September 2014 - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom
Holy moly. What a week!!
We had parent/teacher conferences last week, and I was also sick at the beginning of the week... so needless to say, it was quite exhausting. This is why I didn't post a Workshop Wednesday last week... or anything else, for that matter.

To get ahead a little bit, I'm going to link up with Mrs. Laffin's Laughings and give you a peek at my week! :o)
In Social Studies, we are learning about the first two of six of the European Explorers this week: Columbus and Cabot. I'm using my Explorers Pack to teach about these two, as well as to write an opinion piece during writing time!
You know how I love to use a good mentor text and to integrate across the curriculum... I'm going to use the book, Encounter by Jane Yolen, to show the students the "other side" of what happened during European exploration.
(Click above to visit the book on Amazon!)
Whether you are learning about explorers or not, this is a great book to show another point of view of an event with which most students are familiar... Columbus "discovering" new land. My students are always amazed when I tell them this was based on the events of Columbus landing in San Salvador! One of them asked last year, "Why do we have the day off for Columbus Day? He shouldn't get a holiday!!"

I will use the wonderful pack from Cutesy Clickables/Collaboration Cuties to review inferences and main idea during reading, as well as to teach some more figurative language!
With Ideas by Jivey
Of course, I have to get in some nonfiction, too! I will read You Wouldn't Want to Sail with Christopher Columbus by Fiona MacDonald and do the inferring activity for that text from my No Prep Nonfiction Companion to Better Than Basal.
Better than Basil with Ideas by Jivey     
As I was just searching for the book on Amazon, I realized there is a revised edition of the book that I didn't know about! Click the image of the book to visit the revised edition on Amazon... I might have to buy that one, too...! LOL

During writing time, as I mentioned earlier, the students will give their opinion of whether they believe the explorers were heroes.... this prompt is always a good one to get the kids to use voice and emotion in their piece.

In math, we are working on multiplication! I can't wait to teach my kids "Multiplication War" from my Math Aces: Partner Games so they can play in stations. They are loving card games this year!
Math Aces with Ideas by Jivey
I am using my Zany Zebra Multiplication Pack for some of my mini-lessons and small groups next week, as well as the task cards for my stations.
Zany Zebra Multiplication Pack with Idea by Jivey
I am also using some of Blair Turner's interactive notebook activities- especially this set on multiplicative comparison.
Blair Turner's interactive notebook activities with Ideas by Jivey
That can be such a tricky concept for them because they have to really think through who has "the most" to know what they should be multiplying.

Oh and in between all of this fun stuff I shared with you, we also have our district assessments to administer in Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies. EEK! But we'll get it all in, don't you worry. :-P

I hope you all have a fantastic week!

This week, my teaching life revolved around weather! Here are some of the super-fun awesome things we did this week!
I used Can It Rain Cats and Dogs? this week for my nonfiction mentor text. My kids were obsessed with it! They wanted me to read the whole thing, but we only read about what we have covered so far in my weather unit. I will read more next week when we get into fronts and weather maps.
Can It Rain Cats and Dogs and non fiction mentor sentences with Ideas by Jivey.
You can read more about how I used this book, as well as Come On, Rain! in reading this week in my Workshop Wednesday post!
My mentor sentence this week was from the book, Come On, Rain!

(Need more info on mentor sentences? Check out this post!)
Come On, Rain and mentor sentences with Ideas by Jivey
My kids have gotten really good at imitating the week's mentor sentence! It's getting hard for me to pick only four for the wall. They are also loving our interactive notebook activities for language arts- this week's was all about vivid verbs.
We also did interactive notebook activities for our weather skills!
Weather interactive notebook activities with Ideas by Jivey.
And we did interactive notetaking with a passage from the website, This is my go-to site for leveled articles on all kinds of topics!
Interactive notetaking with Ideas by Jivey.
We also made cloud models!!
Cloud models with Ideas by Jivey
And last, but not least, we made our own weather instruments!
Weather Instruments with Ideas by Jivey
Weather Instruments with Ideas by Jivey
Weather Instruments with Ideas by Jivey
Want the directions to make these in your classroom, too?
Freebie Make your own weather instruments with Ideas by Jivey
Get them for free here! :o)

I hope everyone enjoys the weekend!! :o)

Welcome to another Workshop Wednesday!
Today, I'm going to share with you how my Reading Workshop is going- mainly the mini-lesson portion of it. Can I just tell you, my very own Better Than Basal product I created this summer to go with all of my mentor sentence texts has been a lifesaver!? And I'm really not just saying that because I made it or because I'm trying to make you buy it... my planning time has literally been cut in half every week because no matter what skill we are working on, 9 times out of 10, my mentor text will align to it. It has seriously been so amazing each week when it's time to plan. If you want to read more about how I use mentor texts in the classroom, check it out here (but make sure to read the rest of this post for ideas too)!

Over the summer, I shared with you how I set up my Reading Workshop during the Reading In The Wild Book Study.
Reading Workshop mini lesson with Ideas by Jivey
You can print/save this page for free from Google Docs if it's helpful to you, or get more in depth info in my Launching Reading Workshop Pack

We are studying the water cycle and weather in science right now. I LOVE integrating my science and social studies content into as much of my day as I can, so I choose my mentor texts to do just that. This week's mentor text is Come On, Rain! It is a gorgeous book full of vivid language about a rainstorm rolling in on a sizzling hot day.
Come On, Rain with Ideas by Jivey

We have been working on finding supporting evidence in texts, as well as using evidence to draw conclusions, so we used a page from Better Than Basal as I read Come On, Rain! Monday, and also a page from the Nonfiction Companion Mini-Unit as I read just one page from Can It Rain Cats and Dogs? on Tuesday. This way, we practiced standard R.1 with fiction and nonfiction! 
Come On, Rain and finding supporting evidence in texts with Ideas by Jivey
 The students told how the author gave clues that rain was coming.

Finding supporting evidence in texts with Ideas by Jivey
The students answered the question, "Why do clouds have different shapes and colors?" They wrote evidence from the text about the different types of clouds and realized that all of the clouds are formed differently, which is why they are different shapes!

Both of these activities were done whole group as my mini-lesson, then my students were/are able to apply this skill to their own book during independent reading when they write their reading response for the day. (They must give evidence from the text to support their thinking in their reading journal.)

We are going to do the questions page one more time this week with Can It Rain Cats and Dogs? because this is a harder skill, and I also love sharing some of the cool information in this book!

Later this week on my blog, I will share more about how I'm teaching weather. We've done some super fun things already, and more fun is still on the way! :o)

Soooo I'm breaking my own rules a little here. Workshop Wednesday will be open all month, and this month it is all about showcasing how to organize any of your workshops (reading, writing, and math)... but I really want to share how I'm getting opinion writing started in my classroom! So it won't be organizing writer's workshop as a whole, but I think you'll still like it. ;-)
Introducing opinion writing is super fun... in my opinion. :-P But there is a fine line between opinion and persuasive, and I need to make sure the kids know the difference. Here are some things I do:

1: I make sure the kids HAVE an opinion!
Opinion writing in the classroom with Ideas by Jivey
I ask them to write one sentence that shows their opinion on a sticky note- it can be about anything they want. The stickies ranged from, "Ms. Ivey is the best teacher in the world!" (awwww) to "My brother is the cutest kid, yet also the meanest." (HA!) I read them aloud and the students gave thumbs up or thumbs down to show they agreed that it was an opinion.

2: I give them the opportunity to share their opinions with others through discussion.
Would You Rather...? by  Rachel Lynette with Ideas by Jivey
Have you ever played, "Would You Rather...?" It is such a fun adult game (at least the one I played...), but luckily, Rachel Lynette created some for kids too! (Click above or here for a freebie from her!) I pass these out as strips to a pair of students, and they have to tell which scenario they would rather do and WHY.

3: Our first opinion writing piece....... I start off small, and with a topic with which they are familiar...
First opinion writing piece with Ideas by Jivey
We are currently learning about the water cycle and weather in science, so for a quick writing piece, we are writing about our favorite type of weather. I use this organizer which will only produce one paragraph this time (I do NOT want to read five paragraphs about why you like sunny weather- LOL), but later this same format of the organizer will produce an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. (Click above or here to download the organizer for free!) I included "transition" on the organizer because I want them to remember to include those phrases in their writing. (I love these transitional words anchor charts by Tracee Orman!)

Hello friends! Welcome to a new school year, and a new Workshop Wednesday!
I am doing things a little bit different this year in Math Workshop, so I thought I would share with you the way I am organizing my stations! I am still using my 10 cart drawer like last year, but I am setting it all up for math now (last year, I used the top 5 drawers for math and the bottom 5 for reading). This way, I can differentiate more of my stations...

Here are my stations:
Organizing math stations with Ideas by JiveyOrganizing math stations with Ideas by Jivey
The green and purple, and the blue and orange (yeah, I would have picked those differently had it occurred to me at the time that those were Florida Gator colors... LOL!) are differentiated- they match the color of the drawer they can be found in. I am also making labels to match so that in the very near future, the students will be able to go to the drawer they need, but at this time of the year, I am getting all of the stations "rolling" and so they don't need the labels yet...and I've been moving that to the bottom of my to-do list every time I sit down to work on stuff, so it hasn't gotten done. :-P I'm sure you can relate to that!

We also are working on learning the routine of stations, so this week, my stations are not differentiated. Next week, they will be. :o) I have two drawers for games, and you'll see why in just a minute... but I get the games ready to go ahead of time for each set of partners:
Organizing math stations with Ideas by Jivey
In a gallon bag, I put all the materials they need for a game- dry erase markers, cards, dice, game boards, erasers... it's all there. All they have to do is clean up properly, and then the next day, the next pair will be ready to play the game, too!

My students only do one station per day (30 minutes). I pull two groups during station time (about 15 minutes each) and then we always have at least one day where I let them "finish up" their stations they didn't get to finish because of being pulled in a group. I pull small groups based on what skill they need to work on, not by their station rotations... but I always pull them in groups as partners- so they are grouped as partners by level... maybe if I show you, it will help my explanation. (I actually have magnets with their names on them that I will rotate, but I am still working on making sure their partners are matched correctly by watching them during stations the last few rotations...)

Organizing math stations with Ideas by Jivey
When I pull groups, I might pull John and Max with Lisa and Mary to work on rounding at my table. The others at that station still have their partner, so even though some have left the station, it doesn't affect the rest. The ones I pull in my group still get to do the station for a bit that day, but probably won't finish... and that is ok, because as I said, they will get to have a "finish up day" (or two) at the end of the set of rotations. During the finish-up days, I am walking around and only conferring with students, not pulling groups.

Also, you saw I have two drawers with games. That is because I only have two student laptops... so when the students are at the technology station, they have to share their time. Sometimes, they can get on the laptops as partners, but if it's a game or program that is meant for only one person, two of them are on the laptops (one on each laptop) while the other two are playing a game from the red game drawers, then after 15 minutes, they switch.

There are more spots on my rotation board than I have students- this is so I can get all the stations rotated. There will always be one of the green/purple or blue/orange sets that will be empty so that my games and technology groups can flip-flop the next day. As I sit here and type it out, I feel like it is probably clear as mud to you... but I promise it works! :-P I hope this post did help you at least a little if you are looking for ideas of ways to organize your math stations!

**UPDATE** Here is another way I implement Math Workshop in my classroom using the M-A-T-H acronym! You can also buy the guide to Launching Math Workshop!
Launching Math Workshops with Ideas by Jivey
For even more ideas, follow my Math Workshop Pinterest board!

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