Apr 26, 2013

Five for FRIDAY: Reading Campground, Close Reading, Plot Diagrams, and MORE!

Hi ALL!  I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share FIVE FOR FRIDAY on MY BIRTHDAY!  Here is a list of 5 things that happened in our classroom this week.  I hope you had a great week too!  Happy WEEKEND! :)

#1~This week I finally got around to adding some owls to our READING CAMPGROUND and we love our OWLS! My inspiration for these cuties was provided by Teaching Fourth. We call it our campground because we read in camping chairs. I would love to have sofas in my classroom, but I am simply too limited on space and the camping chairs fold and store away nicely. Only problem, I think my sweet owls look a little like Angry Birds, but I guess they could be considered “angry owls” protecting our campground…heehee! 

#2~ My number 2 this week is our close reading chart. My chart is by no means, “how to read closely.” Close reading is most commonly defined as a close purposeful rereading. My students needed some specific directions on how and what to look for when rereading a text, so I came up with this chart to help them dig in. Feel free to grab the chart here if you think it might help your students as well. I want to reiterate that is by no means “how to read closely,” but it did give my students some focus. By the time they had completed all the steps, they had certainly reread the text closely and knew it inside and out! I even gave them a little mnemonic at the bottom of the chart to help them remember the steps in case the poster wasn't visible when they needed it…like maybe during TESTING!

#3~Number 3 this week for me was our plot diagram graphic organizers! When my students write narratives for me, I find it is helpful for them to plan their story on a plot diagram graphic organizer. If they don’t plan it out, they tend to jump right to the climax too early without building up their rising action with excitement and suspense. This visual helps them see that they need more rising action to hook their readers before giving away the climax! They did a fabulous job with their diagrams this week, and in turn their narratives turned out beautifully! :)

#4~Number 4 was a Book Talk Skype session.  We shared some of our favorites reads and got some suggestions to add to our library!  Lots of fun and highly motivating for my kiddos!

#5~Lastly, my favorite thing this week was a book that was purchased for me at the book fair. I received many books from my sweet kiddos this week (and purchased many myself ;)), but one student in particular really touched my heart. He struggles a bit financially, academically, and behaviorally, but he always works hard in my classroom. 

 Not only was the purchase a generous one for him, but he put a lot of thought into his selection. Our essential question for our current unit of study is “How do our life experiences shape who and what we become?” I wrote briefly about this autobiographical/biographical unit here if you’d like a little more information on the unit. I used this graphic, which includes Steve Jobs, as an introduction to the unit. We talked in great detail about how life experiences affect us and began by writing seed stories about an event that has affected our own lives. My students then researched other people, or interviewed someone they knew, to gather information for a seed story about someone else, hence a biographical seed story. I have a lot of books from the Who Was ... Series, but I  didn't have Steve

Jobs. Since he was such a big part of our opening discussion for our unit, this sweet child thought I might like to add Who Was Steve Jobs? to my collection.

He had enough money for one book, and he gave that book to me. Words could never express my gratitude, but I sure tried! We made a huge deal over the book and even got a “gift plate” for the front of the book for him to fill in so everyone would always know the book was from him. I don’t need the gift plate. I will never forget who gave that book to me. ;) 

Those are five of my favorite things that happened in our classroom this week. Hop on over to Doodle Bugs and link up to share some of your favorites too!  If you haven't linked up to follow yet, today's the day...It's my birthday! ;-)  


  1. I love your owls/angry owls! Sometimes it is nice to change up your classroom decor near the end of the year to re-energize everyone!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  2. How sweet of your student to get a book for you. Stories like that are so special.

    School Is a Happy Place

  3. The book and the child will always be very special to you. Love your blog and happy birthday.

  4. The owls are precious and very colorful!
    Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  5. The owls are adorable! I also like the camp chair idea for reading.
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  6. thanks for visiting my site - just joined yours, too! Love your owls...wanted to do the same in my kinder class this year, but never got around to it (eek). The steps for reading closely will definitely come in handy - thanks for sharing!!! :)

    ~ Kimberlee ~
    iTeach 5th

  7. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, you've led me to yours!! I love your owls!!

    Pencils, Books, and Dirty Looks

  8. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRANDEE!!! I love your owls-they are adorable, not angry!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  9. That book would be perfect for my classroom! I'm heading to check it out now. Oh, and I love the owls too! They are precious.

    Lucky in Learning

  10. You books story is so sweet. It is those kids who you will remember forever.

    Rosie's Rambles

  11. Happy Birthday! The book story is so sweet - he obviously got the message in your lessons.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!
    Learning in the Little Apple

  12. Sounds like you had a fun week! Happy Birthday!

  13. Hi Brandee,
    Love your owls...so cute! Your blog is great, so glad I found you and am your newest follower. Have a great weekend.
    Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

  14. Those owls are the cutest things!!! Thanks for sharing :)
    The Techie Teacher

  15. Love your tips for reading closely. It is so important for students to understand that reading closely is different than just reading. As readers, we do not always read closely. I don't read my Entertainment Weekly magazine closely, but when I read for information and the text is tough, I do have to read closely. Thanks for the freebie. This will definitely need to be one of my mini lessons next year.



Please leave a comment and let me know you stopped by. :)

Copyright © Creating Lifelong Learners | Blog Template by Lilipop Designs