Oh, hi.  Remember me?  I took a little break.  I’ve missed you guys but I’ve been crazy busy!  First up, as I warned before, I’ve spending quite a bit of time doing blog design and am LOVING it!  There’s been some hiccups along the way but it’s been a blast!  And, I’ve hosted bunco, and my water heater went out, and my brother went to boot camp, and my Christmas tree is still up, and I still haven’t unpacked all of my sweaters, and I could keep going.  Oh, and I’ve been working….

A little while back we worked on Character Traits in my groups and I totally forgot to share with you!  I made this anchor chart (please pardon the GIANT wrinkle!)

And then my middle school students have been working on one as we’re reading different books.

(Please ignore the spelling of does.  I know.)
And with all of my groups, we worked on looking at a character traits and recorded our thoughts on this graphic organizer.
Click on the picture to download the organizer as a pdf.
We’re still struggling with traits in many ways (especially with the support) so we’ll be coming back to it shortly.
We’ve also talked about cause and effect in a few of my groups.  My kiddos tend to confuse cause and effect and struggle to articulate it even in many real life situations.  Because of that, I teach it to them backwards basically.  Here’s why.
We focus on the word because or cause(pronounced cuz.  Like they spell it.  Okay, like how I spell it too but I swear I’m educated.)
When they visually see cause at the end of because it helps them to remember to put the cause at the end and then the effect at the beginning.  And then they can do it.
For example, “The team won the game beCAUSE…….John scored a touchdown!”  I stretch out the pause and they jump in with the answer.  I’m telling you they can get it when we focus on the effect that way.  And, they like saying “Cuz why?!?!?” What kid doesn’t like saying that?
Here’s a little poster to help illustrate how we learn it.
Yep, click this picture to download this freebie as well!
Most of my time the next 6 weeks or so will be spent on our big test.  Remember, I work with the RtI kiddos.  Many of my kids didn’t pass last year and I’m determined to get them to pass.  We’re going to be moving from novels to short stories and passages.  I hate not getting into the depths of a novel with all my groups but we have to practice some of our skills with smaller texts and in timed situations.  I need to get my creative juices flowing to keep my kids engaged during this looooooooong stretch!
What do you do to prep for the big test?