Monday, October 21, 2013

Guided Reading & Getting Organized

Hey there!

Guided reading can be very overwhelming for a new teacher! Last year I felt like I had a lot to learn and needed to change what I was doing. So, this summer I set off to figure out what I was missing.

My first goal this year was to get organized! I do not know about you but I work better when everything has a place!

I started off my shopping at Mrs. Jones Creation Station TPT Store!

I bought this Guided Reading Materials Pack

It has so far been the best thing I could have done for myself!

Then I started to realize that everyone needs to be able to adjust things to meet their own needs. 
I used what I bought and added to it to make it work for my own classroom. 

Here is an addition that I have added to keep everything easily organized and color coded :)

Click on the picture below to get a copy for yourself!
 These Items are FREE in my store for now
Make sure that you check it out! It is an editable document 
so that you can make sure it fits your needs!  
I will post some pictures of my binder tomorrow after school. I also have some other great resources that have helped me as I am planning my lessons. 

I am also having a 20% off sale for my ENTIRE teachers pay teacher store!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Convo Countdown!

Well the countdown has begun!

Just 5 days before I am in Texas for the 2013 Kappa Delta Pi Convocation!! This morning I am finishing up my speech and starting to pack.

If you did not do so already, will you please vote on the poll above ^ this post. 

Calling all Classroom Teachers!
If you are not sure what KDP is all about you can visit their website here.  If you are a classroom teacher, please please please check out the teacher grants that are available!! The deadline in October 31st! You still have time to apply!

Are you going to Convo? Make sure to comment below!

This year they have an app for Convo! This is exciting to me because 
I am always using my phone to take notes and make my schedule.

Click the photo below to get the app!

Once you have the app you can create your agenda!
You can also take notes, rate the presentation, and even 
post to Facebook right from the app!

I love how you can choose which category you would like to search through. 

Are you a pre-service teacher??

Please go to KDP website and check out the scholarships and awards! Trust me it will be worth your time! If you have any questions I am happy to email with you!

Bye now! I am off to pack anything purple and green that I own! :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin Investigation

Hey there Pumpkin! :)

Hope your day was as fun and filled with learning as mine was! (This week my pumpkin learning was a lot less stinky)

Today we had a great time learning about pumpkins and doing our Pumpkin Investigation! I actually got this idea from a great mentor teacher in college. Tammi was one of those teachers who changed your life! She taught me so much in such a short amount of time... so this post is dedicated to Tammi!

Well, you can't have a Pumpkin Investigation without a
fabulous pumpkin outfit! :) I found this baby at goodwill
and HAD to have it! Bringing back the vest! lol

The investigation started with 2 pumpkins!
our pumpkin & the pumpkin

Looking at these pumpkins and pulling from our schema,
we filled out the Old Information & Questions sections
in our schema folders. I completed a class folder while the students 
filled out their individual schema folder. (The free file is on my TPT)

Here is the inside of the student schema folder

Here are some student samples

We read this great book called how many seeds in a pumpkin?
It is an AMAZING book that gives some great information about how
to count the seeds, and how you can guess which pumpkin will have more seeds!

Next, it was time to get busy! We got to put our hands into the pumpkin
and pull out the seeds and pulp! What a mess... but lots of fun!

Once the seeds were all rinsed off we counted our seeds by 2's, 5's, and 10's

Then, I wanted to talk with the students about being a Scientist!
We read this book and went through the I am a Scientist song and
powerpoint from Dr. Jean. We discussed making a hypothesis.

We came up with a hypothesis based around the idea that our pumpkin
would have more seeds because it was bigger.
Then, we came up with another hypothesis that the pumpkin would
have more seeds because it is darker orange and has more lines. 

Then, we read Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden.
If you have not read this book to your students it is a MUST! The
vocabulary is AMAZING! We were able to do a word hunt for adjectives!

To end the day the students got to read and color their own 
Pumpkin life cycle books. I made these quick for my class this weekend.

Thank you for stoping by! Happy pumpkin fun to you!

Friday, October 11, 2013


Happy Friday!

I hope your Friday went a little smoother than mine did! I made my way through a down poor of rain and into our building. Upon entering the building I thought, "what is that weird smell?" As I walked down the hall I could not wait to get in my room so I could get away from the smell......

I opened my door and this is what I found....

This great big pumpkin exploded all over the counter and down onto the floor. I wish I could insert a scratch and sniff sticker right here, but then again I do not think you would want to smell it! 

I wanted my class to learn more about pumpkins... Little did I know we would be learning more than we ever wanted to know!

On another note...

The sweet ladies at Table Talk with C and C have a great Giveaway going on right now! Head on over to their blog to enter in their Fall & Halloween Giveaway!

You will have a chance to win my Storybook Character Day Pack along with many other amazing Halloween & Fall activities.

Hope you have a great weekend! I just hope I can get that smell out of my nose! :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

All we need is love and a little bit of dancing!

Hey Teacher Friends!

I need a moment to share my feelings! Hope you do not mind!

Teaching is not a job that people completely understand. We are teachers, mothers, fathers, secretaries, managers, nurses, problem solvers, curriculum writers, and employees. I do not know about you but there has been a time or two TON of times where I have felt completely overwhelmed with all that we are expected to do and handle.

For the last few weeks I have been in this haze of stress. All I could think about was all of the small stuff we are required to do, but I was missing the BIG picture. I got my degree in teaching because I LOVE to spend my time teaching children. I love when they walk in our room in the morning, and their little smile lights up the classroom.

Two weeks ago, I was in a haze of stress and searching the internet for teaching ideas. I just happened to come across a YouTube Video titled Kid President's Pep Talk for Teachers and Students. I clicked on the video and my whole mood changed. Listening to this young man made me realize I NEED TO BE MORE AWESOME!  And when I can't be awesome...I need to dance...because we all know that dancing is fun and relieves lots of stress! :)

Then one day last week, I had just had one of "those days" and I broke down in tears. My poor husband tried talking me through my problems but I was stuck in this rut. Then I was upset with myself for being upset!! So, I decided that an early bed time was most likely the best thing I could do for myself.

I laid in bed and my thoughts turned to my students and how much they care for me. How hard they work everyday. How much I love spending my life with them. I thought about how I owe them more than what I was giving them.  Laying there I came up with this concept of a Class Cheer. We could do this cheer anytime in the day. We could do this when we just needed to add a little happiness back into our learning.

Now we have watched several of Kid President's videos! The students can't get enough. We have decided that our class motto this year is "Be Awesome."

With Kid President playing through our minds we worked together to create our Class Cheer. We do it everyday to start our day. Then we do it again throughout the day when we are sleepy, grumpy, sad, or even scared (especially of the fire drill). This little cheer has allowed me to focus on what I love about teaching. This cheer has made my students excited and I have even heard them encouraging each other to Be Awesome!

So Thank you Kid President! You helped this "stuck in a rut" teacher find her way back to her path. Another thank you to my amazing students, both past and present who have worked hard for me each and every day. You are Amazing and I love you very much!

So... What are you teaching the world?
Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fall into fun with Storybook Character Day!

I am beyond excited for Storybook Character Day!

There are 2 main reasons I am so excited!

First Things First

I created this Common Core Aligned, 
Storybook Character Day unit 
and I am really excited about it! 
I cannot wait to spend an entire day talking
about characters - interviewing characters - comparing characters
- learning about new characters - and reading lots of really great books!

Click on the picture below to find it in my TPT store

It includes an easy to use parent letter
with two options
 Plenty of sheets for the students to write about their character

 An interviewing sheet that is appropriate for primary grades

and several different reflection sheets for the students to 
write about what they learned on Storybook Character Day!

I also provided a list of the standards that this unit ties into

Storybook Character Day is going to be a lot of fun!

The Second Reason 

I am SOOO excited.. is because 
I am going to be dressing up as my favorite character as well!

My favorite Character is Lilly - from the Kevin Henkes books

I searched the internet high and low to find a picture of a costume to get ideas. The best one I could find was this one from a play. If you click the picture it will take you to the article about the play! It is pretty interesting!

so being a thrifty lady (I wish) - I headed to the Goodwill
and I found this purple purse for $2!

Then I got to work this morning creating a headband with ears and a crown, but
I need more white felt - so the pictures of that will be posted once it is done!

Now for the big debate! I want to paint my old cowgirl boots red with a yellow star. 
My Husband thinks I am a crazy woman and says no.
I need your support on this one! Should I do it?? I am thinking about going to the craft store today to get paint! I feel like I will wear them more each year dressing up as Lilly, than I will wear them as they are now! (I had to dust them off before I took this picture!)

So that is all I have for now.. 
but if you missed the pumpkin freebie yesterday, make sure to check it out today!
Happy Sunday!

Click on the picture below to find it in my TPT store

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Workin' on Words and Writing!

Hey Friends!

I hope that your first quarter of school is going well! My kiddos tell me all the time how they LOVE word work and they LOVE writing. They actually motivate me to get creative with the different activities we do.

I have had some ideas in mind lately - but no time to get them up and posted! So here is everything the kids have been begging for :) I hope you like them just as much as they do!

Word Workin'

I love these because you can place them in a sheet 
protector and the students can use them as a Write-on Wipe-off boards
Click Below to get it from my TPT Store
 There are several different mats
One for each vowel & vowel pattern listed above
 There is an entire set of alphabet iPods
Mats available for all CVVC patterns listed above

Writer's Eyes

My students are loving our conversations about having writer's eyes. I decided to make some placeholders for their Writers Notebooks. This will remind them to have writers eyes and keep their place in their journal!
Click Below to get it from my TPT Store

 I got this idea to Celebrate the students who are doing it consistently in their writing. 
The students will receive a certificate and a pair of glasses! 
I am hoping it will help to motivate all 
of the students to slow down and take the time to think about their writing. 

I got mine from Party City! 

FREEBIE! Pumpkin Fun!

I love adding a little fall clipart to my parent letters and schedules. 
Here is a little something for you!
Click Below to get it from my TPT Store

Some more fall fun to come! Stay tuned this week!