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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Workshop Wednesday and Freebies on the 15th!!

Workshop Wednesday is back with the amazing Jivey at Ideas by Jivey!  This week's topic is seasonal writing activities.  Jivey has a super cute snow globe activity posted here that you have to check out if you haven't yet!  My seasonal writing activity is not nearly as fun, but I thought I would post about it anyway since someone might find it useful. :)
We have been working on responding to the text by stating "claims" followed by TWO text details to support our claims.  This is a very important skill that will be assessed on our state test in April.  Last year, this method of response was new to the assessment and it was evident at regional scoring that teachers overall had not prepared students to answer questions in this manner (me included!).  Many students would answer the questions (claim) and then provide one text detail when the question called for two detail.  They had counted the "claim" as one text detail.  Who knew?  So, on a two point short response question, the majority of the students were scoring 0's and 1's!  I decided that this year we needed to start practicing this skill, however, there are not many practice materials available.  
So, I created this winter themed writing response using claims and text details.  I also included some multiple choice practice aligned to the CCSS.  
We get quite a bit of snow here in WNY, so my students have a bit of background knowledge of this topic!  The text is quite rigorous at a 1000+ Lexile level but many of the passages on "the test" are rigorous too at up to two or three grade levels above their current grade level.  

Even though Christmas is over, you could try this free Christmas themed writing response using claims and text details. There are also CCSS aligned multiple choice questions included.  It's not too late to read about the history of the Christmas tree tradition!
I also use these winter story starters as a work on writing center.  They are a freebie in my TPT store.  
I'm linking up these freebies on the 15th with Molly at Lucky To Be in First.  It may not be a new freebies, but I have many followers now that I didn't have a year ago!

Don't forget to enter Jivey's amazing One Year Blogiversary Giveaway that ends tomorrow!


  1. My students loved your winter themed non-fiction text practice! Definitely rigorous, but I love to challenge my students and extend their thinking! My students had very little background knowledge on snow since we live in Florida, but that's why I think it was such high interest reading to them!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. We used your Winter Themed Story Starters on Monday in my class. I forgot to tell you that already. My kiddies did a great job with it! Like Joanne, we also did the WInter Themed Non-Fiction Text Practice and I had the same results with my little Florida kids too! Love!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. Holly~
    Your winter pack is on my list for the next week or two. We saw similar results on our assessment at 6th grade. Students were not providing 2 details. We also noticed our students were missing the multiple choice questions because they weren't looking closely at the text, so thanks for including that practice as well.

    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans