Hi Victoria! Your info. is really exciting! I have the Guiding Readers and Writers book and love the concept of it all. I'm just not sure how to implement it when we have our traditional Houghton-Mifflin series. Also my schedule is tight. I have reading for about an hour a day, then another hour for writing, spelling, grammar, etc. Any suggestions? Also, where else did you find useful center ideas for your 5th graders? I love the one about the Frog in My Throat - could you share?
We used to have Houghton Mifflin, also- for my first four years of teaching. I did not implement centers as they are now until my third year, but it was a slow process. I guess with your schedule, I could cut a few minutes off of writing and combine your centers to address both reading and writing strategies. I spend twenty minutes on our whole-group lesson every day, and that is at the end, so I prefer to focus on everything else first.
I think a great place to find 5th grade centers is through FCRR (which I linked) as well as here- http://www.evan-moor.com/Title.aspx?CurriculumID=30&SeriesID=133&TitleID=482&EmcID=2290. I have the exact centers I linked, grades 5-6, and they are better than the run-of-the-mill Take it to Your Seat centers I have seen. I am very particular when it comes to my centers.
The Frog in My Throat center is where students write down a number of sayings that relate to animals (like "ants in my pants"). They then complete activities where they can implement these sayings into their writing. I haven't used that center lately, so I'll have to look at it a little more to tell you what I do specifically with that center.
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