OMG! Book Clubs on Steroids!


::Flashback to 2005::

It was the day of Parent Orientation (the Thursday before school began).  I was a third year teacher on a fourth grade team.  We were departmentalized and I was set to teach Math and Science...my LOVES...until {dun dun dun} one of the Reading/LA teachers accepted a position at another school leaving the team to hire a substitute-turned teacher in her place.  The curriculum coach turns to me and says, "I need you to teach Reading and Writing."  {insert tears}  I was beyond nervous, beyond scared, beyond bummed.  I understood why she "needed" me to teach Reading and Writing to these fourth graders - the state tests!

I had only taught kindergarten before teaching 4th grade Math/Science.  I didn't know WHAT I was doing.  This was before Pinterest, before blogs, before basically Facebook lol

The curriculum coach was so helpful.  I can never thank her enough.  She introduced me to Book Clubs and my kids fell in LOVE.  I still use them to this day...

Thematic Units, Common Core, and Text-based Questions

This year, I've been blessed to be working in a school with a positive atmosphere.  I LOVE, LOVE my 4th graders, the parents, and my work family (can you feel the <3?)

The biggest hurdle (other than the regular "getting used to the newness") is that our school chose to forego the use of a basal (BLAH to the basal!) and use authentic literature instead (YAY!).  Although it's been time consuming to find literature to teach certain skills and find ways to do the formal assessments, I'm going to post my progress here so I can refer back to it year after year (and share it too)...

I purchased a few resources to help me along the way.  First, I bought Nicole Shelby's Reading Interactive Notebook.  Second, I bought a Curriculum Map for Thematic Units on the Common Core website.  Oh!  I forgot to mention, my school also wants us to use thematic units as we teach, too (more "newness" lol).  Here is a run-down of what I've used and taught, etc...

Setting Up My Classroom - Day 1

I am so fortunate to be working at a school where my little boy can be right next door.  I'm a first time mom and I feel at ease knowing he's just steps away.

On to my classroom...

After renting a cargo van and lugging two van-loads of my things, I finally got a chance to begin working in my new classroom at my new school.  It's much larger than my previous two classrooms with ample storage.

New beginnings...

Greetings all!

I'm so excited (and anxious) to begin a new chapter in my teaching career.  First, I moved to a new school.  Still teaching 4th grade (thank goodness).  I was offered an opportunity to teach 6th but let me tell you, I can literally roll out of bed - even if my little one decides to wake up at 3am - and teach 4th grade.  So I'm thrilled to be staying in my "comfort zone"... At least for now.

I've got so many ideas brewing in my mind *rubbing my hands together* and would LOVE to hear what you all have up your sleeve for this coming year.  Here is what I've got cookin':

Lovin' these "book sleeves".  Definitely going to invest the $0.77 x 22 to get these bad boys!

Getting back into the swing of things...

My last few days as a stay-at-home-mom are coming to a close... Thus begins the mad dash of anxiety to get back in "teaching mode".

Currently, my students are reading a novel together in class... It's not a regular thing for me to assign one novel for ALL kids to read.  Usually, I have them choose groups and choose a book from my book club collection that's on their level.  They map out their readings and assignments then discuss them in class.

But my sub (with the help of my wonderful teammates) chose a really good book from our book room.  My school doesn't have a traditional library.  Instead, it has class sets of various chapter books.  Tucked away on the shelf was a little gem: The Adventures of Charlie Pierce: The Last Egret.

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