Thursday, January 16, 2014


Hi Y'all!!!!

I am so glad to finally be getting a chance to blog again! Life has been super busy and I basically just needed a blog break...again.... BUT today I have a few things to share! So, I'm just going to jump right in! 


This week we studied summary. I find that this is the first step in writing about their reading. The kiddos need to know and be able to share what happened in the story before they can go and share deeper thinking and feeling about it. SO.... This week we read Something Beautiful and used a SWBST {Somebody, Wanted, But, So, Then} flipbook to write their summary. This seriously makes is SOOOO much easier for the students to grasp the idea of and write a summary. 

First, we completed a summary together on our read aloud. Then they took their flipbook to their seats to use it with one of their independent reading books. 

Here are a few pics of our summary activity!

I created my own SWBST flipbook so that I could add the questions on the inside of the flaps. This helped guide the students as they went along. It went GREAT! They liked it so much, some students asked if I had extra copies so that they could write another summary for another one of their books. :) 

Want a free copy of my SWBST flipbook? Go on over to my Facebook page! You can find it under my freebies tab! :) Enjoy! 

Now, my favorite!
Reading Journals
As a 2nd grade ELA teacher, I love....LOVE our reading journals! It is one of my favorite parts of teaching ELA. I love the flexibility, choice, and sharing of deep thinking that can be accomplished with reading journals. 

I have been using them since day 1 in my classroom. After slowly progressing, the students are just now building up to creating and sharing fabulous and creative thinking! 

Currently my students have moved away from workstations/centers. We are now independently reading and responding for an hour, total, while I am pulling small groups and conferring. My students are expected to read and respond to a book in their reading journals at least once a week. They then turn in their journal to me on their assigned day and I respond back to them. 

As a class, we created a list of ways that they could write about a story. Here is the list my class came up with. I keep it posted in plain sight so that they have easy access to it. 

I also have a menu that I put in the front of their journals to help get them started if they aren't sure how to respond. Once they are finished with the menu, they come get the next one. I created 7 half-sheet menus with different response starters. You can find it here at my TPT store. :)

The reading journal is broken up into two sections. Notes and Responses.

This is an example of activities we did as a class in their Notes section.

Here are some examples of my students' independent responses in their Response section! 

I love the sticky note at the top... so cute.

I ADORE it when they start to get creative! This girl used sticky notes and folded them to make flips!

My students also love to do their response on the computer! They love to print it out and glue it in!  Here you can also see my response back to her. 
{don't mind my messy handwriting....I have to respond to 10 of these a day, so that tends to encourage messiness!}

As you can see, I basically let them choose how they want to respond. That choice lets them be more creative and keeps them more engaged and excited about the work. 

Phew... I feel like that was a lot! It feels so good to be back to posting... I'm excited to share my MLK activities with you tomorrow! 

Have a FABULOUS night! :)



  1. I love the idea of having a chart for them to refer to once you have taught all the responses they can have to reading!

    For the Love of First Grade

    1. It's been a lifesaver! My students refer to it all the time! :) Thanks so much for stopping by!



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