I am super thrilled to be able to get together with other teacher bloggers to present to you the TWO STARS AND A WISH Blog Hop. Each of us will be showcasing two ideas/tips/tricks that have worked for us really well to smooth the transition of a new year. Finally, we will be sharing one wish that we have on how we want to improve something. So let's get started!
Book Bags on the Wall
Two years ago I had book boxes. I bought those cardboard book holders from Ikea and had a tall skinny shelf that fit exactly the amount of kids (21) that I had that year. However, this year with 27 kids, that shelf wasn't going to do and there wasn't another feasible area in the room to house so many boxes. Instead, I tried the book bag idea. I bought Command hooks (get the ones that say they hold the most weight - I believe it is about 2 lbs). I printed number labels onto label paper and cut out the circles, then attached them to the wall above each hook. Then, I was lucky enough to find those amazing Dr. Seuss themed bags they sell at Target and bought a class set to hang from each hook. All year long, students could put a couple of books in there from the library. They put a notebook also to move through center/Daily 5 rotations. Through the year, if some kids put too much in there, the hook did fall off, so you really have to show students what the right amount of weight in there should be. But this method did work all year and it only took space that I probably wasn't going to use for anything else anyway.
While we are here, let me point out the amazing effective-ness of Whisper phones you see my apple kids holding. They work wonders for keeping students to read in a very low voice instead of reading out loud. There are a ton of pics on Pinterest to guide you on how to make a class set. It's really cheap and easy!!
Comprehension Booklets for the Week
Do you try to grab picture books weekly that fit a certain comprehension skill? I did that this year whenever I was introducing a new comprehension skill. I would try to get 5 picture books that worked. So what I did was I made a booklet for each skill. The name of the skill was on the top, a description of the skill was on the page after, and then there were 5 identical pages where students would use the picture book for the day to showcase evidence of their learning for that particular comprehension skill. In the picture above, we worked on inferring. Each day, I read a picture book that we could infer from. Then, they would go to a page, write the title of the book and author, the evidence from the text that they noticed, and what they could infer with that evidence. I loved this idea because they had the booklet with them all week long, no passing papers each day and leaving a paper trail, and I had a quick assessment at the end of the week. And guess what, you can click below to get your own copy of the inferring booklet!
I don't know exactly why, but I didn't implement Star of the Week this past year like I always have in the past. I know whenever I used to do it, students would be so thrilled to be "featured," for the week. I would pick students randomly to be the Star for the following week. Each day, they brought in something to share. Monday would be a poster of themselves and additional pictures, Tuesday would include a show and tell item, Wednesday was a favorite read a loud, Thursday was an estimation game, but Friday was the best part. All the students would write a short letter to the Star telling them at least three nice things. And I made sure to tell them they can't just say, "You are nice." Whatever they said, they had to explain. Then, I would bind these books with a nice laminated cover and give it to the students. So anyway, I feel guilty that I just got too overwhelmed with everything going on this year, to implement it, and sorry to my last class for not doing it! So my wish this year is to start the program again. I revamped whatever I was using in the past, and made a Star of the Week packet that you can check out below. It has everything you need to get this program started, including an editable parent letter, and editable class book page covers. I'm excited to start the year off with this and get the students super excited!
Well, that's all folks!
If you enjoyed these two stars and a wish ideas, please consider joining me on:
For more star ideas from more other bloggers, please browse through the link up below and choose a topic that interests you.