Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I have a question.  Who loves Teachers Pay Teachers?  I know I do.  It is an addiction.  I have another question.  Who loves FREE stuff from TPT?  Again, I know I do.  An Apple For the Teacher is giving away a $75 gift card to TPT.  This is awesome.  You need to head over there right now and enter.  It takes less than 5 minutes and is well worth your time.  Here is the link to the giveaway.  Good Luck!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Common Core Reading Street Resources

     I know it has been awhile but hopefully I can blog once a week!!!  Today's post will be about Reading Street resources.  The first link was for Pearson Realize and the second one is for Pearson Success Net.  If you have Reading Street as your Basal, then you should have access  to these 2 resources.
     Now, here are some online resources that I have found and used or others have found our used.  Also, if you have any that I have not listed, please feel free to add them in the comments.

  1. Common Core Reading Lessons:  This is an online website that I have found.  It has resources listed by Grade, who has adopted CCSS by state, and it gives a recap of the standards.  I teach 2nd Grade and here is the link to those resources.  It lists resources by standard and most of them are on TPT.
  2. Everything Literacy:  This is a WikiSpace that is a 2nd grade resource.  It has the other grade levels listed on the left hand side.  It has skill posters for skills taught through the Reading Street series.  You will have to investigate this site because I am sure that it has something that you could use.
  3. Birmingham City Schools:  This is a link to Birmingham City Schools website.  It has links to Scope and Sequence resources, long range plans, curriculum alignments, close reading lessons for 3rd - 5th, and much more.
  4. Pinterest:  Of course, there is Pinterest.  When I need an idea for anything, this is one of the places I go.  You will just have to investigate it for yourself and find something that you can use.
  5. Waltke's Web:  I have been using this site for several years.  It has resources for Reading Street before Common Core was adopted.  It has links to each grade level.
  6. Freida Lewis:  I have just found this site and haven't had time to investigate it.  It has online games, parent pages, resources for teachers, Spelling City games, and other links.
  7. Carl's Corner:  This is a resource that I don't use as much but I still go to from time to time.
If you have any more resources that you use, please add them to the comments.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Book "Baskets"

     The library is an integral part of my classroom.  Whenever I have the chance (Dollar Tree, Target Dollar Spot, and points from Scholastic), I am buying books for the library.  I love fiction but am absolutely in love with non-fiction books.  Here are some articles from Scholastic and Teaching Monster on why non-fiction is important to reading and learning.  I know at my school, all the teachers would agree that vocabulary instruction is a weakness in our school.  We need to find effective ways to teach our children the vocabulary they need to know to succeed in & outside of the classroom.
     Anyway, I got off track which is easy for me.  Look at what I bought today at Dollar Tree.

They are nylon, drawstring bags and they were only $1.00!!!  I have used baskets in the past but I saw these and thought to myself that they are worth a try.  They seem to be indestructible but we are talking about 2nd graders.  I am not too sure about the orange and yellow ones.  They are BRIGHT!!!!!  I am going to hand them out at Meet the Teacher night for the students to put in their cubbies.  I will have to post pictures of them in action once school starts.
     Comment below and share how you have your students store their library books.  You can include pictures too.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

BLOGS I Love!!!

I am a NOVICE blogger!  If there is a stage below novice, that would be me.  How do you get better at something?  ANSWER:  Practice, Practice, Practice....and that is what I'm doing.  Today, I want to talk about a few blogs that I feel are a MUST for you to follow.

  1. Teaching Maddenness - I don't know what I did before I found this blog.  Amanda is truly a gifted person who loves sharing her talents with others.  What I admire most about her is the way she does her lesson plans.  She does not use a basal reader and teaches using Genre Studies!  Ask yourself this question:  How many of us want to ditch the basal but are too scared (of change) to do it??  Me, Me, Me!!!!!!!  I know it will not happen overnight or even this school year but....I PROMISE...it will happen and it will be the best thing I have ever done.  Oh...she is also on TPT and has her own website (Teacher's Clubhouse).
  2. Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd - Ashley is so spunky and full of love for the teaching profession.  She loves what she does and it shows.  I have bought many things from her TPT store (more things than I want to admit).  She has also started using Periscope (app downloaded for your phone) with her Blogging BFF, Angie from Lucky Little Learners.  It is a video app for you phone.  They have written a list of 10 Must Knows for the Periscope Beginner.
  3. Lucky Little Learners - Angie  is from Minnesota and teaches 2nd grade at the school she attended as a child.  I can't even imagine what that would feel like.  She LOVES using Interactive Notebooks and I have to say, I am learning to love them too!  You need to go and visit her TPT store to see it for yourself.  Who doesn't learn when they are interacting within the lesson instead of listening to the teacher teach??  

Believe me, there are MANY more blogs out there that are AWESOME!!!!!!!!  Only a little bit at a time!  How can I forget this one..................
Farrah Shipley!  I discovered Whole Brain Teaching in the Spring and attended their National Conference in Louisiana.  Anyway....there will be an ENTIRE post dedicated to her and WBT!!!


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Get to Know You (Me)!

I know it has been a few weeks but I am still trying to get used to this blogging thing.  Well, I better get used to it pretty quickly because I have to be back at school on August 10th with the students returning on August 17th.  I think I will do a lot better because I will have a schedule.

We all know with back to school there are "Get to Know You" activities.  Here is a little get to know you activity that will be fun to participate in.  It is from The Tattooed Teacher.  Here goes :)

I know....  I could be a little bit more interesting.  Maybe tomorrow (when it is not 11:43 at night) I will create "10 Facts You Don't Know About Me".

Monday, July 6, 2015

NEW Blog Design!

I am super excited to be showing off my new blog design!!!!!!!  Thank you so much to Lindsey @ L. Paull Designs for All!  You will see her button at the bottom of this page.  She also has another website:  Miss Johnston's Journey (Thriving in 3rd).  Lindsey does AWESOME work and is very patient.  You need to go visit her.

I have had this blog for awhile but have NOT been diligent in posting.  I am thinking to myself "Why would anyone be interested in what is going on in my classroom?  I am not a pro?  Nothing I have to say would seem important.".  Set in.....  SELF DOUBT!  Well, that is going to stop here and now.  I never know who will read my blog and what they will get from it.

It is late at night and I need to go to bed but I was so excited to share this with you.  Good night!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Teaching with Intention (by Debbie Miller) Book Study

Ok....I told myself I was going to get organized and start blogging more.  Well, I have organized my house (my classroom will be in July).  I had to focus on my house.  This is the place that I neglect most of the school year.

I shouldn't say start blogging more.  It should be to blog with intention! This is where I am going to start talking about & referring to "Teaching with Intention" by Debbie Miller.  Greg from "The Kindergarten Smorgasboard"Jessica from "Mrs. Plemons Kindergarten",  Stephany from "Primary Possibilities", and Keri from "Enchanted Kindergarten" hosted Chapter 1 of this book study.  There will be a discussion of each chapter on Wednesday.  

I need to be "thoughtful, reflective, and strategic" with what I do.  This should occur inside & outside of the classroom.  We do things for a purpose and have a specific reason behind that purpose.  This includes students as well as teachers.  Teachers need to know what they are doing and in turn, students will know what to expect & know what to do.  They will have learning with intention.

Chapter 1:  How Does Your Ideal Classroom Look, Sound, and Feel?

My ideal classroom (especially at the end of this last school year) feels like a fantasy right now.  To be truthful, that is all my fault!  According to Debbie, your ideal classroom needs

  • to be "perfect".  You need to use all your senses and envision your dream.
  • Once you do this, you can bring your vision to life.
  • authentic interaction & and organized and accessible  classroom.  The students need to have access to everything.
  • resources for background knowledge.  This is to understand the content of what they are learning.
All of this allows the teacher the ability to talk with the students and be more intentional with her teaching.  How are you going to teach without getting to know the students?  All students are experts and in charge of their own learning as a teacher is in charge of their teaching.

I was kind of hesitant to blog on this book study.  I mean....to be in the same category as all of these FABULOUS bloggers.  I have learned so much in the past few months "blogstalking".  There is one blog I did not mention above.  It is the AWESOME and AMAZING Ashley from "Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd".  

To show you how new I am to blogging, I can't figure out how to add everyone's blogger buttons to the bottom of this post.  If you happen to come across this post, I would greatly appreciate the help in how to add buttons to the bottom of posts.