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Hello October!

Hi friends! I just wanted to come out of the abyss and say hello! Also, I wanted to recap my year so far (it’s been nothing less than CRAZY).  Plus I have some ideas and Fall resources to share with your!I know that I am not alone when I say Fall is my FAVORITE SEASON!  🙂  We started getting the holiday decorations set up on Labor Day Weekend! I have decided that this will be a new tradition.  Labor Day is the unofficial end of Summer, so let’s get Fall started right away.  On a side note, if one of my future children happens to be a girl I hope to name her Autumn. 🙂

Ugly Pumpkin

Anyway…

Now that this school year is in full swing and routines are coming more easily, it’s time for me to get back to writing!  Just to recap the school year, we have just finished our Personal Narrative Writing Unit a week ago.  I am trying to get my photos organized to add to the anchor charts page.  We just started studying Nonfiction and writing an informational essay.  I am also currently working on an Informational Writing Unit which I hope to be finished with soon!!!!! This has taken me all Summer to organize and work out the kinks, but now I’m teaching it so the fire has been lit. 🙂  More on that later.

One of my favorite tools I used to use in my classroom a few years ago and for some (foolish) reason I stopped is this Accountability Chart.

Show What You Know

I use this chart after or during my mini lesson as a formative assessment.  Students may respond to the Read Aloud by answering questions such as “What is the character feeling right now? What words does the author use to let you know? ”  Then, students put their Post-It on their number.  This helps me identify student needs.  If I see several students have difficulty with this, then I can pull those students for a Small Group or 1:1 Conference.

This is also helpful during Independent Reading as a Quick Check to have students practice something that you’ve taught, but haven’t mentioned in a while.  For example, we just finished a Character Unit and focused a lot on characters, character change, theme, point of view, etc.  I KNOW not all of my students have mastered this.  I also know it may not be in the fore front of their minds, especially since we are reading a Historical Fiction text (A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith) and studying Informational Text.  So, what I may do (tomorrow, actually) is have students give their character a trait and support with three pieces of evidence.  This would be during Independent Reading.  Then, I will use these for conferring next week.  Just an idea! This chart can also be used as a quick assessment for Math or Science.

Now, enough about assessment! On to the fun stuff!

I recently updated one of our first products in our Teachers Pay Teachers store- The Haunted Halloween Times! This is a Newspaper-Style Text with Comprehension Questions in the form of Bingo.  There are 26 versions of the Bingo cards, which have the questions in a different order.  This is a fun text to use the week before Halloween and then play the Bingo game the Friday before or on Halloween.  The “newspaper” has information about the history of Halloween, history of certain traditions or symbols, and pumpkins.  You can see more by clicking HERE or the picture below.

Halloween Bingo

A second Halloween Reading activity is for one of my favorite books from when I was in elementary school-Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet by Diane de Groat.  This book is so cute and I am sure many primary teachers use this book around Halloween.  I am a 4th Grade teacher,  but I know my 4th graders might even appreciate this even more! (especially my class this year!)  This little set includes Read Aloud Plans for the book.  It comes with 2 pages of reading note squares which can be cut and taped or glued on a Post-It note and then placed inside the book.  The notes include questions for students to Turn and Talk, Example Student Responses, and Teacher Think Alouds.   You might even have students jot their response to one of the questions on a separate Post-It note and collect as a formative assessment.  You could even use the Accountability Chart from above.:)

Slide5

Finally, if you have not checked out our Good Morning, Sunshine! Morning Work- the month of October is my favorite! I worked on this during the Summer because I was so eager for Fall (did I mention I love Fall?).  You can click HERE or the picture below to check out the 3rd or 4th Grade set.

October Morning Work 3rd GradeI hope you are having a fabulous October and thank you so much for stopping by!What are some ways you celebrate Fall and Halloween in your classroom?  Have a great weekend!

-Jessica

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