So Much Crammed Into One Week!

This week back was filled with so many new happenings, that I thought I would tell you a little bit about each of them, instead of lots of little blog posts about each of them.  Most of the week was spent getting back into the swing of things, relearning routines, and beginning some new ones.  So, what were we up to this week?

Each January I like to start things off fresh and my room environment is no exception.  So I spent one afternoon and rearranged the furniture so that we have a better flow in the room.  Also, I was just tired of standing up at the ELMO in the front of the room.  I need to sit down some of the time!  :)  So now I have a little space to work, can still move around the room, and it all feels "new".  Do you ever just up and move your room around?
I started organizing my students for Math Workshop.  I have added in a rotation, am working in my fabulous aide just a bit more, and allowing for more problem solving time.  (I will write an extended blog post about it once it is up and running.)  We did a "What does Rotations Look/Sound Like" and it went really well!  We also talked about the expectations of each person in the room (students/teachers).  I think they are getting back into the routine of things with me at the helm.  They are also SUPER excited about the "new" Math Workshop, so hopefully that means good things for the added rotation.
Click on the picture and you can get this form to use in your class.

We spent a great deal of this week working on pulling evidence from the text.  Now this isn't exactly new to them, although the methods we were using were.  I taught the first Close Reading strategy from Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading , Contrasts and Contradictions.  We also used the AWESOME work of Jennifer Findley for homework.  I really am loving these Weekly Homework packets she has. (I linked to the actual one that I used this week.)  It isn't anything new as far as strategy goes, but it is clear, to the point, and gets the kids working on close reading in an easy, concise, managable way.  Basically, it takes what I was already doing in comprehension, and gears is more towards this "new" open-ended way of assessing.  By the end of the week, through everything we were doing in class, my students were actually QUOTING THE TEXT!!!!  Not just paraphrasing, but quoting.  Makes my heart happy thinking about it. 
This is Jen Findley's work pages.  They really helped to get us started with "Close Reading" and getting evidence from the text.
This is from our morning work.   You can see that by Thursday, they were quoting the text in support of their answers on their own!!!
We began working with our Root Word Trifolds, and, so far so good.  I basically did the same things I was doing before, but now they have it in one sheet of paper (instead of the flash cards, foldable, and circle maps....which I did like too.  I am just trying something new now)  My favorite part of it, though, was the "Test Your Knowledge" section.  We did it in class, so not as a test, but more of a guided practice with deconstructing words and using what we know about word structure to gain a bit more access to the meaning.  (you can get the trifold if you click the link above....I have added a second week to the trifold so you can get it now if you would like.)

We also started a new read aloud (thanks to Jen Runde for the suggestion of Among the Hidden.  So far, the kids are intrigued), and have been presenting our Element Projects that came in to work on speaking and listening standards.

 am tired just thinking about all we did.  :)   What did you do this week?  Hop on over to Doodlebugs Teaching to read about what others did this week in their rooms.


  1. I *love* the Among the Hidden series. We are using it right now for our reading tiers. :-) So many interesting discussions!!

    Real Teachers Learn

  2. Busy week! I have the urge to re-arrange my room about twice a year and it's all I can think about until I actually do it!

    Sara :)
    The Colorful Apple

  3. Love the trifold root words. Do you have it in an editable form? We are doing 4 prefixes this week for spelling and the form would work as a center. Thanks

  4. Looks like a busy week! I found you on TBTS and look forward to seeing more from you. :)

  5. Amazing that you accomplished so much. I feel like I am constantly playing catch-up. I love the elements project. I will have to check it out when my 5th graders get to that unit.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your root word trifolds! I used them this week and it was great! Please keep sharing :)


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