A Daily 5 Update, Other News and My Very First Linky Party!

Okay so, is it me or does summer seem to be slipping through my fingertips? I so much enjoyed this last week of sleeping in, watching movies, and getting some sun. I know that I still have two weeks until I head back for preplanning, but I have a busy next 2 weeks. So you can bet I am going to eat up as much of the summer as I can.

So onto my update on the Daily 5 freebie. This past week I scoured the internet for computer as well as classroom library ideas. I wanted the things that I included in the unit to be useful to every classroom. Mostly I was on the hunt for book checkout ideas and procedures. Making the computer items wasn't that bad because a lot of the ideas I used are things that I do in my classroom already. I just made them match my new inspiring color theme.=)



For my "Checkout New Books" section of the unit I first want to let you know where my inspiration is coming from! I need to give credit where credit is due! So, I found some super cute library sticks from A First Grade Frenzy and from A Cupcake for the Teacher. If you click on their names it will take you to their posts about their library sticks. However, I do not have time or the energy these days to make their super cute wooden library sticks. So, mine will be out of cardstock and lamination! =) Hey, then they can double as bookmarks when they are not using them to look for books. Second, I found this genius idea for helping kids remember where to put their books back. It is from Teaching Is a Work of Heart and she has the kids put close pins on the baskets from where they found their book. I just loved this idea and so I created matching number circles that I will attach to close pins for the kids to use. Also, the amount of close pins they have is how many books they will be allowed to have in their book basket. Love this! So this ends up being a management tool as well a way to keep your library in order!



Okay so now for some news and questions with my Daily 5 unit. This past week as I was checking things in my TpT store I stumbled upon some news about copyright issues they are having with the "Sisters" from The Daily 5. The sisters have asked that anyone who is SELLING Daily 5 materials to remove it from their store otherwise it will be a copyright issue. Anything that is free and is not being profited on is okay as long as they are credited {Check}. So I have to make a few adjustments to my Daily 5 unit. Here is what is changing:

1. The unit is no longer called Daily 5 Classroom Unit, this unit will be called Daily Centers Classroom Pack.

2. I have had many requests to add center posters and rotation cards for other common center names such as, "Buddy Reading", "Creative Writing" and "Word Work" to name a few. With that being said, the posters that will be offered in this unit will have the more traditional wording on them not the wording of the 2 sisters. That wording will be found only in my Daily 5 freebie.

3. All of the activities and resources that I have previewed are staying in the unit. These are ideas that do not come from the Daily 5 and will remain in the unit.

4. If I come across something that I feel can not go into the unit it will be added to the Daily 5 freebie so that you can still have access to things I have shared.

5. I -Charts are part of the Daily 5 even though I used my own idea in creating a web design to feature the different expectations, the wording is from the sisters. So this is changing. I am going to be making this a separate pack called "Center Expectations Pack" which will be editable. Meaning you can type in what you want. I am excited and nervous about making this because I have never done this before. Any tips and tricks for doing this would be appreciated! I know how I like to have things typed so I didn't feel comfortable not offering this. The blank color and grayscale webs will still be in the Daily Centers Classroom Pack.

6. Last, I have a question. A few teachers have asked if I am going to make this into individual units to sell. Is this something that interests you? Or are you looking for the entire unit? Right now I am only going to offer The Daily Centers Classroom Pack and the Center Expectations Pack. Let me know your thoughts.

Please do not worry! I promise that you will have access to any and all things I have shared. Meaning if it is not in my unit for you to purchase it will be in my freebie. I will also be posting a detailed post on August 8th about the unit as well as any changes I have made. You will know everything.

Alright, enough about that. So recently I have finished my mystery unit. I am not even going to mention how long it took me to finish this one. Oh. My. I think it just might have been a month or so! So after its long awaited arrival, you can now pick up a copy of my newest unit called, LA Case File Full of Suspense." It focuses on the mystery genre. There a tons of great activities to get your students reading as well as comprehending mysteries. Take a look.

One of the key ingredients for making your students understand a mystery is through the vocabulary. I tie all the vocabulary terms to the familiar story elements. So this is building on their background knowledge. Also each vocabulary word has the word, definition and picture to represent it. These definitions are very kid-friendly and different from the ones that Beth Newingham uses. I find those too hard for my students! This is from experience of course. I offer tons of different lessons and organizers to get your students familiar with these mystery terms! One of my favorites is the spyglass craftivity.  Here is a close up. It is a mini flip book for the story elements and it is in the shape of a spyglass. This has also evolved over the years. I started out with a small version that didn't work because my students couldn't get all the information on there. Lets just say it was a HOT MESS and leave it at that. So I have enlarged it a lot and added space for pictures as well as words. I used scrapbook paper and construction paper to make the spyglass. The pages to the book are regular copy paper.

In this unit you will also find templates for your students to write their own mystery. I have to be honest here, when my students get to write their own mysteries all of my writers do fantastic. Even my struggling writers that have trouble with story structure, finding a topic they know about, or just being motivated to write, do so well with this. They truly get so excited to write their own mysteries.

Every year to close up our unit on mysteries the whole second grade team does a real mystery. Things start to disappear from our rooms and guess who comes to the rescue? Our 2nd grade detectives! It is so much fun. So I have included a class mystery for you to do with your students. It gets them putting all those hard-earned skills to work and lets them have a ton of fun in the process.

Another part of my mystery unit is mystery story element wands. I am excited to have included them. Students just love these wands and they are focused on the mystery vocabulary words as well as comprehension skills. I made questioning, inferring, predicting, and synthesizing wands that included thinking stems. This makes it easy for the students to share their thinking.

This unit offers so much. I think my favorite part has to be the Detective files as well as the spyglass craftivity! I have used both of these things in my classroom for 3 years now. I have improved on them and made it such a fun part of the unit. your students will just love being detectives. For the case file there are 14 different color options. I did this because I made some case files for individual students, "Dynamite Detectives," or some case files for pairs of students, "Detective Duos!" So their mysteries can be solved as buddies or independently! On the back of the case file they will keep their detective tools. These is really just a fun way to get the students to use reading strategies. There are 5 different tools, which are sticky notes, detective badge, highlighter, spy glass, and a flashlight. All have a purpose for helping students solve their mystery. These case files have really transformed over the years and I am really proud of how they turned out. They come in handy to store students books, papers, and other materials you may have in them. That way everything is in one place.

The last thing I have today is my very first Linky Party! I am so excited and nervous all at the same time. I got to thinking the other day and one thing that I always do every year before the kids come is think about 3 things I want to do this year. So I started thinking about what other teachers strive for every new school year. Then I made a connection {oh look at this, I'm using my strategies} to New Year's Resolutions and this was born:

So here is how it works. One of the best parts about our job is that every year you have time to reflect on your previous year and make changes to better ourselves as teachers.  As I got to thinking I noticed that I always seem to focus on 3 common areas when making goals for the new school year.

1. Teaching Techniques

2. Organization

3. Student Oriented

After I realized this I thought that these areas would be a great focus for this linky. There is going to be three areas in which you will think about a goal you want to set for yourself in the up and coming school year. After you make your goals you can use the sign that I posted above in your post. I have also made a fun little template if you want to use it but that is not required. Here are some questions to get you thinking about things.

1. What new teaching techniques are you excited to try with your students? This can be new or old techniques that you want to give a second try.

2. Having an organized classroom makes your day run smoothly. What areas in your classroom need some organization attention? How do you plan on organizing it?

3. Our students are the reason we love our jobs. What is one way you want to help your students this year? This one is very broad and can really be anything. I made this one easy.

So that's all I have for you! Make sure you link up below so I can read all your inspiring resolutions!  Also, if you want the template that I used you can get it below.  Have a great week!

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