Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Main Idea Mysteries

A few weeks ago we finished up our study of main idea, so I thought I'd share with you a few of our favorite activities and lessons that went on during our unit!
To introduce main idea, my students became DETECTIVES. Let me just tell you how thrilled they were. We even pulled out the magnifying glasses. Were they necessary? No. Did it result in increased student engagement? Yes.
To prep our very first lesson, I put picture clues into mystery envelopes. Each envelope contained four cards with a common theme (space, birthdays, fishing, etc). Students worked in small groups of 3-4, pulled out each clue card, and determined the "Main Idea" of each envelope.
My kiddos loved figuring out the main idea of each envelope. I encouraged them to work very quietly so that the other tables of detectives wouldn't hear them, too. They recorded their findings on a worksheet, where they wrote the four clues and what their group had decided was the main idea.
After introducing main idea, we focused on reading ONE paragraph and determining the main idea and key details. We used this poster to guide us through the unit.
Another lesson that promoted great student conversations about main idea was our paragraph sentence sorts. To prep this activity, I cut apart four sentences and mixed them up in an envelope. Each group of students had to put the sentences in order, making sure that the main idea was the first sentence and the key details came after.
This activity was fantastic for my students to practice main idea. As I was walking around, we had great conversations when I'd ask them which sentence was the main idea. Once they had gotten around to completing all of the envelopes, they were truly getting that the main idea tells you what the text is mostly about and the key details SUPPORT the main idea.

These are just a few of the hands-on activities we completed, but there are many more included in my full Main Idea Mysteries unit!

Happy Teaching!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

All I Want for Black Friday!

I'm joining my wonderful blogger friends over at The Primary Pack for a fun November linky! We are celebrating Black Friday a little bit early! We are all sharing what's on our Black Friday wish list AND what's most-wishlisted in our stores! We're also hosting a HUGE Black Friday Giveaway! You don't want to miss out on all the fun!

So here's what's on MY Black Friday Wishlist...

1. December Math Journal (1st Grade) - from Missing Tooth Grins: These journals are AMAZING. They are the perfect no-prep journals for my 1st graders!

2. Place Value Pals - Easy Teaching Tools: My next unit with my 2nd graders is place value, and the activities in this look perfect for my kiddos!

3. Close Reads: Dogs - Creativity toe the Core: I love, love, love her close reads & I know my kiddos will LOVE this one that is all about different dog breeds!

4. Penguins: An Integrated Unit - Primarily Speaking Aimee Salazar: I have used the Bats and Owls integrated units by Aimee and my kiddos LOVED them!

5. Number Sense Games, Centers, and Activities - Primary Punch: This looks like a fantastic number sense pack of activities!


1. Sentence Surgery - This unit is perfect for primary students working on writing strong, complete sentences!

2. Introducing Multiplication - This unit is all about introducing multiplication with arrays, repeated addition, and equal groups! Perfect for end of 2nd and 3rd grades!

3. Addition Strategy Squad - This is one of my FAVORITE units! It includes little "strategy cheerleaders" to help you teach 2-3 digit addition!

4. Subtraction Strategy Squad - This is the subtraction version of my strategy squads! More adorable strategy cheerleaders and games & activities to teach 2 & 3 digit subtraction!

5. Monthly Reading Response Menus - I've included 9 different monthly literacy menus with activities to use with ANY book! I've also included graphic organizers for each activity! Great for homework or quick printable organizers!

Now it's time for the BIG GIVEAWAY! Take a look at all of these fabulous products!


Drumroll please.... Check out this HUGE giveaway package you can win by entering below! There is a resource from almost everyone in The Primary Pack, perfect for all primary grades!! Good luck, friends and happy shopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now It's Your Turn To Join The Fun! 

Just a few rules to follow and your on your way:
1. Download the images above!
2. Add your favorite sellers products in your TpT cart to the "My Black Friday Wishlist"
3. Add your own products to the "For Your Black Friday Wishlist"
4. Link up below to share your Black Friday Wishlists!
5. Don't forget to enter our fabulous giveaway above AND visit others linked up below!