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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mentor Text (The Raft) and Currently!

Are you on summer vacation and already working hard looking for materials for next year?  I am not on summer vacation yet but Amanda and Stacia's awesome mentor text linky is so organized that I can go back anytime and keep adding texts to my must-read list!  I am really looking forward to some extra blog reading time during summer vacation (just 3 weeks away!).  Check out their linky this week.  Topic: Language Arts
The mentor text I am sharing today is one of the stories from our reading series, McMillan McGraw Hill's Treasures.  
Although I only use the reading series about once or twice every two months, there are some wonderful texts here accompanied by great resources for teaching certain skills.   One of my favorite stories from our textbook is The Raft.  It is nice to use the reading series when I find a great text to share because the students can each have a copy of the text in front of them when using the books.  The Common Core standards emphasize referring back to the text for SPECIFIC details.  This is making it difficult to not provide the class with individual copies of a text and still practice the types of questions students will be assessed on during "the TEST".   

From Amazon Reviews:
Imagine passing a summer drifting up and down a slow-moving river, watching as cranes, turtles, raccoons, otters, and ducks grow accustomed to your presence. Envision days spent poling the raft through lily pads and grasses, glimpsing foxes through the trees on shore. On hot, sticky nights, picture a tent set up on the raft, from which you have an unobstructed view of huge bucks drinking from the moonlit river. Nicky has no idea what he's getting into when his father drops him off for the summer at his grandmother's cottage in the woods. And he's not especially pleased at the prospect. "There's nobody to play with ... She doesn't even have a TV." But this "river rat" is not the normal kind of grandma. Without pushing, she quietly allows Nicky to discover for himself the wonders of river life. Gradually, Nicky's interest in drawing the wildlife he sees brings him closer to his artist grandmother, and to an inner peace that looks as though it will last for a lifetime.

Here is a link to a great slideshow of activities to accompany the novel.
I have made many of these computer investigation worksheets to accompany themes that we are exploring with texts.  Here is one where students can explore different types of animals and answer questions.  
Download this worksheet for students to investigate more animals using the National Geographic website.  I noticed that the margins are off in Dropbox but you should be able to edit the margins in Word once it is downloaded.  You can also edit the directions.  I have a website through Quia.com where I provide links to all my computer investigations.

Next, I am linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade.  I am probably like link up 128,492 but, hey, I am only a day late:)
Thinking my daughter's birthday party was a success!  Here she is getting her nails painted at a "Little Diva Day Spa!"  It was totally low stress for me and the girls had a blast!!
Wanting the next three weeks to be over with but also wanting to enjoy the last weeks with my students!  I love my class this year and will be sad to see them go:(

Needing to write up my lesson plan from my unannounced walkthrough observation on Thursday.  I also have to submit 24 artifacts for domains one and four of the Danielson rubric.  They are mostly done but I need to double check and add a few things.  I am procrastinating...
I did make these handy organizers to keep my binder organized if you want to check them out.  There is also a version for the TED rubric.

I look forward to having time later to catch up on what all of you are doing "Currently!"  
Have a great Sunday:)


  1. Your daughter is so precious! I want that birthday party! Looks fantastic! I sympathize with you about wanting the final school year days to last long, but go by quickly, all at the same time! I love my class but I am so ready for summer!

    Little Lovely Leaders

  2. Love the mentor text, thank you!! Your daughter is adorable.. thank you for sharing a glimpse into her amazing party!! I am glad you are starting to wind down the year. We have 5 days left and I know I'm going to miss my class but I am ready!

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!! :)


  3. I love rediscovering books. A former partner loved The Raft and used it annually. I was her Math partner, so I didn't pay much attention. I have a copy, but have never used it.

    Hang in there! This is my last week.


  4. Thanks for sharing The Raft - so many book ideas :)

  5. Love the Mentor Text linky. I'm always looking for new mentor texts to share with my 4th graders. Your daughter is precious. So glad her party was a success! Enjoy your summer!

    Shepherd's Shining Stars

  6. What a fun birthday party! I bet your daughter had a blast! The Raft is new to me, I can't wait to check it out this summer.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  7. We LOVE this book. We stumbled across it in our library last year and we have added it to our must read list! You're "needing" list looks scary! That's a lot of artifacts!!! Looks like your daughter had a great day!
    Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  8. This book does sound peaceful and I could use peaceful right now. :) I'm with ya on your essentials. I must have my own pillow and a good book is always important! :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  9. My book list keeps getting longer and longer. "The Raft" sounds like a great addition to my fourth grade class. Thanks for sharing!

    Foreman Teaches

  10. Your daughter's party looks adorable. I can't believe your walk through assessment was so late in the year. I don't know what is involved in getting "artifacts" together but it sounds like a lot of work. I like that you wrote your own pillow - we often travel with our pillow!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  11. Enjoy your last moments with your kids! Thanks so much for sharing this text-looks wonderful!

    Take care-
    Sarah @ Hoots N HOllers

  12. I haven't heard of this one! Adding it to the (10 feet high) amazon cart!
    ideas by jivey
    Follow Me On Facebook! :)

  13. Your daughter's birthday party looks like so much FUN! I wish I could get a manicure at the Little Diva Spa! :)

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  14. You are so sweet!

    I just bought this book this past summer, and then never used it! I think I wanted to use it along side Saturdays and Teacakes as a compare contrast maybe... But, I'm glad that you linked it up so now I have a reason to use another book that just sits on my shelf!!!

    I was so wanting to do a little diva party like that for my daughter but there is no where around us that does it so it looks like I'll have to do it myself at my house. I'm thinking it will not be low stress!

    Thanks for linking up friend! Only a few weeks to go!
    Collaboration Cuties

  15. What a fun party! We use this series too, and I too, only read a few of the stories and this is one of them! Great minds think alike! Isn't it a sigh of relief to get that final walk through over??!! I'm sure you were stellar!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  16. Oooh! Haven't read that one. Will have to check it out!

    I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

  17. I absolutely love those cupcakes!!! Adorable! They look yummy, too!

  18. thanks for linking up... I love listening to the birds chirp... I am glad your little one's bday party was a hit... those things can be STRESSFULLLLLLLLL!!!