#BestResourceEver - Our Story - Top Floor Teachers

#BestResourceEver - Our Story

Our #bestresourceever is special to us, not necessarily because it is hands down the top teaching tool. This resource didn't revolutionize the way we organize our classroom or provide insight into a specific content area. No, this resource is more than that. This resource changed our lives.

Having taught together as fourth grade teachers for years, we were faced with the exciting, yet nerve-wracking, opportunity to bump up to fifth grade. What would happen to all of the work we had created and collected over the years? What about those awesome lessons that we wouldn't have the chance to teach again? Worst yet, what about all of the new lessons and activities we will have to create to go with the new content?

This is where our #bestresourceever comes in.  We were excited to change things up as we moved onto a new grade level and were looking forward to arranging our ELA blocks in such a way that we could incorporate whole-group reads of novels that tie into our social studies units. Joe's wife is a former fifth grade teacher, so she gave us a long list of titles that fit into the fifth grade curriculum. Elizabeth George Speare's The Sign of the Beaver was near the top of that list. A quick read over the summer geared us up to create an interactive notebook full of activities to work on as we read the book with our class.

We started out simple by breaking down the book into weekly chunks and finding some vocabulary words. Cutting, gluing, folding... it makes reading that much more fun, right?

Looking at the standards, we realized the students needed to be able to discover the meanings of words on their own. That is why we included some context clue word hunt pages in our notebook. These would later become great word work activities during daily reading rotations.

We included a bunch of fun foldables to cover various reading standards to accompany our reading. From theme to point of view, figurative language to character motives, and so much more, we were able to incorporate nearly every tested skill in this one novel study.

Now, this is all well and good.  We created an interactive notebook. That's cool, but not exactly life-changing. But wait! We put a lot of work into this thing. What if we upload it onto Teachers Pay Teachers to save some other people the hassle? Sure, let's try it. That is the decision that changed our lives. This is the resource that started our TpT journey.

It has been nearly a year since this idea went from our brains onto the computer screen, and eventually onto our newly-minted TpT store. Since then, we have created multiple other interactive notebook novel studies, as well as a ton of new products. The TpT community is one that inspires us to keep working on being the best teachers we can be. We are always so invigorated to try something new. Once we make it and try it out, we get so excited to share it with others in our store.  We have made so many connections through our TpT community and that has truly shaped who we are as educators.  For this reason alone, we have to thank The Sign of the Beaver, our #bestresourceever.

 Interested in our Sign of the Beaver interactive notebook?  Check it out here!


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