Monday, October 21, 2013

Teacher Workday Productivity: Bats, Fluency Packets & a Flash Freebie!

Friday was the last day of the first grading period, meaning today we had a teacher workday. And by teacher workday, I mean we had just that--a day to work on whatever we WANTED! In NC these so-called workdays were filled with professional developments ALL dang day, so I can't begin to tell you how exciting it is to have a day to myself. Man, I got a lot done!

Last week we started reading informative texts about bat. This was a book a student found in the school library that happened to fit right along, so I read it to the class as a read aloud.

While students were reading independently, I gave them each a bat bubble map to pull out details about bats. They LOVED writing inside of the bats, instead of simply on a regular bubble map. (Click on the picture below to download a copy for yourself!)

After students recorded information about bats from their textbooks, they shared details with their partners and then I modeled how to write an informative paragraph using my favorite details. Students then wrote their own paragraphs and got to make the cool bats you saw hanging in the hallway. I downloaded a template from TpT for $2, I believe. You can click {here} to go to that link. It was a simple cut, glue together, color lightly, write your final draft and glue on googlie eyes kind of activity!

Fluency Fun

When I taught 4th grade I didn't focus way too much on fluency. With my lower students I did, but not as a class approach. I'm finding this year with my 3rd graders, they need a lot more direct instruction than I'm used to. I found a 3rd grade fluency packet by Ashleigh on TpT. The first 2 weeks I sent home one page per week, but decided I'd like to have a better system in place, so I made each student their own fluency folder. I went to Wal-Mart in hopes of purchasing pronged folders, but once I saw they were $2 each, my cheap-teacher mode kicked in and I refused to pay $50 for folders! Instead, I hole-punched manila folders, glued on a front cover, and used brass prongs to keep the fluency sheet together.

 Each student has a graph when they first open their folders to keep track of their progress. This is probably my favorite part! I send the packets home on Mondays so students can read their passage with their parents. Parents time their kids for one minute and record how many words they read. They do this 3 times per night. Each Friday I call each student back and have them read to me for one minute. I give them a blank reading passage and take notes on their sheets. I made a notebook to keep myself organized.

I put one set of passage in page protectors. These are the ones I had students to read to me while I annotate on their copies.

 The next set is simply hole-punched and stuck in the back. This way, if I happen to get a new student or need to make an extra packet, I don't have to pull anything out of page protectors.
Here's the final stack!

Race to 1,000: An addition and subtraction game

My kiddos needed some extra practice with adding and subtracting so I whipped up this game for them to play with a partner.

Just for making your way to the end of this long post, I'm having a flash freebie of this new product. Click on either of the pictures above to download it now... but hurry!

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  1. Thanks for the freebie :-) I left you some feedback on TpT!


  2. Thanks so much for sharing! These are great games! I can't wait till our workday on Monday!

  3. You are so welcome! Thanks for the feedback! :)