Writing Guided Reading Lesson Plans {A FREEBIE}

Guided reading lesson plans... the mere mention of those words makes me shudder!  I have spent so many hours of my life writing these lessons plans.  I remember feeling so overwhelmed by trying to keep up with them.  I sure hope none of you feel the same way I did!
Keep reading, though, if you think you might be interested in...

FREE guided reading lesson plans written for the book Because of Winn Dixie!
Clip art by Scrappin Doodles


I have come to realize that "guided reading" means different things in different school districts.  At the school district where I taught for the past 16 years, there were very "rigid" expectations for how guided reading lessons were to be taught, and very little "wiggle room" was allowed.

We had to write very detailed lesson plans based on Fountas & Pinnell's beliefs of how guided reading should be taught.  Each lesson plan written had to include the learning target, introduction (which included introducing vocabulary), reading the text, and discussing the text (with higher level questions).  The lesson itself also had to include a minilesson based on what I observed when I listened to students read during the lesson.

Let me tell you, I spent hours upon hours writing these detailed plans each week- especially during my two-year tenure as a half-time reading teacher, when I worked with 8 guided reading small groups each morning.  I worked with fourth and fifth grade groups who were reading primarily chapter books.  I loved reading the books, but it was nearly impossible trying to keep ahead of eight groups of eager readers!

Needless to say, the lesson plans I labored over are now sitting here on my computer "gathering dust", so to speak.  I realize that guided reading plans are highly individual, based on your district's expectations, the students you are writing the plans for, and your own unique style.  Still, I decided to start by posting just one of my lesson plans here on my blog, just in case there is even one fellow teacher out there who can actually benefit from having this 9-day lesson plan!  Maybe, if nothing else,  it will give you some question ideas for the various chapters.

These are the lesson plans I wrote for Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (Guided Reading Level R). They aren't cute or fancy, and you might run into a misspelled word or some of my random abbreviations, but I think you'll get the idea.
 Download the PDF version here, if you wish!  

FREE guided reading lesson plans written for the book Because of Winn Dixie!
Click HERE to download the Word version. 
Please let me know if this was helpful to you.   That will help me decide whether I should post more of my plans that are "gathering dust".

(If you'd like to see the other free guided reading lesson plans I have available, click on the links below.)
Shiloh (Level R)
Flat Stanley (Level M)


Synonyms & Antonyms Anchor Chart... with a freebie!


 My newest anchor chart focuses on syonyms and antonyms: 
Synonyms and Antonyms Anchor Chart
As an ELL teacher for grades 3-5, I created this anchor chart as part of a third grade lesson.  However, I observed my fourth and fifth grade students referring to it regularly, as well.  This seems to be a concept that some students understand immediately, and others struggle to grasp.

When I introduce this anchor chart, it looks like this before the lesson:
Synonyms and Antonyms Anchor Chart- create the rest of the chart with your students!

We start with the Synonym side of the anchor chart, and I point all of the mnemonic devices I tried to include- that "Synonyms" and "Same" are both colored the same color and they both begin with 'S', and that if you remember that all cinnamon rolls look nearly the same, it will help you remember that synonyms are words that mean nearly the same thing.  Then, I have students help me decide what words we should write to create the synonym pair.  They quickly discover that most words have more than one synonym (pretty, lovely, beautiful), but I only write one of their suggestions on the chart so that it does not become too overwhelming.

Next we move on to the Antonym side of the Anchor chart, and I point out the various mnemonic devices I devised for this side- that "Antonyms" and "Opposite" are written in different colors, that the different colored ants are moving in opposite directions, etc.  When we get to the word "older", they realize that "newer" is an antonym, but "younger" can be an antonym, as well!  When this happens, I quickly point out that we need to look at the context of the sentence, and write some example sentences on the board:
My older brother is twelve year old, while my ______ brother is two years old.
I have an older copy of the book.  I think yours is a ________ edition.

After the anchor chart has been completed, I have students make a matching interactive notebook entry. Students match their interactive notebook page to the anchor chart by using only blue for the synonym page, and alternating green and red for the antonym page:
FREE Synonyms and Antonyms Interactive Notebook Entry! This blog post contains the materials to make a matching synonyms and antonyms anchor chart, as well!

You can download the materials to make the anchor chart AND the interactive notebook entry for FREE by clicking on the image below:
Synonyms and Antonyms Anchor Chart! This blog post contains the material to create this anchor chart, plus a FREE interactive notebook entry for synonyms and antonyms!

Feel free to check out my two matching craftivites:


A Back to School Activity Idea involving MAKING INFERENCES! {FREEBIE}

When my daughter was in transitional kindergarten, she proudly marched into our house with a "Me Bag" on about the fifth day of school.  She was beyond excited!  The bag contained instructions that she was supposed to fill it with items that would tell her 5-year-old classmates more information about her and her interests.  As you might guess, she knew exactly which items she wanted to place in the bag- a beloved Olivia book that we read over and over, a stuffed animal, oatmeal cream pies to share with her classmates, and her princess crown that Daddy had purchased for her when he took her to Disney on Ice.  I had to suggest that she add a family photo to the bag, so she could share about her family.  :)

As we were gathering the contents for the "Me Bag", I found myself thinking of an upper elementary version of this activity.  After all, ALL students are eager to tell us about themselves when we embark upon a new school year.  As I further planned this activity to do with my students, I knew I didn't want it to become a traditional "Show and Tell" activity.  It quickly occurred to me that this could be an effective inferencing activity!

I typed up a planning paper:
Click here to download this planner!

The next day at class, I showed the students my bag, and told them that I was going to show them the contents of the bag without saying anything.  By looking at the contents of the bag, they should be able to make an inference about me.  It was their job to infer and figure out what it was that I wanted them to know about me since I couldn't say any words.  (They looked a bit confused, but I knew that they would understand once I showed them what was inside my bag.)

I proceeded to pull out the items, one by one.  I pulled out a spatula and wrote the word "spatula" on the board.  Next, I silently pulled a container of cupcake liners from the bag and wrote "cupcake liners" on the board.  Finally, I pulled out a recipe book from my bag and wrote "recipe book" on my board.  By this time, hands were shooting in the air all over the place!  I asked what it was that I wanted them to know about me, and they said all shouted some variation of "You like to bake!!"


(I fanned through the pages of the magazine, just so that they would see there were recipes inside.)
To drive home the point of the lesson (making inferences), I asked them, "But how did you know?  I didn't say anything!  Did you read my mind?"  They explained that the items were like clues, and they had to put the clues together to figure it out. I was overjoyed when another student said that all of the items were from a kitchen, so that's how he figured it out (yay for background knowledge!). I took the anchor chart off my desk and put it on the board.

I filled in the anchor chart and said, "So you made an inference!  You used your clues and your background knowledge" to infer!!"  (I had them guide me in writing the the appropriate words in the boxes.)

Then I told them that they would have the opportunity to have their classmates make an inference about them.  I showed them the planning paper that I had filled out in preparation of this lesson. 

Then I let them start their own planner.   I had to provide a little guidance at times, but overall, they did extremely well, and they loved this activity!  Plus, we all learned something about each other!

As each student showed their items, we filled in the chart. 
Best of all, I was able to refer back to this activity several times during the school year when we discussed making inferences while reading.  I would often say something like "But how did you know?  The author didn't tell you that Brian was feeling jealous of his big brother?"  And they would answer something like "We inferred!" or "The author gave us a clue when he said..."

Be sure to download the planner if you want a free copy!  Just click on the picture above or its caption!

Are you interested in more freebies!  Go check out The Teacher's Blog Addict to see what other items are linked up this week!
Freebie Fridays


Character Traits Anchor Chart & Activity (FREEBIE included!)

I love teaching character traits!  I think it's because, as an ELL teacher, I get to introduce new, advanced vocabulary to my students and watch them soak it in. Then, when one of my kiddos uses one of the more advanced words correctly in a sentence, it's so rewarding!

That being said, character traits can be VERY challenging for ELL students (and many non-ELLs). Character traits are rather abstract, and if left isolated, they are meaningless to students. Furthermore, as students advance through the grade levels, we want them to use more varied vocabulary than just "nice", "mean", and "bossy". 

I try to teach these words in several different ways... two of which I want to share with you today.  First, I use word associations on an anchor chart using antonyms. One of the reasons I like this anchor chart is that it covers two ELA concepts:  character traits and antonyms.
Check out these FREE character trait activities! This blog post contains a character traits anchor chart and an idea for a character trait lesson where students learn more challenging character trait vocabulary to create a collaborative class book! If you want students to move beyond "nice" and "mean" character trait responses, check this out!

I carefully chose the words above, most of the time pairing a well-known word, like "kind", with a more advanced word like "arrogant". Clearly, teachers need to provide a detailed explanation to completely define the word, but now students can at least refer to the chart and recall that "arrogant" is the opposite of kind, and that it is a rather negative word that is used to describe a person who is not kind.

The second activity I want to share is a follow-up activity to introducing the anchor chart, and students LOVE it!  After all the words have been defined, I split the students into four groups, and give them a set of papers (included in the download below).

The complete set contains all of the words from the anchor chart. Students divide the papers and work together to complete a collaborative book. Students look at the word written beneath the face outline, and think of something a character with that trait might say. They write the sentences in the speech bubbles. Then, students determine the expression that would probably be on the face of the character and draw it.

Check out these FREE character trait activities! This blog post contains a character traits anchor chart and an idea for a character trait lesson where students learn more challenging character trait vocabulary to create a collaborative class book! If you want students to move beyond "nice" and "mean" character trait responses, check this out!

Check out these FREE character trait activities! This blog post contains a character traits anchor chart and an idea for a character trait lesson where students learn more challenging character trait vocabulary to create a collaborative class book! If you want students to move beyond "nice" and "mean" character trait responses, check this out!

When these books are completed, students are SO PROUD!! They eagerly share their books with their classmates, and everyone enjoys seeing how their thought bubble sentences differ. We put the completed books in the classroom library, and students can refer to them when they need help recalling the meaning of a word on the anchor chart.

If you think you want to try this lesson with your students, here is the FREEBIE!!
Check out these FREE character trait activities! This blog post contains a character traits anchor chart and an idea for a character trait lesson where students learn more challenging character trait vocabulary to create a collaborative class book! If you want students to move beyond "nice" and "mean" character trait responses, check this out!

If you are looking for additional character trait activities, check out my TpT store. The image below shows my bundle, but all of these products can be purchased individually, as well.



Five for Friday {8.15.14}

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching today for 

This is the last full week to spend with my daughters.  They head back to school next Thursday (and I begin my new "position" of being a full-time product creator for TpT!)  I have realized that it has been rather difficult to explain to my friends outside the world of education exactly what I will be doing this fall since I decided to take a year off from teaching.  I try to explain about the website, but they tend to stare at me with a confused expression on their face, or worse, an "Are you insane?!?" look.  I guess time will tell!
My partner play set is finally done!!  It has definitely been a "labor of love" over the past month to create this product, but I couldn't be happier with the result.  

I used Brooke, my daughter going into second grade, as my "guinea pig" to check the readability of various scripts, and she truly enjoyed them.  Kayla, my to-be-fourth grader, saw the fun we were having and insisted on reading some of the scripts, too.  She gave me the feedback to remove the word "mishap" from one script because "I'm a fourth grader, and I don't even know that word!"
 Anyway, I've included a link to a Partner Play FREEBIE at the bottom of this post, in case you want to check out a script!

Kayla, Brooke, and I tried to make the most of our last week together!  We crammed in a movie, a trip to the park, a few playdates, swimming with friends, bike rides, a walk to Rainbow Snow, and lunch with Dad at work into our final week together.  Whew!



The bad news for the week was that I found water on our basement floor last weekend.  Luckily, it was contained to the storage room and we didn't have to replace any carpet.  We've had record amounts of rainfall this summer where I live, so I feared it was caused by ground water, but it was actually the hot water heater that needed to be replaced.  What a job!

The silver lining in all of this is that my daughters found a new toy!  They each claimed a box (luckily there was the outside box and an inside box), and have been playing in them all week.  They even crawl inside and read each day!  I can't decide whether I should consider these toys expensive or cheap!

Kayla is reading before bed... yes, they even convinced us to let them sleep in their boxes one night this week!

Brooke got stuck with the inside box which was way less sturdy.  Thank goodness for duct tape!


Like most other TpT sellers, I have lists upon lists of future TpT resources I want to create... when I find the time.  Well, I actually crossed off TWO projects that have been on my to-do list for about 18 months!!  What a good feeling!

First, I updated my Synonym Rolls craftivity so that it contains an easier version (perfect for second graders or upper elementary students who would benefit from a worksheet with a lower readability level).

Second, I finally got around to creating an easier version of my best-selling product, my main idea cones!  Again, I tested them out on Brooke, my soon-to-be second grader, and it was a perfect fit for her!

           

I think I am done with school supply shopping!  It seems like there is always one item that alludes me, and I have to spend too much time searching it out.  This year it was the Deco magazine file that Kayla needs for fourth grade.  (Actually she needs TWO of these things.)  I was hoping to find one that matched the one she had last year, but the only metal one I could find cost $19.26!!!  I simply could NOT bring myself to spend $19 on one of these things!!!  Luckily, I spotted this one on the bottom shelf that "only" cost $10.

This $10 file is way cuter than the $19 one!

    
Well, that about wraps up my week!  I'm off to check other links to see what the rest of you have been up to!  Have a great weekend!

Oh yeah!  Here's that Partner Play FREEBIE I promised!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Partner-Play-FREEBIE-A-Loose-Tooth-a-2-person-scripts-to-improve-fluency-1348863Freebie Fridays


Anchors Away Monday: Adverbs (Loved that Lesson!)

Adverbs Anchor Chart (Loved that Lesson!) by Crafting Connections! Plus, a great project to do to reinforce the concept!

Adverbs are difficult for students to identify.  The -ly trick is helpful, but as with everything else in the English language, there are exceptions (ugly, friendly, family).  Plus, the adverbs that do NOT end in -ly are the hard ones to recognize, in my opinion.

This anchor chart focuses on two main aspects of adverbs:
WHAT they modify (verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs)
and
HOW they modify (they tell us where, when, or how an action occurred, or they can explain the frequency or degree of something)

I think it's safe to say that most kids believe adverbs are boring and even confusing.  I have an adverb activity that I have done the last three years when teaching about adverbs, and whenever I have done it, my students have really enjoyed it (both third graders and fifth graders)!  In fact, this is such a tried-and-true lesson that I am linking it up to The Teacher Studio's Loved That Lesson linky!
Check out this mentor text lesson idea that focuses on adverbs! After reading The Z was Zapped aloud and identifying the adverbs, challenge your students to draw an alternate page for each letter of the alphabet. Then, assemble the drawings into a class book and add it to your classroom library!

This adverb lesson is centered around the book, The Z was Zapped by Chris Van Allsburg.  I plan this lesson after adverbs have been introduced and we have spent some time identifying adverbs in sentences. (Amazon affiliate link follows.)

Check out this mentor text lesson idea that focuses on adverbs! After reading The Z was Zapped aloud and identifying the adverbs, challenge your students to draw an alternate page for each letter of the alphabet. Then, assemble the drawings into a class book and add it to your classroom library!
I use this mentor text when teaching adverbs!

Check out this mentor text lesson idea that focuses on adverbs! After reading The Z was Zapped aloud and identifying the adverbs, challenge your students to draw an alternate page for each letter of the alphabet. Then, assemble the drawings into a class book and add it to your classroom library!
The first page contains this picture only.  Based on previous experiences with alphabet books (and perhaps a mild hint from me), students predict that a sentence with multiple A words will follow the picture, and they brainstorm A words based on the picture.  (Once, students guessed that the matching sentence was "The A was attacked.")

Once you turn the page, the alliterative sentence is revealed.
The A was in an Avalanche.
(A is one of the few pages that does not contain an adverb.)
Here are a few more of the pages:
Check out this mentor text lesson idea that focuses on adverbs! After reading The Z was Zapped aloud and identifying the adverbs, challenge your students to draw an alternate page for each letter of the alphabet. Then, assemble the drawings into a class book and add it to your classroom library!


Check out this mentor text lesson idea that focuses on adverbs! After reading The Z was Zapped aloud and identifying the adverbs, challenge your students to draw an alternate page for each letter of the alphabet. Then, assemble the drawings into a class book and add it to your classroom library!

Students love to guess what the accompanying sentence will be on each page, and after I read the sentence, we pause to determine whether there is an adverb in the sentence.  When there is an adverb, I have students also identify the word it modifies and how it modifies (whether it tells when, where, how, how much, or how often).

When we finish reading the book, I give each student a piece of drawing paper, and students create their own picture, following the pattern of the book.  I tell students that their sentences must include an adverb.  These are some of the pages my fifth grade students created a few years ago!


Check out this mentor text lesson idea that focuses on adverbs! After reading The Z was Zapped aloud and identifying the adverbs, challenge your students to draw an alternate page for each letter of the alphabet. Then, assemble the drawings into a class book and add it to your classroom library!
The G was gratefully glowing.
Check out this mentor text lesson idea that focuses on adverbs! After reading The Z was Zapped aloud and identifying the adverbs, challenge your students to draw an alternate page for each letter of the alphabet. Then, assemble the drawings into a class book and add it to your classroom library!
The P was painfully pecked.
Check out this mentor text lesson idea that focuses on adverbs! After reading The Z was Zapped aloud and identifying the adverbs, challenge your students to draw an alternate page for each letter of the alphabet. Then, assemble the drawings into a class book and add it to your classroom library!
The B was barely bitten.

Check out this mentor text lesson idea that focuses on adverbs! After reading The Z was Zapped aloud and identifying the adverbs, challenge your students to draw an alternate page for each letter of the alphabet. Then, assemble the drawings into a class book and add it to your classroom library!
The S was slowly slithered on.

Check out this mentor text lesson idea that focuses on adverbs! After reading The Z was Zapped aloud and identifying the adverbs, challenge your students to draw an alternate page for each letter of the alphabet. Then, assemble the drawings into a class book and add it to your classroom library!
The F fell fast.

Check out this mentor text lesson idea that focuses on adverbs! After reading The Z was Zapped aloud and identifying the adverbs, challenge your students to draw an alternate page for each letter of the alphabet. Then, assemble the drawings into a class book and add it to your classroom library!
The W was whining wildly.
When students finished their drawings, most of them volunteered to share their picture under the document camera and invite their classmates to guess the sentence that they wrote on the back of the paper.

If you are looking for additional activities, feel free to check out a couple from my store!

Adverb Craftivity- including a worksheet and a bonus poster!

Adjectives and Adverbs PowerPoint, Craftivity, and more!

Favorite Pin Friday {8.8.14}

I am linking up with Teaching (Powered by Caffeine) today for 
These are some of my favorite pins that I found this past week, and are now on my Pinterest boards!

As you know, I love anchor charts!  These first three photos show some anchor charts that I think are perfect for back-to-school time!




This is a fun FREEBIE I found!


These final two photos fall in the category of classroom management and organization!  Both also made me think to myself... Why didn't I think of that???

This teacher uses a magnetic white board and name magnets to record her seating chart!!  This would be so easy to keep current for substitute teachers!  

Keep interactive notebooks more organized by taping a manila envelope and a ribbon to the inside back cover of the notebook!!  Now students have a place to keep pieces that they need to finish later!  The ribbon is used as a bookmark so students can easily locate their current page in their interactive notebook!


Do YOU have a Pinterest account?  Please leave a link in the comments section so I can follow you and your great finds!

Have a great Friday!