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Scholastic Social Media Challenge

As teachers, we all know how important it is for our students to have books in their hands.  We all would LOVE to buy them every book they want to take home and keep because we know the feeling of having a book of your very own.  Unfortunately, that is unrealistic…we have bills, too!

We all know and love Scholastic and all of their amazing deals on books, especially their $1 deals!  ( If you do not know about Scholastic, you should! )  I did a Scholastic social media challenge and asked my friends and family to sponsor one child this school year to get one $1 book a month. Guess what?  It was a HUGE success!  Thanks to all of my loving a supportive friends and family, each child in my classroom will get one book of their very own every month.  I’m just giddy with joy!
I plan to follow this up with thank you notes to the person who sponsored them.  It is a wonderful life lesson on giving and being thankful.  

If you are interested in the Scholastic Social Media Challenge, here is the post I used…just click copy and paste it into your own social media platform!

Friends & Family,
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I don’t know about you, but I remember bringing home Scholastic book orders and being so excited to pick out a book or even several books! As a teacher, I still love looking through them. Also, seeing my students excited about reading and picking out books is pretty awesome. However, every year I have students who just can’t afford to purchase these books to take home and call their own.
So ... I saw an idea from a friend! 
💡 💡 💡
Would you be willing to sponsor a child in my room so they can get a new book of their own every month? Scholastic offers a different book each month for $1. I’d love to order every student in my class a new book for the next 10 months. If you are interested, you can write a check to Scholastic Book Clubs and mail/give it to me.
I would LOVE to have the opportunity to do this for my students!!
Thank you so much for your support! I know each of my students will be so excited and truly appreciate your kindness!  ❤️

FULL DISCLOSURE:  I did NOT come up with this idea!  I just saw it and wanted to share my experience!

I can't WAIT to get that beautiful box!

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Daily Quick Writes

 Hi Friends!  

Confession time…writing is my LEAST favorite subject to teach.  I know, I know…teachers shouldn’t have favorites!    In all seriousness, teaching writing to first graders was not my favorite subject to teach. I was in a place where I thought, “If it’s boring to me, isn’t it boring for them?”  I desperately needed to spice things up.

That year I made it my professional goal to improve my writing instruction.  I spent time reading, researching best practices and developing a system that would work in my classroom.  As a result the Daily Quick Writes were born.

The idea behind the quick write is to focus more on the quality of writing, instead of the quantity.  A quick write prompt should only take 5-10 minutes…we all have time for that!  The prompts are versatile and cover a wide range of topics.  They were designed to encourage your students to express themselves as they learn the art of writing!

I typically used a writing prompt a day as a writing workshop warm-up, however it can be used any time that works for your classroom.

The original Daily Quick Writes were designed for kindergarten and 1st grade students. When I moved to 3rdgrade I developed Daily Quick Writes for BIG KIDS.  

The prompts are similar, providing an amazing opportunity for differentiation!

Over the past few years I have had many requested for a blank version of the Daily Quick Writes paper. I have good news friends, I FINALLY did and it is a FREE download!

Daily Quick Writes

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Daily Quick Writes for BIG KIDS!

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Meaningful Small Group Reading Instruction

I try my best to choose books that my kiddos will LOVE to read.  Scholastic has been my best friend.  BONUS POINTS!?  DOLLAR BOOKS!?  SIX PLEASE!
With that said, I’m not a magician or a millionaire.  I do my best and use the resources that are available to me.  I have found that if I show my kids that I’m excited, they quickly join the club! 
It is also important to note that it is also equally important that your students have experiences reading boring stuff.  Lets face it, that’s life!
Choosing a high interest text is especially important for the learner who hasn’t found their love of reading yet.

The most effective way I have found to teach comprehension strategies is to model.  I read aloud to students then stop and show my thinking aloud when appropriate.  After I am done, we discuss what I did and my thinking as a group.

This strategy is especially effective for learners who have a difficult grasping abstract thinking.

In a perfect world our students would be leading and actively
Click the picture about to get these discussion cards for FREE! 
engaging in a discussion about their book.  Everyone would be excited and critically thinking about the text!  That’s the goal
but it is also just that, a GOAL.  We have to teach our students HOW to have an intentional discussion about their reading.  How can we
expect our students to actively engage in intentional discussions if we, the teacher, aren’t contributing?? It is important that you understand what is going on in the text and are able to model during the discussion when appropriate.    
I have found that most of the modeling I do takes place at the beginning and end of the discussion.

Click the picture to learn more about my book club packets!
At the end of every small group meeting I give an assignment.  My students use the writing prompt in their book club packets as their assignment.  Each small group meeting is packed full of instruction.  This is their opportunity to show me what they have learned. 

Independent practice is a great way to see who still needs more instruction and practice!

This is how I structure my small group reading time!  

disclaimer:  This is how small group instruction looks for me in my classroom.  What works for my kiddos may not work for yours.  You know your students the best, you are the only one who can decide what is best for them!

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