Sunday, August 5, 2012

when it rains it pours and currently

When it rains it pours is something my Grandma always said to my Mom and of course my Mom always said to me.  I don't know if it is a southern thing or not but that saying is perfect for describing my life the last two weeks!  If I told ya'll everything that has been going on at my house you wouldn't believe it...really!  Just with my computer alone it's been unreal!  First, two weeks ago my computer cord fried and I had to wait to get a new one.  Next, the computer wireless card went out and I've had no wireless.  But it was ok because that was an easy fix!  NOT!!! The day after I "fixed" my wireless the entire wireless/internet system went out in my neighborhood then in just my house!  How does that even happen???  Now I have to wait on a new router to make it to my house and hopefully that will fix the problem.  Luckily they have wireless at my daughter's cheer place or else who knows when I'd be able to post.  Who knows when I'll be able to again either :(    The thing I miss the most though is reading everyone else's blogs.  I didn't realize how much I enjoyed doing that until I couldn't.  I do have an iphone but it isn't the same.  Plus, I can't see on that little screen!  Not to mention Blogger doesn't really work on my iphone.  I try to reply to people but it won't let me type!!  aaarrrrgggg!  It's so frustrating!

I am happy to say that because of the lack of internet services, I've been able to do lots of school work.  I've got my new word wall made, my Mrs. Mach is reading... poster and a new sight word initiative program for my kiddos.  Now I am working on math fact fluency (one of my weak areas).  I have also printed tons of the things that I've bought and downloaded over the summer.  So I guess (and here's another saying my parents always used) every cloud has a silver lining!  I'm wishing I had one of those little scotch laminators though!  That would really make my time useful. Hmmmm....maybe that might be something that I'll buy myself for my quickly approaching birthday!  I was able to join in with Farley and her "currently" for the beginning of the month!

Oh' boy fourth grade

My explanation...
1. sitting here in a nice, air-conditioned lobby while my daughter has cheer practice.  Yes, on Sunday...I know it's a bit hard core but they are a really good team and it's the only thing she really ever asks to do.  Only thing booty is KILLING ME!  they have bleacher style seats here...yes BLEACHER STYLE!  I need one of those cushion type seats.  I need to visit Academy soooooon!

2. Yesterday I became that crazy cleaning Mom.  I get into these moods every now and then. My girls know it...because it is usually preceeded by the "panic"ed but pissed screaming RANT that I go into about how horrible the house is and that CPS would take away the bitties (what we call our little bittie babies) if they came in and that no one in our house has any pride and no one must love me because they wouldn't do this to me if they did...They don't even say anything anymore.  They just grabbed the cleaning stuff and went away to their "places"!  We cleaned every inch of the house.  I did loose steam though and still need to organize my and the little bitties closets.  I love the fact that I got to watch whatever I wanted on TV and everything was nice and clean.  A total guilt free evening of TV watching.  So of course, I was asleep by 8 pm.  No TV watching for me :( hahahaha

3.  Do I even need to elaborate on this? We are all feeling this one huh?  Only thing is that I am so ADHD that I really struggle with this.  I make lists.  I have a work space at home. I even made a binder that houses my ideas and projects that I want to do.  Still no good :/

4.  My littlest bittie (4 months old today!) is NO. WHERE. NEAR. sleeping through the night.  She goes down about 7 pm and wakes up every 3 hours...all night long!  I am super exhausted but it's ok because no work right now.  Fast forward 3 weeks and it's going to be a big problem.  I'm hoping cereal will help!  The only thing is that she was a premie and I don't want to do anything that will mess with her sweet systems!  So prayers for the doctors appointment tomorrow!

5.  When I was a little girl I always looked forward to back to school.  I loved it as a matter of fact!  I couldn't wait to get my school supplies and my new shoes and my lunch box and my school clothes!   My girls on the other hand...not so much!  They are too busy to go with Mom shopping! Oh no!  But come August 15 they are going to start freaking out!  I think that I am going to shop for myself this week so when the "time" comes I'll not have me to worry about!

6.  I carry books, papers, calendars, lists, post its everywhere I go so this year I made a teacher binder that I saw on pinterest.  I love it and I'm hoping I'll be more organized this year.  Magnetic tape is my life saver!  I put it on just about everything and my room becomes interactive for the kids.  and Diet Coke??!!!! Must. Have. Many. Everyday!!!!

Ya'll have a great week.  Hopefully my Internet will be fixed soon and I'll get back to life as I knew it!

Keep coming Back
"If it weren't for bad luck I'd had no luck at all! Doom, despair, and agony on me!"

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm finally back!!!

OMG!  I can't believe this week!!!  My computer cord fried right in front of me Monday and I've had to wait until Friday to get a replacement!  Finally it is here and I am able to pick up where I left off which was.....recognizing that I finally reached 50 followers (woohoo and a big thanks!) and writing about beginning of the year thinking process!!!  Or at least how my thinking process works!  So...

I am so excited!  I have finally reached 50 followers!  I know I promised to  include 5 freebies for you!  But I just can't figure out how to do it.  I've tried but with no luck.  I am researching this though and as soon as I do, I am going to post these freebies.  They aren't fancy AT ALL!!!  I love all the cute graphics and designs that everyone uses but I'm not there yet...heck I can't even figure out how to post the silly documents anyway!   Again, thanks for your patience with me while I learn the blogging thing.  If anyone can help me I sure would appreciate it.  This is what I am trying to do:
  1. learn to upload to google docs so that it won't change the format or images I've already created.  The last doc I uploaded all the pictures and borders I added were gone!!!
  2. find a way to get my documents on my posts so that there is a picture for people to click AND once they click it they see the document in google docs so they can grab it. 
  3. or learn any other way to get my documents on the post so people can have them.  

Thanks again for following my blog.  I promise some changes very soon.

  1. I really want a new blog design!!! I want to learn how to change backgrounds and add a heading so my blog will better represent me.  Any tips???  So far, no luck with finding the plain white blog design :( 
  2. I am going to start writing about my class and how I teach specific lessons/procedures/strategies.  But I don't have any pictures (thank you crashed computer of '10 waaa :'(   )and I was afraid that they would be boring posts so I've delayed doing that.  I am going to try to make it work anyway...Starting with the beginning of school and all its glory!!  From set up to lessons to classroom management.  That is coming up first.
  3. I am going to learn to add freebies to grab! A big thank you very much to Jenna at diving in to learning for trying to teach me how to post them.  Hopefully I will figure it out someday!

This year I am back in second grade where I belong!  Last year as a favor to my P, I taught 5th grade ELA.  I was one of a small few that had the credentials to teach 5th so I told her I would. wasn't for me.  I missed my little kiddos so much.  I got moved back for this year and I am so excited.  I was finally able to get into my new room.  You know that feeling of shock and anxiety? Big D and little C are showing how I feel pretty nicely!  AAAAAGGGHHHHH!
Do you get that when you go into your classroom for the first time since the summer?  This is what my room looks like as of now.

Most of my stuff got placed in the new room but some of it is in a different room!  I can't actually go back to work in my room until Aug 1 to solve the problem.  But I don't know if that will happen because of other commitments but I know that I will feel so much better when my room is done.  We go back August 20 but technically only 1 day is devoted to teacher workday.  I couldn't even arrange my room in one day!!!  So I go early on my own time because I want things perfect and inviting.  I could never do that in one day!  Do you feel the same?  Are you an early bird or do you work better getting things done during your school days?

Starting this week I am going to write about the beginning of school-activities and procedures!  So check back soon!  Also I'll post pics as soon as I get into my room and start working!

thanks so much everyone!

Keep Coming Back!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

New Blog Hop

Found this great place to find new and exciting blogs at grade three is the place for me.  It's called the Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop.  I fit in that category so I am going to play along!  

1.)  What state are you in?
I live in the Lone Star State of Texas (or hell in the summer time cuz IT'S SO HOT!!!)

2.)  What is your current teaching position?
I am in second grade and very happy to be home!!! 

3.)  What is your teaching experience??
This is my 23rd year.  I've taught Kinder for 9 years, 1st for 4 years, 2nd-this is year 3, reading recovery and have been the reading interventionist/literacy specialist/coach (whatever your district calls reading help) for 6 years. As a favor to my P, last year I taught 5th...YIKES!!...not so much for me.  I didn't know what to do with kids that already knew how to read ;)  I am happy to report I am back down where I belong in 2nd!   Reading recovery was my passion and the 1 of the things that truly changed me as a teacher.  I was heartbroken when my district 86ed the program.  And while I enjoyed being the literacy specialist I really missed being in the classroom and teaching my own class.  So I decided to go back and I've been there every since.   It went like this: Kinder, reading recovery, first grade, literacy specialist, second, fifth, second!

4.)  When did you start blogging?
June of 2012.  I did it because I wanted to join the Daily 5 book study that is going on right now.  I had no idea I'd enjoy it so much.  It's one of the funnest things I've done lately as far as education goes!  I love meeting new people and sharing ideas and resources/materials.  I wish Texas would do one of those bloggie meet ups!  

5.)  Share some blogging tips or a resource.
Since I'm super new I am still learning all the tips but I would have to say that I really like reading entries that are about something...not just contests, give aways etc.  I think those are awesome but I really enjoy reading about ideas, seeing pictures, sharing documents etc.  I also really enjoy the blogs that are neatly designed.  Sometimes blogs have so many things on the sides that a person with my ADHD gets a little overwhelmed.  As soon as possible, I am going to hire a graphic designer to help me spruce mine up and add the side bars that I want for my blog!

That's a little about me!  Hope you come on back!

This is a Blog Hop!

I am working on my documents that I am going to post here for you to grab to celebrate having 50 followers!  Check back soon!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

50 followers announcement, Daily 5, and awesome giveaways!

Well it's Hump Day...middle of the road...boring ol' Wednesday!  NO!!! It  is Daily 5 study day!!! A reason to want Wednesday (other than being a couple of days closer to the weekend but that doesn't really effect me! or us!)  I have been trying to work a bit each day to get ready for school.  I keep getting off task though.  Imagine that...actually that is a real problem for me.  I am easily distracted...and I know it!  But I find if I work early in the morning I am more successful in getting things done!  Right now I am working on printing stuff I've bought or downloaded and recreating old files.  That brings me to an announcement!  I am going to give away some of my re"new"ed old files for reaching 50 followers!  I don't have a store or anything to give away things from so I decided to just redo some of the things that my kids love to do from my files.  As soon as I reach 50 followers I'll post the freebies!

Now for class.....

                              Daily 5 book study

Chapter 6

Work on Writing/Word Work

I think the best way for me to tackle this is to interpret what I read first then to describe how it looked in my classroom. Then I’ll add my questions. They will  be highlighted in yellow.  I hope some of you will leave comments about how you use these two components in your classes.  I want so much for this to work and I KNOW I need some help in this area!

Work on Writing
The book continues in the same pattern of introduction of the session, modeling correct and incorrect, practice and checking in.  However the sisters stress that this is a time for writers to focus on sustained writing of their choice (pg. 80)  We begin with having conversations about why writing is important and making the I charts/anchor charts needed to be successful.  The first teaching point needs to be how to write words they don’t know how to spell.  A description of how to do so is on pg. 82 explaining how to write what you hear and underline the word so you can go back to it later to correct the spelling.  (But it never addresses how to teach that.  Or at least I didn’t ever see it).  Then we will list behaviors independent writers will use to be successful writers. 
To be totally honest, I feel this is my weakest component of D5.  I didn’t do a very good job of teaching what could happen during working on writing nor did I do a good job at checking for understanding of this area.  So, no big surprise that kids didn’t utilize this as they should’ve.  AND I missed out on an opportunity to help foster independence in my kiddos in writing.  I was so excited to get to this partthen I was kinda let down when I reread.  There isn’t much in the book about it (or at least that is my opinion) compared to the reading componentsOf course the approach is the sameteach, model, practice/stamina, check inyes I got that part.  But I need help with the actual “how do ya do that?” kinds of things.  Looking at the focus lesson described in writing on pg. 82-83 it looks like we teach/model how to write words in a sentence. Make the I chart, then model correct/incorrect and practice.  But the focus lesson guide shown in the table at the top of pg. 83 doesn’t really match it.  Also, what does check in look like with this? Do we talk about what kind of writing went on or how we followed the I chart (or both?) I do like the focus lessons for days 1, 2 and 3 though.  I like talking about procedures because I know how important it is to make sure kids know writing and word work.  Another thing that I am not secure with is the writing notebooks.  What are they, what do they look like, what goes in them??? Questions, questions!!  I mean, is it a spiral? Do I look at what is in the notebook? Do these things come to final copies?  If working on writing is truly just for practice and sustained writing of their choice we shouldn’t expect them to edit and produce right?  SeeI’m confused. Please share your experiences with me!!!  Help a sista’ out!   
Word Work
The book says to focus on spelling and vocabulary work in order to develop readers, writers, and communicators.  Start by setting the sense of urgency for this session and the materials they can use to accomplish this.  Then make your I chart to show these.  Also make an anchor chart on the procedures for setting up and tearing down. ***My own little PSA Super Important thing to do with your kiddos*** This session follows the writing session pretty closely.  They allow for lots of practice during the introduction week so students will learn how each activity works.  Word work was pretty successful in my room.  I focused on using this time for practice with word patterns, spelling, sight words, vocabulary etc. Here’s a list of some of the activities we did but definitely not all of them:
          Wiki sticks, pom-pom words, cheer words/whisper words (with tiny megaphones), file games, POP (sight word game like POW), scrabble spelling, scoop and spell, big beginnings (a scatergories type game), boggle, spelling/phonics dice, magnetic letters, rainbow writing, spelling task cards, play-do, dry erase boards, shaker bottles etc.   
Like I’ve said before though, I didn’t spend an adequate amount of time on setup and clean up.  Big mistake for a couple of reasons:  
A.     lost and destroyed materials
B.     wasted time
C.     missed opportunities for powerful learning to take place. 

It will be different for us this year.  We are going to start with our discussion and I charts/anchor charts and really model how I want this to look like in our room.
I do have a couple of questions about word work though. 
1.      Do you allow kids to work together in partners during this time?  Like what if they want to play a game? 
2.     Do you make your kids stick with the same activity the entire round?  Are they allowed to get up exchange activities? If so, how many times?  
3.      Do you worry about accountability?  Do you make them complete a “page” or something?  I’ve done yes to all the questions but they didn’t always work out so well.  Especially the moving to the work station and replacing their activity.
What are word study books?  I’ve no idea about these and there aren’t any examples that I could find in the book
I have said yes to all these questions in my class.  Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. I think that is the way it is with anything though.  I know I need to spend more time on modeling what and how I want things to look. If I teach them how to work in partners or how to get another activity then things will be much better during this session. 

Like I said last week, this is an area I really need some guidance on.  I hope some of yall will share your experiences with me!  We are getting near the end of the bookI am excited!  Next week we will put it all together!  Flow, flow, flow

Rachel over at teaching maddeness is celebrating reaching 500 followers!!!!  Wow and in such a short amount of time!!!  She really is awesome and has a fun blog to read.  I hope you'll check it out!  I mean, who couldn't use $50 bucks?

Also Sandy from Ms. Fiorini's Stadium is celebrating reaching 600 followers!!!  She is having a give away too for items from her awesome TPT store and a $25 TPT gift certificate!  

If you don't follow these gals you need to consider it.  You'll get lots of great ideas, good laughs, and good finds!  

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!

Keep Coming Back
"Sing and dance LA, LA, LA, HEY, LA, LA, LA, HEY, LA, LA, LA! Dark clouds may hang on me sometime but I'll work it out!"

Monday, July 16, 2012

Made it Monday

I gotta tell ya, I'm not feeling the excitement that I usually feel on make it Monday :( I don't know why I feel a little down but I do. Possibly because the months of no pay maternity leave is getting to me. Sometimes stress is a real bummer!

Head on over to 4th grade frolics where Tara has her super fun linky party Make It Monday!

I have been working on a few things that are fun but now that school is on its way I felt the need to get to work on things that I need for school. Maybe not the funnest things but necessary.  And they will be fun for my kiddos!  I've been printing and making all the cool things I've bought from everyone on TPT & TN! So far I've printed 4 things:

These were on pinterest last year and I wanted to make them for my class but couldn't find the jumbo clips. Thanks to Walmart and the 88 cent isle I can make them this year! I've just used the ribbon from my scrapbooking supply. You can get 1$ rolls of ribbon at Hobby Lobby or Michael's.  I think my kiddos will enjoy getting them in their first day of school bags!

I also printed out some reward cards for my students.  I got them over at Tonyas treats for teachers and I use incentive charts in my room and when kids filled it up they got to grab from the treasure chest.  These are perfect because they can now have a choice in what their prize will be.  I think they will work harder for their reward now.

 Not so pleased with the storage of these.  I think I need to get some dividers.  Definitively need dividers...

Have a good night all!

Keep Coming Back

Sunday, July 15, 2012

building relationships and proud momma

My Momma always told me that you can get more with honey than vinegar.  Ain't it so true!  I've always believed what my Momma told me and I've taken most of her little adages with me to the classroom.  With the beginning of school getting closer (I know some are starting in a couple of weeks! gasp!!) I've already started to think about what the first two weeks are going to look like.  Those are such special times for me as a teacher.  I might be a little different, but those two weeks (sometimes longer) are devoted entirely to building relationships with my students...I meant it.  Across the board in basically every subject.  Reading/LA and SS is pretty easy but for math we do graphing and comparing and in science we are looking at properties and classifications (of themselves of course!) I firmly believe that if you don't have a relationship with your kiddos that the rest of your year is not gonna go according to your 'GRAND PLAN'.  We all have them...plans that is.  If there is at least one thing I've learned its that sometimes you are the best thing a kid has got going for them.  And if you have their heart, you'll have their head too.  Yes, we are a Capturing Kids Hearts school butI really do believe it in.  I've always taught in a Title 1 school and lots of those kids come from really tough situations.  So it is very important to me to let them know that I am here for them, I'm not going to give up on them, and they can trust in me and the safe environment that we (our class and me) are going to build.  I'm going to try to pass on what I believe are important ways to build relationships with your kiddos so you'll all be off to a successful start!

The following come straight from CKH (Capturing Kids Hearts):

  • From day 1 and every single day I stand by my door and welcome each kid with a handshake and an eyeball hello (just looking into their eyes when saying hello).  You wouldn't believe how many kids can't do this.  They just don't look into adults eyes and hold it while they are talking.  Not even for the 3 seconds it takes to say hello.  Good thing is it doesn't take long to learn! It is also something I require them to do from then on...the eye contact thing.  It shows "I have interest in what you are saying to me" 
  • Morning Meeting - we have morning meeting for lots of reasons like discussing the day before, drawing attention to important events/agenda, etc.  but also for getting to know you activities like warm fuzzy time (which is a compliment/put up time) and tell us time (which is a telling about activity)
  • We build a class contract at the end of the first week.  This is not discipline and rules...this is how we want to treat each other in the classroom for the safest and best learning environment.  BUT if the contract is followed is really curbs unacceptable behavior during the year.  It is made up of 4 questions that the kids answer.  Make an anchor chart and write their responses on it.  It stays up all year and gets referred to often, even when things are going great!  the questions are 1) How do you want ME to treat YOU?  2)  How do you want to treat EACH OTHER? 3)  How do I want YOU to treat ME? and 4) How will we handle conflict in our room?  Make sure to be specific with words.  For instance...We want you to treat us good.  Well, kids need to know what "good" looks like in the room, so you'll want to talk about the words they choose.
The rest of the activities for the week(s) include lots of relation building activities for whole class as well as partners so the kids can spend time learning how to interact appropriately with other kids.  And I'm sure most of you do these very activities or ones that are very similar.  I mean...isnt' that part of the teaching 10 commandments...thou shall beg, borrow and steal and make it your own?
  • Get to know you bracelets - These were all over pro-teacher last year (or year before?).  Children build a bracelet and each bead tells something about the kiddo.  They LOVE this.  I've created a Roving Reporter element to lots of the things we do in the classroom and this is the first one.  Each kid picks a partner and asks questions about their bracelet.  I have a form already made with questions and they record the answers on the paper.  The partner does the same in return.  Then they "report" (using a play microphone and everything) to the class.  This is the first of the "roving reporter" activities.  When I tell them that they'll be roving for X activity boy do they get happy, happy, happy (any Duck Dynasty fans out there...holla Phil and Si).
  • the Me bag - this is much like the bracelet but they are bringing in items from home that represent themselves.  They decorate their "brag bag" which is a lunch sack and bring 5 items  from home THAT FIT IN THE BAG.  If something they want to use is too large for the bag they can bring in a picture (magazine or drawn).  We share about 2 or 3 during morning meeting.
  • M-E-N-G-O - this is a get to know you activity in the form of a bingo game.  Lots of versions out there like this.  It has squares like "went to the beach over the summer" and "has brothers or sisters".  Mine has the kids write the name of the kiddo that fulfills that square.  when a row, column or diagonal has been completed they shout "me"ngo!   
  • Name Glyph - I got this from a T book years ago just tweaked it a bit and made it fit for my group of kids.  Kids artistically design their names in bubble letters.  Yes, they "can't do that" at first.  We have our first mini art lesson, then they "CAN do it".  Each letter of their name answers a specific question.  EX.  first letter:  How do you get to school?  bus=polka dots, car=happy faces, walk=stars.  They decorate the letter with the picture that answers the question.  You can make up the questions to get any information they want to learn about.  We usually brainstorm ideas as a class on topics that we would like to learn more about.  So we are coming up with the glyph together!  SS lesson on how to work together to solve a problem! Actually there are tons of name activities we do from all the Chrysanthemum counting/graphing names activities to finding out where our names come from.  
  • Daily graphs - each morning when they come to meeting there is a question in the form of a graph.  They use stickies to answer.  We look at the information the graph gives us and then form statements about the graph.  Things like "I can see by the bar graph we made that more people prefer going to the ball park than going to the park".  This also used as a tie in to math journals.  When we start those, I tie this into it by saying the famous "think back to" line.  so...think back to the beginning of the year when we learned so much information using graphs...well, today we are going to write down and draw pictures about a graph.  Just like we did at the beginning of the year".  Lots of fun stuff to learn during math.
  • Special Students - this is a week long activity where the kids build themselves with each body part being a different getting to know you activity.  At the end of the week the kids have a large representation of themselves covered with information about themselves.  The head is an art activity of self portrait using different mediums for creating a "true to self" portrait.  The upper body is a shirt cutout that has a list of "my favorite things/close to the heart".  The shorts/pants/skirt is "one thing I did this summer" have a discussion with a partner about this.  They "interview" each other with the 5 Ws.  This is usually their first encounter with the 5 Ws so we do a mini lesson on who, what, when, where, why and how to answer those questions.  Students take notes about this on themselves, not their partner.  The partner share is just to get kids thinking and thinking about answering in correct form.  Then they write a small paragraph answering the 5 W questions.  It gets glued to the pants.  They add arms and legs, shoes etc.  These go out in the hall and they just get the biggest kick out of looking at each other all month long!
  • I also make a book about myself that introduces me, my family, my favorite things etc.  and we have one for all the staff members that the kids will come in contact with...Librarian, custodians, office staff.  Each person has their own page with their name, where they are in the building and something special about them.
These are the main things I do.  there are lots of other little things too.  As you can see, the kids really do learn alot about themselves and each other.  They find that they can instantly relate to others in the room and they don't feel so lonely or scared.  Also that they have things in common with others and therefore can build friendships.  Also, you hit all areas of the curriculum using these.  Math, reading, social studies, science,'s all there.  AND the activities are fun so the kids will do them AND they help you to lay down practical procedures of how you like things done in your room.  What I mean is you can use these to teach all the ways you like things done; like putting your name on papers, where to turn things in, art (glue...helloooo...just a dot, not alot), turn and talk to your neighbor...those kinds of things.  I hope this has helped to shed a little light on why building relationships are important and do deserve some time at the beginning of the year.  What do you do to build relationships?  I'd love to hear and to add some new activities to my stash!!

BTW...I don't know how to insert documents if you are interested in any of the documents I have just leave your email and I'll send them to you!  AND...if anyone wants to enlighten me on how to do it I'd be ever so happy.  Then I'd be able to give away more freebies!!!  Thanks!

And you know I can't get away without talking a bit about my kiddos...this time its my oldest daughter.  She is about to turn 16.  Her life is the theater and she LOVES to sing.  I which I could insert a video here but I don't know how to do that yet because she really rocked it this time!  I am so incredibly proud of her.  She even got her name in our local paper in a small write up and review of the show.  A very nice paragraph about her and her lovely voice...someone to be on the look out for.  one happy momma = ME!!!  She was Tuptim in The King and I.  She has very blond hair...we've been spraying it black every weekend.  I'm so happy that next weekend is the last.

Not that she doesn't look great with dark pocketbook is taking a huge hit and I need that money for the "88 cent isle" at Walmart!!!!!!  Look at these cool things I found today!!!!!  I can't wait to make a sentence center with these cool magnets.  Some of the words aren't for second grade but lots of them are...oooohhh yea!!!!

Have a serene Sunday everyone!
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"I don't need no money, fortune or fame...I got all the riches one gal can claim.  I guess you'd say "What can make her feel this way"?  My Girl!!!!"

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lazy guilt and Daily 5 book study

Well bloggies, it is day 4 of the rain here in lovely, hot and humid Houston TX.  I gotta tell you I am a happy camper.  I'll let you in on a little secret...I love the rain.  I'd be happy if I was in a cold, rainy place just about every day.  I'd live in Forks no problem (especially if there was a lovely Edward lurking around).  Seriously, I really like it.  Weird, huh?  I know, I know...something about the sounds and smells...I just enjoy it.  Plus, today around 11 am it was 75 DEGREES!!!!!!  I couldn't believe it and it hasn't even been out of the 80s.  (Imagine a chiming sound...DING) HEAVENLY!!! does tend to bring out my lazy side.  I mean, the curtains are pulled so the house is dark...and cool...and quiet (for the most part) I usually sit in my chair and blog stalk or work on school stuff or read.  None of which helps the situation of disarray that my house is in.  :( So after writing this post I am going to force myself to get to cleaning and do something worthy for my house.  That's my plan and I'm stickin' to it!  But for now...on to the

Daily 5 book study

Chapter 5

Read to someone/Listen to reading

Read to Someone
There weren’t really any study questions or anything for this chapter that I know of so I am just going to reflect about how this worked in my class.  Again, the most important aspect to making these components work is teach, model, practice and check in!  So, so, so, so important!!! Read to self is one of my students favorite sessions because, heywho doesn’t like reading a book and sharing/discussing what happens!  How many of us are in book clubs?  This is kinda like a mini book club each day!!!  I’ll share with you though that you MUST teach kids “how” to read to someone.  It doesn’t just happen.  If you don’t follow the explicit instructions this time will end up being a play time and most of all it will not be as powerful of a tool as you mean for it to be.  With that in mind:
·        Although I did teach (or at least I thought I did) Check for understanding, I read you read, and read two books, my kiddos fell apart after being let loose on their own with it.  I didn’t model correct and incorrect ways enough and I didn’t really teach the vocabulary and the kinds of things that they should say to each other.  A big lesson learned was MAKE AN ANCHOR CHART***SEE BELOW.
·        MODEL, MODEL, MODEL (that word gets used a lot doesn’t itimportant!!) Kids need to practice and see picking a good spot, how to decide on which book to read and how to read to someone in action.  It pays offyou gotta do it the way they suggest.   
Also stay true to the reading coach lessonI didn’t and I am really sad about it.  But that’s what self-reflection is all about right? Peer reading coaching can be such a powerful toolwow if we can get our kids to thinking about their reading and thinking about how to help their partner imagine what kinds of things are gonna happen in our rooms!  Talk about a powerful tool!!!  My kids were on board at first but like the rest (and because I didn’t really follow through) it all stopped.  Read to someone became just that, reading to someone.  And to me that is missing most of what is supposed to be happening during this time.  Here’s what I’m going to do this year to help with reading coaching
·        I am going to focus on how we can help each other to be the best readers we can be.  As we teach what reading coaching is and what it looks like I am going to build an anchor chart for them to refer to.  And we are going to MODEL, MODEL, MODEL what this looks like.
·        I am also going to teach each of the strategies they can use to help their partner in my mini lessons.  They will be able to practice these afterwards hopefully securing the strategies in their mind.  I’ll relate it to what they’ve learned about reading in the past.  “Remember in 1st grade when you learned how to use the picture to help you with a wordwell today we’re gonna review how to do that and how we can use that to help a friend if they get stuck!”  Something along those lines. 
·        I’m also going to make a coaching checklist that has the strategies they can use to help.  I’m thinking about a half sheet or maybe book mark format.  I’ll laminate them to make them stronger.  Hopefully these changes will make this a more successful session for my kiddos.
Listen to Reading
I am happy to say that listening to reading was super successful in my room.  The kids LOVED this!  I didn’t have to spend as much time on this session as I did the others. I didn’t really have to build stamina in this area, maybe because they have been listening to books since KinderI don’t know.  I am really fortunate because I wrote and received a grant that bought 10 portable cd players along with the headphones.  So I have enough for lots of kids to choose this during their rounds.  What I did do though is on the launch day, I made sure that every kid had the chance to practice listening to reading.  It took about 3 or 4 rounds for everyone to get a chance.  The others practiced either RtoS or RtoSO during this time.  An area that I need to revisit is procedures. I do need to focus on the setup of the equipment and the cleanup procedures.  I had lots of kids just leave the CD in the player and then put everything up without putting all the materials back in the correct bag.  So we are going to have an anchor chart and lots of modeling on correct and incorrect ways to setup and tear down. I think that will alleviate that problem. 
I also want to find different ways to listen to reading like tumble books or other computer sites and maybe MP3 players……….. 
·        One thing I am going to do differently this year is ask for earphone donations.  You can get them at the $ stores now.  On parent night I’m going to include those on my parent help poster.  Hopefully I’ll get enough that each kiddo will have their own and they will keep them in their book boxes.  That way if they use the computer, MP3 player or CD players they won’t have to worry with headphones!
Anchor Charts
These are completely me and what I do in my roomnot word for word from the book although the sisters do talk about using them.  They are different from the I chart that tells the kids how each session works.  They are just charts that we build together as a class.  If you do it on your own and hang it up, they won’t pay attention to them (can anyone say word walls???Build them together and let them watch you hang them.  Refer to them often.  Then the kids will use them.  Just for RtoSO and LtoR I make the following charts:
1.      How to pick a good spot
2.     How to pick a book with a partner
a.      Let’s Make a Deal
b.     Read two different books
c.      Rock, paper, scissors
3.     Ways to read to someone
a.      EEKK
b.     Check for understanding
c.      I read You read
d.     Read two books
4.      How to choose a partner
5.     How to be a reading coach
OKthere you have it.  My take on reading to someone and listening to reading.  I am anxious to see what everyone else does for this 
Here’s my question for today.  For all of you that use WBT do you find these two things kinda in conflict with one another or do you find that they bid well together?  I was thinking about the quietness and calmness of D5 and the loud, clapping and yelling of WBT.  Elbow buddies are important in D5.  I know they are in WBT too.  But it just looks really different on the videos I’ve been watching.  I ask this because I am intrigued by WBTIt seems right up my alley but it also seems kinda chaoticany thoughts?  AnyoneanyoneanyoneBeullerBeuller ;0jk

I am looking forward to next Wednesday!  I really need help on Working on Writing.

So that's it for me today!  I am working on beginning of school this week. Focusing on building relationships in the classroom.  That's what the next blog will be about.  So check back on Friday.  Also pics of my beautiful Big C and her roll as Tiptim (did I spell that right?) in the King and I.  She is the huge theater girl in our family.  We all love theater but she is the one with the longing and talent to actually get on stage and do it!  I will be bragging for sure on Friday!  I look forward to summer because of her plays!  Have a great day ya'll!

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"Later on the sun began to fade, Then the clouds rolled over our heads And it began to rain"