Hello all!  Isn't the beginning of the school year just crazy?!  Has it always been this crazy?!  This post is going to be a little long, because I feel like I have so much to catch up on!  And I am using way too many exclamation points!!!  Anyway.....

Common Core really emphasizes digging deeper into the text.  It's very hard to motivate students to do just that.  It's a lot of work!  This year, I decided to really push the fact that they have to be reading detectives.  

I thought this little book was great for teaching what detectives do in a fun and relatable way for them.  We brainstormed what detectives do after reading the story.

I knew they had to have something that made them feel like a detective.  Last year, I made little badges for the different skills, but I found these super cute hat templates online for free!  I just cut out the hat image and attached it to a sentence strip.  You can find them {HERE}.  Such a cute little resource and the kids LOVED them!  

Our comprehension skill this week was author's purpose.  I am going to try to post the resources I use each week for reading on the blog.  

One resource I used was my own.  I made several different author's purpose graphic organizer templates.  One was a flap book.  

We used it with our anchor text for the week and talked about looking for text evidence to back up the author's purpose.  They actually were all about it.  I think the hats won them over!

Here are some cute songs we used to learn about author's purpose.

These are some of the resources I use to practice author's purpose.

We also worked on the 4 types of sentences.  These are some cute videos to use.

And some more pics from our week.  By the way, I am having trouble fitting everything from Journeys into one week.  Are any of you?  One teacher at our school is teaching the lesson for 6 days and then testing on the 7th.  I am thinking about going to this, too.  This past week was a 4 day week for our students and so is next week, so I am stretching out this week's lesson over both weeks.  

We also had our Back to School night this past week.  

We wrote our five whole brain rules using Angie's template from her David Learns the School Rules pack.  I just constructed these pencils in a hurry from scrapbook paper.  Her David craftivity is super cute!

We made some other stuff, too, but of course I forgot to take a picture of it!

Rayann saw this idea on Pinterest.  So, I cut us out some letters with my Silhouette.  I thought it turned out pretty cute!  

We have been working hard on vocabulary.  Here is one making flash cards to help him remember his words.  I have them draw a picture to help them learn and retain the meanings.

I got these little accordion files in the Target Dollar Spot.  They keep their vocabulary cards, letter tiles, math facts, incentive coupons, and any other flash cards in this.  They can just pull it out when they have downtime and study.  

I think that's it!  Thanks for sticking around for my rambling!  Lol!

Have a great long weekend!!!

{Thanks to the 3am teacher for this super cute graphic!}

The Back to School sale on TPT is in full swing!  I just wanted to drop in and let you know my store is 28% off.  Make sure to use the promo code BTS13 when you check out.  Here are some of my favorites in my store to use in my classroom.







Head on over to TPT and check out everyone's sales!  Have a great week!

I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' today!  I love this time of the year in the blog world.  It's so fun to see everyone else's classrooms.  I forgot to post yesterday, so here I am today.  I have already blogged about my classroom so you can click the pics below to be taken to the two part classroom tour.

Thanks for stopping by!  Head on over to Blog Hoppin' to tour everyone else's beautiful rooms!

Shew!  It's been a whirlwind of a week.  We are back in full swing!  Last week was a four day week with students, so this upcoming week is our first official full week.  Our district adopted the new Journeys Common Core reading series and I plan on starting the first lesson this week.  I plan on doing my best to use both the reading series with the Daily 5 setup.  I decided to make supplemental units to go along with each lesson to use during whole group, small group, and Daily 5.  

I wanted to dedicate a couple of blog posts to showing how I plan on breaking up my reading block and how to use these supplemental materials.  Starting a new reading series can be very overwhelming, so I wanted to create a pack that would contain supplemental materials that were easy to print, implement, and set up.

Each component is organized separate from the others.  The comprehension component goes along with whatever the target skill for the week is.  It includes mini posters, a board game, flap book, mini-book, and a Case Files Book.  These are just fun additions that aren't your typical worksheets.  I use all of these during whole group and some during small group.  

The Reader's Case Files booklet is probably my favorite part of this.  With the common core focus, it's important to teach your students to be detectives when reading.  They make their own little case files book recording evidence from the text to answer the questions.  The case files is based on the anchor text.

The vocabulary in context cards that came with the series are great but the words are hard to see in a pocket chart because they're so small.  I have included cards to use in your pocket chart that you can just put underneath the words in context cards.  I am also using those little coupon holder thingies you can find in the target dollar spot this year for holding flash cards.  Each student has their own.  They will draw a picture on their own vocabulary flash cards to store in the little holder {I don't know what they're really called as you can see!}  There are two whole group or small group games included: Draw My Word! and Guess My Word!  There are also vocabulary flap book directions that can be used over the duration of the whole week and notebook tabs if you want to do an interactive vocabulary notebook.

The spelling, phonics, and word work component contains lots of options for you!  If you have ever bought my word work units, it's pretty much the same.  I am addicted to those things so I had to include them for Journeys.  They really work!  I have noticed my word study scores on the Stanford really improve since I started using this format.  I usually always do the push and say, word sort, phoneme fun, and read the room every week.  You can see all the other printable components above.

One of the spelling tests has students dictate sentences if you prefer.  I actually use the one on the right every week to get them used to bubbling answers.

Above are the five word work games/sorts.  I either use these at the word work station or in small groups.  Sometimes I will put one at each table and rotate them each day.  It's totally up to you and it depends on how much time you have.  There is a word sort with sentence dictation, abc order, rhyming matching, Bingo, and a board game.

Finally, there is a grammar and writing component.  You will find mini posters, handwriting practice, a subject and predicate sort, and a sentence or not a sentence sort.

I know there is a lot in this pack, and I don't use everything every week.  But I like to provide lots of choice to accommodate your students or the week you are having.  I will make one of these for each lesson in each unit.  They will follow the same format, so that students can become familiar with the format and the activities.  I know that makes it so much easier for me in my classroom!  I don't have to explain every week what is expected.   None of these activities were taken from the series.  These are things that are similar to activities I have used in my classroom for the past several years that go along with the skills and common core standards mapped out in the series.  

So far, I have the first two lessons completed and posted {Henry and Mudge and My Family}.   I am working on the third lesson now.  Hurry and stop by my store this weekend to check them out.  I am putting them on sale until midnight Sunday night {August 11th}!!!  I hope you all are having a great weekend!  

I have used components of the Daily 5 for a couple of years now, but I have never gone full on Daily 5.  That's my big goal for this year, along with guided math groups.  I knew I had to revamp my writer's workstation to meet the common core standards and get these littles ready for third grade.  I decided to create a Common Core Writing Workstation.  The pack has all of the printables you will need to start your very own, along with other ideas to incorporate into the station.  I thought I would dedicate a post to explain the major components of it.

I am keeping the tools very simple right now.  Until they get comfortable with what is in the workstation, I won't add new components or tools.  I included a list of tools to use in the station in the packet.  I will teach them as a whole group for a while how the workstation will work until they are comfortable with it and can perform the task independently.  I have started with only having two kinds of paper, highlighters, colored pencils, pencils, and crayons.  As the new wears off, I will add fun paper, envelopes, and other fun writing utensils.  

You want to make sure everything is labeled so that students can keep everything in its place.  It makes for much easier clean up! :)

Choice is so important in any work station.  My students each have a writer's workshop folder.  At the beginning of the year, we create a writer's heart in which they list everything that is important to them.  I put this in the front of their folder for them to refer to for ideas to write about.  I let them write about anything they want at the workstation.  They are much more willing to write when you do this.  I posted a writer's checklist, a mini word wall, and an "I can" chart for students.  You could also put this in their folder for reference during your writer's workshop time.  You could laminate the checklist so it could be reused each time they create a new piece.  I have also included mini-posters for each of the I can choices for students to refer to as examples.

You always have those students who say they can't think of anything to write!  You know who they are!  I made a little journal jar with tons of writing prompts to choose from, so no excuses!  ;)  I keep current paper in the drawers below, along with my common core standards cards.

During my writer's block, I teach a mini-lesson at the beginning with lots of modeling and then I send students off to apply what they learned in their writing.  This year, I am incorporating lots more common core so I created some I can cards for the workstation's board.  I will switch these out based on what I have already taught.  I won't put these in the station until I feel that students can practice these there independently.

I will also spend some mini-lessons teaching good leads.  These are so important for composing a good piece!  These will be great reminders for them when writing to include them.

These are very valuable in a writer's workstation.  Children are competitive and want to please.  When you set high expectations, they will do whatever they can to meet them.  I would not use anyone in your current class's work for this component.  

You can view this Common Core Writing Workstation for Second Grade in my TPT store.  You can also check out my Common Core Writing Workstations for First Grade and Third Grade, as well! 

Our first full day is Tuesday!  Have a great rest of the weekend!