Smead Product Review

If you asked me one word to describe myself, I would probably say organized.  I like my classroom to be nice, neat, and organized.  I don't have time to constantly search for papers.  One of the keys to my organization are file folders.  It was a dream come true when Shoplet.com Office Supplies asked me to review products for Smead.  I was sent SuperTabe Erasable Manila Folders, FasTab Hanging Erasable Folders, Vertical File Folders, and a Step Index Organizer.
The FasTab Hanging Erasable Folders are amazing!  I couldn't believe it when they sent me a Sharpie Marker and Pentel Eraser to use on the folders.  I didn't think it would be possible for the Sharpie to erase from the tab but it did!  I'm so excited that I no longer have to stick in the tab labels or buy new folders all the time. Yay!
Shoplet also sent SuperTab Erasable Manila Folders.  Again, WOW!  I couldn't believe how easy it was to erase the marker.  This is going to save me so much money!  If you are like me, I can't simply mark out the label on a used file folder.  I always end up getting a new one to use.
I also liked the Vertical File Folders.  This is one of those "Why didn't I think of that" ideas!  I love that I can keep the files upright in my book bag.  The horizontal file folders always get bent in my LL Bean  bag or the papers fall out when I put the file folders in vertically.  Problem solved!  Now they just need to make them with erasable tabs!
The Step Index Organizer is another great option for transporting papers back and forth in my book bag.  I like that it has a clear window that allows you to see the contents of the organizer.
If you would like to check out any of these products, Promotional Products, Medical Supplies, or Office Stationary, click on the links provided.

Close Reading Independent Reading Activity

I began using close reading in my classroom two years ago when I started teaching high ability students.  I absolutely love it!  It is so much fun to see students take a passage and critically examine it. Close reading helps students develop the habits necessary to fully engage in a text.  My students work on these habits daily in reading group when I'm directing them.  I wanted them to begin using the habits when they were reading independently.  This is why I made Close Reading on a Ring.

It's an independent reading activity that helps students use the strategies that we have practiced in reading group.   Students can use the binder ring of cards and tool kit during workstations or when they are reading independently during the day.  It comes with 30 cards that are color coded for the skill that students are practicing.  I have also included a set of editable cards for you to make your own cards.

The binder ring of cards includes 30 cards that students can use to examine their passage.  I get many of my passages from ReadWorks.  This website offers hundreds of reading passages that can be downloaded and printed ALL FOR FREE!  You can choose a reading passage by key words, grade level, lexile level, text type, or skill/strategy.  I also print pages from books we've read in class or that are in our class library.  Passages are kept in file folders with the binder ring of cards and tool kit.

The tool kit that students take to their seat includes five highlighters and a highlighting key that are in a pencil case or pouch.  I use a case that I got at Office Max for 25 cents!

I love looking at their passages after they have closely examined them and taken notes in the margins.  ReadWorks also offers question sets for many of their passages.  These can be used to assess students and to work on test taking skill.
If you would like to take a closer look at my Close Reading on a Ring, you can check it out in my TpT store.  It's 50% off for the next 24 hours!