Monday, January 26, 2015

5 tips for Student Independence (Free Download)

I have created this post to help answer some of the emails I have received about student independence.  Students must be able to work independently in meaningful ways in order for you to work in small groups.

This was perfect timing because my class needed to revisit being proactive in solving their own problems WITHOUT approaching my small group instruction table. 
{My stink eye just wasn't cutting it}

I have been out of the class for conferences here and there over the last few weeks, so we really needed a refresher course... STAT!
We created a little flow chart so students would not make a beeline straight to my desk if they had a question.  Now the one we created together was extremely messy.  We talked through each step.  My handwriting and pictures were shameful.  

After using my hand scribbled chart for a few days, I decided to neaten it up.

NOTE:  #3 means that if they can't glean understanding from their partner or the "I can.." card, they should look at the pocket chart to see who JUST completed that station and see if they can help them.  
Click on the picture for your free download of these chart elements.
The stations I create are generally predictable... no surprises!  Easy!

These images are from December's units, but you get the idea.  Same task... different month!  I don't need to reteach this AT! ALL!
Click here to see the Writing Work Stations

Click here to see the Super Sentences

Click here to see the Listening Stations
Stations are a time to practice skills, not learn new skills.  If you have students who are not ready for a particular skill, make that a small group activity.  Then the next time they encounter that task, your students will be ready for it!
Click here to find this unit
Click here to find Just Roll with it units.

This is BY FAR the key to student independence in my class.
Click on the picture to find this unit

Click on the image to find this unit.

Click on the image to find this unit.

Make the tasks engaging with lots of opportunities to practice the skills.  You don't want a "worksheet" that will take your students 3 minutes to complete.  Hello... they will hover around your desk!  I am not talking about busy work... I am talking about fun practice opportunities.

This connect 3 game is one that I created about 4 years ago.  I am in the process of revising my Math Work Station units so each unit will have a specific "I Can.." card and updated clip art.  My Snowman Math Work Station is almost done... almost!  You can grab it now at the old price, then get the upgrade at no additional charge once it is completed (sometime before the weekend).
Click on the image to look at this unit.
 And these jumbo dice NEVER get old.
Click on the image to find this unit.

I know it may sound harsh when I tell my students, "You don't need me, you've got this!"  Independence is a learned skill AND a lifelong skill.  Teaching them to be proactive in their own learning is essential in my opinion.

I hope that helps and answers your questions.  Please let me know if you have any more!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Peek at my Week

I really do not mind traveling, but I always seem to forget something.  Once it was a toothbrush (I got one at the hotel.)  Once it was deodorant (I grab some at the hotel shop.)  Once it was pants! ( I just got creative with the clothes I did pack.)  Well, when I got to the airport this week, I was LATE!  I hate being late, but there was an accident on the interstate which kept me at a standstill for 40 minutes.  I was running to the gate!  When I got there, I realized by camera was not with me!  I am hoping it show up at the St. Louis airport!  UGH!

My long story is to explain why I do not have images of my upcoming week.  So sad... So sad...

So you are stuck with a few screen shots!  I finished my Math and Literacy Stations for February.  You can get it discounted until the end of the day today by clicking HERE.
 I also completely updated this unit that I originally created in 2012.  Where did the time go?
You can get the update for no additional charge by going to "My Purchases" on TpT and just redownload it.  I will add it to the BUNDLE when I return to the land of REAL internet (but no later than Monday night.)

This unit has been expanded with "I Can" cards for every activity.  It will remain discounted until Monday night. You can grab it by clicking on the image or HERE.  I would love to know what you think about the updates!
This week we will be reading this book!  This book is actually in the Guiding Readers-February unit, but I started using the units in December in my classroom, so I have to reach ahead.  I love this book. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Guiding Readers Giveaway

Oh... the power of interactive writing!    
Couple that with reading comprehension and responding to literature, and you will have time well spent!
Guiding Readers January
Guiding Readers January
Guiding Readers January
A little informational writing!
Guiding Readers January

Then more interactive writing!

Guiding Readers January

Guiding Readers January

Guiding Readers January

Winners choice:  Deanna/Deedee Collaborative unit:  

We have loved reading the feedback from our Guiding Readers January Unit.  
We selected a few to share!

We will select a winner from those photos submitted
Just follow along for a chance to win!

By the way... February's unit is done and READY!

Yes, we do plan on bundling them once all of the units have been completed.  
We have learned that growing bundles are very difficult to manage.  If you buy the units within the first few days of them being released, you will actually receive a better discount, so we hope that helps!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Peek at My Week: Polar Bear Week

Polar Bear WEEK!

 These looks like really simple cupcakes (just my level of cooking expertise... simple)!  
I think we can do it!
Source: Create
These are pretty sweet!
Source:  Clown and Poodle
This week our reading will be centered around this book.  I LOVE this book!  It is written in both a narrative and informational formats.  We will be revisiting this book long after this week is over to notice the amazing work of Nicola Davies and Gary Blythe!

I know a lot of people enjoy videos of books, but (in my opinion) we can not do the books justice with just a video of the book.  

With the book in our hand we can "Stop!" , "Go BACK!",  "I'm noticing something..." with more flexibility.

I have heard that  Ice Bear has been close to sold out on Amazon.  You can also find it on Barnes and Nobel by clicking HERE.  I promise you will want this book in your teaching library.

Monday is a snow make-up day, so YES we will be there!

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