CAFE Freebie and Writing Unit Finished

Before I go into school topics I have to share what has been going on with me lately. Let me just start by saying it has been one crazy week for me. Last Friday I  had an appointment to get my wisdom teeth taken out. Now for those of you that don't know me, you should understand that I have the MOST SENSITIVE skin known to mankind! Lol! Seriously, I don't know if there is a special name for this but literally my skin overreacts to everything and anything. For example, when i try on a cute shirt at a store, if the price tag just happens to brush along my skin it will swell and get red for about 5 to 10 minutes depending on the strength of the scratch. Crazy right? I know.

So going into my wisdom teeth removal I was trying to stay optimistic but deep down I knew I was in for a shock. Boy-Oh-Boy was I shocked! My cheeks and mouth swelled to the point I could not close my mouth or touch my teeth! I know you are probably laughing right now trying to picture this in your head and I am now laughing as I am writing, but I assure you that this surgery was NOT fun. I didn't laugh or come to think of it I couldn't laugh. I also have bruises under my left eye, left chin and right cheek. I am going on 7 whole days without solid food of any kind. It's been Jello, juice, water, yogurt,  and ice cream. I am dying for FOOD! I told Mark as soon as these teeth touch we are going to get food, I don't care if it is 1:00 in the morning!  I am not going to even tell you about the awful first night.

Needless to say it has been a long and painful process. Worst of all I had to take off work because my recovery has been so slow. That was not in the plan and we all know that teachers like to stick to their plan. So I am ready to be back to work and have my normal life back. I love my kids this year and miss being at school. I have to admit that this much down time has been hard to deal with. I love sleep, but 7 days of only sleeping has been more than I need. Monday better look out, because I am ready to seize the day! lol!


Okay so on to all things school! Today was the first day I was able to sit at the computer, so of course I took full advantage of being home and full of time. I finished up my Writing You'll Treasure unit and posted it to TpT. I will tell you a little bit about it. This unit has 5 lessons to help your students with generating ideas to write about. The lessons are designed to build upon each other and teach students to pick topics from their experiences and schema (things they know a lot about). Once they learn that they all have unique stories to write about and only they have the memories to write it, your students will be so excited to start writing. Here is a little breakdown of the lessons.

Lesson 1: Finding the writer in you. Authors license printable.
Lesson 2: Finding a seed topic. Focusing in on a small moment.
Lessons 3: Learning everyone has ideas to share. Creating a place to store our ideas.
Lesson 4: Learning strategies for when we think there is nothing to write about! Keys to goo writing.
Lesson 5: Using photographs to inspire our writing. Includes a letter for parents.

In each lesson there is also a literature connection to help bring the lesson to life. Here is a list of books that I used in this unit. Of course you don't need the books to teach the lessons but they sure do help! =)
1. You Have to Write by Janet S. Wong and Teresa Flavin
2. Author: A True Story by Helen Lester
3. Treasures of the Heart by Alice Ann Miller and K.L. Darnell
4. Nothing Ever Happens On 90th Street by Roni Schotter and Kyrsten Brooker
5. Pictures from Our Vacation by Lynne Rae Perkins

Guess what? There's more! In addition to the 5 lessons and printables there is also 2 publishing craftivities. The templates are included along with picture set up directions so you know what each step looks like.

I have included definition posters for the words topic, watermelon topic, and seed topic. There are printables for 2 different writer's license. One is a whole piece of paper and the other has 4 to a page. For the small seed topic lesson there are two different printables to choose form. One has the definitions on the paper and the other does not.

In this preview you have what most of you call a heart map. It is used to help students fill the heart with pictures that later help them write stories. I love this lesson and if you don't know where it comes from you should check out the book Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School by Georgia Heard. So recently I stumbled upon a really easy but cute book. Which got me thinking about my heart map lesson.  This really inspired me to put this whole unit together. It is the book I mentioned earlier, Treasures of the Heart. So I took the heart map concept and combined it with this book and ta-da the treasures of the heart map was born. Then keeping with the treasure theme I made a treasure chest craftivity! It is so cool. I sound like a complete nerd right now but that's okay. The kids are really going to love this one. Here are some more photos of the craftivity.



It is so fun, right? I know when I was a kid I loved those books that let you pull this up from the pages.....remeber those? I am sure your students will love this lesson.


The last few things in this unit are keys to creative writing. There are keys to cut out and laminate and then put on a ring. There is also a keys to creative writing printables that you can pass out to each students or hang in your room. Last there is a story in a bottle craft! Sorry my picture isn't that detailed but I had to work with what I had at home. You can always add other little beads, glitter, sand and things inside with the story. There are two paper sizes. One paper fits all the way inside the bottle and the other sticks out the top. There are also two different style lines for your students. If you want the writing unit you can click on the image cover below.

Now onto the CAFE freebie! I have had so many requests and questions regarding the CAFE signs and posters. So now that I had a little extra time I have started putting it together. So far I have the title headers and the comprehension set done. I have some big plans for this and I hope you like what I have made so far. Like I have mentioned before there will be a freebie as well as a unit to purchase. What I am going to show you below is part of the freebie.

For CAFE headers I have made a poster as well as pennants to hang over the area! I am really excited about these! =)

I've also made the 4 different skills that are part of the CAFE menu.  Each are a different color that will have coordinating colors for their strategies. The comprehension strategy cards are finished and shown in the preview. I didn't show all of them because they look the same. However I have also included a blank set in case you want your students to write the strategies.

I am not sure when all of it will be completed. I want to update it each week but I know that now my schedule is a little bit crazy due to school being in full swing. I will post what a make, that way you can put things together as I add them to the classroom pack. Just know that I might post things on a Tuesday one week but then on a Saturday another week.  I will still leave a note on the product description when it is updated and notify you though TpT. In addition to this I will also blog about it in my posts so that everyone can be on the up and up.  So if you really want to know when I post something follow my blog and TpT store! Sorry I can not be more specific as I was able to be last time. If you want what I have so far just click on the cover below to grab yourself a copy!

I hope everyone has a fantastic Friday tomorrow and enjoy your weekend.


  1. I am so looking for ideas for writing.  I am glad that I stopped by to see what you had been up too.  Glad that your teeth ordeal is over also.  I couldn't imagine having to go through that.  Have a great Friday yourself and I too LOVE my new second grade students.  They are adorable and doing great with the Daily 5 and CAFE.  LOVING IT!!

    <a href="//">Mrs. Flickinger's Butterfly Oasis</a/>


  2. I am so glad you can use my writing unit! I love these lessons and the kids really do pick meninful topics once you show them how! It really gets them thinking about all the stories only "they" can share. They all feel so special! I hope you studnets enjoy it as much as mine do.So glad your studnets are doing great with the D5 and CAFE! MIne are getting their feet wet for the first time and it has been going great, although I am only doing D5 this year. One new resource at a time, not to mention that my district wants us to stick to the regular readers workshop of shared reading (reading skill), independent practice, then guided reading and centers. Thanks for your comment! =)


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