Welcome to my blog. I see this as a place to reflect on my teaching practices and to share ideas and strategies with other teachers.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Writing Process Status of the Class Tracking Chart AND Writing Goals Chart

For our writing block each day, we have a quick mini-lesson and then work through the writing process in response to a weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) writing project/prompt.  I keep track of how students are making progress with this Status of the Class tracking chart.

You can find the FREE chart in my TPT store by clicking here.

I decided to make an illustrated version of this chart so that non-readers and struggling readers could better be able to tell independently what the steps in the writing process are.  This version of the chart can be found in my TPT store by clicking here.

In conjunction with this new chart, I wanted a way to make students accountable for the goals we talk about during our writing conferences, so I made a writing conference binder with dividers between each child and anecdotal notes pages.  Then, I made a Writing Goal Chart. The teacher and student work together to choose an appropriate writing goal based on their writing conference.  The student puts a labeled clothespin on the appropriate goal.  Then, the goal can be revisited at each conference and changed when it has been met consistently.  The chart can be adapted for different grade levels by selecting the goals most appropriate for your age group of students and using only those.

You can find this goal chart in my TPT store by clicking here.

Book Character Costume - Big Chicken!

For Halloween this year, our school invited teachers to dress up as storybook characters.  I choose to dress as one of the chickens from the book Big Chickens by Leslie Helakoski.  I dress inspiration from these pictures I found on Pinterest:  

Chicken 1          
Chicken 2            

I made the costume with a white dress/bathing suit cover up from Goodwill (about $3).  I bought about 12 white feather boas from the Dollar Tree (about $12) and hot glued them in zig zags across the front and across the back.  I used two bags of hot glue sticks from the Dollar Tree ($2).  

My chicken feet were made from yellow rubber kitchen gloves stuffed with paper and slid over flat shoes I already had.  The kitchen gloves were from the Dollar Tree, also ($1).

The chicken headband was made from two devil headbands I bought at a Family Dollar store ($2).  I cut the horns off of both headbands, glued a piece of plastic perpendicular to the original headband, and then hot glued the horns back onto the perpendicular please of plastic.  

I bought a chicken beak from a local party supply store ($4).

I wore a pair of gold tights I already had and a wide black belt I already had.  

My kids and coworkers loved it!  


It was a lot of fun to dress up as a Big Chicken!  The kids wanted to rub me.  They wanted to touch the feathers and the feet.  I shed feathers all day and the kids were collecting them in their pockets!  I have two students with special needs who were both especially enthralled by the costume.  I gave one boy the feet to take home and the other will get my headband!  

In hindsight, I wish I would have only put feathers up to my waist (or used a skirt instead of a dress).  I also wish I would have made a felt mask with an attached beak (like this one) instead of using a store bought one.  Since the store bought one covered my nose and mouth, it was hard to breathe and I couldn't wear it for longer than a couple of minutes at a time.

I must have shed more than I thought!   At the end of the day, I had a surprise in my mailbox:

What was your Halloween costume this year?