2016-2017 Classroom Revealed!

Sunday, September 25, 2016
This is the first year where I am in the same classroom two years in a row.... Woah!
Because of that, I did not really change major components of my classroom this year because it works. My organization is on point! One of the biggest reasons I did not change the decor in my classroom this year was because I could leave it up all summer. I did not have to pack up because of summer school, or switch to a different classroom so I decided to take it easy this year. I did get rid of my hideous couch pillows though. Thank you IKEA!

To explain my long absence.....
I have not posted since January! I feel terrible because this was such a big part of my life, but I recently started a doctoral program. I graduated in May with my master's degree in elementary education and jumped head first into an Ed.D in Curriculum, Teaching and Teacher Education program. I definitely feel that I made the right choice, but I am way to overwhelmed to be a frequent blogger. That being said, let's get to the pictures!

Historical Fiction Unit: Book Clubs

Wednesday, January 6, 2016
The native american unit has been my FAVORITE unit so far this year, primarily because it the overall theme in reading, writing and social studies for six weeks. I love that it has ties in every subject because the kids really get invested!

Book Clubs:
Students break into groups of three or four and read native american historical fiction novels and have great discussions! I love book clubs, but with the added bonus of using books with a strong native american characters it was very successful. 

Step 1: Choice 
I laid out all of the books that were available for the students to preview the selection. They were allowed to choose three books that they might like to read during book clubs. I grouped my students based on reading level and I really tried to give them a book they were interested in. So many post-its! Among the 15 books titles, I made this list below!


I wrote all of the books down, and the students number next to their selection. I then grouped the students with a book title below. As you can see, there is always shuffling when making groups. I also got a new student (lucky number 13), so I made some changes including the book titles. 

Step 2: Club Names
Once the groups were selected, I used this fabulous resource by Butterflies and Daydreams! It is a huge 3-5 bundle of book club sheets. I mean, its like the holy grail of book club resources. If you do book clubs in grades 3-5, check this out. I promise you will not be disappointed. 


Step 3: Group Posters
Once my students are in their groups and ready to begin, I created Book Club Posters for each group. It included their calendar, contract, and group topics! This poster was great because I could see what their big points of discussion were and how many pages were being assigned each night. 

The group who read "The Sign of the Beaver" named themselves the Book Beavers! I thought that was the cutest group name... They also always had the BEST meetings. 

Step 4: Conferences 
My job was to go around and be the silent "fourth" member. I didn't participate because I know myself and I would go overboard with my own opinions. I silently took notes on the discussion, work habits, and who did the assigned reading. 

I like to leave my groups with a thinking question or give them a compliment on their hard work! Telling them how impressed I am with their work goes a long way! 

Tying into our Writing Curriculum:

My students wrote a three paragraph research paper at the end of the unit. They were broken into groups of three and four. Their group members were different for writing and social studies than in their reading book clubs. I like the variety of who they work with, and I group students together based on work habits and not reading levels for this activity.

I will go into more detail on this in a separate post: Research Writing: Native American Unit

Thanks for stopping by!

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