Saturday, November 30, 2013

Have you heard.... BIG TPT Cyber Monday & Tuesday Sale

TPT is having a big Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale and so am I!! I am offering 20% off of everything in my store! Now is the time to get all of those fabulous things off of your wish list! Make sure to check it out! Check out my store by clicking on the picture below!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five for Friday Linky Party...{ November 22nd}

 WHEW! I don't know about you but this week has been CRAZY! Crazy fun but still crazy!! The highlight of my week was going to Muffins with Mom at my son's PreK. There is nothing I love more than being with my kiddos one on one! This was a very special time for me and him!
 I ordered my Christmas cards! It is always nice to get this checked of my list AND they have some great card deals this week at Shutterfly... 40% off   WOOT WOOT!! You may wonder why I have "Team Buck" on  my Christmas card. Well....our family has a chant and really tries to work as a team by encouraging each other at all times. It doesn't happen all the time but we sure try! The kids have really bought into it so, I am all about it if it works! What a blessing it is to be a mama!

 I made my first printables bundle and really LOVED doing it! It includes Common Core Math, Reading and Writing activities. You can check out it by clicking on the above picture!
  I am lumping four and five together this week because the highlight of my week is planning for Thanksgiving! I am hosting this year and am truly blessed with a wonderful extended family! I can't wait to spend time relaxing and enjoying my time with them!  
Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

We are THANKFUL for.... { New ideas}

Something new I started doing in my Title Reading Room was spending the entire first month of school on reading strategies. I chose wonderful picture books at various levels and would focus on one reading strategy per week. I noticed a great improvement in my kiddos comprehension level when I didn't just focus on preparing them for the big state assessment! They actually did better on the tests when they began to understand and apply the reading strategies. One tool that helped me get started is a fabulous website called Readers Toolkit. I heard this gal speak at an IRA conference and she was amazing. Her website has some great lesson plans and ideas. If you click on the picture below it will take you to her website. Just click on "lessons" at the top and it will take you to some great lesson plans for free!
I also started using sticky notes and anchor charts all of the time! Each kid got a stack of sticky notes and would be expected to jot down their thinking as they were reading. We would call this making tracks. Just like an animal makes tracks in the snow, I wanted to see their thinking while they were reading. I expected them to jot down things on their sticky notes and stick them in the book they were reading! I created a "Making Tracks" anchor chart the that you can download by clicking on the picture below.
I would also use these fun graphic organizers weekly in my classroom. I mounted them onto a file folder and laminated them. The kiddos would use white board markers to fill in the information they could find while reading. After sharing what they found, we would wipe them off and use them again! It was just a fun and different way to motivate my students to use their strategies. You can download this freebie by clicking on the pictures below!
 The last thing I would always use with my reading strategy instruction is these anchor charts! I made them simple but effective for teaching the strategies and the kids utilized them a lot! These are available in my store!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

We are THANKFUL for... {Activities like...}

Today I am sharing a WOW lesson and one of my very favorite things to use in the classroom and Title Reading room. It is..Reciprocal Teaching!!! Honestly, I had never heard of this or used it until I interviewed for a Reading Specialist position The head of our reading department told me if I got the job I would use Reciprocal Teaching with my small groups and use a lot of it:) So, as soon as I got the job I read everything  I could find on this. After researching and trying it out I found that it worked and soon incorporated it into my weekly lessons! I am going to give you the SHORT VERSION:) of it and if you already know about this you may just wanna check out my bundle I created over at my TPT store. I have made two primary bundles with a super hero theme and an animal theme! I also created an upper level bundle that includes summarizing instead of retelling.

Step 1: Introduce the four reciprocal teaching tasks. They are retelling, clarifying, questioning and predicting. You will want to spend a lot of time modeling each skill so your kiddos can eventually perform these tasks on their own.

Step 2: Put students into groups of four. Assign each student one of the four reciprocal teaching tasks and provide each student with a task card.

Step 3. Assign a small portion of text for students to read aloud or silently. When the assigned text is completed have students will  complete a graphic organizer for accountability. This is something I added....and I highly recommend using one of these. I saw a great improvement in the group discussions if students had a moment to preplan what they wanted to share with the group. I could also do a quick assessment by collecting these when the groups were done. Then students will perform their tasks. Example: The Reteller will retell the portion of text, the Predictor will predict what happens next etc.

Step 5: Assess...This is something I added because I was always looking for easy ways to collect data. I created several rubrics so I could assess the kiddos while they were in their small groups. It was quick, easy and effective!

I hope you love this and try it out! I think once you do, you will see the amazing difference it makes in your kiddos comprehension and learning!! I am a believer:)! If you want to learn more check these out at my store!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

We are THANKFUL for...Blog Hoppin' Linky Party {Helpful Hints}
Today I want to share a helpful hint that has made my life so much easier! It is a guided reading lesson plan I created that has much of the needed information already filled in. All you do in check a few boxes, fill in some blanks and you are ready to teach. You can check out this freebie by clicking on the picture below! I hope you find it helpful!

Monday, November 11, 2013

We are THANKFUL for...Blog Hoppin' Linky Party {Time-Savers}
I am so excited to join in on the We are THANKFUL hoppin' linky party this week! Make sure to check in each day for fun FREEBIES and items from my TPT store!
I have spent eleven years as a Reading Specialist and a classroom teacher and always needed help finding time to plan the MANY guided reading lessons that needed to take place in my classroom. I created a few guided reading spinners to help with the comprehension portion of these plans. If I was running short on time and didn't have time to create FAB comprehension questions I would just pull these out! The kids loved them and so did I! I hope you love this FREEBIE!

Another one of my favorite timesaving tools that I always used in my Kindergarten classroom is....EPR cards. I could quickly assess my students knowledge of various things by using cards like these! This one is part of my color word bundle in my store but I am giving you the EPR cards for FREE! Check it out by clicking on the picture! more and then I am done! This is not a FREEBIE but it has saved so much time! I created this as a Reading Specialist when a classroom teacher said she had trouble keeping parents updated on their kiddos reading progress. So, I created this Guided Reading bundle and included some great monthly progress monitoring letters that include reading tips for home! You can check it out at my TPT store by clicking on the picture below!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Five for Friday Linky Party...{ November 8th }

 I didn't get to this last week because our house revolved around Halloween is a picture of my sweeties! I actually took about forty pictures and this was the best one! The life of a mama of three!
   We decorated for Christmas! My husband joked that we have pumpkins on the porch and our Christmas tree up...funny man:)! We LOVE Christmas and just couldn't wait to get the house ready!
 My son always puts the star on top of the tree! One of our many traditions!
I finished my December Learning Links homework packet AND my Snowman on the Go homework packet. Click on the picture if you would like to check it out in my store!
 I made a FREEBIE Thanksgiving activity that allows students to discuss how they celebrate this special day. It includes mix and match question cards and a compare/contrast graphic organizer! Just click on the picture to download it.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Have you heard.....

My FAB friend over at Second Grade Smartypants has reached a MEGA milestone at TPT! This is amazing to me because she is a mama of three under the age of two...including twins:) Her products are great so make sure you check her out! Just click on the icon below! WOOT WOOT!!