A Reader's Toolkit and A Little Classroom Catch Up!

Well I have some great news... we were approved for the house loan! =) So it is officially our home! Thank you to anyone who thought about us during this process. Your well wish and thoughtful prayers are so appreciated. It really made this big step in our life comforting and one for the memory books.  It is such an awesome feeling to call it OUR home. After renting we just couldn't make it OUR home, if you know what I mean.... NO painting, wallpapering, or making holes for pictures. It really didn't feel like OUR Home! So now I can't wait! If you follow me on Pintrest you know and are probably deactivating the follow button as I write this because I have been pinning anything and everything to do with decorating a home! We did manage to make one new purchase for our home! A couch!!! It's a sectional and it has plenty of space for all of our family and friends. Check it out!

Okay so now onto all things school! I have to tell you that making such a big move and keeping up with school is really hard. So I am trying not to focus on the fact that my posts have been less productive. So incase you want to know what new products I am working on and adding to my TpT store just click the follow button on my store! The trend lately has been post new products and then a week later I FINALLY get around to posting about it.

Talking about new products I just added A Reader's Toolbox to my store. Lately I have been working with my reading coach and learning about how as readers we use many tools as we read a text. So having those available to the students as you meet with them in small group or when they are off diving into a text on their own they need to have the strategies and skills you have taught them to tackle any text. So that is when I came up with a Reader's Toolbox.

I have covered 23 reading tools! above is a reference sheet that comes in the unit. It has the picture of the tool, its purpose, as well as a picture. It is great to have with you during small group. Have this handy reference guide as you read through text and get prepared for your students. This was definitely made for teachers in mind. Of course, as always, you can use it however you wish.

In this unit you will have a few resources at your fingertips. The first is mini strategy cards. These cards have the strategy name and a picture representation of the tool. These are great to laminate and add a little hole on the top so that they can be placed on a ring. Students could have their own ring with tools you have taught them in small group. That way when they go off to independent reading they have tools to choose from.

Second, I have added bookmarks. These bookmarks have the tool at the top. Then below you will find thinking stems that students can use to respond to text. I don't know about all of you but I just love thinking stems. It gives the students the language you want them to be using and it makes them sound like little teachers! =)

Last , I have made teaching posters for you to use in instruction. There are 24 strategy posters. I have been asked when I was going to make reading skill poster and I am happy to say they are finally here! In the corner of each poster there is a picture of the tool used in the Reader's Toolbox! No matter what strategies you teach your students there will be a poster for it! Then because they are each 8 1/2 X 11 you can easily add them to a bulletin board in your classroom!

To finish off this unit, I have made a craftivity! Yep! You can create a working functional toolbox for all your students. The possibilities are endless. There are three different options with templates to use. Whatever you use- paper, cardstock, or construction paper there will be a option of templates for you. i think these would be great to store small group tools in so that when they are reading with you there is a stagey that they can pull out of their toolbox and practice using! Again you can use this whoever you want to! =)

So Valentines day this year was so much fun! The Minute To Win It games that I did with my kiddos last year was a big hit! You can check those games out  here! Also because I am teaching with Diana this year look at all the goodies our kiddos brought in! It's a ton I know!

Something I made that was new this year was our Love Bots! They were a total hit. The kids were obsessed. I mean OB-SESSED! I used the big envelopes so that the kids could put all their candy and cards inside them! Then we closed them up and sent them home. These were great!

In science we learned about all things soil. I am working on putting all these resources into one unit but it is no where near ready to post. So I will keep you posted in this resource. I was working close with our school's science contact and I LEARNED a lot this year. One of my big ahh-haa moments was what soil actually is. Do you know what makes up soil? If you are unsure about your answer stay tuned for some helpful resources!! In the mean time, here is a look at our long term investigation.

Well, that is all I have for you today! I hope all of you had a great month of February and  wishing you all a great month of  March. Remember spring break is just around the corner. =)

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