Get Geared Up for January!

I suppose it's time to start thinking about January and going back to school.  Hey, it's gotta happen sometime!  So, I'm going to throw a few fun and easy ideas out there for ya, if you're looking to get started preparing and prepping.  For me, I don't go back until January 6, so I'm not quite to the preparing and prepping stage - shame on me!  :)

One of my favorite resources I have created are my Monthly Common Core Writing Activities.  They have done WONDERS for my classroom and for my students' growth in writing.  One of my favorite pieces that we write each year is the one featured below.  It is the Opinion Piece from my January Common Core Writing Activities.  You can see a close-up of it below.  This prompt asks students if schools should be closed due to inclement weather (ice, snow, etc.).  They must write a letter to the principal or school board stating their opinion.  This is a hot topic in my district, so my kids were loving it!  I also think this could work even if you are not in an area with snow/ice.  It's a great authentic piece of writing for students to think about.

To prepare for writing this piece, we did do a little bit of research so that we could support our opinion with clear facts.  We went to our school district's website and researched how many students drivers there are in our district, how many teachers, staff, support workers drive to school each day, and how many buses transport students to school each day and how many students are bus riders.  This REALLY helped some of my students see the need for our county to close schools for inclement weather.  However, there were a few differing opinions last year.  "My mom can't get off work, so we shouldn't close school, because it makes it hard for Mom to find someone to watch me and it's just a big ole mess!"  This kiddo cracked me right up!  This student's opinion was clear and she wrote about it with passion! :)  There were others: "What about spending time with your family and playing in the snow?!  I have never been sledding and if there is enough snow on the ground to go sledding, I definitely don't want to be in school!"  Very matter-of-fact!  :)  This piece is always TONS of fun!

The other types of Common Core Writing can be found in the entire pack seen below or click {HERE} to see them on TPT.

Another favorite are my Common Core Winter ELA Printables.  These are a new monthly addition to my store.  I have so many seasonal books that I just love to read aloud to my kiddos, but I'm always looking for some kind of Common Core-Aligned graphic organizer or response sheet to assess their comprehension of the story and take it to a deeper level.  So, I decided to create themed ELA printables that can be used for just that and the best part is they are 100% aligned to the Common Core Standards which is a requirement in my classroom.

See below for a sneak peek of two of the printables included in this pack.  You can see that the first one shown is a graphic organizer that can be used to assess the students' understanding of the who, what, when, where, and how of the story (RL.1.1, RL.2.1, RL.3.1).  The second one shows how I ask my kiddos to take it to a higher level of thinking with the text.  The students must create a NEW setting for the story and then analyze the new setting and how it would change the plot of the story (RL.1.7, RL.2.7, RL.3.7).  The kiddos are really required to think deeply about the story, but are having fun using their imagination.  They have no idea they're thinking on a higher level - I love it!

You can find the rest of my Winter ELA Printables in the preview pic below.

And finally, if you're prepping for centers, early finisher activities, math tubs, challenge work, extra practice, etc. you will want to snatch up my Winter Themed Math and Literacy Centers.  They are aligned to the Common Core and are a great way to practice important skills and concepts in the Common Core with a fun game-like, hands-on approach.  There are 5 math and 5 literacy centers each with a task card, all materials needed, and a recording sheet.  The standards are also listed on the Table of Contents so that you will know exactly what CCSS you are assessing with each particular center.

You can see preview of the entire pack below or find more information about them {HERE}.

One last thing and I promise, I'm done.  If you are really interested in my Common Core Monthly Writing Packs, it is a really good time to get my Common Core Writing Bundle #2 (January-July) for 20% off.  You get all the months included and it's much cheaper than buying them monthly.  Click {HERE} or the picture below to check it out.

Have questions regarding how I use the Common Core Monthly Writing units?  Check out the Q&A blog post found {HERE}.  Also, don't forget to snatch up my FREE Common Core Writing Rubrics found {HERE} to accompany the writing units.

So there you have it, I promise to get myself into school-mode in the next few days....or week.  :)  Hope this helps some of you that are already planning and prepping!  Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment

  1. Thanks for the rubric freebie! It will be fun to try using it with my 2nd graders next year. It seems like the expectations will be very clear for them this way.
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