Friday, October 11, 2013

The Epic Battle.....

Freebie Fridays

Teaching reading skills vs. teaching to a test.  Now that I'm teaching on a testing grade; this is a constant struggle for me.  In the wake of our first eye-opening benchmark test, I've realized (as much as I hate it) we're going to have to do some test prep!  So, I'm working with my amazing team to dissect our state madated standardized test, and come up with some STAAR-esque questions to go along with our authentic literature.  My kids love read alouds, and I refuse to deprive them of that--in lieu of workbooks with passages.  Those workbooks will have their place in our room; they are great practice BUT our kids also need to hear real stories, and be able to apply the skills and strategies we teach them to actual books!  *step off soap box*

What we've come up with are the same type 3-4 questions  for 4-5 different stories each week.  Each question will be aligned with one of our state standards, and is modeled after the same verbage used on our STAAR test.  We want our kids to get used to the confusing ways these questions are they will be able to show what they know!  We will rotate books and questions each day, and by the end of the week our kids should be familiar with the questions, and the best strategies to use in order to answer them.  
Click the pic for a free download of our first round of questions for the Uglified Duck by Willy Claflin. 

What about y'all?  What do you use to help your kids get ready for their "big test?" the pic to download the free questions to go along with the Uglified Duck by Willy Claflin

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I'm baaaaaaaackkkkk!

Ho. Lee. Moley!  It's been awhile!  I've had so much going on in my life the past few months.  From the loss of a dear friend and parent, to changing positions at's been a bumpy ride!
Where to start?  I guess with the most painful news.  I lost my father suddenly back at the end of the summer.  He was my rock, one of the few people in my life I knew I could always count on.  His passing came without warning, and it's been a rough few months for my family.  We're coping and doing the best we can.  We live with his memory in our hearts, and knowing he will forever be my Big Joe.  I <3 u.
And then there's this whole fifth grade thing.  I moved to a self-contained fifth grade classroom this year.  On top of being the instructional technologist, I can plate is full!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE fifth grade, and can't wait to share all the fun new ideas I've got going!  I've been really into QR codes this first part of the year.  Here's some long division practice I put together for a can click on the picture to learn more.