Gobbling Up Author's Purpose

Saturday, November 7, 2015

November is one of my favorite months in the classroom!  I just love all of the fall colors of our crafts and craftivities, fun Thanksgiving books, and the excitement of the holidays just around the corner.  It's also a very busy time and we seem to be trying to find the time to plan all of those activities we want to include in our classroom.  November is the perfect time to teach author's purpose, especially with the author's purpose is as easy as PIE theme!  Your littles will love being author's purpose chefs!  I wanted to drop in and share some methods, songs, and a freebie I have used over the years to teach this skill.  Hopefully, this will help you out a little with your planning for the next couple of weeks!

These are some of my favorite books to use in November and work for author's purpose.

I always try to do at least one craftivity a week, if not more.  I have kids who ask everyday, "What are we going to make today?"  So, I try to keep them happy!

author's purpose

author's purpose

After reading a Thanksgiving themed book about turkeys, students record details on the feathers that help them decide what the author's purpose is.  

author's purpose

Students then record the author's purpose in sentence form on the white paper portion.

author's purpose

Every week, I like to keep a cooperative group activity going related to our comprehension skill.  We may do this during whole group reading or during centers.  I have four envelopes stuffed with a book or passage and recording sheets.  I usually either get passages from TPT or from www.readworks.org.

author's purpose

Each day, I rotate the envelopes among the groups so that students gain exposure to different books or passages and get needed practice working on the skill with their groups.  This author's purpose recording sheet is one of my favorites!  It can be very difficult for primary students to identify author's purpose, so this sheet provides lots of scaffolding for our little ones.  

author's purpose

I have done interactive notebooks for the past couple of years.  We have one for reading comprehension and one for math.  I love this PIE template for author's purpose!  The details go on the outside and the author's purpose in the middle.  This is something we typically complete whole group.  

author's purpose

Who doesn't love Clifford?!  You have to throw him in to your unit, too!  Here is another simple interactive notebook template.  Simple, quick, and easy practice!

author's purpose

These little flip books and mini-booklets are perfect for independent practice, as well as centers.  You could use them with any book or passage you have in your classroom library or at a center.

author's purpose

I always have anchor charts and posters handy for reference.  These are super important for author's purpose!  That vocabulary can be tricky at first.

author's purpose

author's purpose



Here is a link to a fun song to help them grasp that new terminology.

We would also do book clubs on Friday.  You can read more about that in the pack!  It's a really fun time to review the concepts learned throughout the week and have a little discussion and snack!

author's purpose

These are some discussion cards to keep students focused during book clubs.  They love these!  I usually assign a group leader to get the discussion going and to keep the group on task.

author's purpose

Last year, I blogged about this author's purpose activity I did with my second graders.  It was SO FUN!  They loved getting to be author's purpose chefs!  You can read more about that HERE and grab this fun FREEBIE!

author's purpose

author's purpose

author's purpose

author's purpose

author's purpose            author's purpose 

author's purpose

Cooking Up Author's Purpose is one of my favorite units I have created!  I hope your students love it and you find it useful!  It's on sale all weekend, November 7-8, so gobble it up while you can!  Have a great weekend!

Halloween Week: Creepy Carrots and Splat the Cat

Saturday, October 24, 2015

I have spent the final day of my fall break prepping for Halloween week.  It was hard to narrow my plans down to my favorite Halloween books that I wanted to use next week.  But it was very easy for me to decide to use Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds.  This book is so funny!  It's also great for making predictions, making  inferences, and for drawing conclusions.  We are going to be making these fun little carrots this week to add to our writing about Creepy Carrots.

I teach kindergarten now, so we will be focusing more a drawing a picture to explain our thinking and adding a simple sentence to match our picture.  I differentiated the writing for you if you teach first or second grade.  You could also differentiate the writing within your own classroom based on the needs of your students.  

We will be making these three carrots from the story to attach to our writing.  You can find the craftivity along with the differentiated writing component in the pack below.  

I bought these pumpkins at Target earlier this month and have used them for everything!  They are perfect for sorts and holding manipulatives for centers or group work.

They are also perfect for this little inferencing activity.  I hide an object, like this little mini pumpkin, in the larger pumpkin and don't tell the students what it is.  I give them clues to help them infer what might be in the pumpkin.  Based on the clues, they have to guess what is in the pumpkin.  It's a great activity to start your lesson and to help them understand what skills are needed to make an inference.  

Students record the clues on their own recording sheet to help them remember what they all were when it's time to infer.  Afterwards, we partner share our thinking.

This leads into our next book, Splat the Cat What Was That? by Rob Scotton.  Splat and Spike go to an old scary house trick or treating.  They keep hearing spooky sounds, so I have students infer as to where they think the spooky sounds are coming from.  Of course, the students think the house is haunted and they are coming from a ghost.  But they are very surprised at the end as to what it really is!

I have differentiated the writing for this activity, as well.  You can grab this along with the black cat craftivity and the pumpkin inferencing activity in the pack below.

Here is a copy of my lesson plans for next week.  Friday, we are headed to the pumpkin patch!  We have already done our pumpkin study, so this week we are doing more Halloween themed things.

We are reviewing some comprehension concepts that we have already covered this week with our favorite books.  I found this great Room on the Broom sequencing activity HERE.

Thursday, we are reading Click, Clack, Boo to help with predictions.  It is also going to be pajama day!   Then, we are doing the Candy Corn Bandit.  You can check it out by clicking the pic below.  We are also moving right along with the Guiding Kinders Math Workshop.


It's going to be a busy, but fun week!  I hope you all have a great week, too!

Ghost Letters

Friday, October 23, 2015

Silent letters can be a tricky thing to teach and tricky for our young students to learn.  That's why I like to save them for Halloween week.  Ghost, or silent, letters are perfect for this spooky holiday!  I always build it up that I am about to teach them something that's really scary.  You can even turn out the lights and break out the flashlight to get them totally engaged.  You can just see the anticipation on their faces!  We talk about ghosts and what they think ghosts are like and what they do.  Last year, I even had a student get up and tell a ghost story!  {Whatever works!}  That's when I introduce ghost letters.  

One fun activity we do is to go on a Ghost Letter Hunt.  You will need some small white paper bags for this activity to make the ghosts into puppets. 

When we do go on a word hunt, I allow students to look anywhere around the room.  That includes in books.  For this hunt, Halloween books are perfect!  You may even wish to use your anchor text for the week.  After students make the fun ghost puppets, they can record the words they find on their puppet.  Because there are so many ghost letter combinations, I give each student only one to look for during the hunt.  Looking for all five different types could get very overwhelming.  Ghost letters can be difficult to find, so students will really have to dig!  Students will love flying their ghost puppets around when they are finished!  The craftivity can be found {HERE}.

I have kept the same word work rotations for years.  I incorporate them into centers, as well as into quick whole group activities.  BINGO can be played during either time.  I usually did BINGO whole group.  Students write their words for the week on a blank BINGO board in any order.  I like to change out the BINGO chips seasonally.  Target had so many cute Halloween erasers this year, and these ghosts were perfect for ghost letters!

Is this tiny cauldron not the cutest?!  They are perfect for holding our BINGO chips!  I found them at Hobby Lobby and wanted to buy all they had but I had to restrain myself.  

I don't know why, but this has always been my students' favorite game.  We do it EVERY.SINGLE.WEEK.  And it never gets old....to them.  Lol.  It's just a simple board game with words from our word study for the week.  The game pieces are erasers from Target.

I always try to throw in syllables during word work.  Just to keep with the Halloween spirit, I added the headers to these party favor bags from Hobby Lobby.  I always buy these on clearance after Halloween to use the following year for sorts.

With most centers, I try to include a recording sheet for them to practice writing the words.  I typically put them in a SmartPal to save on copies.

Students will need lots of support with those pesky ghost letters, so I keep these posters up during our study.  We refer to them LOTS!!!

Word sorts are critical to word study.  We do so many sorts!  I am very picky about how my students do them, too.  I teach the routine a lot at the beginning of the year, so it becomes very natural to them.  They have to read the words and the headers aloud every time.  Again, I have them practice writing the words after the sort.  I have included some odd ball high frequency words in the sorts, as well.  You can find blank cards also so that you can add your own words to the sort.

I have had the same word work routine for years because it works for me.  Our word study skills on our end of year assessments are always really good, so I am a believer in these activities!  Plus, the students have fun learning our new words and spelling patterns each week!  I also include some whole group printables, push and say letters {SO IMPORTANT to use}, ABC order center, rhyming center, and much more!  

I hope you have as much fun teaching ghost letters as I do!  What strategies do you use to teach this tricky spelling pattern?  This pack is on sale this weekend, so be sure to check it out by clicking the pic below!

Have a great weekend!