Thursday, September 20, 2012


Hi, Friends! Hope you’re having a great week! TGI…..{almost} Friday!  We’ve been sitting on the corner of awesome and bomb~diggity in Room 113! 

This week, we launched Work on Writing.

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After spending 3 weeks practicing and building stamina for activities that solely included reading, students were excited to have another option!  Have I told you lately, how much I am loving the Daily 5?  I know its at a point of being borderline annoying, but I DO! It has completely simplified our day, while increasing the rigor of our literacy block!

And guess what?  My copy count is in tact because the one thing that we’ve needed the most is “good fit” books! Annnnnnnd what teacher doesn’t love books?  Books, books, and more books!

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Our anchor charts are hung and providing reminders for reading behaviors.

I’ve got one massive cinder block wall that they’ve helped to fill.  We’ll leave them up until these behaviors are engrained on our brains and then they’ll be replaced with mini typed versions and sent home with kiddos to share with their families.

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The first things students make reference to as they move to work on writing is an I Can list.  I know that this is more of a “stations” mentality, but hey you can’t expect me to do a total 360 in just a year! Old habits die hard and I still believe this is a good practical way to get students reading for a purpose.

Students have free access to different types of pencils, erasers, glue, scissors, various papers, writing activities and their writer’s notebook.  This notebook stays on the writing materials shelf and is only used during D5.  To the right of the shelf is a mini pocket chart that will house mini posters with suggested vocabulary to use throughout the year and our weekly sight words.  The sight words will hang here throughout the week and will be posted to the word wall each Friday.

The first day that work on writing was offered as a choice, a group of students went over, eyed the shelf and just sat.  Even after creating our I{ndependence} chart and discussing getting started right away, they just sat with looks of excitement on their faces.  I walked over and asked if everything was okay and they had a hard time believing they could write about anything they wanted!

That was an easy problem to solve.  After reassuring them that it was indeed okay to write about whatever they liked, its been nonstop flow since and it is definitely a popular choice. 

We’ll write together on teacher selected topics and skills during writer’s workshop.  We’ve written about favorite characters….

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Of course, Pete is still popular.

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Used labels to give information about our pictures.

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Sorted nouns into our journals from anchor charts.

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And are beginning to use graphic organizers. 

Most of these we did together to get the feel for writing and why we write.  Their writing from D5 has been very personal so they’ve snatched it up quickly to take home and share with pride!

Work on writing was our 4th activity to introduce, so with it came choice! EEEEKKKKK! THAT is what I completely thought we would N-O-T be able to handle and we’re still working out a few quirks, but overall…..its worked well.  It’ll work better once, we’ve introduced the 5th activity, Word Work.

Here’s what our Check In looks like….


Oh, yeah! More *LOVE*.  I love simple things.  I like pretty/cutesy, but *love* simple.  I looked and searched other blogs, sites and googled my little heart out trying to find inspiration for our check in system when I found the awesome Angela at Just Love Teaching!

She had created this simple system using Powerpoint and offered it as a freebie on her blog. So, with a couple clicks to copy and paste, I converted it to an .ink file to use with Mimio and voila! As the students are left to check in, I’m already at the teacher table working with students! *LOVE*. 

Stop by and see Angela some time to see how she used it in her classroom! This was exactly what I was looking for and am so grateful! No need to reinvent the wheel, just topped it off with clipart to add the cutesie factor and support for nonreaders.

I’ll also be updating it to use student names; we used the numbers to get a quick start on using the Check In (because I put it together during lunch)! Hahaaa!

Okay….I’ve rambled enough for tonight, but wanted to leave you with a little freebie.  We read a story this week about our friends Tim and Rip in order to understand characters.  If you use Journeys reading series too, click the pic to write about them. 

Have a fab Friday!



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Valerie! Finished up the "launch" with Word Work this week! All done and things are flowing smoothly! I love Daily 5! It has completely simplified my literacy block! ~Thanks for stopping by! =)

  2. Love your anchor charts! My firsties LOVED The we're looking forward to reading Curious George at School. ;)

    1. Prepping a post right now about the fun we had with that curious little monkey! I love the Journeys reading series! =)

  3. Great post! Thanks for sharing your ideas. I pinned the Daily 5 Chart.

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

    1. Thanks so much Barbara! You're the sweetest! What did we all do PREPinterest, lol! I found myself whipping my phone out for a writing activity the other day because the directions I needed were saved to one of my Pinterest boards! Haha! Turned out beautifullly! ~Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Thank you for sharing! This is exactly what I've been looking for! Where did you find the cute graphics? I'd love to add them to my board as well. :)

  5. Thank you for the understanding characters freebie! We are reading The Storm this week so this is perfect! Your anchor charts are beautiful! So happy I found you through pinterest!

    Rambling About Reading

  6. I am wondering about you check in file you converted it to an .ink file to use with Mimio and was wondering what this is or if you know If I could use it with my smart board/polyvision board. I would really love this file! Thanks!!

  7. I would love to use your ink mimio file! Our school got mimios last year and I usually feel left out, because most schools have smart boards or activ boards. Would you mind sharing your file?

  8. LOve your check in system , so visual! Are you willing to share or sell it please?

  9. I love your check in idea! Are you willing to share and sell your file you created to work on smartboards?

  10. LOVE this Daily 5 check in. Is there anyway to make it interactive to display on my smart board and have students use the pen to drag their numbers to their choice? Mine won't seem to work


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