Friday, January 23, 2015

Five for Friday

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for a little Five for Friday fun!

Last Friday we had our second trimester ultrasound and were able to find out the gender of our baby! We are over the moon about welcoming a sweet baby boy into the world this May! We had a gender reveal brunch last Saturday with family and friends to share the news. You can read more about that here on our personal blog.

Our district's Literacy Coach has been popping by my school once a month for Writer's Workshop training. She shared this A-MAZING way to collect data on student strengths and weaknesses in writing. The components for each standard are broken down into a checklist format to quickly see student strengths and weaknesses related to the standard. I gave my students a pre-assessment for opinion writing and checked off the components that they had and what were missing from their piece. I then was able to see the areas in which I needed to focus my instruction, and develop whole class writing goals to develop my mini lessons around. I also developed individual writing goals for students based on their areas of strengths and weaknesses. For example, I only had one student who did not supply reasons that supported her opinion, so I know that I need to work with that one individual on that component during writing conferences. 

We started a new morning routine since our return from Winter Break. I toss this ball to two to three students each morning and ask them a question. Sometimes I may ask for them to tell me one thing they learned the day before that really stuck with them, or I may ask for them to tell me one thing they are most excited about learning today. I also may ask questions like, tell us about your favorite TV show or tell us one thing you did last weekend. My kiddos have really gotten into it and are so excited when it's their turn to have the ball! It's also increased our sense of classroom community! I love when they feel connected with one another!

We have been working on fairy tales these past couple of weeks. The first fairy tale we started with was Little Red Riding Hood. To get the kiddos excited, I brought out the book in this picnic basket. After we talked about what we already know about fairy tales and brainstormed several examples, I had them guess what fairy tale they thought we would be reading today. After several incorrect guesses, one of my sweeties shouted out "Little Red Riding Hood because she uses a basket to take cookies to her Grandma!". That was followed by an "OOOOOHHHH YEEEAHHH!" from the rest of the class. Ha!

This was out first full week working in Literature Circles. My class has really picked up on the routines and procedures of Literature Circles and it has quickly become one of their favorite times of the day. Not only do I love seeing what they are able to do independently, it also makes me one happy teacher to walk around and listen to them talk so in depth about their books with their Literature Circle group. If you want to hear more about my Literature Circles, you can find my blog post here. I also have a Literature Circle for Primary packet that is posted in my shop. You can find that here.


  1. Hey Randi, great post! I am Greg, the secondary half of the Class Couple, so I don't usually get to see what happens in the primary world! (Although my wife teaches first grade, it's still fun to see what happens with the younger ones!) I really like your artifact idea for Little Red Riding Hood. I do something like that in my social studies classes with Abraham Lincoln's assassination (I know, not the most jolly topic, but it's interesting to them!). Here is a more elementary friendly version of the same topic: I think you're students would enjoy it - especially around President's Day.


  2. What a perfect post!! :) That goal sheet is brilliant! I keep meaning to do something like that! I love the fun ball for Morning Meeting!! And most importantly, congratulations on a precious baby boy!!!!!!!!!! So exciting!