Inferring...friend or foe?

Wow, talk about a challenging skill to teach...inferring is extremely hard for students to understand. We try to teach the students to look at clues...not just guess. We have to use inferencing with characters, story plot, problems, real life, vocabulary words, the list goes on!! I am ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS looking for new ideas for myself and to share with my team on inferencing! (My team has the same issues.) and from the looks of it, most teachers have trouble teaching inferencing. Is it good enough just to say...oh well, if they get it, they get it...if they don't, they don't? No way. :)

So what to do about it? Research! I think I may have found something fabulous that will turn inferencing into a friend instead of that dreaded skill (or foe.) Check this out! This girl has already taught it this way--she says it works!! :) She has 2nd graders, so I would need to extend it a bit for my third graders, but man does this sound better than what I have been doing. I will give a brief overview. :)

Here is a great book for inferencing! Instead of straight up reading the book to the kids (which this book doesn't really lend itself for "reading") play a game with it instead!! Here is a sample page of the book!

I am going to play "Are you Smarter than a 4th grader?" (Since I have 3rd graders) with my kids! I am going to say the clue or defintion and the students will infer the word! Some are harder than others--of course you can help the kids out! The key is to make sure they know the clues are the most important part!! Don't just guess, make an educated inference. :)  Afterward--there is this great graphic organizer for the students to fill out! I think I will leave one word of the book out...and have them do that one on their own on the graphic organizer!

Next comes "Inferring About Me" activity, I think this will be a favorite of my students!

The students fill out the map about themselves but do not put their name on it yet! Then as a class, the students have to infer who the student is based on the character traits they listed! Then the students repeat the same exercise using characters from books. (For example, someone may fill one out on Flat Stanley) Then the students guess who their character was (tip: make sure the students pick a pretty well known character!) :) I just love this idea! It works on character traits and inferences!

Again, I have to give credit to Made in the Shade Blog! I just put a few of my own touches on it to match my kiddos (3rd graders). I love all of her ideas though!


Stations, Lit Circles...Oh and Boris!

I have a struggled for a few years now on how to do station groups. There are so many different ways to do them. I have also always struggled with what stations to have in my room. This year I have decided on VOCABULARY, WRITING, STAAR, and POETRY.

The Vocabulary Station will hit things like context clues, antoynms, synonyms, homonyms, and affixes.

The Writing Station will hit grammatical things and story writing.

The STAAR Station will be a different skill every week; such as main idea, summary, text features, etc.

The Poetry Station will be full of poems, but will work on fluency, questioning and visualization of the poems.

I've decided on a new system for moving my kids names around in stations. Mainly because this year I will not group my students only by Rigby's but also by data! We are a data centered campus (or have become that way recently) and I love it! Nothing speaks more truly about my student's achievement than data! (This data can be from activities, tests, or just observations...not only pencil paper.)

I feel this different way of grouping my students will help target individual skills...not just reading level. (Here's to hoping!) :)

On to my new way of moving the kids each day to is a picture!

I could not get the whole thing in one picture, so hopefully you can tell it is all one piece though! I plan on having clothespins with the kids names on them (when I find out my kids names:) and then move them up and down each day to different stations! I just feel this will be easier than what I have done in the past (which is keep kids in groups and call out where each group is going each day) Yuck. Love this new idea and I love the paper I got at Mardel's!

I am also excited about this new book I just got in!

It is all about synonyms!! It is incredibly cute and informative! I do not think I will introduce it until I introduce synoyms but the kids will love it! I highly recommend you get it for your classroom! I bought mine at Amazon! Just click the link and it will take you directly to the Boris book. :)

One last little gem I will share today--

Literature Circles!! I found this website for Lit Circles Resources I have to say it is great! I have not made my way all the way through it yet, but wow! I am impressed with the things I can already use from it! I've never done a great job with Literature Circles, even though I try. I think this year will be better. I am still on the lookout for even more information though, so share if you find some--please! :)

Guided Reading!!

Guided Reading:

Important for children and teachers! Guided Reading allows the teachers to understand more on a personal level where the students are...and allows the students opportunities to learn on a more personal and individualized level. Many times as teachers...we do not know where to go with guided reading or how to squeeze in a fabulous lesson in...oh, about 15-20 minutes. I will say, no matter who you is hard. But should it be neglected? No, No and NO! Never! Some of the best growth your students will do is during that guided reading time. The best advice I can give prepared! Don't be running around gathering books while your kids are waiting. Do not try to make up questions on the fly...(it doesn't work.) Be prepared...treat your guided reading time just like another lesson you are planning for (because it IS another lesson.) Okay, I know...I am lecturing...on to how I can help!

I have been searching for goodies to add to my ever-growing Guided Reading Notebook. I found some excellent things that are sure to help your students become more responsible for their learning at the guided reading table and away from it. I also found some great things to help YOU (the teacher) feel a little less like pulling your hair out. :)

This is just a quick guide to Before, During and After Reading; kind of a cheat sheet for teachers. You could tape this to your guided reading table or on the inside of your notebook to remind you of all the things going on during guided reading! Guided Reading Cheat Sheet.

This is a goal setting bookmark for the students! They can fill out what their goals are for the next time you meet with them. (In my case, I would probably have them set goals for the week.) I meet with my kids every weekly goals would be better. Then the next week, we can see if they met their goals. I believe knowing what the students want from themselves, helps the teacher with preparing instruction! Guided Reading Goal Setting Bookmarks.

This is a Rigorous Reading Response Bookmark! In my class, we respond, respond, respond! During the student's independent reading time...I always have them respond in some sort of way! (I say always...I started that middle of last year and loved it!) But from now on...ALWAYS! :) I love the idea of these bookmarks. While I am meeting with guided reading groups and the students are doing stations or independent reading--they can choose a few of these questions to respond to. The students can do it on paper, or even (if you trust them a lot) respond to a partner! (I will wait to do that until later in the year.) Anyway--I think these are great! It might also be good to pass out on Meet the Teacher Night to parents (a copy for home.) Keep in mind--these are rigorous questions!! The students may not be able to do all of them--or you may reserve them for certain students. Rigorous Reader Response Bookmarks.

Lastly, (my favorites!) These are prompt cards of questions you can ask your students during guided reading! Or they can draw one and answer it! I love these! I am thinking of making some with a few higher level questions on them as well! I just love them! Guided Reading Prompt Cards.


Check, Check and Check!

I had a very productive day today and I LOVE days like that! I was able to go to the school and work on curriculum with a team member of mine for the entire day...that may not sound like fun to you--but in our eyes, planning ahead is fun because it makes our lives easier! I am very excited about the team I will be working with next year and I am glad we are ready to hit the ground running in August!

I also was able to squeeze in a little work in my room. I cannot do everything I want to right now because our rooms haven't been cleaned...but I was able to do some things on the wall today.

My Boggle Board Is Up!!

I plan on having the kids go to this when they are finished with an assignment or maybe as one of their "May Do" assignments throughout the day. The buckets are so they can put in their words and then get prizes if I draw their word out at the end of day (with their name on the slip of course). I also printed off sheets they can fill out at the back with partners if I choose to do that on any given day. I like it because it leaves me some flexibility!

Here a two more organizational things I did. I seem to have this never-ending and ever-growing pile of papers...things I need to grade, file, and wait...can you guess....copy! I have a place for all of those papers and it is labeled. I will of course put something cute on the top...perhaps a stuffed animal or flowers, or something! A teacher is nothing without cuteness. :)

Now this little treasure was also easy to do...I have always had a system for filing all of my papers for the week (papers and lessons I will do that pertain to the lesson plan.) However, the more involved our lessons get (and they get pretty involved) my old system of file folders just doesn't work. I also believe this will come in handy for a sub.

This next one is just for fun for the kiddos! I plan on writing things like (what is written below), or "Go Back and Check Your Work." orrr...."Smile, you are DONE!." Or..."Did you do #12?" Just to see if they are paying attention! ;) The yellow basket is where they turn in their work...guess that is important to know in order to get the point of the message!

(BTW...the frame is iphone picture is not.)

I am not near done...but I was proud of the things I got done today in the short 30 minutes I had to get stuff (non-curriculum related) done. I also got one of my team members to join Pinterest and she is really excited about it! (I was REALLLY excited about it)--she is a fabulous teacher and crazy about organization--once I showed her some of my new things (because we were working in my room) she was intrigued! So--now she is a pinner! I know, I's addictive. :)


Parent Communication and Positive Reinforcement!

Wow, I have been one busy little bee! Not only am I relishing every second of this time off with my husband and sweet one year old but I am also making and laminating a million things to go on my walls of the classroom this next year! Unfortunatly, they are not "blog" ready yet. :) Soon though...soon soon! However, in the process of working on those things--I have found some great goodies to share! :)

Here is one I came across that I absoutely plan on using next year. Here is the link.
I am in the process of making a parent communication notebook (pictures to come later) and I believe this will go great in it! Here is a sample of what I am making--of course I got the idea from somewhere else, but I love it! Of course the parent communication sheet in the picture above is the one I will use in the notebook!
Parent communication is so important! However, one of the hardest things I run into as a teacher is keeping track of those spontaneous calls and e-mails...and those random notes the students bring in! All so very important but it is a MUST to stay organized with it!! August 27 is not the time to figure that out--because the first days are crazy!! :)

I also found a fabulous idea for positive reinforcement! As you have probably seen in a previous post of mine--I plan on doing punch cards for my kids that stay on green! Well, I have figured out the prize(s) I want to give them when they get their entire card punched! I ran across this and think it is great! Kids get rather bored with treasure chest items or candy (even though teachers are NEVER EVER suppose to give candy.) ;) We allll know that kids get bored with it...(I know...crazy talk!) So I think these Prize Passes will be great!

Just print these off and you are ready to go! :) I know all of these things are little--but they are sure to help the year go more smoothly! Enjoy! :)


Character Feelings and Writing Prompts!

One of the hardest things for kids to get a good grasp on is vocabulary! I don't mean knowing the exact definition of things; but simply knowing what words mean so they can use them appropriately. We (my team of 3rd grade teachers) reeeeallly realized this last year when we had a question on an assessment that asked, "What does the word alarmed mean in paragraph 4?" What answer did most children put?--"The loud sound that is used to wake a person up." you can well imagine, that was not the correct answer. The sentence said something about a boy being alarmed when he saw the animals. Yikes. But as kids, they simply go to their prior knowledge on something...the word "alarm" was familiar to them, so they ran with what the knew.

What is my point? We have to EXPAND their knowledge and immerse the children in all types of vocabulary--feeling words are a MUST! Children simply know sad, mad, glad, happy, grumpy...etc. (Words they have heard before--Seven Dwarf words come up a lot in my kids vocabulary--wonder why? :) Anyway, I jumped on this band wagon WAY too late last this year, Day 1 (or at least Week 1) My students will receive this Character Word Feeling Chart. (Download it for Free from my TpT store!)
We will go over these words ALL the time. The students will keep them in their Reader's Notebooks. I think I will have the students read them, look them up, use them when speaking, write them in sentences, illustrate them, spell them, ETC! (Excessive? Maybe. :) But my kids will know these feeling words! AND, when we find new feeling words...they can add them on the back!

I discovered another great find on Pinterest last night! Writing Prompts!

These are so cute! I plan on using them in my stations and maybe as morning work on occasion! I put them all in a notebook and used the "Writing Prompts" page as my coversheet! So handy! Also, if the team likes, then I can just pull a two each week to have run off for the entire grade level! Love, love love! I think my kids will love too--these are fun prompts!


BOGGLE, Vocabulary, Magnets...OH MY!

I am getting more and more excited about next year! I feel like things are coming along and my year will be ready to go by the time August gets here! When getting things prepared, stations are always on my mine; they are a battle I have fought for 3 years. What stations will I do this week? How can I make it fun and intereactive, yet not drive myself crazy...the list goes on. So in the midst of preparing things for my kids, classroom, and myself...I am printing off, cutting, and laminating stations for next year! As I can, I am also doing these for my team to help them out!

I found a great Synonym and Antonym Sort Please don't hesistate to download from this girl's store. It is completely free! If you are not a member of Teachers Pay Teachers, you should be! Most teachers give things away for free and it is completely free to become a memeber! It is a great resource! I now have this game printed on colored card stock, cut and laminated...took me no time at all!

Here is a sample of what the cover looks like!

I am also very excited about this BOGGLE Station Game. Download and print! Again, you need to get a membership (completely free) to the TpT store! (mentioned above). :) This game has the template to the Boggle Game and you can edit it to make more! (I made 4 different boards for my kiddos!) It also comes with a task sheet for the kids to write their words on! Great activity for the kids that ALLLLWAYS finish before others, or maybe a morning work activity?? I love it!
Another sample of the one of the boards looks like!

Another great goodie I did was use Vista Print to create magnets for meet the teacher night. These magnets include all of my contact info! I am veerrry excited about these! I think it will be handy for my parents! has a link to my class site (which is also linked on this blog). I plan on posting important dates, updates, homework, newsletters, party info, etc. on my class website next year. I know what you are thinking...not everyone has a computer...true! I believe that by having a class website though, I can get kids involved and do some neat technology things and hopefully a lot of parents will have access to it in some way. It isn't much now, but it is up and running! Just look on the left side of my blog site or visit Mrs. Kiser's Class Website. Here is a preview of my magnets! Of course, I just ordered them today--so they are not in yet!

Reward the Kids that Make Good Choices!

Last year I had a very interesting class. I took this opportunity to learn more about classroom management, teaming, and many other things that proved to be a bit of an issue. I believe the issue stemmed from having kids that followed all of the rules and were on green ALL YEAR (where's the problem, right?) but then I also had kids that had to move their clip to red every day. When you have this mixture in a classroom (which most teachers do), sometimes the "green" kids get put on the back burner...meaning, we don't always reward them for staying on green, we just expect it. However, if a "red" kid stayed on green...I just oohhhhed and ahhhhed over them. Fair? I think not. After clicking through Pinterest for a while last night, I found this:

Each child gets a punch card, for each day they are on green they get a punch in their card. After 20 punches, the student gets a reward (of your choice obviously). I believe it is something tangible that the students can have as a goal for good behavior. I will start this DAY 1 in my classroom. A classroom with well-behaved children=more education time for students and a less exhausted teacher! I am allllll about that! :) I already ran these off for my kids on colored card stock. Also--for you that team out there. I plan on sharing this with my team teacher, if she likes...then we will use it for her class too! Consistency is important when teaming! Here is the Girl Punch Card and here is the Boy Punch Card.

I also ran across this little goodie:

I plan on using this to commicate with parents when their child gets on red. I prefer things in writing, and I can keep these (signed) in a notebook so that when I have parent conferences, or the student has to go to the principal...I can show the signed Red Card Reports. I believe communcation with home is key, but sometimes I doesn't work and you must go a step further...always good to have documentation! :) Here is the Red Card Report

I know I have some friends that are going to be new teachers next year--if I can offer ONE piece of advice...please make sure you have a classroom management plan IN PLACE the first day! Talk to your team or campus...if they don't have one, then come up with on of your own! We (at Gilmer) use the Green, Blue, Yellow, Red system. We have ours on painted yard sticks and use clothspins with the kids names on them to move their clips. (I know a lot of schools use this system.) But whatever, system...have it in place the first day! Explain it to the kids...the make no exceptions! It's called tough love--it is so important when teaching children!

Poems and Classroom Management!

Whew, it has been a busy few days, but I know that when I am busy--I am getting a lot done, so busy is never a bad thing!

I have managed to get a few more things accomplished for next year and I am definitely ready to implement them! One of my favorites is something I used last year, but I found a new and improved version that I think will work great for my kids! Voice Levels is something great to incorporate in the classroom for classroom management. Last year, I hung mine on the board and used a clothes pin to move the voice levels up and down! However, I love the new and improved one pictured below!
I think I just like the phrases they use! Spy Talk is GREAT! Getting kids to understand the concept of whispering is impossible sometimes! I think they will have fun with "Spy Talk"--hopefully not too much fun though! :) I used one of these last year and it worked great! The key is to introduce it at th beginning of the year and use it OFTEN. If it goes by the wayside then the kids won't respect it. :)

Another WONDERFUL goodie I found, downloaded, and already printed of is Month by Month Poems it is free and wonderful! We do a poem of the week at our school for our 3rd and 4th graders! We actually don't usually start at the beginning of the year but I think I will go ahead and start reading these in September! They are very cute and it is never to early to start teaching something! I put mine in a notebook in page protectors so I can pull them out and put them on the ELMO (document camera) for the kids to see while I read them!

I am also in the process of making a notebook for each member of my 3rd grade ELA team and our Curriculum Interventionist (basically our Wonder Woman!) :) Never pass up an opportunity to do a nice thing for someone, they will appriciate it!

I love the clipart of everything that goes with it! What a wonderful resource! (Just a heads up also--if you are new to teaching 3rd or 4th, perhaps a first year teacher or just never taught upper grades...poems are HUGE for preparing for the STAAR test.) Even if you don't teach 3rd--this is adorable! So enjoy!

Compound Word Match-Up!

I am always looking for station ideas! (Stations are what we call our centers) I have a team of 8 teachers and they are also always looking for stations. We don't want to throw any old worksheet in the station and tell the kids to get busy. Stations need to be fun, intereactive and an independent activity (meaning, although we want higher level needs to be something the children can do on their own.) In my particular class...I like to have some sort of producable at then end of the station (something the kids turn in to me) I don't usually grade this, but it allows me to see what the students worked on during the station time.

Anyway, we all know kids will be kids and fuss and argue during most games. I dabble a few games in here and there...but they really make me want to pull my hair out. :) So I try to dabble a few games that they can do ON THEIR OWN...not competeing against someone else. Here is my Compound Word Match-Up Its a matching activity that they can do with a partner but they have their own set of cards.

Suggestion: Print a few sets of these cards on colored paper or colored cardstock. It dresses up the look of it without having to do anything fancy then laminate, cut and put in baggies. Print a few copies of the activity sheet and your station is ready for 3 or 4 kids to participate!

How the activity works: After the cards are cut out, the students match up the words to make compound words! Simple! Then (as the producable) the students will fill in the words they made on the activity sheet and turn it in! Should be around a 15-20 minute station. Extension: The students can turn the cards face down and play a memory game with them by trying to find a match for the word they turned over. (For example...they turn over "paper," now they try to find "clip." PAPERCLIP.)

So get to printing and enjoy! :)

Text Feature Game

I'm pretty excited about the fact that I can upload files now! :) I have a great game I want to share with you! It's a text feature game, BUT can be adopted for ANY grade and any activity!

The Game Board is very generic and can be used for any game--math, vocabulary, spelling, ANYTHING! I decided to use it for text features last year because my kids needed help remembering what the text features were!

The Cards are in a word document so you can change them to match an of your needs! Just type in vocbulary words, or math problems, or whatever! Pretty fun huh? Well, I thought so. :) Then add a dice or two and some movers (bingo chips, bear counters, etc.) (sorry I can't give you those) and you are done!

Instructions for the text feature game were simple. A child draws a defintion card, reads it then has to say which text feature it is. There is a word bank card so they can have a little help if they need to look at it (the first time). If they get it right, they get to move, if they get it wrong, another child answers the correct answer and the student that rolled just stays put and doesn't get to move his or her game piece. I let my kids place it twice, the second time they could not use the word bank card! It proved to be fun but a little difficult for them! I was glad! If it was too easy then I am not doing my job! Again I state though, you can do this with any subject/activity, etc.

Now of course, as you know this is not the actual LESSON. But perhaps it could be used for stations or centers, and just an extra game for the kiddos that ALWAYS finish before other kids and potentially drive you crazy but you love them?? Yes, I thought so.

I made these for my team last year--laminated them and put them in baggies...they were very grateful and I believe used them often.

Also, here are all my previous post freebies. (I can't do the ice cream because I actually purchased that...) I don't think she would appriciate me giving it away for free. :) Enjoy--stay tuned for more freebies!

Sign for Reading Corner

Descriptive Writing

Binder Dividers
(on this one, you may want to adjust font size and make it your own.) :)


What's the Word?

Whew, busy day here in the Kiser household! First of all, let me tell you--Garage Sales are the way to go for getting books for your classroom. Got a large amount of Junie B. Jones Books, Cam Jansen, Clemintine, etc. :) Side Note-3rd and 4th grade students LOVE Junie B. Jones!! (Boys and Girls) I have a ton already--now I have a ton more!! I also found some pocket charts and other things that were barely used! Needless to say, it was a successful morning!

Got all of these for $10! :)
So on a personal note, hubby is doing ribs tonight and we are having company over--so between that, garage sales, and my one year old, I haven't been very creative today. However, here is a picture of a quick sign I made on the computer.

I found a neat idea on pinterest that I just had to incorporate in my classroom!  This past year, I had some kids that were...ummm...full of energy, eager beavers some would call them! Transition time proved to be a bit of an issue, they would start moving before I was ever finished with my directions.

This is a great way to incorporate vocabulary into transition time, and keep from pulling your hair out! Underneath this sign, I would write a word I want the kids to know/learn. (For example, HONESTY-might be written under this sign.) From there, every time we are about to transition into anything (basically any time I am about to give instructions for something) the kids have to wait until the WORD OF THE DAY is said until they can begin transitioning. I believe a way I can do that in my room is give the instructions (after of course practicing this with my kids for about two weeks straight) :) then after I give them intructions for stations, or whatever I will say..."Okay, that is all of the instructions, our Word of The Day is HONESTY" then they would say "HONESTY" and go. Otherwise...I believe if they are just "waiting" for me to say it, I will have even MORE eager beavers.

I believe the most important part of this though is that the kids are learning new words. At the beginning of each day I will have a volunteer look up the word in the dictionary, read the defintion then we will talk about what that means. Some days it will be character traits like Honesty, Integrity, etc. Other days it may be "Product" and we will talk about the different meanings (item sold, or the answer to a multiplication problem) Basically I will just get creative with it and let the kids explore new words!

Oh and by the way...I get to keep my sanity! (Maybe that will be the word of the day sometime) lol. :) Anyway--I believe in giving credit where credit is due! So here is the link I found this idea on...oh and she has a freebie WORD OF THE DAY Sign! :) I made my own so it would match my room--super easy but hers is cute too!

Word of The Day!

Your homework for next weekend...HIT THOSE GARAGE SALES and find some books! :)

Two More Goodies! :)

I think I will cram two into one today! :) I just finished two projects and I am quite proud of them both.

Numero Uno.

I have decided that kids (as lovely as they are) do not pay attention to most things that are said in class. However, I have also figured out that kids will pay attention to anything that looks different or fun! (I'm quite sure adults are this way too) :) Human Nature Right? Well, at the end of every day--I am busy telling kids; "don't forget this, do this, bring this, get this signed, OH, and have a great afternoon!!" Yeah...they don't hear it. So, one of my lovely children last year said, "Mrs. Kiser--just write that stuff on the board..." (DUH). They seemed to notice it more...soooo...I created these (again thanks to Pinterest).

So, how did I do it? Simple! Cheapy frames from Wal-Mart, scrapbook paper, Visa-Vi Marker...and Viola! Cute Dry Erase Frames! You should try it, it truly is so simple! I think I am going to also do one for our house! Maybe even one for Rex's room so I can leave him cute messages--when he can read of course! Anyway--all at another time. I think these will work great in my class this year though! (Oh, and clean off with baby wipes! I seem to have an abundant supply of those around here.) :)

Numero Dos.

On to project number two for the day. Let's talk reading again. What is reading? What makes up a GOOD reader? Remember, reading words on the page is a start--but it doesn't make a truly good reader. As teachers--we use the crazy words all year around our children. "Hmmm, that was great Suzy, but you need to work on your phrasing and fluency." "Wow, Molly...fabulous, your accuracy was great." The kids respond but these blank stares and puzzled looks. Why? Because they do not know what I just told them to work on, or what they are doing well. Of a teacher we then explain...but wouldn't it help for the kids to be familiar with those words in advance? I think, YES. So, here is a new addition for my reading corner. We will go over them daily (or at least every other day) when we discuss what a good reader must do. Only thing left to do is laminate and hang up!

I am still a little slow on this blog thing, and I can't seem to figure out how to link a word document on here (if that is even possible.) Anyway, I have these typed up and will happily e-mail them to you if you want them! Just shoot me a message on here, facebook, or e-mail me. Oh, and if you know how to link a word can fill me in on that as well. :)

The SCOOP on Comprehension!

I am in love with this new creation!! Not only do I love ice cream (probably a little too much) but I love the colors on this AND of course the idea behind it! Comprehension is a tricky thing for kids. As I have said before--teaching kids to read WORDS is only half the battle (trust me, it's not easy to do that part) but then there is a whole different battle to fight when you are trying to get kiddos to understand what they read. However, it is a battle that we teachers were made to fight! (And we usually win, which in turn...means the kids win.) :) Seeing a child read to me is beautiful...seeing them understand what they read is amazing.

We expect so much of kids these days, reading is no different. There are so many things that go into reading! We don't want our kids to just learn to read, or really even JUST understand what they read. The ultimate goal is for our kids to think PAST the book...what would happen if? Why did the character do this? If I was the character I would...Where can I learn more about this?'s all of that critical thinking that seems to be getting pushed further and further back in age. On to my point...I believe this creation will be a great addition to the classroom! It includes all of the skills we teach and the parts of comprehending that are so important (which is every part!) Plus--it's cute. :)
Here is the top! It didn't show up well in the other photos!

All of our wonderful strategies for comprehension!
A little closer!

I wish I had a place to hang this up so I could get a better picture--but I will take a picture of it when I get it in my classroom! I am thinking right up front on my dry erase board! I want the kids to become VERY familiar with the terms. We will talk about them daily and review what they are! Also--this will be great for my chapter book read alouds! In one 10 minute setting we do each of these things multiple times. I always tell the kids, but now they can actually look up there and see a visualization of what we do each time we read!

Here is the link for all of the printables!


One of the largest problems we face in third grade is the children not knowing HOW to choose a good book. Sounds pretty simple, but...put yourself in the mind of a sweet little 8 year old. "Wow, this book looks good...I think I will read it." And so they begin. BUT, can they understand the book? Do they know most of the words in the book? Is it a book about something that interests them? Well, many times...they do not know. How can a child learn to LOVE reading when they don't know what to read? 3rd grade isn't always about teaching a child to read (although I have had to do that some as well) but mainly is it about how to teach them to LOVE reading. (It's an ugly monster we battle all year.) Let's face it...TV and Video Games have it all over books...we can't compete. However, there is a glimmer of hope! If a child can truly learn HOW to choose a book that fits them...then they may...just may learn to LOVE reading.

Anyway, on to my point! I made this anchor chart in hopes to help the kids remember how to choose a "just right" book. We talk all year about the different strategies for finding a book that fits them the best...I hope this ties it all into one anchor chart for my reading corner that will help the kiddos when they go choose a book. The first week of school we will talk about the I PICK anchor chart--and we will practice looking at it each time before we choose books. Here is a picture of the anchor chart. It will of course hang in my classroom (laminated) but for is at home safely waiting for a place on my classroom walls. Oh and above will say...(in bulliten board letters) HOW WE CHOOSE A JUST RIGHT BOOK...and I hope you see the main point here...the kids pick! I am not choosing books for them, hense the title of the chart-- I PICK! :)

The first thing they must do is choose a book but when the do they need to ask themselves "Why do I want to read this? and Does it interest me?" after that...the students need to make sure that when they start reading it...they can understand what they are reading. Also...they need to make sure they know the words. (We use the 5 finger rule in my classroom) If they have more than 5 mistakes on one page, the book is probably too hard.

I know this post is rather lengthy, but it is something I am really passionate about. While this anchor chart of course is not going to teach the kids to LOVE reading, I hope it aids them in the process of know what is best for them when choosing a book. :)

Spicing Up a Few Words!

Below is an anchor chart I will make in my classroom for my kiddos, minus the humungous writing smiley man in the middle. (It looks normal on my print off.) Anyway--I saw this on Pinterest, but of course--you had to buy it. I thought, why would I buy it when I can make one similar to it? I am always looking for words my kids can use in their writing, and even more so...I am always encouraging them to use different words. This year they will have a reader's/writer's notebook and they will have a copy of this to add in there as a reference. I think the words are great! Then as an added bonus, the kids will create their own "on-going" list of words that they learn during the year to use in their writing. We have to get away from words such as "good, bad, like, said, nice, happy" etc...LET'S SPICE IT UP PEOPLE!! So enjoy! (Oh and again, ignore giant writing smiley man below--sorry if he frightened you, he won't crop.) :) 

Let me know if you want the template for this--I have it in a word document, it can be adapted for any grade level. It's not fancy but could be helpful! I can e-mail it to you!

Descriptive Words to Use in my Writing

Hearing Words
·       Buzz
·       Chatter
·       Mumble
·       Rumble
·       Squeal
·       Wail
Tasting Words
·       Bitter
·       Bland
·       Salty
·       Spicy
·       Tangy
·       Tart

Feeling Words
·       Bumpy
·       Frosty
·       Furry
·       Prickly
·       Slippery
·       Sticky

Smelling Words
·       Burnt
·       Fresh
·       Musty
·       Rotten
·       Sour
·       Sweet

Seeing Words
·       Cluttered
·       crooked
·       Immense
·       Lovely
·       Shabby
·       Tidy

Color Words
·       Aqua
·       Beige
·       Bronze
·       Coral
·       Ebony
·       Violet

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