Is your district requiring you to use close reading strategies? We are and I feel like I am really helping my students with strategies to comprehend and attack non-fiction texts. I found this great blog post from Two Reflective Teachers that explains a great way to do close reads. I have got to try this! We get Time For Kids and it would be great for them.

I also use these great close reading Bookmarks. They are free too!
Free Close Read and Annotation Bookmarks

I came across this article today and loved it. We really get caught up in standards, testing, laminating and lesson plans. But what is it that students remember? They remember that we cared. We listened and we helped them when they needed it. This was a great reminder for me to focus on what really matters, not the list of things we need to get done this day but focus on my students. Read it and feel better about what you are doing!  
What Students Remember Most

I admit I see those cute anchor charts on Pinterest and mine just never end up that cute, especially when I am writing as my students are responding or coming up with ideas. I have tried but never end up liking the way turn out. So I usually end up typing them and gluing them on chart paper as we discuss the topic. This week we were concentrating on Non-Fiction Text Structures. I made an anchor chart, a foldable and a quick assessment to go along with our discussion. I loved the way it turned out. I think I need to work on making more of these!  

Well, my long neglected blog is going to start getting some attention this year. You know how we start out the year with resolutions then rarely keep them?  I decided just to set some attainable goals for myself and try to meet them. So one of them is to work on blogging more! Finish some tpt projects that have been floating around in my head for so long. And maybe work on my fitness. I am the laziest person when it comes to working out! I have done a pretty good job of giving up one of my Coke. So sad, but I realized how bad all the artificial sweetners are! Baby steps, and I will get there!

For my first blog post of the year I want to share a great list of 100 best childrens chapter books of all time. I love this list and so many of the books on it are favorites. One of the most important things I do all day with my students is to read to them aloud. Before the Christmas break, we had finished reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. If you haven't read this book, you have's the sweetest, most amazing story. Kate DiCamilo writes in a way that kids think deeper about a story. All her books are wonderful.

So if you are looking for a new book to read check out this list. You may also see some you forgot about!

Happy New Year!
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