Monday, August 19, 2013

Reader's Theater for the Middle Grades...check it out in my TpT Store!

One of my favorite things to do with my 6th grade students is Reader's Theater.  They "hoot" and "whoop" every time they know they have the opportunity to perform.  Something about having the chance to get lost in a character, read aloud, and take on a different persona for a short period of time really excites my students.

I also LOVE TO WRITE! This past week of not working in a classroom and adjusting to our back to school schedule, has afforded me some time to write.  I have taken on the task of writing a Reader's Theater passage called Speedy Racer.  It is a common core focused, high interest, realistic fiction passage that students will LOVE in the middle grades.

Speedy Racer is a script about a boy who learns the hard way that in order to compete, you must practice and be dedicated.  This 12-character script is one that will have your students thinking about the kind of person they want to be and be friends with.  A must read with your middle grades students.

In addition, I have included 5-reader response questions and a summary organizer.  Ideal tools for work on common core reading literature standards.

My emergency plans always contain a Reader's Theater passage with specific instructions on how to utilize it with my three different classes.   While the students can get a bit "over-enthusiastic" at times with another adult leading the class, I know that it will keep them focused and engaged, which leads to fewer behavior concerns in my absence.

Please leave a comment on how you utilize Reader's Theater in your classroom.

Happy first week of school!

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Centers in the 6th Grade Classroom-Today's Cool Find

My littlest is napping peacefully and my two oldest are currently in time out which is why I have a moment to blog.  What is it about 4PM until after dinner that makes kiddos NUTTY?!?!  I call it the "Witching Hour" at my house. 

At this time during any other year I would be setting up my classroom.  This year I have traded in the sweat of that challenge for time with my kiddos.  While I am taking this year away from the classroom, it is amazing how my teacher mind seems to keep working.  While I am especially busy with my brood of three, this back to school time has me thinking about school!

After a 3-mile morning run with three kids-two in the jogging stroller and one on his bike and a well visit for my 5-month old, with all three kids in tow-we decided it was a great day to head to IKEA.

I have blogged about IKEA in numerous posts!  I LOVE THAT STORE!  A few things made me love it even more today, if that is possible.  While we needed just a few things-a high chair, curtain rods, bedding, an area rug...we found a few extras as well.

My favorite purchase of the day for $14.99 is one that I will likely be going back to purchase for my classroom next year.  It is this cute little stand that I set up as soon as we got home...

My kiddos have already turned it into a food stand and WERE taking turns being the "cashier and chef."  They also began throwing punches which is why they are now in their rooms!

It is made of sturdy cardboard that could be used by primary, intermediate, or even middle school kiddos as a prop for Reader's Theater, author share, puppet shows, etc.   So if you are looking for an inexpensive item to add some character to your classroom and inspire your students in a fun way, you may want to snatch one of these up!

If you have never made the trek to IKEA with your children, you may have never realized all of the great things they offer!!!  Personally I like to go by myself and vow to from now on!  MORE TIME TO THINK!  After 6 trips to the bathroom, lunch before shopping and a snack after, arguments over who was pushing the cart and who was pushing the stroller, we discovered some cool things...

WHAT?!?! AWESOME in case of emergency!

I had my own "filled to the brim" diaper bag, so I didn't need any, but HUGGIES nonetheless!

I HEART low sinks that allow for kids to do their own handwashing!


Good luck this school year, my teacher friends!  I promise to update upon any new finds that are classroom essentials!  See you soon!