Read and Write 180-Day 33

Tuesday, September 27th

Glad to be back at school today! Even though the kids got in trouble yesterday for not transitioning well between classes, they were back in good shape today. 🙂

Our sentence we labeled today was a good one:

Two huge oak trees tower over her house.

Adj. Adj. Adj. N        AV      Prep  PN    N

Then we labeled the simple subject, simple predicate, complete subject, complete predicate, and prepositional phrase.

I think most of them are finally getting the hang of it now! Whew! But I REALLY need to start throwing in some adverbs-these are tricky!

I RE-introduced the complex conjunctions and dependent/independent clauses today. We tried it another week, but it was too much so I went back to reviewing parts of speech and subjects/predicates.

Here is their study sheet for conjunctions and clauses that I gave them today:

Clauses and Conjunctions I hope we can master this by Thursday! 🙂

I gave out report cards today-let’s just say that the only direction that some of us can go is “up”. 🙂 I do have to say that our english grades have gotten considerably better over these last 2 weeks-I think mainly because we stayed with the same stuff to make sure we could do it! I hope that means that we will be english kings and queens by the end of this year! 🙂

I FINALLY introduced our CAFE reading menu board today!!! YEA!!!! I deserve a high five!!! Woohoo!! Yes, I do believe that most teacher who implement the CAFE system in their classrooms introduce it the 1st week of school. And yes that makes me about 6 weeks late with the introduction. But, hey-I just felt like there were other things that we needed to take care of first.

This is how I introduced the CAFE menu board. I made CAFE cards that had all of our standards/strategies/skills on them. 40 in all. I gave each group of students 4 cards. They had to read them, discuss them, and TRY to decide what category they would fit in on the board: Comprehension/Awareness/Fluency/Expanding Vocabulary

Then we went through each one and actually put it in its place on the board. Here are the cards that I printed:

CAFE Cards

This is a picture of what our board looked like after we put the cards on the board:




 Expanding Vocabulary

Now, I will take all of these cards back off of our CAFE reading menu board and put them back up a couple at a time as we focus on the skills/standards/strategies. How long will that take me???? I still need to read up on this here CAFE system!!!! 🙂

Next week I plan on conferring with all 47 student to decide on a reading goal for each one of them to work towards. Now, how in the-I mean how do we decide on just 1 goal? How do we decide which one would be best for each student? Like I said-I have GOT to read up some more on this system. But let me tell you-I am so excited about this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m also giddy about the fact that I did small group instruction today!!!!!! 🙂 I can only realistically get to 2 groups each day (this is when I’m not conferring with individual students) so what we did today was this:

Round 1-They could read to self or work on writing. I worked with 1 small group-we finished our list of comprehension strategies and definitions.

Mini-lesson back on the rug-I explained how small group instruction is really informal-we don’t have to raise our hands-it’s just like having a dinner conversation-we join in the conversation while minding our manners. 🙂

Round 2-They could read to self or work on writing. I worked with 1 more small group-same thing.

Mini-lesson back on the rug-I let them share something from their reading or writing.

Love, love, love, love small group instruction. The question is-CAN I KEEP IT UP? WILL I HAVE TIME FOR IT EACH DAY?

Stay tuned to find out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

Checking in for Daily 5

My Fab Five (Daily 5) check in notebook cover is done! This is where the kids will select their choice and sign in for that choice. It’s really just an accountability sheet. Some teachers have a chart or have the kids sign in on the board. I decided to use a notebook so that I would have the sheets for future reference if I needed them. So if by the 6th week of school if a student has only read 2 books, I can look back at the sheets and then talk to the student about why they chose read to self EVERY day, but hasn’t read more than 2 books. 🙂

Fab Five Check In Notebook Cover

I uploaded this cover to my CAFE/Daily 5 page as a pdf document.

FAB FIVE finally figured out!

I think I have solved my Daily 5 dilemma from yesterday! I have tweaked it a little to suit my 6th grade classroom/time constraints, etc,etc,etc,etc (aren’t there so many etcs in our lives???). 🙂

I am renaming mine “Fab Five” mainly because we won’t have time to do EVERYTHING on a daily basis. So, my students will still have choices (most important thing), but they will have all week to complete them with the exception of Read to Self-this will me a MUST for each day.

We will only do 2 rounds of CAFE/Fab Five each day-yet another because-because I have to/want to:

1. Teach English

2. Teach Writing separately

3. Teach whole group reading-gonna try and limit this to 15-20 minutes each day since I KNOW that small group/individual instruction is the bomb!

4. I still want to do an interactive read aloud (chapter book) each day


I AM SO HAPPY!!! :):) I am one step closer to organizing this chaotic mind of mine!

I created the “Fab Five” posters to put on my bulletin board in power point. Here is the link to the actual power point file in case you want to edit and use for your classroom.


Here is the pdf file that I converted the presentation to.

FABFIVEposter pdf file

Let me know what you think!

Another practice round of Daily 5

I did another round of Daily 5/CAFE  today-LOVED it!!! I was able to do 2 rounds with my 1st class and only 1 round with my 2nd class. Now-the rounds did not last as long as I wanted them to, but this is what I LOVED: Individual Conferences!!!! WOW!!!! It was so calm AND it was so enlightening!! With my 1st class I conferred with 3 students(I was interrupted by office personnel-don’t you just love the end of the school year????). I conferred with 3 kids in my 2nd class. I thought this was pretty good considering it was my FIRST time to confer one-on-one! 🙂 I so wish I had been doing this all year-I almost feel bad for my struggling kids that I feel like I didn’t really help as well as I could have!!!

Of course, I know that I didn’t do these conferences like I was supposed to being here at the end of the school year, but it still went so well!! I taught the “check for understanding” strategy with 2 of my girls-one of them did so much better than what I thought she would based on her ability to understand the deeper meaning of a piece of text. So this lets me know that after just a couple of more times with her I will need to move her on to another strategy!

I just can’t believe the insight that I was able to get on these 6 children (out of 37) today!! 🙂 I even put 3 of them on my “appointment calendar” to meet with again (I say this like I am bragging, but it IS the end of school-only 8 days left for us)!!!

This is what I will be dreaming about tonight:


Do you get the picture???????????????????????????????????

Daily 5 Trial Run

My little 6th graders are such guinea pigs this year. It’s my 1st year in 6th grade after 6 years in Kindergarten so I am constantly “trying out new things”. 🙂 Today’s new thing was the Daily 5. It went really well!! And I still got in the reading program-just not as much of it as in the past! 🙂 I have already decided that our Reading Street weekly unit/story is going to be stretched out to 2 weeks instead of 1 week-that way I can fit in all the other stuff I think the kids need! I am only going to do 2 rounds of Daily 5 each day and the sharing part didn’t happen today-we’ll see if I can squeeze it in after we get in our routine.

This is what our day looked like today:

1. Partner read weekly poem-locate the conjunctions in the poem since conjunctions are what we are studying in English this week

2. Read Aloud-I am reading a novel to them, and we are interacting with the novel-discussing, etc.

3. Practice 5 high frequency words-I need to get back into the spelling or some type of word study, but I really feel like my kids NEED some focus on these “No Excuse” words!

4. English-conjunctions-workbook page

5. Scott Foresman Reading Street-today we only read 1 page of the story but we really interacted with it. We

a. Choral read a paragraph. They worked in groups to determine the most important thing from the paragraph and we shared.

b. Each group choral read 1 paragraph with me. We stopped along the way and talked about comparing and contrasting both cities, Athens and Sparta.

6. Writing mini-lesson-this was VERY mini today because I also took time to explain the Daily 5 to them. The writing mini-lesson consisted of telling them things they could write about(very general) and the types of writing they could do.

7. Round 1 of Daily 5-I pulled several groups and we read/discussed the weekly poem again

8. Reading mini-lesson-We went over our “literary letter” requirements

9. 2nd round of Daily 5-I pulled a couple of more groups and still worked on the weekly poem-mainly visualization(This was easy peasy with this poem-The Vampire). 🙂

I LOVE working with small groups-they participate and interact so much more freely!!!!!! I can’t wait to get started with individual conferring, but I’m just not quite sure how to get this started and really what to do! I might just do the small groups this week and begin the conferring part next week.

Also, when I give the Reading, English, Spelling assessments on Thursday and Friday, I’m not sure how much they will throw us off schedule-we’ll see!!!!!!

Here is the little anchor chart I made for the Daily 5 choices(until I can make something better). 🙂