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Friday, January 9, 2015

what we did this week...Jan Brett fun!

Popping in for a late night Friday night blog post. :) I hope everyone's had a chance to ease back into their routine! This week we had two days of pre-planning and three days with our sweet kiddos. Having two days of planning was great...we could do that every year and I'd be a happy camper. I was out of the building half a day for training, but other than that we were free to work in our rooms and meet with our grade levels. Productive planning days-how about that!

I know a lot of teachers in other parts of the country got cold weather days this week but not us...even though the temps here were very cold for us.That's fine with me because I'd rather NOT make up any bad weather days during our February vacation!

This week was all about getting back into the groove and doing mid-year assessments. Does this look familiar to anybody?


This week I spent some time doing DRAs with our kids to get an idea of where they're reading now. For most of them they're about where they were when we left in December, but I have some kids who've shot up. I have several who are reading above grade level now and I'm going to have to split my highest group because it's getting too big. What a good problem to have, right?! I will definitely be revising my scheduling for my groups as soon as I'm done with these DRAs to make sure the bulk of my time is going to the kids who really need me. We also had to do a bunch of AIMSWeb testing (groan)...but it's good data, so I can't complain too much.

Now on to the FUN stuff...our Jan Brett mini-unit! Since it was a short week we didn't do anything out of our Journeys series, so we decided to do some winter-y books. I LOVE Jan Brett's work-her artwork is amazing and the stories are so well done. On Wednesday we did a full day of activities centered on The Mitten.



I LOVE reading their writing at this point in the year! It's come so far! We talked about story elements with each of the stories we read this week and did a story map for each one. We've done a good bit of story mapping before now, but mostly as a large group...now I'm easing them into doing their maps on their own.



We also made retelling mittens for the story for the kids to take home. They had a lot of fun decorating their mittens and then remembering the order of the animals that squeezed into the mitten.


We also made a little booklet about the animals from the story. I think I've mentioned it before but I have a lot of English Language Learners in my class...I knew many of them wouldn't really know the names of the animals in the story, especially since badgers, hedgehogs, and moles are not that common around here! 

On Thursday we did work with The Hat. We did another story map and then some writing. Here is the finished product hanging in the hall outside our classroom:




This was a great chance to do a Reader's Response piece and get away with a little craft while we were at it! And they are so cute hanging outside our door!

Today we worked with the text Hedgie's Surprise. I didn't snap any pictures, but we did another story map.If I had more time, I had a cute hedgehog craft to go with some character webs. Maybe another day or next year. :(

If you liked what you saw, all of the graphic organizers and templates are in my Jan Brett pack that's in my TpT store! There's also a set of activities to go along with the book Armadillo Rodeo. That book is nothing like the other three I've mentioned (The Hat, The Mitten, and Hedgie's Surprise) but it's SUPER cute and I just had to do some cutesy stuff to go with it, too! 

So what's up for next week? Well, we're jumping back into our reading series...the text is about Animal Groups so we'll be talking about animals for a bit. I'm going to try to work in some extra stuff on penguins and arctic animals, too. :) For Social Studies we'll be doing some things out of my Dr. King unit...which reminds me, I need to go find my Dr. King books! My read-alouds are still scattered all over the place from my classroom move! I keep saying I'm going to get that organized but it hasn't happened yet...and somehow I continue to acquire MORE books!

Stay warm, everyone!


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