Unit updates and Elf on the Shelf resource!

Well I don't have anything to exciting to share with you this week, but I am trying to keep to my word of posting at least once a week. So sorry if there is no earth shattering activities/ideas...

Like I mentioned quickly before in another post, I am trying to structure my reading instruction so that it fits into a 30 minute period (reading focus, skill lesson, and phonics lesson). Let me just tell you that it has been harder than I thought! The students are loving the new phonics lessons and they are even translating the spelling focus into their writing! I get so excited when they do that! My phonics booklet unit is coming along. Here is what is in it so far.

I organized the phonics booklets by their vowel sound. Then I related that sound to the word families that have that vowel sound in them. This was time consuming to organize. But I am proud to say that I have successfully organized this part of the unit!

Then I wanted to create mini cards that have the word family on them as well as a word and picture to relate to the word family. These can easily be hole punched and placed on a ring to be used as cards for small group instruction. You could also use them to post on a bulletin board after each family is taught. Let me just tell you that finding clipart for all of the words has been tricky and time consuming! I can't wait to finish this unit up! I am hoping that next weekend I will be able to post this one.

As far as our reading lessons we have been focusing on retelling. During the beginning of the year I always teach/review the story elements with my students. I do this because I refer to them consistently throughout the year.  That is just what I did when I started to teach retelling. We read the book titled The Hat by Jan Brett! I just love her stories and there is such great picture support in them as well.

Since I have been working closely with my school's reading coach (2-5 grade will  have to take on the Common Core Standards next year, so I'm trying to get a head start) I thought I would share her great idea!  As we reread through the text for the rest of the week we focused on small "chunks" of the text each day! They had a copy of the story typed up so that they could practice giving their evidence of why that was important as well as why that was the next correct detail in our retelling. When the students came up with their evidence we recorded it onto a class anchor chart. This anchor chart was organized using a T-Chart.

On one side of the T-Chart we wrote the characters in the story then on the other side we recorded the important details that went with that character. These details were not in sentence form. They were also not allowed to underline the entire sentence in the text! I want them to be accountable for their thinking not the authors! It went great! Then as their evidence of learning we had them write one to two sentences from our anchor chart of notes in their H.E.R.O. (reading) notebook! I am going to offer all these resources in my newest unit that is going to have resources for retelling as well as for using transitions in writing! However, I am most excited about the fact that it is all things gingerbread!

I also am hooked on ELF on the Shelf! It is so stinking adorable and there are so many cute ideas out there! I recently found this blog with tons of cute ideas for The Elf on the Shelf and thought I would pass it along. There are 25 ideas and all have clickable links to their resources! It is pretty darn awesome! The blog is called Over the Big Moon and Lisa and Pam are the fantastic bloggers that put this resource together. So if you are in need of some ideas make sure you click on their cute little button below!

Okay well that is all I have for you all tonight! Have a great week!

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