Monday, May 6, 2013

Teacher Appreciation & Common Core Opinion Writing

 I hope you all enjoyed our Teacher Appreciation Extravaganza yesterday! Make sure you download all the freebies quickly. Some will only be around for a few days! (If you missed it, click the photo below. But be sure to come back here! =) I think we may have broken a record with the number of entries for the prizes. We are close to 9,000 entries! That is unbelievable to me, but it makes all the hard work worth it. We are so happy so many of you are playing along! 
Here is how I am teaching with my freebie. It will take us all week to complete the writing.
 Today my students walked in to see this anchor chart. (We have done several of these, so I was comfortable putting it all up at one time. If this is the first time you are doing a step-by-step lesson, I would just add the header necessary for the day.) 
First, I read the book, First Grade Here I Come! by Nancy Carlson. 
(My kids loved this book at the beginning of the year, so it was nice to revisit.)
Then we talked about how they felt coming into first grade. It was a great conversation about their fears and worries, as well as excitement. We talked about how the kindergarteners are probably feeling right about now. I introduced the writing lesson for the day by asking the students what they think about first grade now. What would they tell the kindergarteners to expect? We quickly reviewed opinions, with everyone having a turn to share what their opinion of first grade was.
As they talked, I wrote some of their responses.
I  reviewed what an opinion statement is. We also discussed how they will need to write reasons to support it.  Then I wrote mine on my chart.
My students wrote their statements. Next, we brainstormed a list of reasons of why we love first grade. 
Again, we had some review on explaining why we felt that way. Today, I expected just a brief reason. Tomorrow, they will add details with an experience to justify their reasons.
(We had many interruptions, so we only had time for one reason.)
Here are two examples of the students opinion statements and first reason. 
The students shared their drafts, and tomorrow we will pick up where we left off. If you need more ideas on how to use this lesson,  I blogged about their favorite ice cream here, here, and here.  

Now for the fun stuff! I am sure you have heard by now, TPT is having their big sale Tuesday and Wednesday. Everything in my store will be 28% off! 
If you are like me, I fill my shopping cart early! Then on sale day, I can just move everything to my cart. No more last minute searching. =) If you want an early start, here are some of my products. Just click on the photos.
Working with Words is my newest product line, I guess you would call it. My students LOVE them! The plus to the students loving these activities, is that I am seeing AMAZING gains in their fluency and their ability to decode. Each set has the same materials, which require very little prep time. By using the same format each week, the students are able to work independent from me on each phonics skill. Now I know exactly what they are doing at word work, and they are held accountable  I love, love, love these. I am in the process of creating more and covering all the phonics skills. 
For my followers, I am offering an additional special on my Working with Words products, only. =) 
That's right, buy 2 and get 1 free, (of equal or lesser value, of course!). On the Acknowledgements page inside the pack, you will find my email. Email me your TPT user name, the name of the Working with Words items you purchased and the name of the one you would like for free. =) 
The writing lessons above follow the same format as Why You Will Love This Class lesson.
 Math packs are great for station activities small group, 
and whole group lessons. 
 My science products are FULL of writing and reading responses. They will go great with any science program. 
 I have several more themes available in more store. I also create custom charts, if you have something else in mind for next year. 
What are you waiting for? It's time to go fill up your cart! =) Don't forget to use the promo code TAD13 to get your discount! 
Thanks so much for stopping by! 

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