Winter Resource Round-up!

Can we have a moment of silence for the end of Winter Break? 

Mine isn't even over yet...it's December 29th, and we still have a few days of family fun in store before we head back on January 3rd. But, the tree has been taken down, the garland is off the mantle, the kids' presents are unwrapped and have already started to lose their luster a little...this week between Christmas and New Year's Eve is just...

blah.

So, I'm turning my attention back to school. I have the same bittersweet feeling that I had back in August about not having my own classroom to return to. I'm glad that I just have a little corner of an office to keep up with, and I can pee whenever I want, make hot coffee in the middle of the morning, sit in silence after announcements and ease into my day, all great things.

But I'm still sad that I don't have a class of my own to re-cap break with. I miss the classroom so much sometimes! I always had this surge of energy in January like I get in August...it feels like a fresh start, but you don't have to tiptoe into things like you do at the beginning of the year. It's the time to kick things into high-gear and get your students ready for what's coming next. 

I love it

. I thrive off of data analysis (weird? Yes, probably.) So, I get so excited to show my students their new screening data and set goals. I will miss that this year, nerdy as it sounds.

I have some Winter Resources to share with y'all today that I hope will make your return to the classroom this January refreshing and exciting!

January Paragraph Puzzlers

I have these paragraph puzzlers for every month through February (March-July are on the way, too!) My students absolutely

loved

them when I created them last year. We progressed from building a paragraph, to a very structured formula for writing their own. By the end of the year, I had

most

of my students understanding/writing structured essays. But, understanding what a paragraph is and all of its parts is really where you have to start. The basis for a 5 paragraph essay is the same pattern as a 5-sentence paragraph. So, if you have 2nd or 3rd graders (or older kids, too!) who are supposed to be writing longer essays by now, but their structure and form is all over the place, start here! Take them back to basics and let them build paragraphs with their hands!

It works. Pinky promise. ;) 

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen this book in my stories! This product allows you to guide your students through brainstorming resolutions for the year (both school AND personal), and publish them all together in a class book. You can see that I've done it here in a binder. Easy-peasy!

These guys are some of my favorites. It is my take on the perfect metacognition lesson. The more we model for and train our students to pause while they are reading and consider what is happening in the text, or what their thoughts or feelings are about something, the more we boost their metacognition! This is one of the keys to unlocking comprehension for our kiddos who struggle with it! 

These Think-Pair-Shares give you, as the teacher, a full guide to the lesson. Then, you let your students engage with the text in a deeper, meaningful way. They can be used with books on Youtube or other websites if you don't have the physical text!

I love these. I used to make up think-pair-share lessons with sticky notes on a regular basis in my classroom. I would use texts that introduced a particular unit or topic we were going to be studying for a while. I can vouch for the fact that kids are super engaged through these types of shared reading experiences, and their thinking really grows! I'm so so excited to have had the idea to create some for my store to share. The ones I'm including here are the ones you could use in January. But there are others in my store, and more on the docket to come out soon!

(PS-The little quote poster for the MLK think-pair-share is my FAVE! Print it on cardstock and let your students watercolor...what pretty art would that be for your room??)

Y'all. This idea hit me a couple of months ago, so I have never used them with students. But I am dyyyinnngggg to get back into the classroom and use these in my centers!! Let me give you the run-down:

These are essentially reading comprehension passages, but they are DIGITAL. There are 4 stories, so you could have these in your centers for students to rotate through and complete one a week for the whole month of January! 

Each of these stories comes in two versions: one where you read the entire story, and then the question slides pop up, or one where the questions pop up intermittently throughout the story (great for those lower babies). 

These aren't super long. The stories are 5-6 slides, and there are 4-5 questions for each story. It would take roughly 20 minutes for students to log in, read the story, record their answers, and do the reflection piece I've included...perfect for centers! The complexity of the text is good for grades 2-3, but feel free to preview and decide if you have needs for this text complexity in your class of a different grade!

OK...wanna know my FAVORITE PART??

The question slides are interactive! If students select the correct answer the first time, a slide pops up telling them they got it right, and there's a button on that slide to move on to the next part. If students choose an incorrect answer, there is a slide that tells them it is incorrect, and links them back to the question to try again. This makes it self-checking!! Students get feedback on whether or not they are getting the answers right, which is such a powerful self-monitoring piece!

The answer sheets come with options, but one of them has students record their first answer chosen, and the correct answer for each question. This is in paper form, so you can flip through and see who is getting the questions right!

This set is alllllll about winter, so it's GREAT for right now! 

I hope everyone has a happy, healthy new year with their students! 

xoxo, Stephanie

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Stephanie Sutherland