23 January 2016

Five For Friday- January 22nd

My favorite link up of the week with DoodleBugs Five For Friday 

Evidence Based Writing and Document Based Questions

We've been learning about and trying to implement both of these writing tactics. 

I now have a Text-Based Evidence Anchor Chart hanging behind my Guided Reading table where I meet with small groups. After reading a story on their reading level, I have students write a response in their Reading Logs. I am having students use the language from the chart to answer the questions. They can use the guided reading books to cite their evidence. 
For example, we read a book about insects and how they look close up with a magnifying glass. I then asked students to write about how insects look close up, but use evidence from the text to support their answer. So far, this is working well with them having the leveled books at hand to use as support.

Let me know if you have other ways to incorporate Text-Based Evidence.

We are also learning about using Document Based Questions.
This was the first time I've seen Blendspace.
Blendspace is a free web tool for teachers to collect resources in one place to form a bundled, interactive lesson for students and colleagues. 

Here is a link to the presentation we saw about DBQ's 

We now want to start using primary sources and documents for students to read and inform their responses to questions. As a first grade teacher, I think it would be great to use these while learning about the famous historical figures in our Social Studies Standards: Lewis and Clark, Sacajawea, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Harriet Tubman, Theodore Roosevelt, and George Washington Carver. 

Have you used blendspace or DBQ's in your class? If you have some great ideas, please share! 

Peer Observations

We recently had training about DOK in our classrooms. This week we were able to visit other classrooms and record DOK that we noticed in those classrooms. I really enjoy conducting Peer Observations and learning from others, as well as having others come in my own classroom and walk away with something they can use. I had about 12 people come observe me throughout the week. 

One thing I would suggest for next time would be to leave a post-it note in the classrooms you visit with one nice thing to say or compliment. One teacher left a post-it note on my door before leaving and I didn't even notice it until later in the day, but it made me smile. I wish I had thought to do the same with the teachers I visited.

Techie Idea- Desmos Polygraph
Our Math Coach shared this great site for students to use with a partner this week. It is a lot like digital "Guess Who" but with math of course.
Two students play on different computers. One student selects an answer while the other students types yes/no questions to try and figure out which picture/number/shape (depending on what you are learning about) is correct. 
This was on Desmos.com, but you have to then search polygraph to find the games. I am sure this site has other great things to offer, but have not had the time to look through it all yet.

100th Day of School
Before running out the door Friday, because of the snow coming. You know how it is in Georgia....
I had to hang this 100 Day of School banner for kids to see when they walk in Monday. :)

Snow in Georgia

Thanks for listening to my randomness for the week!


  1. My principal had us visit each other classroom's and leave positive notes on each other's desks. It was one of my fondest memories of when he was our principal. Good idea!!

    1. It really is an easy thing to do and very rewarding for both you and the teacher you observed.

  2. I just had the DOK training last week and I will never look at standards and student activities the same way again. I love what you are doing with your students. The evidence based writing in first grade is going to make a huge different in students as they do this from year to year. Great idea!! :)

    1. I know, both the DOK training and Evidence-Based Writing have me rethinking everything and reflecting on common practices in my classroom. I am always trying to make things better and meaningful. Thanks Juli!