Five For Friday!

Busy! Busy! Busy!! That's all I can say. It seems like after the winter holiday we have so much to cover. I know many of you have had lots of snow days (lucky!!). Here in Florida it's been nothing but sunny (thank goodness!).

Today I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her infamous Five for Friday party. It's been awhile. Hope I remember how to do it! LOL!

 My kids have been hard at work with informational text during the last few weeks. When we started our unit, the students selected a topic to become an "expert" on. They gathered books from the classroom library, school library, and found information online. They have spent time reading to self, locating text features, and learning about main idea and details. All of this work culminated into a book of the information they found most important and most interesting about their topics.
They book was made from mailing envelopes and the idea and directions can be found in this book by Dinah Zike:

I dug out my collection of old scrapbook supplies. I highly recommend gathering old supplies of stickers, paper, ribbon, etc.  The kids LOVED digging through it all looking for just the right thing for their book. It has taken about a week of work to finally finish them.
 The book is made up of 4 envelopes. There are tabs across the top. I had them write main ideas on those. They had to include 3-5 details and 4 different text features in the book.

 During our study of informational text, I was able to use many activities from my Text Features Pack. (If you own this pack be sure you have the most recently updated version.)
I'm lovin' my text features arrows. I printed them on bright paper and laminated them. The students used them to "point out" features they found in their reading. I was able to easily and quickly assess their learning.

Did your kids go through the Silly Bandz phase? Mine did! When they were finished I refused to get rid of them. I spent a small fortune on those darn things. I pulled out this box not long ago and decided I had to put them to good use.
I organized them by color, put them on binder rings and, VOILA, I now use them for grouping. The kids LOVE it. I randomly pass them out and they have to find the friend with the matching color! The bands at the top of the picture are from the party store and I got them around Halloween (a fellow blogger sent them to me).

At my school we have several cluster classes. These classes are comprised of  severely handicapped to autistic to Down Syndrome students. They are the sweetest bunch of kids you'll ever meet and their teachers are saints! I volunteered my class to take part in a program called Silver Pals. Once a week we visit their classrooms and my students play, teach, and learn with these very special kids. My kids LOVE this time of the week. It really warms my heart to see them so selfless and giving. On Valentines Day we delivered cards and cookies to them. Currently, my kids are practicing a song with them for our volunteer breakfast. I know it's going to be beautiful!

It's been a busy month full of fun and lots of learning!


  1. Hi Gina. You are doing such a great service having your class visit that "cluster" classroom. I bet your kids get so much out of that experience. Hey, did you ever order Silver Packages?

  2. That is great that you have your students work with the "cluster" classroom. It probably means the world to them. What a great education for your students and a way to help them be better people in understanding children with special needs.


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