Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Winter Wonders Blog Hop

Welcome to my humble little blog! One year ago today, a group of teacher-bloggers launched the website Adventures in Literacy Land to share tips and tools for effective literacy instruction. I am so excited that I have been able to be a part of this amazing group of ladies!
In honor of reaching our first full year of blogging together we are hosting a Winter Wonders Blog Hop and Birthday Celebration. Join us, if you will, to read a short post by each author, download a free literacy resource, and enter a raffle for a chance to win a Barnes and Nobles gift certificate at the very end!

As an upper grades reading teacher, one of my students' biggest struggles is finding the main idea and supporting details. There are SO many ways to review this skill, so I just wanted to highlight a few of my favorites.
  • Have students fill out main idea and details graphic organizers for writing. I like teach this for basic 5 paragraph essays anyway, and then you can expand it to where they come up with three details to support each original detail. They get to practice the skill on their own and also learn a great way to organize their writing.
  • Create short "headings" for paragraphs. This is one of my test-taking strategies, but I think it's very beneficial for the students. I emphasize SHORT headings and even explain to my students that it doesn't always have to be a complete sentence. I just want them to understand what key words are important in each section.
  • Highlight key words that appear frequently and/or use tally marks for most common words/ideas. This really helps students visualize what the author continues to discuss, and it can also help with multiple choice questions to narrow it down to the best option.
  • Let students come up with the main idea or detail when given the opposite. I begin the year giving them the main idea because it's easier to create details about a topic. But about halfway through the year, I switch it up. Then it's great practice for students to focus on key words and ideas to come up with a main idea that really matches all of the details. They really struggle with this one, but it's so important.
  • Give students main idea and details to sort into the correct pairs. This is actually the freebie that I prepared for you! I use this a lot in my independent centers, but I like to make sure that each set is similar enough that it's a bit of a challenge to the students. Some of the cards require students to really pay attention and decide what fits best.
Click on the graphic below, but be sure to download soon because it will only be free for 24 hours! Sorry, the time has now expired on the freebie, but you can still purchase it for $2 in my shop!

Snowmen Main Idea and Supporting Details

Hope you enjoy my freebie and the rest of your journey through our blog hop!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Currently A New Year!

It's 2015!! We had a little get-together at our house last night which was lots of fun, but unfortunately Keagan didn't care that we didn't go to bed until 2. He was wide awake barging into our room at 7:30 anyway. Oh well, at least he didn't wake up when the sun rose.

Farley posted this yesterday, but we were busy getting ready.

Listening: I love Jane Austen, and Mansfield Park is one of my favorites. I've never seen the movie, but it's been on my Amazon Prime watchlist for a little while. Since the boys are napping, I decided I would watch it!

Loving: We've had a great break so far, and the weather is supposed to be nice this weekend. Today is just windy, but I'm hoping to get some more great family time in!

Thinking: Keagan turned 3 just before Christmas, but he has almost NO desire to potty train. It's driving me crazy! I know he'll get there, but I would rather not have two kids in diapers at once. Plus he will need to get there by fall if we're going to send him to preschool.

Wanting: I'm a huge fan of Annie, and the new one looks so cute! Steven is even willing to see it. I'm going to try and convince him to take me tomorrow while we have free babysitting.

Needing: We took down the Christmas tree, but nothing else has gone yet. I want to have it done before we go back to work, but we'll see. At least with the tree out of the living room, we have more space. I want to get it done so we can start getting the guest room ready for Keagan, although there may not be any reason for that.

Yes: By healthy pregnancy, I mean that I want to eat right and continue to exercise through it. So far, I've done alright with it, but I want to keep it up.
Maybe: We actually drove around this morning looking at houses. It seems like we actually can afford a few really cute houses in the city that are a little larger than what we have now (hence maybe not needing to move Keagan out of the nursery yet). It's just a matter of being able to sell our current house. Prayers! I'd love to have more space for when the baby gets here!
I wish: I've already done laundry a few times this week, but it seems to pile up almost instantly. Maybe that has to do with the chunky sweaters, but I just want to feel like I'm ahead for once.

Oh, and don't forget. A lot of stores are having sales that end today on TPT, including mine. Happy shopping!

Photo: Who's up for a sale to ring in the new year? http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Melissa-Dalton-34