5 for Friday

I've definitely been staying busy at my new school this year. Blog posts have been few and far between, but I have a long list of ideas I want to share with you! It is just taking me a while to get all of the ideas into writing! I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching this week to share 5 things about my week in class. 

I have to start off by sharing my very first VIDEO product preview for a new product that I made for my TPT store.  This truly is an amazing tool to use in the classroom. I can't take full credit for it, however.   A colleague of mine took the "RACE" strategy and sort of changed it up a little bit to fit our math class.  It has really helped me students to know how to structure their math writing responses. Take a look at the video!! :) (Check back sometime next week for a detailed blog post about this product as well.) 

This week we have been focusing on poetry.  We are using close reading strategies to really dig deep into poetry. (We all know how abstract poetry is.. especially for fourth graders!) I am so incredibly proud of my students. It has blown me away how wonderful they are doing with the figurative language and the deep meanings and messages that are "hidden" within the text! 
One of the strategies I have been using with our poetry study is seen below.  The students create two boxes on the bottom or back of their poems.  
1. The "1st reaction box" - This is where the students writes his or her first reaction after their initial read of the poem.  Usually this is going to be nothing near the actual author's message, but it is important that the students are writing to learn, and connecting with the poem. 

2. The "Speaker Box" - Our ultimate goal with all close reading is to think like the author. (Well.. and to write to explain the reading.. but you know what I mean..) This speaker box is AMAZING in helping the students think along the lines that they need to think in order to understand the authors message.  This is a photo of a partially completed speaker box.  We will be working more closely with this poem on Monday. 

Thank goodness my school doesn't feel this way!! I was SOOO sick last weekend and part of the week. Feeling better than ever now, though! :) 

This is one of my fabulous teammates, Katelyn.  We stayed late on Thursday planning our Unit 2 reading assessment. I'm not sure if it was because it was the end of the day and we were tired, but we laughed so hard over the size of the district's pacing guide.  Look at that thing how huge!! (I think it was one of those things where you had to just be there!) haha! 

I was able to experience such a happy moment in one of my students' lives today!  When my students complete their work early, they work on their "Now Whats". (This is what we call them.) One of the options they have is to work on some reading book project ideas.  (Hey, you can download the sheet for free by clicking the photo below) 

Well, anyway.. One of the options is to write a letter to the author of the book that you had completed.  If the student proofreads the letter, writes it in the correct format, etc.. I will mail the letter to the author.  One of my students wrote a letter to Eric Colossal, and he wrote her back with a WONDERFUL surprise.  He said she was the first person to ever write him, and expressed how happy he was to receive the letter, AND he drew her an AMAZING one of a kind piece of art!! She was so happy! I am now a huge fan of his! :) 

Here is a photo of the letter and drawing!! 

I hope you have had a wonderful week in your classroom. Now, go enjoy your weekend!
Happy Teaching! :) 


  1. I, too, am simply amazed at the colossal size of your district's pacing guide! You definitely need a larger table - too funny!

    1. Haha I am glad we aren't the only ones! 😊😊

  2. I am so excited for your student to get a letter back with a drawing! I want to do those now! That's AWESOME!!!! and I love your RAMP video, and the process for teaching kiddos to answer questions thoughtfully!
    Curriculum and Coffee

    1. Thank you so much! The letter from the author might have made me just as excited as it did her! haha :) I thought it was incredible that she was the first person to write him. Thank you for the kind comment on the RAMP strategy! :) Take care.


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