Reader's, Writer's, and Spelling Binders

Hi everyone! I know I've mentioned the student binders I've been working on in the past. Well, I finally got one set put together yesterday!

And I'm linking up with my fabulous friend Tara for her famous...
So. I am trying something a bit different this year and I'm using two binders.

One will be for our Reader's and Writer's Workshops, plus Spelling...
(Math, Science, and Social Studies will be in a separate binder...I won't be introducing those to my class until the second week of school, so more on that soon!)

Back to these binders! So, last year, I had a Reader's and Writer's Workshop binder and I really loved it. It was the perfect place to store Reader's Responses, anchor charts we created together, graphic organizers, etc.

I wanted to add Spelling to the mix as well, since there is so much overlap among the three subjects.

I also divided three subjects among two binders so I could have more sections! One thing I learned from last year was the more sections I had set up, the easier it was for my students to really organize their resources. And here are the sections...

For Reader's Workshop we have the following tabs:
  • Reader's  For notes, anchor charts, anything from our mini-lessons.
  • Responses  For our Reader's Response questions.
  • Records  To keep track of books read in class.

For Writer's Workshop, we have two sections:
  • Writer's  For notes, anchor charts, anything from our mini-lessons.
  • Notebook For student writing pieces. I like the idea of having an actual notebook in Writer's Workshop, but I also use a TON of graphic organizers, so I ultimately prefer the binder setup.

And for Spelling:
  • Spelling  For notes and spelling work for the week.
  • List To store and keep track of our spelling list. I've grown weary of lost lists each week!!
  • Resources This section is the very last one for a reason. As I mentioned last evening, I'm looking to store word features and patterns discussed during spelling, so that student can utilize them with their writing. I'm hoping to add not only spelling resources, but also Reader's and Writer's Workshop resources for the students in this back section.
I have a lot more to share about these binders, but it's kind of hard without seeing them without the actual work inside them! So I will definitely be blogging more about them once school has begun. more thing! I also have gotten a (tiny) bit carried away with the numbering system this year, thanks to Tara and Teri! I can't stop numbering things!! It has made getting my room ready SO much easier this summer.

I even numbered these binder covers, 'cause I like how it looks with the design. Plus I don't have to wait for a final class list. If you would like to download a set, please click on the image below:
Do you use binders with your class? Or notebooks or folders? Or a combination of them? I would love to read about your favorite set up!

Word Pattern Playlists and some news

Hi guys! I'm stopping by to share a free file this evening and I really hope it's something you can use! 

So. I've been working on my students' binders (more to come on those, very soon). But I had to stop, middle of binder-setup, to work on this...
(The awesome clipart is designed by the fabulous Ginger, from Ginger Snaps!).

I know I've shared a bunch of different word-collection resources in the past...Word Detectives, Word Wizards, Word Rock...

(Ok, now I feel kind of boring looking at my file names!)

These have all worked well for my students over the years, but I wanted something a bit different than a book this year...since we'll be storing these words in our binders. I also wanted something that would be appealing to my 5th grade class.

Oh yes, that's the news I had to share with you. know how I work with ELL newcomers in a magnet class? And I teach a 4th/5th grade multi-age? Well, things are going to be a bit different this year!

I will be teaching a 5th grade class that is half newcomer ELL students, half mainstream 5th graders (I'm certified in both areas and have taught mainstream 5th in the past). As my good friend and colleague said, it's kind of an international class (are you reading this Louise???). 

I'm beyond excited about it and have been prepping things like a madwoman all week. Hence the lack of blogging.

Ok, back to the file.

It could be used with younger grades, like so...
...with students writing a basic spelling pattern and list of words with this pattern.

And with older students in this fashion...
....with students focusing on a sound and its variations in spelling, then categorizing the words.

We will store these sheets in the Reference section of our binders and I'm hoping they will be used as a resource during Writer's Workshop, in addition to our spelling lessons.

If you would like to download this file, please click here: Word Pattern Playlists.
I know that so many of my bloggy friends are back at school and I hope it is going well!! Our students start back on Wednesday, eek! I look forward  to catching up with you soon :)

Tutorial: Creating a link to your blog on TpT

Hi everyone! I had a request from a very sweet reader to make a tutorial about a direct link to your blog, from your TpT profile. It's a pretty quick process and it can be added into the "Personal Quote" section on TpT. Here are the steps...

1. Edit your profile and head to the Personal Quote section...

2. Type in the quote/message you would like, then type the following code:
3. Once you save this code in your profile, it will appear as a live link on your store front page in TpT...

And that's it! I know a lot of seasoned TpT sellers know how to do this, but I hope it can be of some help to anyone new starting out (like me!). Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

Tutorial: Organizing fonts on a Mac

Hi again everyone! I'm back for a second time to share a quick little tutorial. Before I do that, I want to say a huge thanks to all of the lovely bloggers who stopped by to visit my sister's new blog--you are the best!!!

So, this is something I've been asked about a few times and I'm hoping it will be of some help to some of the other font-crazed teachers out there!

It's actually very easy to create a new folder to organize your fonts on a are the steps:

1. Install a new font (or just head to your Font Book):
2. To the left, you will see a menu of previously made folders for fonts. At the very bottom, in the gray bar, you will see a plus sign:
3. Click on the plus sign and create a name for your new folder (called a Collection here):
4. Once you name this new collection, click and drag any fonts from the right to your new folder. I called mine "Design Fonts" and head to this folder always when making a saves me tons of time (instead of scrolling through endless fonts I don't really use!):
I'm sorry I don't have this information for PC users--does anyone have advice to share in that regard? I'd love to hear it if so! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy your evening!

My baby sis has a blog!

Well, I have to tell you, it took a loooong time of me pleading and trying to convince my sister to start a blog. You know, my contact-papering, co-classroom-decorating, bff sister? 

Well, now she finally has one and I am so proud of her!

She's adores fashion (in case you couldn't guess by the blog name!) and teaching. If you have a chance, I know she would LOVE to meet you--she knows so many of you already from my endless blog talk! 

If you'd like to say hello, the link to her blog is below...

Thanks for stopping by...I may be cheating and posting again later this evening--you'll let it slide this one time right?? I have a little tutorial to share :)

An updated free file and a new store!

Happy Friday!! I'm sharing an updated free file this evening. I've had some very nice requests to add some additional numbers to the files I shared in my Reading Drawers post. After reading how large some of the class sizes are, how I could I say no?? So, I hope these can be of use to some of you.

This file is now updated in my Teachers Notebook Shop and...

also in my new TpT store! I followed the advice of a very esteemed blog friend and opened one earlier this week. It's slowly gaining printables and this file was my first freebie shared in the store! 

These buttons will take you directly to the file, for easy downloading...

Thank you for stopping by! :)

Must-Haves for Reader's & Writer's Workshop!

Hi! I am linking up with Lindsay from My Life as a Third Grade Teacher for her first linky party (and it's a good one!)...
This is something I love to think about--and talk about! And make things for! 

Here are some of the most important materials I need for my students in both workshops... 

A classroom library featuring a wide selection of reading.

Since I teach newcomer ELL students in grades 4 and 5, I really need a variety of texts to reach all learners in my classroom...from those just learning to read for the first time to the students reading closer to grade level.
I like to have several different options for my students. So we have a leveled section, a genre section, and a section of books sorted by subject (nonfiction topics, such as "marine life" and "sports").

Storage for Reading Materials

I know I just talked about our Reading Drawers the other day, so I won't go on about them again. I'm really looking forward to using them this year!
 Reading Strategies on Display

Long before I was working with an actual Reader's Workshop model, I was reading and practicing away at the wonderful strategies in The CAFE Book. Since then, I've been tweaking and adapting it a bit to fit the needs of my students and to work within our Reader's Workshop. Having those reading strategies visible makes such a difference!
Space for Anchor Charts
Ok, it would probably make more sense to say the anchor charts themselves, but I don't have any yet since school hasn't started. I save a huge bulletin board space in my classroom for our anchor charts (this goes for Writer's Workshop as well).
Comfortable Reading Nooks

I was really fortunate to have received a huge carpet featuring the flags of the world from Donors Choose. It is the center of the classroom and a favorite place to read.

I also like to have a couple of small carpets and pillows in different areas, so the students can have space throughout the room when reading independently.

(Those pillows have pretty much had it but I am in love with my new brightly-colored chevron carpets!!! Thanks Alisha and Ginger!!)

Reader's and Writer's Binders

We use these binders are for our Reader's Responses, writing pieces, reading logs, graphic organizers, and more. For me, these are some of the most important tools for both workshops.

I'm in the process of setting these up as we speak (well, we're not really talking but you know what I mean!). Last year, I used separate binders for the two workshops, but I am merging them into one binder for this year's class.
I'm working on some additional sections for them this year--more to come on that later! 

And that's about it! What are some of your must-haves for Reader's and Writer's Workshop? Thanks Lindsay, for a wonderful linky party!!

Goodbye book bags...hello reading drawers!

Hey everyone! I am linking up with Tara for her awesome and inspiring...
My Monday Made It was something I've been thinking about for awhile now--since the end of last school year in fact!

You see, though I loved our book bags for Reader's Workshop in the past, they were getting old and worn.

And they were just hard to store!

I tried some of those sticky hooks on the wall, but they would eventually fall off in the humidity. I tried lining them up on some shelves, but they just looked too messy. In the end, we draped them over the chairs in our classroom. This was ok, but they were dragging on the floor. And starting to look pretty dirty.

So I started thinking about my ideal storage in the classroom...the storage that works best for me as a teacher. And how this could maybe work for the students too. And it came down to those lovely, clean Sterilite drawers.

I use them for my files. Hold on, I may have a recent picture...
(ok, so that's the back of them, but you get the idea!). I've had them for years now and they work so well for books, games, any teaching materials I need to keep sorted.

So I thought, why not use something similar for my students' reading materials? They could store their books and reading journals, pull them out for Reader's Workshop, then put them away all tidy at the end of workshop. We even tried out a few of my old drawers at the end of the school year. The kids loved them and told me I must use them next year! So cute.
The only thing I was worried about were those larger pictures books that may not fit in the drawers...since the ones I have for my files are for 8.5 by 11 inch paper.

Well, it took me awhile, but I finally stumbled upon a solution...
Those extra-wide drawers designed to hold scrapbook paper!! I thought these would be the best to hold many different-sized books. 

One thing to note...the drawers have a little catch on the side, to prevent them from falling out. Most come out easily anyhow, but if some catch as you slide it, you just have to lightly push on the plastic side of the drawer (they're flexible) and it slides right out.

So, we'll be using these drawers to store our independent reading books, reading journals, sticky notes (not those fancy ones you see in the picture, those are MINE!), and a couple of pens/pencils. 
That way everything will be together and ready to go for Reader's Workshop! The drawer can be taken out of the unit and to my students' favorite reading spots in the room.

And put away all nicely more dragging off the chair, dirty book bags.

Oh, and I almost forgot (thank you to a friendly reader!) I will be using these in addition to the chair pockets I already made. The chair pockets are smaller and meant to hold a book or two that my students will need at a moment's notice, any time during the day, while at their tables. These drawers are meant for Reader's Workshop specifically and can hold all of the needed materials.
The Made part in this Monday excitement lies in the labels. I am completely on a numbering craze this summer--thanks to everything I have learned from my blog friends! So waiting for a class list, just numbered and ready to go! And that's what I did for my reading drawers today :)

And I would love to share the file with you, my wonderful readers! If you'd like to use it, the numbers fit nicely on these wide storage drawers

They could also be used other ways (labeling reading materials, book boxes). I would love to hear what you would use them for, if you'd like to download them. You can download them by clicking on the image below...

Library Labels Galore!

Thank you to everyone who has linked up with the Summer Shopping Linky Party so far!! It has been so fun to see all of the purchases! If you would like to link up (or just browse around) please click on the green link to check it out.

So, this week, I'm putting the finishing touches on my classroom library labels. I have three sections to my library this year: a leveled section, a genre section, and a nonfiction subject section (that last one is the part I'm still finishing now--it's taking forever!!).

Once I wrap that up, I will blog a bit more in depth about our system and how it's evolved over the years. I think (and hope!) that I finally have it down to the best system possible for my students. More to come on that!

In the meantime, I've put a number of different library labels in my shop. Each preview below shows a snapshot of the item and can be clicked to bring you to that exact item in the shop. I put the name and price so you don't have to go clicking back and forth.  :)

The library labels include...

Flipped Signs: Genre Labels ($1.00)...

 Bright & Clear Decor: Genre Labels ($1.50)...
 Flipped Signs: Leveled Labels ($1.50)...
Bright & Clear Decor: Leveled Labels ($2.00). Lots of mix and match options with this one...

Flipped Signs: Letter Labels ($1.50). To sort by author or book name...
Bright & Clear Decor: Letter Labels ($2.00). These are in a large file too, so they can be mixed and matched to your particular color scheme...

And last, but not least, Flipped Signs: Genre Posters ($2.50). This poster pack has labels that are 4" in diameter to decorate library baskets, as well as 6" in diameter for a larger, display size.

I never put a lot of items on at once like this--and I feel like celebrating now that I've finally linked them all up! 

Sooo...if you are interested in any of these items, I will take the first twelve readers to leave a comment with:
  1. Your email address so it can be sent along.
  2. Which library item you would like to grab.
Thanks for taking the time to read this...I appreciate it always!
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