Anchors Away Monday: Revising and Editing

I’m back for
Thanks for stopping by today!

Today I want to highlight an anchor chart I found on Pinterest that I absolutely adore! I did not make this anchor chart!  I am so disappointed that I have no idea who to credit for this anchor chart.  When I click on the image in Pinterest, it's a "dead pin", not linked to a blog or anything else.  (Please, if you know who should receive credit for this amazing anchor chart, contact me or leave a comment.)

Isn't this soooo clever?!  I love how the author highlights the differences between revising and editing by making the connection between fixes(editing) and updates(revisions) that need to be made in a house!  This is definitely an anchor chart that I plan to replicate in the future in my own classroom!

I look forward to seeing your anchor charts this week!

Anchor Chart: Making Deep Connections {FREEBIE}

My anchor chart today focuses on 
making deep connections.  
Some of you may not know that I was a reading teacher for two of my sixteen years of teaching, working in fourth and fifth grade classrooms alongside the classroom teacher. (I spent an hour a day in each classroom; the teacher and I would each work with 2-3 guided reading groups each day.)

Occasionally, I would give each student a sticky note as they left my table following their lesson, and instruct them to record a connection they made while reading the assigned pages. I would model, too, of course, but it never failed... some students would return the next day with a weak connection like "This book reminded me of Because of Winn-Dixie because both books have dogs." scribbled on their sticky note. While that is a connection that cannot be denied, it was a simple connection- there wasn't much deep thinking going on. I know students are taught to make connections while they read as early as kindergarten, so by the time they are in fourth and fifth grade, I think they should be able to take it up a notch and make some deeper connections.

Last year, I ran across an amazing blog post by The Second Grade Superkids about this topic. She shared an anchor lesson where she put a golf ball in a glass of water. As it sank to the bottom, she told her kids that the golf ball represented a text.  Then she put a ping pong ball in the glass of water. The ping pong ball floated on the surface of the water, and she told her students that some connections are "surface connections". Next, she put a real golf ball into the glass and it sank to the bottom, resting beside the other golf ball. She told her students that this golf ball represented deep connections, and these are the types of connections we want to make because they help us connect to the story and understand the author's overall message. (Click here to read her blog post and her description of the entire lesson.)

Wow! I wish I would have run across this idea when I was a reading teacher! My students could have definitely benefited from this lesson! I truly believe that this visual experience would have stuck with my students even more than my repeated attempts at modeling well-written connections. I am confident that the differences between surface connections and deep connections would have finally "clicked" with them!  

The next time I have an opportunity to facilitate this lesson with students, I am going to hang an anchor chart that can remain on the wall long after the lesson.
Crafting Connections: Anchors Away Monday: Making Deep Connections: Help students understand the difference between a deep connections and a surface connection. {Includes a FREEBIE}

I also intend to have students add a page focusing on this important skill in their interactive notebook. Feel free to download this page if you would like to use it, too!

Connections: a FREE entry for interactive notebooks! This blog post contains a matching anchor chart! Teach students the difference between a deep connection and a surface connection while reading!
Border by Kelly Benefield. Container by Ashley Hughes.

Connections: a FREE entry for interactive notebooks! This blog post contains a matching anchor chart! Teach students the difference between a deep connection and a surface connection while reading!

If you are looking for some ready-to-go resources for teaching your students about making deep connections rather than surface connections, feel free to check out my PowerPoint and craftivity. It includes many examples of surface connections, along with revised deep connections. Just click on the image to check it out!
Making Connections PowerPoint- this is an engaging, memorable way to teach students how to make connections while reading! It includes four types of connections (text-to-self, text-to-text, text-to-media, and text-to-world), along with stressing the difference between surface connections and deep connections.

Text Connections Craftivity!

Do you have a tried-and-true method for teaching students how to make deeper connections when they read? I would love to hear about it!

Exit Ticket FREEBIES!

Hi there!  I blogged over at Upper Elementary Snapshots today.  There, I shared the many benefits of using exit tickets in your classroom.  Hop on over there to check out the post, if you'd like, and then come back and pick up some of the exit tickets I have used in my classroom!  Download any of them you might be able to use for free!

These exit slips can be used when teaching context clues.  Read more at this blog post.

These parts of speech exit tickets are designed to be used as you teach the various parts of speech.
FREE exit tickets for the parts of speech!

This "universal" exit ticket does not address any particular skill or standard.  You can use it with any lesson in any subject!

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you'll return tomorrow for my Anchor's Away Monday post and link-up.  (It will include another freebie!)

Facts and Opinions: An Interactive Anchor Chart

My anchor chart today focuses on facts and opinions.  I have to admit that I was surprised to discover how difficult it is for some students to distinguish fact from opinion.  My experience indicates that the statements that confuse students most are those opinions that nearly everybody would agree with.  Take this sentence, for example:
"Running a marathon is difficult." 
 Since most people would agree that running a marathon is difficult, some students wrongly assume that it is a fact.

Also, if a student passionately agrees with a statement, they tend to want to make it a fact.
"Dogs make better pets than cats."
Oh, MY!  Does that ever lead to some arguments!  Because some students think they have stories that can "prove" this statement true, they believe this statement is a fact, and it sure can be difficult to convince them otherwise.  It can be challenging to persuade a student that that statement is an opinion, and arguments like "But dogs protect their owners... cats don't"  will not work as sufficient proof.

Prior to the fact and opinion lesson, I create this anchor chart:
Facts and Opinions Anchor Chart- Everything you need to replicate this anchor chart is included in the blog post. Students read statements and sort them into facts and opinions.
Clip art by Krista Wallden.

We begin by defining  the words "fact" and "opinion", and looking at key words and ideas that are often in each type of statement.  Yes, I have to explain the quote "Just the facts, Ma'am." as being a phrase made popular by an old television show named Dragnet.  (When Detective Joe Friday would question a woman about a crime he was trying to solve, he would sometimes say this phrase.)

After the introduction, I give each student a slip of paper with a statement.  Students take turns reading the statements aloud.   After each student reads it, he/she states whether he/she believes the statement is a FACT or an OPINION.  I also require each student to justify his/her answer.  I try to keep all of the students engaged throughout the lesson by instructing them to "give us a thumbs up if you agree, and a thumbs down if you disagree".
Facts and Opinions Anchor Chart- Everything you need to replicate this anchor chart is included in the blog post. Students read statements and sort them into facts and opinions.

Facts and Opinions Anchor Chart- Everything you need to replicate this anchor chart is included in the blog post. Students read statements and sort them into facts and opinions.
Would you like to replicate this anchor chart in your classroom?  Or, would you like to print the statements above and have your students work with a partner to sort them?  Click on either of these images to download these items for FREE!!                                    

Meet My Friend, Andie! (Don't Forget to Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!)

Hello, Friends!  I want to introduce you to my TpT pal, Andie, from Ford's Board. If you've visited her store before, you already know about all of her fun, creative resources designed for upper elementary students.  If you have never checked out her store, be prepared for some fun!  I just LOVE her products, as they are just a little bit different from others I've seen.  The covers always catch my eye, and they are just as incredible when you download the resource and look through it.  Believe me... I know from experience!  I purchased this product and have been hooked ever since!

I always get excited when I scan my new product emails from TpT and see that Ford's Board has posted a new product!  I hope you enjoy reading Andie's guest post, and that you'll enter the Rafflecopter before you leave!


Hi Everyone!  This is Andie from Ford’s Board at Teachers Pay Teachers!  I’m so excited to join Deb and all of you to share a little about myself and the resources I absolutely LOVE to create for educators!  Thanks so much, Deb, for the invitation!

First, I’ve been teaching for 18 years (I think anyway, I’m starting to lose count!) My favorite group of learners are 3rd graders and that’s what I have now, a wonderful mix of very sweet, smart kiddos!  My class is structured and organized, so I have to make sure I balance that with opportunities for my students to engage in a variety of hands-on, creative learning experiences.  Otherwise, it would just be structured and organized and that’s no fun!
Whenever I create a new product, I ask myself 3 questions:

1)    Will this resource be meaningful? (Examples: Common Core aligned, thought provoking, engaging for students, useful for teachers, etc.)

2)   How can I create this resource to get the most out of students?  (My least favorite words to hear from a student are “I’m finished.”)  I aim to create resources that live up to the name WORKsheet!  But like Dave Burgess (from Teach Like a Pirate) says, “There are good worksheets and bad worksheets”.  I create the good ones!

3)   Will this resource be fun to create? I only create resources I enjoy creating.  I’ve tried to create for the sake of creating and it never works!  I’ve just decided to buy those kinds of products from other people who like creating them!

Now, onto a few of my products!  The first one I’d like to share is a newbie in my store.  It’s called Sticky Note Stories.  

I am determined this year to produce awesome writers in my class, but one thing I’ve noticed is that some writers need more than an idea or a prompt to get their creative juices flowing. Sometimes when I’m conferencing with a student, I will ask him or her questions that will guide their writing in a meaningful direction.  Once I’ve asked a few questions related to the topic, the student can usually go back and use those questions to write more details. The great thing about this strategy is that the writer is being asked, not told.  One day, I thought “How can I make this teaching strategy into a resource for teachers?” With Sticky Note Stories, students start with a topic and four questions related to that topic that will help guide their writing.  I also incorporated the use of sticky notes into this resource because I absolutely ADORE sticky notes!  (They are by far, in my opinion, the greatest invention of our time!) Students get a chance to organize ideas on sticky notes before committing them to paper.  This is an especially great resource for writing centers and reluctant writers. This resource is meaningful, it gets the most out of writers, and it was fun to create! (Check!)

Another resource that I’m loving is my 15 Fun Foldables

My latest product in this line of products is the Operations and Algebraic Thinking set.  As I said before, I strive for a healthy balance between structure and spontaneity.  Foldables fit structure and spontaneity perfectly!  They don’t make a lot of noise, yet kids love them as if they do!  Plus, a lot of learning can be packed into foldables, which is why I love them.  Most of the foldables in this set relate to multiplication and division and cover standards in 2nd 4th grades.  This resource is meaningful, it gets the most out of mathematicians, and it was fun to create! (Check!)   

Thanks so much for taking the time to learn about just a few of the resources offered in my store!  I invite you to stop by and take a look around, follow me (Followers enjoy 50% off new products for the first 48 hours!), and hopefully download resources that will be of help to you and your students.  I wish you and yours a beautiful holiday season!

By the way, I’ll be giving away one of my Sticky Notes Stories resources to a lucky winner in Deb’s Rafflecopter, so be sure to participate! Good luck with the Rafflecopter, Deb! 

Generalizations Anchor Chart (includes FREEBIE!)

Do you have school on Veterans Day?  Here in my area, I don't know of any school district that cancels school in order to recognize Veterans Day.  Therefore, when national holidays like Veterans Day fall on a day that school is in session, I enjoy trying to find a way to relate as many of the day's lessons as possible to the holiday. In terms of English Language Arts, why not link up Veterans Day with teaching students how to recognize GENERALizations in spoken conversations or written documents?
Here's how I do it:

Before class, I create the "base" anchor chart.
Generalizations Anchor Chart... this blog post also includes a FREE worksheet!
Clip art by Educasong.

I fold the bottom section up and tape it so that only the top part of the anchor chart
is visible to begin with.
Generalizations Anchor Chart... this blog post also includes a FREE worksheet!
 After a brief discussion about the definition listed, I point out the signal words that are often found in generalization statements.  I enlist students to help me think of generalization statements related to veterans and Veterans Day that I can write in this area of the chart.

Finally, I reveal the section about faulty generalizations.
Generalizations Anchor Chart... this blog post also includes a FREE worksheet!
We spend quite a bit of time discussing examples of how finding just one solitary exception can make a generalization faulty.  We also discuss why it is important to avoid these statements when writing expository or research papers unless we can absolutely prove that the statement is a fact.

Feel free to use this related FREEBIE worksheet with your students!  It includes the materials you need to replicate the anchor chart.
FREE generalizations worksheet! Check out this blog post that shares an anchor chart idea as well!

Finally, I have a PowerPoint and a matching craftivity that I created for teaching my students about generalizations.  Check them out if you want!
Teaching students about generalizations? Check out this PowerPoint! It tells the difference between generalizations, facts, and opinions, and differentiates valid and faulty generalizations

The craftivity focuses on valid vs. faulty generalizations.
Generalizations Craftivity! Students will remember identifying faulty and valid generalizations!