Saturday, August 2, 2014

My labor of love... COMPLETE!

So I've been working on the same TpT product for quite some time.... I have noticed that my dear 4th Graders, and those of my team, all have the same problems when it comes to Writer's Workshop. Since we teach in a Texas public school, writing is BIG in 4th Grade. My students take 2 days worth of STAAR writing exams. They involve writing 2 compositions (one Personal Narrative and one Expository) and answering a set of multiple choice questions having to do with grammar, editing, etc. So we get straight into Writing from the beginning of the year. While we have Writer's Notebooks to record mini lesson topics, brainstorm, rough draft, etc. my students needed another form of reference to have while writing. Flipping through the notebooks we had just didn't work. So the Interactive Writing Reference Folder for Upper Grades was born! You can check out the preview here!
I may have mentioned that I teach collab, which means I have a wonderful, spectacular co-teacher whom I dearly love, and together we have all of our grade levels Special Education students in our class. When I was first told I would be teaching collab, I was really nervous. While I already was differentiating to meet the needs of my students, now their needs would be spanning across whole grade levels. It is a lot of work to differentiate in every single plan, but with my co-teacher we make it happen. Now imagine teaching writing to a classroom who spans across First to a Fifth grade level! A challenge most definitely! Here are a few different ways to make this folder work in YOUR classroom:

1.) Use the dictionary pages!
Is it a constant "I can't spell __________!" or "How do you spell ________?" in your room? Or are students constantly out of their seats to look at a word wall, poster, or grab a dictionary? Don't let students waste valuable writing time. Pull out the dictionary pages in this Writing Folder, copy them onto brightly colored paper (so it doesn't get lost in their desk!) and have students keep a dictionary of their own!

2.) Size these pages down and glue them into Writing Notebooks!
Don't want students to bounce between a reference folder and their notebook? Size these sheets down to 2 to a page when you print and use them in composition books or journals! My pages are made for students with visual impairments in mind, so sizing them down will still make them completely readable. No worries!

3.) Print only the pages your class needs!
Select what is applicable to your class, print, hole punch, use folders with brads to insert them right in! You can even have students create a table of contents and list the pages in order, then number them, for super quick reference! See my Table of Contents freebie on TpT!

4.) Have students add pages as lessons are taught!
Don't want to overwhelm? Have these folders ready to go with the bare necessities from the start of school. As you teach mini lessons on sparkle words, transition words, parts of a story, etc. have students add them to their reference folder!

5.) Looking for something more permanent? Here you go!
If you aren't looking forward to reprinting these folders for students through the years, print the pages once, put them in page protectors, put them in folders and TAH-DAH! You can even store them in your Writing Center so students pick them up as needed. When my classroom is all put together I will share some pictures of our Writing Center!

6.) LOVE a particular page? POSTER!
You are welcome to print these pages as posters. All of the graphics and fonts should transfer easily into a larger print size. See my previous post about the Kinder "I Can Count to 100" posters to see how smooth they came out! Graphics and fonts are from the same creators.

I hope you find this product as perfect as I do! Make sure you check it out in my TpT store and share it with the 4th Grade team (or any team that may need it!!) at your school!

Love Y'all,