountable work too. They can complete extra spelling activities during their free time each week for "Blair Bucks." (Our classroom management incentive) Check out my sight word scavenger & sight word graphing for some fun interactive approaches. What are some materials you use to practice spelling? 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tree Exploration

Exploring our big backyard is one of my favorite units each year-- I love that it is an ongoing exploration throughout the year. What better place to observe trees than New England....We are so lucky! Throughout the year we will be observing the seasonal growth and changes and grow in understanding of nature. We ask questions, explore our questions and enjoy interacting with the outdoors. We still have many wonderings about trees...these will drive our investigation this year. Now that it is getting chillier we took the opportunity to use our science inquiry notebooks and do some observations. We started by observing a dry pine cone using our senses. We used words, pictures & labels to document our experience. We then made predictions about what would happen if the pine cone got wet. It took awhile to get results, although we noticed the water quickly changed to brown and mucky. The next day, we were surprised to find that the pine cone was completely closed up! We learned about making predictions and using the evidence of our findings to support our beliefs and thoughts. This is just the beginning of lots of hands on, inquiry based science fun! More to share throughout the year-- check out the tree freebie below to get your unit started! Would love to hear about your ideas! Try the leafsnap app to help identify different is pretty cool! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I have been looking for an easier way to keep track of all the blogs I come across, especially now that igoogle has been phased out....  I found it! If you are looking for an hassle-free way to keep track of the world of blogging give Bloglovin a try-- and don't forget to follow me too! :) Click on the icon below to check it out!