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4 Square Planning: The Key to Organized Writing. Guest post by Catherine Reed, the Brown Bag Teacher As a fifth-grade ELA teacher, I spent many hours writing together with my students. We worked on developing ideas, learning writing conventions, giving opinions, and most importantly, organizing our thoughts. My students were expected to learn three differentiated classes of writing, and my lowest writers really struggled with the execution of ideas.

My students knew what they wanted to say but struggled to write it in a logical, organized manner that allowed others to understand. I was blessed to visit a neighboring school which has shown tremendous growth in their on-demand writing scores and I asked questions. While my gut feeling was to provide my students with a printed planner that they would 'fill in', I fought it. Below is an example of a template planner for Opinion Writing. Some students choose to write a very detailed plan, methodically recording their ideas on the planner and then, on their formal writing piece. One Stop Teacher Shop: No-Fuss Literacy Centers! I've said this before, and I'll say it again...I am a "low maintenance" teacher, and am always striving to find the simplest, yet most effective way to accomplish my goals for my classroom.

My Goal: I wanted to have at least one center per week that effectively addressed the skill or strategy I was teaching (or had already taught) my students. My Problem: I had a ton of fiction and non-fiction texts, but no activities to go with them! :o( My Solution: I created activity sheets that could easily be paired with almost any Fiction or Non-Fiction text! Best Part: I can easily differentiate these for my students based on the text they use! NOTE: It took me time to make these, but I can literally use them ALL year, and never have to ask, "What am I doing for literacy centers next week?

" Here is how they work... Once a week, I put out a basket of books or articles for my students to choose from (Fiction or Non-Fiction, depending on what I am teaching at the time). Examples of Texts I Use... Tree of Life Timeline. Our new toy! | Fun in Fifth Grade at JCS. Every year, our school holds a Race for Education. This is one of our biggest fundraisers that brings in quite a bit of money to JCS. Both the students and the teachers send out mailers asking for donations to family and friends and pray that others feel compelled to help our school. On a Friday in October, the whole school goes to a nearby track and runs laps for an hour.

People can donate by lap or give a flat donation. Any money that is raised by teachers goes specifically to that teacher’s classroom for her to use as desired. Well, this year, guess how much I raised?? I know, right? So after a lot of thought, I decided that I wanted to purchase something really special with our money, something that our school did not already have.

A brand spankin’ new iPad! Ohmygoodness, my kiddos were SO super excited when I brought it to school on Monday! Speaking of playing with the iPad, I spent the weekend downloading several free educational apps that I found after a bit of research. Like this: Poetry Cafe. I love admiring this picture. For me, there's something so very peaceful about it. It represents nine months of blossoming for 24 young little thinkers. I took this on the day of our Poetry Cafe (inspired by Marie, my teammate, who found an amazing post about a teacher who knew how to put on a great Poetry Cafe - look here and you'll be impressed). Each of my poets got to sit in the limelight and read one of their published poems while the other poets sat on the floor quietly awaiting their turn and teaching the adults who came to join us how to be poetically cool and snap after each reading. (The black curtain is a Dollar Store tablecloth.

I love how simple and perfect and cheap it is.) As our guests arrived, two of my kids stood at the door and welcomed them with their greetings, as well as a program. Front back They were encouraged to wear jeans and black t-shirts. Each poet got to read their poem into our new sound system. I also read a poem of mine. Small Types: Read All Over. Hey, remember this goofy old riddle? Q: What's black and white and red all over? A: The newspaper! (The "red" should obviously be "read" in that sentence, but I wasn't sure how I should type it since I didn't want to give away the riddle.

Hmm.) Anyway, since this month is about the color red, with Valentine's Day and hearts and all, that little riddle popped into my head... Even if you can't follow my convoluted logic above, you may want to try writing a family newspaper. You can download the printable here. For more ideas about writing a family newspaper, check out this post from Playful Learning, or this one from Imagination Soup. Ok, that's the scoop! Educational Technology and Mobile Learning: Wonderful Free Templates to Create Newspapers for your Class. Earlier this year we wrote about web tools teachers can use to for their classrooms. This post turned We have selected for you today a host of awesome templates for your Power Point presentations.

These are basically newspaper templates provided by for free. If you want to create a newspaper for your class, you can do it through one of these templates. The procedure is very easy. 1- Newspaper Template for Word Download it HERE 2- Free Illustrator Newspaper Template Download it HERE 3- Adobe Illustrator Newspaper Template Download it HERE 4- Microsoft Word Newspaper Template Download it HERE 5- School Newspaper Template Download it HERE 6- Free Word Newspaper Template Download it HERE 7- Free Newspaper Template Download it HERE. THE SCOOP: EDITABLE STUDENT NEWSPAPER TEMPLATE.