Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Newspaper Station

The Newspaper Station is something new that I introduced to my students this week and they're loving it. I've been trying different things with my reading block this year to see what works for me and hopefully this sticks. Right now we are back doing stations for our reading block. I was getting bored with just reading workshop-I like to give students more hands-on experiences-I felt like I was becoming more of a worksheet teacher to quickly teach grammar and expose students to other types of literature... that's not me at all! I'm all about hands-on learning.

I find that the Newspaper Station is extremely beneficial for my students because it exposes them to non-fiction text on a regular basis and they will be learning information relating to our social studies curriculum. I haven't made crazy activities to go with the Newspaper Station (I'm sure that'll come eventually), but I did find task cards that are easy for students to understand and purposeful (and easy maintenance for me).

So, here it is:
I got this little table from big lots and there are two beanbags beside the table for comfortable seating. (It's like a have a while bunch of old little people in my room)-it's so cute!

You may notice that I don't keep the newspapers at the newspaper station. This is because on Monday I passed out the newspapers and specifically taught one task card to the students and allowed them to practice. I plan to do this each Monday so they have experience with each task card. Throughout the week students keep their newspapers in their reading binder and pull it out when they go to the Newspaper Station.

You may also notice I have *Extras* at the station. I will be keeping a basket of books that relate to our social studies curriculum that we are currently covering. This will allow students to further explore non-fiction text and learn more about a topic that may interest them.

We also get times for kids: so I've thrown those in the basket as well for students to use for their task card activities. You'll notice there is also a globe. We are talking about hemispheres and maps in social studies so this can help intrigue interest and allow students to explore.

I have taped their task cards right on the wall so we don't have any chance of losing them or saying, "I can't find them..." The fun stuff!! ;) I have color coded them and I will probably re-color code so that the before reading, during reading and after reading are all different colors and easy to differentiate between. The red cards focus on other concepts such as grammar, facts and opinions.
They are originally from Debbie Dillers, "Practice with Purpose." I LOVE THIS BOOK!
It's all about different work stations for grades 3-6. Here is an informative PDF that scratches the surface of other work stations. 
Now, onto the tasks. This is the newspaper we get. Yes, we get a new one each week! (awesomeness)! This newspaper is specific to Ohio but this company prints newspapers for ALL states! Check it out here.

If you're not able to buy a subscription to the newspaper than you could always find news articles online or grab free non-fiction passages from

Now, time to let to you see how awesome this station really is. Just look at this student work:

This student read the article you see here and an article about physical and political maps. It looks like he is beginning to write a summary about his learning. Students can cut out a picture, glue it into their reading binder and complete their task card activity.

 The newspaper has fun activities on the back like you would see in a real newspaper. This little gal' was completing a crossword puzzle (she had to learn this information to complete it *SCORE*)! Then, another student was underlining important information and new learning.
Like seriously... can this station be any more purposeful? Warms my heart!

This article was a favorite of the majority of my class because it was all about how a ROBOT can bring you food! The students learned SO MUCH cool information about current technology and they responded to it in meaningful ways. I love the way this students showed his thinking and provided *reasoning* for why you can't just have food from the robot.. you've got to buy it first ya know?!

 This student also responded to the robot article. He obviously loves it and wants one really bad! He was really displaying his ability to connect to the text in a meaningful way.

So, there you have it. A little snapshot of many great things to come from the newspaper station! I hope you can take something from this post!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Confession: I Over-plan... Peek at my week!

I can post my plans again this week and it really wasn't that hard to do... because I really and I mean really over-planned last week... so, needless to say, I have a lot of stuff left over from last week that we can do this week... like social studies and grammar. You know, the stuff that is already hard to squeeze in anyway! Last week we had teachers coming in and a fire truck visit that made a few things last a big longer than planned... hence-social studies didn't happen last week. Hopefully we get through it this week so we can start some science fun!

This week in math I am using my Multi-Steps Word Problem packet for math.
I can't wait to break into it because it really breaks down the different word problems for my students and I HOPE it helps them grasp this tough concept.

In math stations this week we are still using my October Math Stations.

We are also using some of our Football Math Stations as well!

This week in my plans I have a 5 day freebie for you and I'm calling it quick math. It's an idea I got in blog land and I use it at least 4 days a week to help students review math concepts. It doesn't take long at all and it's so fun! My kids ask if we are doing it everyday!

Tomorrow, I am also starting conferences (ALREADY?!) and I have a freebie in my store that I use to organize my thoughts when I am conferring with parents.

Enjoy your week! I'm headed to school this Sunday afternoon to prep for the week and conferences while hoping this 5 day headache I've had finally goes away!! :-P

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Visual Plans - What?! 1st, 2nd & 3rd FREEBIE too!!

I've been slacking horribly on this whole visual plan thing this year. The second week of school they were scratched onto sticky notes, next week sorta typed out and filled in as a went. Then, the past two weeks-notebook paper. We finally have a routine. I finally know how I want each day to go - so we can FINALLY start typing up these visual plans! I just love pretty lesson plans - it makes me feel all special inside! -Ha! (weirdoooo)??!! You're a teacher- you understand me!

So, here we are:
Just click the picture below to see what we are doing in third grade this week.
Also, there are interactive math journal freebies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade inside!
-If you didn't follow me last year when I taught first... then, I would go look at my old plans... I always tend to put freebies with my lesson plans at least 95% of the time! ha ha. So, keeping up with my visuals could be very, very beneficial for you! ;) The free stuff is not posted in my store.

Some of the things I am using this week are:


We will be reading Charlotte's Web this week to help us work on plot!

I'll be back soon to share what we did last week with you all! Until then, have a great Sunday!
Who dey!!