Persuasive Writing and FLASH FREEBIE!

We all know I {heart} Jessica over at Ideas by Jivey.
And I puffy heart all of the amazing ideas I get each week from her amazing linky-Workshop Wednesday! So I'm linking up!
This week's topic is Persuasive Writing. This is something we do a lot of in my room! My kiddos seem to have an opinion about EVERYTHING. Once we start persuasive writing, they're asking all year if they can write persuasive letters!

I introduce this unit the same each year. By reading the book "I Wanna Iguana" by Karen Kauffman Orloff. If you don't use it already, I highly suggest incorporating it into your lesson! It is so much fun and my kiddos love it :)

Alex is trying to convince his mother he should have an Iguana for a pet. The book is made up of letters written back and forth between the two where he is presenting arguments to his mother as to why he should have one. 

Before reading, my students complete a quick prior knowledge graphic organizer where we write down what persuasive writing is and ways to persuade.
 After reading, students write down 3 of the arguments Alex makes to convince his mom and we discuss them! Then, we pick a topic to write our own letters! The first letter I have students choose an exotic animal they'd like as a pet. Later, we do other persuasive letters on different topics! You can click here to download this organizer for free.

Another book we read to discuss persuasive writing is this fun one by Karen, too!

One of my other favorite activities I did was have my students write letters to me to persuade me what color hair I should have :) I was actually getting my hair done that day and it was quite entertaining! They made some great arguments and I almost ended up with pink hair :)

How do you do persuasive writing?

Before I go, THIS WAS MY 100TH BLOG POST!! WOW! I cannot believe I have been writing and getting to know all you wonderful teachers this long :) To celebrate, I will be having a FLASH FREEBIE until 8:30AM tomorrow morning! It will be posted on my Facebook page. So head on over and follow!!

Also wanna link up with a new great linky... Workinitwednesday! I'm working to get into summer shape and morning runs are the way to so it! I'm still in school but I'm lucky enough to not have to be there until 8:00 so I can get a 2-3 mile run in before school! This mornings first 2 miles were slow and rough but some good music kicked me into gear and I had my personal best time since high school for my last mile!


Tried It Tuesday Technology and Plans for Next Year!

It's one of my fav linky parties time, with one of my fav blogging gals, Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper!!
Now it may have taken me a while to jump on the bandwagon, but a few weeks ago I forgot one of my flash drives at school and I was SO bummed because I couldn't finish up my unit I was working on.

I had brought home the wrong drive, and with the 4 I have to hold everything, including all of my clipart and graphics, I am always frightened to loose one or forget one again!

So... problem solved!! I downloaded Dropbox on ALL of my computers AND my phone!! How cool?!

Um... why did no one tell me how absolutely AH-mazing this thing is?! I can create things at school or on any of my home computers and they will appear on all of them? It's da like, seriously!

It's free to make an account, and you're given a pretty good amount of free space! AND you can get more by inviting friends to sign up. If you don't have one already, I highly suggest you get one!

Next up I want to link up with Finding JOY in 6th Grade for her linky! I am definitely looking ahead to next year, and there are MANY things on my "to do" and "want" list. Here are just a few!
I am lucky to have many leveled readers that span many topics, and integrate easily into SS. However, I really don't feel like I use them enough or to their fullest potential because they are just thrown in bins or cabinets. I'd like to get them organized by theme, standard or unit. This way, I can easily get to them and use them when I need them!

I am working on mapping out my curriculum for next year, and I am organizing things a lot more than I usually have. I am a huge fan of "binderizing" as I like to call it, and I want to do this for my lessons. I can't think of a better time than a transition to all new standards. So, I will be taking binders for each strand and using dividers to break them down by standard. This way, I can keep activities and lessons for each of them in sheet protectors that can be easily accessed and copied! I plan on turning this into a TPT pack for others to download and use, too!

I'm sure you have all seen these all over Pinterest and blogs (Fun in Room 4B has one of my favs!) I am going to create one for all of my desk essentials AND one for the students to keep things organized. I can't wait!

Head on over to these two amazing blogs and link up!

Looking for some things to fill these last few crazy days of school? Don't forget about my cute/fun Father's Day Craftivity! Sometimes we forget about those fathers since the holiday is usually celebrated when school is out! Click here to download at my TPT shop!


A hodgepodge post with FREEBIES!

I hope everyone else has enjoyed this long weekend as much as I have! I have done nothing school related, and enjoyed every second with friends and family! I had to stop in the blog world to link up with some of my favorite linkys on this Monday off, though!

First I'm linking up with the amazing Collaboration Cuties to share a great Social Studies Mentor Text with you.
One of the first topics we begin each school year with in Social Studies is Native Americans and their growth and expansion in the Americas. We learn about their reasons for coming here and staying, and their culture. It is one of my absolute favorite units to teach! We finish the unit with a big "Native American Home" project which you can read about here, and pick up the free rubric instructions for here

We finish up the unit by reading Native American legends, and then writing our own legends. 

Probably my favorite one we read is "The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush" by Tomie dePaola. 
We read the book and watch the PBS animated DVD. My kiddos absolutely LOVE it! The pictures are BEAUTIFUL, colorful, and vivid! It is truly inspiring to them. 

After we're done reading, we start integrating SS into LA. We write our own Legends! I have a template graphic organizer that I use with the kiddos to get them started, but unfortunately it's saved on my school computer! I promise to add it tomorrow when I get to school, and it will be FREE so check back to pick it up :)  Click here to download the organizer for free :)

After we're done with the organizer, we write our rough drafts, peer edit, and publish them. Students then have the option of creating a watercolor painting or a marker/colored pencil drawing to go along with their legend. We hang them in the hallway to show off! They are so creative and produce some wonderful writing!

Next I'm linking up with a linky I've been wanting to do over at one of my favorite blogs, A Cupcake for the Teacher! My summer doesn't start for another 2 weeks, but I am definitely thinking of all of the fun things and teacher things I want to do!

1.) VEGAS BABY! I have NEVER been and I am {SO} excited! Hubs, sissy in law and her boyfriend, brother in law and in laws are heading out west this summer! We will be spending 4 days on the strip, 4 at Lake Las Vegas (a resort) and 2 at Sequoia National Park. I cannot wait!!

2.) ORGANIZED!! I just ordered (2) teachers toolboxes from Lowes to create this wonderful organizational tool. Why'd I order two? Well my teaching partner and I decided to collect ALL of our kiddos supplies at the beginning of the year and keep track of them ourselves so they always have supplies throughout the year. We are going to make a "student tool box", too so we can keep their supplies organized separately! Elizabeth over at Fun in Room 4B inspired me with hers!

The other organization thing I'd like to add is a "New Student Bag" I love the idea of having this ready to go for new students so they feel prepared and I get them ready for our classroom! (Teri actually posted about this same pin, Teacher Minds think alike!)
3.) Masters! EEEK! I am starting my Masters in Instructional Technology on June 10th! This is our last teacher day. The masters program is ALL online through our local university so that will make things a little easier! I will be taking 12 credit hours this summer to knock out a lot before the Fall because during volleyball season it will be hard to take any classes!

4.) RELAX!!! Amidst all of these things, and coaching volleyball, I'd like to spend time on our new back deck, with a cold drink and a good book, or at my in-laws pool doing the same! I am most looking forward to the Fridays my hubs will be able to take half days and enjoy this time with me :)

I'm off to print and laminate our Splash into Figurative Language board game for this week, and print off some Narnia foldables for our lapbooks! (Don't forget my lapbook is on sale until Tuesday!!)

Also, don't forget about my "How to Survive ___th grade" Class book freebie!

Enjoy your Memorial Day loves, and remember those who fought for us to have this day <3

Our Fun and Productive week and a FREEBIE!

Let me tell you, it has been an exciting and productive week over here in room 219!
Even though we are COUNTING DOWN the days until the end of the school year, my students are staying engaged, and motivated! (Don't worry, they are loud and crazy too, but they're still working.. and that's all that matters!!)

They are LOVING their Narnia lapbooks that I have bragged so much about. But I can't help it, I love seeing their motivation! So here's a glimpse into what we've done this week with them and other things!:

We are more than halfway through our Vocab flipbook, Settings are colored with captions and quotes to support, our About the Authors are done, are Social Grams are completed, our Making Connections Pockets are assembled and completed, and our Cause and Effect foldables are done! WHEW.. we worked hard this week :) Onto finish the book next week with these skills in the lapbook: Figurative Language, Symbolism, Summary, and Theme.
{This is my kiddos new FAV thing to do; Open their "Wardrobe Doors" and "go into Narnia!" before we read. I LOVE <3 their creative minds!}

In celebration of my kiddos doing such a wonderful job on these, and end of the years wrapping up meaning preparing for next year, these Narnia lapbooks will be 20% off in my TPT store until Tuesday! That means you can get this entire 4-6 week common core aligned unit for only $5.60!
{Click here to download!}

Some other things that happened this week:

 I got to play in our fun, awesome beach volleyball league! We are 9-0:)
I love my nail lady, she is so creative :)

Morning runs went from 80 degrees, to 40 degrees in two days. Really Ohio?! :)
I finally caved and went to the Scholastic Warehouse sale.. 82 books later, haha woops! My hubs loves me still though ;)

Lastly, I wanted to leave y'all with a FREEBIE for Memorial Day! Here are Veterans Templates to write three types of poems for Memorial Day: Haiku, Cinquain, and Rhyme poem with your kiddos!
Click here to download it for free at my TPT shop!

Don't forget about a few end of year projects you can do with your kiddos. Our next two weeks will be busy! We will be finishing up Narnia lapbooks next week, then doing this Father's Day Craftivity and Splash into Figurative Language pack. We will be doing our "Snapshots of My Year" books the last week of school, and The End of Year Awards are for our Awards Day :)
Linking up with some amazing linky parties, of course!


Reading Response Workshop freebies and Organization!

Love love LOVE one of my BBB's linky party: Workshop Wednesday! So of course, I'm linking up with Jivey :)

This weeks topic is Reading Response! I do this with my kiddos multiple ways throughout the year.

In the beginning of the year, we talk about what makes a "4th grade response!" We work on making simple sentences to respond to picture books we read on chart paper, then each day we add more to make the sentence more detailed. (Sorry I don't have pictures of this) but for example:
"Amelia Bedelia is silly."
"Amelia Bedelia is silly because she takes things literally."
"Amelia Bedelia is a silly character because she does what she is told, but too literally."
"Amelia Bedelia is a silly and crazy maid because whenever she is given a task, she literally does exactly as she is told."

The first few weeks we do this together, then we work on these in our writing journals on our own after whole group read alouds. We call them "ladder sentences."

Another way I do reading response is during Daily 5. To make sure students are keeping up with their independent reading choices and comprehending them, I do a few different checks. Most of them are freebies in my store.
The first one is a Reflection that has students give a short summary, describe the setting and characters, tell their favorite part, and identify a new word! Its a great quick comprehension check!

The second is a story elements organizer. Students have to identify setting, characters, plot, and theme of their text. It's a great visual to make sure students understand the concept.

The last is one is a daily response for two weeks. Students answer one notebook page each day of the week to review ELA standards. 

All three of these produce great, but quick and easy ways to get kiddos to write!

Another one of my FAVORITES is from the amazing Rundees Room, they are her "Story Elements Question Fans"
I have these laminated and in separate fans for each element. I keep them in my reading corner in an organizing bin. Based on the skill were working on or reviewing, students have to answer 2 questions in their journals or on a post-it note after Read to Self. They love them, and I love the responses!

I hope some of these helped you! If you haven't already read Jivey's post, head on over and read because she has some GREAT ideas that I already saved for next year :)

Next up I'm linking up with another of my fav blogging buddies for her new linky party... Fun in Room  4B!

I wish I could be HALF as organized as her, and I have so many organization plans on my to-do list for this summer, but here are a few ways I keep my classroom organized!

{I saw all these summer items that match my color scheme at Walmart today, there 
has got to be some way I can use some of these cool things?!}

AND I HAVE to make this amazing Teacher Toolbox that Elizabeth made.. Seriously, it is the first thing and most absolute thing I want to do!!

Head on over and link up with these two AMAZING ladies :) Also, check out my Facebook page for a FLASH FREEBIE tonight!