Reflecting About Writing Instruction

Hey there teacher ,
Welcome to a new week of the Diggin’ Into Next Year series!


The way I structured the “shared research” with 24 seven year olds.

If you teach the Common Core standards, you know that your students  must *participate in shared research and writing projects.* 
I must confess:
Up until this year I was horrified to tackle this standard. In the past, I found myself helping the children with their shared research about polar animals during the month of January (BIG MISTAKE #1). And I tell you what… the Easter bunny was ready to come out and my students and I were still at it!! SO frustrating!!!  I thought long and hard and I decided that my shared research lacked some serious structure and it needed to be moved to a different time in the year.

Based on my reflections I made some changes:
  1. Instead of doing the shared research in January, I decided {with the help of my sweet teammates} to move this project to the month of June. Once end of the year assessments were done, and the data showed me that my firsties were quite proficient… then I had a little  more freedom to truly guide my students with the shared research. Instead of researching about polar animals, we researched about ocean animals!
  2. I divided my students into six groups of four and each group {with a team leader} chose an ocean animal.
  3. Once the kiddos were in their groups, I put together “source bags” with different information sources:







4. I also provided my kiddos with writing frames and sections. You can find these frames in my “shared  research for any animal” unit on TpT!





5. I took the time to CLEARLY explain clear expectations and directions, and used a rubric to outline behaviors, writing, and content expectations as well.


6. One  of the things that I have learned throughout the years is to provide my writers with an audience. So they really had to go through the writing process to produce a top notch product. They shared their research during our end of the year awards ceremony and authors’ tea. They rocked it!!


If you are interested, you may take a look at my shared research resource in my TPT little shop.

How to assemble a number line Graham style!!

Hi guys,

I have been doing a million things this summer:
* Spending quality time with my boys, including  my Honey Graham {first and foremost!!}
*My front yard {after hurricane Arthur, it looked like a sighting our of The Walking Dead}
*Organizing closets and drawers
*Getting rid of old stuff  {and then donating it to the Goodwill}
*Blogging {The Diggin’ series and the mother of all giveaways requires a lot of planning}
*Creating materials to purposefully decorate my classroom!  {If you remember well, my sweet D-Bo kind of "mentioned" about my *outdated* classroom decorations}

So, last weekend I found my self  thinking about changing my number line.  And this is what what I thought was cute and intentional

  Click on the picture to get it from my little TpT store

These are the steps to assemble this number line:

1. Print



2. Laminate


3. Entertain the boys and the dog with an episode of the Ninja Turtles!



4. Cut the circles



5.  Make room for the sweet boy who wants to eat a granola bar in your working space


6. Organize by tens


7. Glue onto cute ribbon using a glue gun




And you are done!
Oh wait! Don’t forget to:

Take the boys to the pool!


And that is how you assemble a number line.

Until next time :-)