Author's Purpose - Informational Text

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This year I got a chance to work with a new reading program called Journeys.  It is completely aligned to the Common Core and I am loving it!   Of course, no program is perfect, so supplementing is always necessary.  My school was able to purchase the complete set, so I got vocabulary cards that go with it and some sight word cards that the program focuses on for the week.  I have never seen children so into vocabulary.  They are actually using our weekly words in their writing and when they are talking with each other.

My kids are reacting amazingly well to the whole program!  They love it!  We are on the second unit and the whole thing is on informational text.  I was so happy to see this because our last program threw informationl text randomly throughout the program so it was never something we could focus on for very long.

We began the unit study by discussing author's purpose.  I wanted to use an anchor chart for this so that we could keep refering to each time that we disucssed atuhor's purpose; so I went to my number one teaching resources: Pinterest.  I did a quick search for an anchor chart and ran into THIS ONE, but it didn't have a link to the actual source :(  I hate it when that happens.

So I got to work and made one for my classroom.
Author's Purpose Anchor Chart
We disucssed author's purpose and we looked at different examples of books.  All the students were able to correctly identify the reason why each book was written. This chart is referred to all the time:)

We narrowed down our study focus on informational text from there and we have been working in our  interactive reading notebooks from Nicole Shelby.  This is an incredible resource! One of my top purchases from TPT!  We have been so busy I forgot to take pictures of my kids at work.  I will have to correct that issue :)
I'll drop by later in the week and post some pictures of my kids notebooking!
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Classroom Craft Linky Party

I'm all about crafting and when it comes to my classroom, it's even better!  When I saw that some of my favorite bloggers had teamed up with my favorite craft store... I had to link up:)  Joann's is seriously the best place to shop.  They have the best coupon policy I've ever seen!  I go in with 8-10 coupons from different stores and guess what...they honor all of them!!  For a teacher on a budget, you can't ask for anything better :)

Here are some of my crafty creations:
These reading buddies help my kids track their reading.  They love the fun googly eyes.  The sticks were already painted so all I had to do was hot glue the eyes on there!

Joann's was the only place with this thick ribbon with the polkadots!  The ribbon adds so much to my clip chart!  I recently purchased this ribbon in 4 different colors to create a bulletin board.  I just need to get pictures of it so I can share them.

These flower magnets add so much in my room!  The kids love to use them when we hang something up on the board.  I made them with felt and craft magnets.  I used my Big Shot to cut out the circles.

Cricut Projects:
The next items were made using a Cricut Expression. 

The vinyl for these projects is from Joann's.  Seriously, I go there like twice a week...at least:) These projects were fun and the reminders board has been such a life saver!  One of my classroom jobs is to read the reminders board at the end of the day. It's located on my door so we see it every time we leave the classroom. I used to forgot to tell me kids important things all the time but not anymore! 
This is my compliment jar. The kids earn a star every time that they get a compliment for doing something great. P.S. my class this year is awesome, they already earned their first "celebration" for filling up the jar.  That was the quickest I've seen a class earn one!

Everyone loves this framed wall!  My kids love having their pictures up for everyone to see!  I tell them that we are like a family.  In your house you have pictures of your family up, so that means we have to have our pictures up for our classroom family too.

These owl containers add some fun and they serve a purpose too! I used to misplace my read alouds for the week and now they are all in one place.  The book hospital is a classroom must have.  When a student finds  a torn book, they just place it in the book hospital instead of asking me to fix it right there on the spot.  To make these I used some scrapbook paper and modpodged it on there.  I then added some owl accents from the "Hoot n' Holler" Cricut Cartridge.

Do you want to see more crafty teachers in action?  If so, head over to to join Mrs. Cupcake for the Classroom Crafts Linky Party:)




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Easy Birthday Ideas, Clip Chart and Reading Buddies!

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Made It 1: Student Birthday Gifts
When I saw Amanda Madden's birthday cups via Instagram, I knew I had to make them for my kids.  I asked begged for some cups at McDonald's and the manager gave me a couple.  I then had to figure out how to cover up the sides because I didn't want them to look like they came from a restaurant.

Here is how you can make your own:

1. Cut one of the cups and make a template. 

2. Trace the template onto some cute scrapbook paper and cut it out. It will look like this:


3. Wrap the paper around the cup and glue it down.  (It will be a perfect fit because of the template.)  I used hot glue for this step.  Worked wonderfully!

4. Add a label.

5. Hole punch a hole into the dome.  The pencil won't fit through one hole, so I kept punching until the hole was big enough. 

6. Add your goodies.  I put some candy in the cup and covered it with some tissue paper (whip cream) and added a lollipop for the cherry.  The lollipop came from Walmart. 

The cards are available HERE and the buttons are Freebies that you can pick up HERE.

The first student who got one was shocked when she saw it! Smiling from ear to ear:)  It felt great knowing that I helped make her birthday so special.

Made it 2: Clip Chart
I started using a behavior clip chart two years ago.  I had a class that was a bit rowdy and needed something more than what I had going on at the time.  My BFF had already been using it and it looked really interesting, so over my spring break, I made one.  There was an instant transformation in my classroom!  I couldn't believe it!  My clip chart has served me well and I loved it, but it just didnt' go with my theme.  So this summer I decided to make the one I've had in my TpT shop for a while.

You should have seen my kids' faces when they walked in and saw it!!! They were amazed:)
If you are interested in it, you can click on the picture below.

Made it 3: Reading Trackers
I saw this PIN from Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade and it inspired me to make some!  The kids are using them and they are actually tracking their reading.  They were so easy to make too!  I got the jumbo craft sticks from Joann's (already painted) and I hot glued some eyes onto the ends.  The kids know that the eye has to be on the words that they are reading because their reading buddy wants to read too.  I have to make a second set because I found it useful for them to keep one inside their reading book so it can't get lost and it acts as a bookmark too.

Can't wait to see what everyone made for today's Made it!

Make sure to head over to 4th Grade Frolics and check out what everyone else has made!

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Owl Behave! Owl Themed Behavior Chart Update

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I have been meaning to update my owl behavior chart for the longest time to make it editable. I finally had a chance to get it all put together this weekend!! Now you can change the font, font color, and size to make your own!

I hot glued it onto some black ribbon I picked up at Joanns.  I'm so excited for the kids to see it!
If you already own this clip chart make sure to re-download to get the update for free :)  If you are interested in it you can click HERE.

If you are using hot glue, make sure to use the "Hot Temperature" glue guns, or the laminated paper will fall off the ribbon pretty quickly.  The glue gun I used was from Joann's and it only cost $3.00!  It's a mini one.  I prefer using the mini's because the large ones release too much glue and I tend to get burned when that happens.  The little ones only release a small stream of glue that is much easier to control. 

Hope your Labor Day Weekend is happy and relaxing! Thanks for visiting!
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