Bye, Bye Summer… (Lots of Freebies!)

It is with a bittersweet voice that I say goodbye to summer.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in school now for over a month.  But with Labor Day is here which means real summer is leaving us as well..  🙁  But with fall around the corner, there is SO much to look forward to.  Bonfires, Smores, Halloween, Fall decorations, pumpkin carvings.  I could keep going!  I LOVE Fall!!
So the past four weeks have made me extremely busy and tired.  I’m officially 9 months pregnant (due in 3 weeks!!).  They say there’s no tired like back to school teacher tired – I say there’s no pregnant like back to school PREGNANT teacher tired!!  Whew!
So I’ve been taking lots of pics and wanting to tell you all about the fun things we’ve been doing!  I hope you’ll read along with me and maybe snag a few freebies as you read?  Here we go!
A look back on August 2014:
So like most of you, I start in reading with teaching story elements.  Getting to know the characters, setting, etc.  Before really diving into traits, change, etc – I wanted my students to understand all of the aspects of a character and what ‘good readers’ look for when reading.  So I created this fun character wheel!  
The students used the wheel to analyze the characters in the story and to dabble in each important part of what good readers look for when thinking about their characters.  
They used bullet points for each section to take notes on the important parts they remember from the story.
This wheel will work for ANY book!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!  Click the photo to download it for FREE!  Make sure to let me know how you like it 🙂  


So continuing our work with Characters, we got to use my Characters with Character activity packet.  The students got to practice reading stories and choosing character traits for the character in the story.  They even find evidence to justify their choices.  So fun!!
Click on the photos to check it out!


 So fluency is important at the beginning of the year too.  I always do a lesson on ‘What is fluency’.  This year I was able to use our new technology (iPADS!)  I recorded myself reading a passage 3 different ways and we analyzed what did well and not to well each time we listened to it.  I LOVE this anchor chart from Teaching with a Mountain View:
So I used it and created a recording sheet to help us analyze my fluency.  After the lesson, the kids really understood what fluency really meant!
Click on the photo below to download the recording sheet for FREE!
Ok – so here’s one of my FAVORITES!!  I’ve done this activity now for a few years, but always forget to take pictures and post about it.  Do you know what SHOES and PUNCTUATION have in common!?  Punct – SHOE – ation… Get it!?!?  My kids die laughing when I show them this.  Check out this fun, easy activity.  I find cheap flip flops at a nearby dollar store and draw on them large punctuation marks.  On sentence strips, I write out sentences without the ending punctuation marks.  Give each group 3 flip flops (. ? !) and a few strips and ta-da!  Instant motivation!
I even made a recording sheet where the students had to write out their sentences, add the punctuation mark and check which type of sentence they read.  (YES – I realize the ‘n’ is missing from the word punctuation…. but I’ve lost the original ppt document and only have it in pdf format 🙁  I apologize – but it’s free so you’re happy right!?)
Click on the photos to download the recording sheet for FREE!



Ok – last one, I promise!  We all do fun matching games yes? I did one with sentences and their types.  Each student had a card – it either had 1 of the 4 types of sentences or it had a sentence with missing punctuation.  They had to find a partner that matched their sentence.  But what was fun, I had them do “Punctuation Poses” when they found their partner.  They rolled up in a ball for a period…


Made themselves straight and tall for exclamation points….


(sorry for the unrotated pic) and made themselves into ?? for questions!


Can you tell they are having a blast!?
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about what we’ve been up to in room 129 (126 really!!)  Please let me know what you think about the freebies you’ve downloaded.  (Please let me know if any of the links don’t work!)
To help celebrate the ‘end of summer’ – I, along with some other fantastic bloggers, are doing a Dog Days of Summer DOLLAR SALE!
All FOUR of these items have been put on sale for just $1.00 until Sunday night at midnight!  I hope you find something you like 🙂  Links are below!


(students practice analyzing characters and choosing character traits to match them)
(students practice inferring the setting of a story by going through the character’s TRASH!)
(Students practice answer questions from table of contents, index, and glossary)
(Students practice analyzing paragraphs and deciding which is or is not a paragraph)
Check out the other great sales going on!!


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I’m a wife, a mommy of 3, blogger, and a full time teacher author and presenter. I love to read, shop, and spend time with my family! My hands are always busy, but my heart is so full!

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