Friday, September 19, 2014

Five for Friday {September 19}


I’m so happy it is FRIDAY FINALLY! I honestly didn’t know if I’d ever make it to Friday. I had Open House this week, progress reports due, data meetings, and all the “regular stuff” we have to do. I’m still feeling super exhausted and wondering if I’ll ever catch up on everything. 

This sums it up right?

I had Open House on Monday night. I had 14 out of 18 parents come and I would say it was an overall success. You can read more about my Open House here.

I taught text features this week. You know good ole’ common core standard R.I.1.5. This was completely new to my students. They learn the text features and graphics this week through non-fiction texts. I had a beautiful anchor chart…but forgot to take a picture. It was interactive and the students’ all took part in labeling a text feature. Oooh labeling is a text feature...they were just learning so much! I focused on labels, captions, heading, title page, maps, and keywords for the text features. Those were the ones that were in our guided reading science books, guided reading books, and our text for the week. 

You can see the kids labeling the parts of the book here in guided reading. 

You can also see them labeling the different parts that were in our text with the interactive notebook.

We used a new Kagan structure this week called Quiz, Quiz Trade. I had the students’ quiz each other on their subtraction facts. The kids stand up find a partner, ask their subtraction fact and the other student responds. Then the other student asks their subtraction fact and the first student responds. They high five each other if they got the answer right or coach each other to get the correct answer. Then they switch cards and find a new partner. I did this for five minutes the first time. They love asking and answer, talking to their partners, coaching each other, and moving around. Today we played the game for eight minutes. They really enjoy playing this game and there was no prep for me. I just had to model my expectations. I wish you could see the expression on their faces. They are joyfully learning. The boy in front is teaching the other by subtracting with his fingers. 

This week our team was told how we need to group our kids in literacy centers. We were also told that each center has to have an accountability piece. I’ve always had a choice and freedom in my centers. I have chosen to ability group my students in the past. I have done mixed grouping before but found it was easy to differentiate with ability grouping. Now after I’ve practiced, planned, modeled, explicit taught, and managed my students’ literacy centers, I need to change it. Boo. I will roll with it though and have started to put all my kids in mixed ability groups. I’m started on Monday and hope the kids will see little change since the centers will be mostly be the same. Any help/ideas on mixed ability grouping and differentiating within those groups would be helpful. My hope is these folders will help me to differentiate each group’s word work. I put a different word work game on each groups level in each folder the the kids. I have their names slapped up their on post it notes but I will make it cute this weekend.

This week we voted for teacher of the year. I felt so honored to even be nominated. We have such amazing teachers at my school. We’ll find out next week who is our teacher of the year. It makes me feel proud that my colleagues notice my hard word and dedication to our students. It also makes me think I must be doing something right. I'm thankful for colleagues who lift me up and are positive. 

Hope you all have a great weekend! I’ll be found grading paper on the couch watching football.


  1. Congrats I am rooting for you!!!! Love your week recap!

  2. I love the notebook/labeling activity!!

    1. Thanks it is from Teaching with Love and Laughter's interactive notebook for first grade.

  3. We recently had to change our maths groups from mixed to ability. I usually have my activities aimed for the highest level students in my group and when the high level students are done they can help the lower level students. The explaining helps them with their reasoning, sometimes it's like having two little teachers in each group. Hearing them explain how to work out the answer makes me so happy. I always reiterate the importance of not copying or telling someone an answer.

    1. Thanks for your input! I think it will work out fine. I just need to re think the way I've done math/literacy groups.