Saturday, February 8, 2014

Dear Mrs. LaRue Week Recap

Happy Weekend! I've become such a weekend blogger, but that's okay. :)  I love being about to process through what we did this week. It allows me to think about what worked, what didn't, and what to improve upon when teaching a standard/skill later in year. 

Our story from our reading series this week was Dear Mrs. LaRue.  You can check out the book on Amazon {here} or click on the image below.

My students always love this story and most have read it before, so I thought it would be great to work on the following standards. 

On Monday, we used a small passage in our book for a mini lesson on referring to details in the text when we answer text dependent questions.  No photos of that, so sorry friends. :) 

On Tuesday, during my mini lessons between rotations, we worked with the following passage I wrote about my parent's dog Daisy.  The fun thing is the passage is about 98% true! :) 

I used the "I Do, We Do, You Do," model with this passage during my mini lesson.  We did the first two questions during the first mini mini lesson and the last one and the character traits during the second one.  My kiddos were super engaged because the topic was fun and I told them I would show Daisy examples of their hard work. :) 

We had another snow day this week so most of my small group lessons focused on reading some of Ike's letters in a close reading format and answering text dependent questions.  Again, since the story was so engaging, they didn't mind reading the letters multiple times to find evidence to support their answers.  Since we couldn't exactly mark up our text book while we"talking back the text", I used these arrow shaped post its to have my kiddos mark text based evidence for the questions we answered.  

I don't always have each group did the exact same lesson but this week I did because the skill was something we could all work on.  

For my highest group, I acted more as a facilitator.  I shared the questions, had them discuss answers with their shoulder partner within the group and then had them record their answers on their sheet.  I walked around the table listening and clarifying any misconceptions.  
For my on level groups, the process was the similar. I allowed them to discuss their answers with a shoulder partner, we shared as a group, and then I provided sentence stems for them, if needed, when they recorded their responses. 

For my lower groups, they still discussed answers with their shoulder partner, but the construction of the response was much more guided and we constructed the response together.  

Here is an example of some completed questions.

Since we read only portions of Dear Mrs. LaRue together, we read the rest of the story yesterday.  Our focus was more on RL 4.3, describing a character in detail.  

In my morning class, I had my students fill out the following organizer to help them write their character descriptions about Ike.

Although my kiddos still did a great job, it was harder for them to use the above organizer to write a detailed description of Ike.  In the afternoon, we used this organizer instead.  It worked much better!

Their final products made me such a PROUD teacher. :) 

Most were continued onto the back as well. :) Again, I could brag on my kiddos all day long. It's amazing what they can do when you hold the bar high as far as what you expect from your kiddos and provide the proper supports to get them there. 

After everyone was finished, we did a little walk around the room and read each other's descriptions and shared new things we learned about Ike.  They really enjoyed it!

Eventually, I plan on turning some of the things we did into a little activity pack but my grading pile/school to do list calls.  :)  I had to bring in big Bertha to take some stuff home this weekend. 
I was also observed this week and had a few IEP meetings, so a lot of my time and effort was spent getting everything ready this week.  Naturally, some things just took a back seat, it's time to get caught up! I'm thinking a lunch date with my grading is happening at Panera today. 

Have a great weekend, friends!  I'm hoping to tackle my to do list so I can watch my FAVORITE Olympic movie later. :) 



  1. I love this lesson! This is such a fun story to use too. I am going to try to incorporate a walk around the room this week so that students can see each other's work. I think that they will really like that! And, Panera dates are my absolute favorite!

    Sara :)
    The Colorful Apple

  2. Whenever you get these items up, I would LOVE to use them. We will be reading "Dear Mrs. LaRue" next week!


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