Saturday, April 7, 2012

Changes and Chapters!

We took a two week vacation from our reading series recently! Rather than continuing with our weekly story and same ol', same ol' routine, as a class we read a chapter book. I chose "Sideways Stories from Wayside School" by Louis Sachar for my reading group! Mrs. Gorf's apple antics and all of the other humorous characters had my kids hooked from the beginning! Over a two week period we read the book aloud, built our comprehension and improved our extended response answers with questions about each chapter, learned many new vocabulary words and built our dictionary skills, and completed a writing task at the end of the book.

Special thanks are due to The Teaching Bank for their novel units from Teachers Pay Teachers. This was the first novel for both my students and I, and needless to say I wasn't sure exactly where to start. The unit I purchased from The Teaching Bank really helped me know where to start with this chapter book and saved me quite a bit of time too!

Of course I added to the materials I purchased! Each of my kiddos wrote a 31st chapter for the book with themselves as the main character! In my reading group we've really been trying to work on reflecting on our own work and helping our classmates edit their work. So, with that in mind, I created a peer review and self-assessment checklist. In addition to that, I created a teacher assessment rubric to evaluate the students' work based on criteria that we have been working on in class. I also created a simple exit slip or bell ringer with an answer space similar to what will be on the KPREP test.

Peer Editing and Self Assessment Checklist

Sideways Stories From Wayside School - Ch. 31 Writing Assignment Rubric

Sideways Stories from Wayside School Exit Slip or Bell Ringer With KPrep Template

My kids have loved reading this chapter book and were so upset that they didn't get to read another one this week! They moaned and groaned when I told them to bring their text book to class on Monday. But I love how much they loved it! Hopefully someone out there can use these documents!

Check out Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher for an amazing giveaway!  She'll draw for a winner this Wednesday at 8 PM so hurry on over and don't miss your chance to win everything from her TPT store!

I would love, love, love to read another chapter book with my class soon! At the very least, we will be reading more of them next year! What chapter books have you read with your classes? Any recommendations for my 3rd graders?

I've linked up with "Manic Mondays" at Classroom Freebies! Head over for a look at lots and lots of great blogs all offering you freebies!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. Great ideas. It's fun to mix things up once in awhile.

    Yearn to Learn Blog

  2. Jackie,
    So happy I stumbled upon your blog tonight. SO CUTE!!! Am also a 3rd grade teacher originally from Ky, but now live & teach in Tn. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your novel. Feel free to come by and enter my giveaway AND/OR grab some freebies. Always happy to share with fellow 3rd grade teachers. Michelle

  3. Thanks so much for the comments! It is always good to mix things up, especially at this time of year!

    Michelle, thank you so much for following! I'm going to try to keep up with blogging at least a couple of times a week now! I can't wait to check out your blog and start following!


  4. Great stuff jackie - love all of your activities! We have been reading Judy Blume the Fudge series.. my 3rd graders love it! I was going to do The Wayside Stories next!

  5. Thanks so much! We have that series as well to use for literature circles! I'm sure your kids will love Sideways Stories or any of the Wayside School Books! I'd love for you to download my freebies if it's something you think you can use! Happy reading!


  6. Hi Jackie,

    Im a new follower! Can't wait to read more about your 3rd grade classroom!

    Ms. Rachel’s Room

  7. What a great blog...found you through Manic Monday!!
    The Picture Book Teacher's Edition

  8. Cute blog! I'm off to browse...just wanted you to know I found you through Manic Monday also! :)

    Mrs. Tilmon Says...