Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Workshop Wednesday

Hello blog friends! Happy Wednesday to you all! Let me start by saying that one of (if not THE) worst thing that could ever happen to a teacher happened to me on Saturday.. my flash drive died. I quickly googled every solution out there in the internet world, but none worked. I sent text messages to friends who I thought could help, asked my husband, and googled some more. Nothing---super sad face. Now I know most normal people use their flash drive as a back up, however, I used mine as my single source of saving files. No bueno.. no bueno at all. I have now learned my lesson, as my LIFE was on this flash drive.. as in every lesson plan, game, TpT product--everything I've EVER made, as well as personal items, too! I ever prayed for my flash drive. Like, seriously prayed. I would fast, too, if I thought that would do any good, and that God wouldn't look down on me and say, "Mandy.. it't not that serious."  I did call Besy Buy Geek Squad to see if I should bring it in to them, and the gentlemen told me we could "try." Very comforting. I let him know I'd be praying about the situation and that he should, too. I try to find humor in all situations, but I don't think he caught on. :)

Anyway! Workshop Wednesday with Jivey! 

I have 2 hours for ELA each day, meaning I incorporate writing, reading, vocabulary, and language all into these 2 hours. I won't say I necessarily like it this way, as I sometimes feel I'm packing too much into the time and therefore am not being as effective as I'd like to be, but this is how we are told to use our 2 hours. The lesson plan format we are given supports this set up, so I roll with it and make it as engaging and beneficial as possible. 

The 1st hour: whole group instruction. I begin with our language skill for the week--this week being antonyms and synonyms. I use about 7-10 minutes introducing on Monday, then reviewing/practicing Tuesday-Friday. Yesterday we played Synonym Bingo and today Antonym Dominoes. Tomorrow we're creating our own synonyms and antonyms using laminated cards and vis-a-vis-- all kids are more engaged when they get to write on laminated pieces of paper--magical! All of these resources are from FCRR, a Florida website that offers numerous resources for free.  Here's the link:

Moving on, I then have a vocabulary activity that lasts about 10 minutes, where the words are specific to the text we are reading. Sometimes my students make movements with the words, match pictures to words at their tables, or use whiteboard to fill in the words using context clues. We do one vocab whole group a day, building on comprehension levels. 

Then we get to the "meat" of the lesson, where we focus on the RI or RL objective, and read together and practice a skill using a graphic organizer or something of that nature. This week we're looking at a biography of Gloria Estefan and finding supporting details to prove how she's a hero (since that's our county theme), using a simple graphic organizer. 

Lastly, for writing (if I have time.. let's be honest!), we incorporate whichever objective we're working on. Currently we're writing information pieces, so we're suing the information we have about Gloria's life to first take notes on, organize, and put together in paragraphs.. which will then be edited and pasted onto black music notes. I'll post pictures when we're done. 

Theeeeeen, we move to stations and small group time for an hour. Students rotate through stations covering the same domains above, adding phonics to the mix. Students practice all the areas (vocabulary, phonics, language, comprehension, writing) in either independent/partner stations. They are differentiated sometimes by the level of the text or activity they're doing with the station. For example, students this week are reading leveled texts and finding details to support the main idea from their text. During this time I pull small groups based on reading level and have 15-20 minute groups practicing skills and reading strategies. 

That seems like a LOT! Now, if you actually made it through all that, go link up with Jivey! :)


  1. LOOOVE FCRR for centers!! Oh my gosh girl. I would seriously die if my flash drive died IF that was the only place my stuff was- I just recently got Dropbox. Check into it! Thanks for linking up!
    ideas by jivey

  2. Oh my goodness I would be so gutted if that happened!!! I get mad enough when I don't hit save often enough and I lose an hour of work! I love that you're trying to find at least a little humor in the situation though! I've got my fingers crossed for you!
    I've just found you through the linky party and am your newest follower :)

    I teach year six in New Zealand which is equivalent to fifth grade over there so it's nice to find another blog with slightly older kids!

    x Serena x
    Magic Mistakes & Mayhem

  3. Oh. My. Gosh. I had a very similar experience a few weeks ago. I had my laptop on my lap and my son started to fall from the couch so I sort of jumped to grab him and the computer plummeted to the floor and SNAP my flash drive snaps out onto the floor. I freaked out, tried to plug it back in, nothing. I had seen a piece that had snapped off and I thought it was the inside of the flashdrive and I just knew everything was gone. My entire teaching career is on it (13 years) and the last time I had backed it up was at the beginning of this school year. I thought I was going to throw up. After I calmed down a bit I realized that what had broken was part of the USB port inside my computer. I tried a different drive and it worked. Within 5 minutes I got a Dropbox account and was downloading everything because I knew I could not handle losing everything.

    I feel sick for you. Definitely see if the Geek Squad can do anything for you. You just never know! I'm so very sorry!!!!

    You have a lot going on in reading!! I haven't been able to work my time the way I needed to this year because of so many pull outs. I hope it will be better next year! I love everything that you have going on! You sound well organized!!

    Collaboration Cuties

  4. I feel your pain. We have a hard drive sitting in our basement with files on it that were never backed up before it crashed. I keep meaning to take it in and have them retrieve the files - I have videos on it of my girls when they were little. I will say a prayer for your flash drive too (as I type this from the public library computer because our internet has been down for 24 hours and I couldn't take it anymore!)

  5. I too feel your pain, my hard drive went on my computer a few weeks ago, most things were backed up-but not everything.
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching