Five for Friday {November 6, 2015}

It's already the first Friday in November, and it's been too long since I joined the Five For Friday linky. I have some fun things going on in the classroom, and I'm trying to ride the wave until the pre-holiday crazies hit!


I've created a few music play lists for my students to enjoy, and we've been using then mostly during independent writing. The students love it! I was a little nervous about whether it would distract them at first, but it seems to be doing the opposite! They have been quite focused. One student even thanked me today after class and told me that the music helps her focus while writing. Love.


Enemy Pie and Rosie Revere, Engineer are two of my FAVORITE read alouds. This week we applied what we've learned about partner talk (agreeing, disagreeing, and adding on to an idea) by using Chat Stations. Similar to a Four Corners activity, I create four questions I want students to discuss after any read aloud. I give a few minutes for discussion so that everyone has a chance to participate, then ring a bell for students to rotate to the next station. If you're interested, you can download the discussion cards and expectations/goals here: Chat Stations


Each year as I plan writing units, it's SO helpful to pull favorite books and see at a glance how I've used them in the past. I love using the same text for reading and writing lessons whenever possible, so I really benefit from this system of jotting down possible teaching points on sticky notes and taping them to the back of the read aloud. Not very fancy, I know. But it works!

I have a few students who are working with an occupational therapist, and they find writing extremely challenging... But they have amazing ideas! So I downloaded this free voice recording app and now the students can step into the hallway and record their stories. Not every story has to be written down. It's all about communication of ideas. As soon as I introduced this voice recorder to a student this week, his face lit up and his demeanor changed entirely. What a difference this has made for his self esteem and enjoyment of "writing". Little by little, he will be able to write down more of his ideas. And this is a great first step!

Our parent teacher conferences are next week, and I will provide parents with this handy guide to reading behaviors at each level. It's also great for you to use as the teacher throughout the year as you confer with students during independent (or guided) reading. Be sure to click on the pic above to download out the freebie!

Wishing you luck with your own conferences... or a few moments of well-deserved rest if you've already finished. ;)


  1. I LOVE Rosie Revere, Engineer and Enemy Pie! Two wonderful book choices. What's the name of the free voice recording App? I teach reading and have access to a few iPads in my RtI room. I'm always seeking new and fresh ideas for fluency! Thanks for sharing. :)
    Literacy Loving Gals

  2. Oh my gosh I LOVE your 5 for Friday this week! I love using Spotify playlists with my class too, especially during independent work time. Your chat station cards look so cool and I would love to use that strategy one day! As a SPED teacher, it really warms my heart to see that you're differentiating so effortlessly for students who may not be strong in writing but still have amazing stories to contribute. Thanks for sharing!

    Perfectly Peeps

  3. Thanks for the great ideas and the Chat Stations freebie! I just learned so much by reading your Five for Friday post. That app looks fabulous. Have a great week!
    Laughter and Consistency