Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Just Gotta Share...

The  word "love" is over-used in the following post.  I did NOT use a thesaurus! Consider yourself warned! Ha Ha!

Ok...I have to admit...I am a staff development/workshop geek. Do they have a support group for that? Blasphemy, you say?  I know, I know...we all dread the development days at the beginning of the school year, especially if we've been in the same district for years.  I agree...things get really repetitive. But, I love the curriculum workshops.  Sorry.  I like getting a new scope and sequence; I like getting new ideas (that I sometimes forget the following day...but hey); and I absolutely love ordering books mentioned during a workshop from Amazon on my phone. Yes, I am indeed a geek. And since I'm blogging this year, I'm passing on some info to you!

As many of you know, my new position involves working with teachers and students in grades 3, 4, and 5.  So, for the first time ever, I went to a workshop to hear 3rd grade ideas. It was a two day event that dealt with bridging the gap some students show when they move from a non-testing grade to a testing grade. (In Texas, students take the state test for the first time in 3rd grade.)

Well...I loved this workshop primarily because we received two FREE professional books.  Yes. Too. Cool.  I love free anything or peppermints on the table! So imagine the JOY of getting an actual BOOK!!! Two of them!!!  My Geekdar was off the charts!  I just have to share the best one!

It is called Independent Reading:  Inside the Box by Lisa Donohue.  Here is a pic of the cover:

I love this book because it combines skills lessons with fiction and non-fiction ideas with higher level thinking with station ideas with the independent reading part of balanced literacy! Get. Out. Of. Town.  Awesomeness!!!!!  Here is just one picture of the many ideas shown in the book:

The really cool thing about this is that I can use the ideas to create my two favorite things...anchor charts and foldables!! (If there was an Olympic medal in those areas I would sooooo win  gold!)  Part of our "activity" during the workshop was to show other teachers our interpretation of different sections of the book.  I created examples of an anchor chart I might create based on visualization ideas from the book.  I created two.


In the first one, I love that students learn visualizing is not just a "picture" in their head...we use all five senses to understand characters and events! Great chart for shared reading! The second one encourages students to draw a picture of what is being studied and label it.  My sticky notes are ideas of different ways I could use this chart!  I would draw a diagram ahead of time and prompt students to help me label as we read!

Students can use these ideas to then respond to text during independent reading! I just love it!  This book can be ordered from  I don't know if it's available on any other site...this address is on a sticker on the back of the book.  I just know it's perfect for those looking for new ideas for anchor charts and text response.

New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along! --Arthur C. Clarke



  1. Thanks for sharing! I looked and you can buy this book on Amazon for $19.11. Whoo-hoo! I added it to my wishlist.

    The Teaching Thief
    Fiction Friday: A Celebration of Children’s Literature

  2. Amanda I'm so glad you found it on Amazon!!!! I promise it will give you a world of ideas!!!!!

  3. I will have to put this book on my wish list, too! These ideas would be great for reading journals as well!

    Teaching Fourth