Tiffany, I've read and loved your posts as well. Though this has little to do with this specific entry, I'll tell you something that works well- you can photocopy a math problem for your students to complete daily, and have them complete it in the morning. They glue the problem into their journal, and then they explain with words, numbers, and pictures how they solved the problem. If you type Marilyn Burns into Google, she has some articles that have helped me tremendously!
As for the writing program, what have you found interesting? I do a combination of Lucy Calkins, Melissa Forney, Write from the Beginning, Thinking Maps, and my own resources. I don't have a set program, specifically, but it works well.
And then the books... you never know what you can find at a thrift store or used bookstore! Recently I found all these DK science/history books in a used bookstore where I could load up a bag of books for $1.50. It takes a lot of looking at times to find tremendous deals, yet they are out there.
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