Monday, July 21, 2014

Christmas in July Days 7 & 8

 Hey, Y'all!  I'm back again with a different sale for days 7 & 8.  This time, I have all of my 'I Can' sets on sale for 20% off.

Go check them out in my store!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Christmas in July Days 5 & 6

Sorry I'm a little late getting this posted :(

For days 5 & 6, I will have my Math Workshop Guide on sale for 20% off.
This is a BIGGIE and one of my best selling products.  Here is what Ally C. said about it:
"I cannot thank you enough for making this resource. Last year was my first year in fourth grade, and my second year teaching, and I taught math whole group. I really struggled with it and so did my kids. I knew that I wanted to do something different and when I came across your blog, I knew that I had to have this resource. I have been pouring over it today and it is going to be a life-saver. I plan on getting it all bound so it can be my go-to resource. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

Go get yours today if you don't already have it!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Favorite Pins Friday

Hey, Hey!  Unfortunately, another Friday is here which means we are one week closer to going back to work :(  On the upside, it's time for another Favorite Pins Friday!
 This week, I've been pinning a lot of personal things for my family.  My son's 5th birthday is next month, and our family pictures are in September.  I've been preparing for these fun events:)

First up is a great blog post about how improve student's writing.  Sorry, but I don't think the particular picture goes with the 'beef' of this post.  She has 5 great tips that make a lot of sense about writing in your classroom.

This is going to be the color scheme (and my outfit) for our family photos in September.  I'm thinking about finding a mustard shirt for the hubs and maybe two different gray shirts for the boys.  I LOVE this color scheme!

This is the cutest idea ever!  I'm thinking about doing this with the teachers at my school.  It's a Christmas sock exchange with goodies inside the socks.  It's different, unique, and I love it!

This is a simple tutorial about how to create chair pockets for your classroom. So cute!
Have you checked out Leslie from Life in Fifth Grade?  She has a lot of great ideas on her blog.  One of her most recents is this text evidence bulletin board which would be great for any classroom.  I like this because it gives students a type of formula to use when supporting their work from evidence from the text and citing their support.

That's all this week.  Summer is quickly fading away, and I don't feel like I have accomplished very much this summer.  I have enjoyed spending the days with my sweet boys.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Christmas in July Days 3 & 4

Good Morning, Y'all.  Days 3 & 4 of my Christmas in July sale will be combined.  For these two days, you will be able to get all my vocabulary sets for 20% off.  This includes chevron and my original designs.  The links are below.



These will all be on sale for Days 3 & 4!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Christmas in July Day #2

Hi!  This post will be short.. sorry!  In addition to my products from yesterday (if you remember, I posted them late) I will have my math centers on sale for 20% off today only.  This will include my individual and bundled packs.



Check them out in my store!



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How Do You Lesson Plan?.. and Giveaway!

Am I the only one who changes their lesson plan layout a million time a year?  I just can't seem to get it right!  Maybe it's because I get bored easily??

Last year, I spent a hefty $50 on an EC planner.  You can see my at-home planning below.

It was very cute, but I got tired real quick of writing the same thing over and over.  You see, I have a repetitive schedule.   I do whole groups on Mondays and Fridays and I do guided groups on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  So, I became a little tired of writing the same schedule over and over!  It didn't take but a few weeks to see that $50 was a waste!  Some teachers love the EC planner, but not this one.


I quickly switched over to my trusty binder.  I then used a binder system that had all my junk stuff in it.  I loved the idea, but my arm got a workout lugging that heavy thing around the room!  Not to mention that my room is teeny tiny.  The space to plop that big boy down was limited.

Don't get me wrong... I love my binder!  I am still going to use it this year, but I am going to use it to store all of my curriculum things like pacing guide, data team meeting stuff, and instructional/vocabulary strategy files.  But, my daily lesson plans will get a new home.

Before I go any further, you are not going to believe that I started this post about 2 weeks ago.  In the middle of my draft, Rachel from The Tattooed Teacher posted a post similar to this one... I thought I was the only one crazy enough to go back and forth between digital and paper plans!

First of all, during the last week of school, I checked out www.planbook.com to see if it was something I was interested in.  The template is something to get use to, but I absolutely love the fact that you can link in CC standards and files.  That's right my friends, you can link in files that you use.  Just think... wouldn't it be great to have a record of all the wonderful (and not so wonderful) plans/ideas/activities you did with your students ALONG with the file!  How easy would it make your planning life from now on out?  So, I think this is going to be my go-to for my 'beefy' plans.  These will also be the plans that I print out and submit to my administrator.  Did I mention that you can also share them with administration or post them to a website?  How cool!  Here are few screenshots of what the site looks like.  BTW- these are totally MY opinions.  I am not being compensated in any way for this review.

 This is the weekly view.  They also have daily, monthly, and list views.  You can have a different schedule for each day depending on what you like.
 Another great feature is the fact that you can bump plans to the next day if you don't get time to do them.  It will then bump everything else a day.  AWESOME!
This is what the window looks like for the actual writing of the plans.  You can see the lesson, homework, notes, and standards tabs at the top.  I'm thinking of using the notes tabs as a reflection area on how the lesson went.

They also have an iPad app that you can install so you can have your plans with you at all times. 

So, the question is... Am I totally ready to give up my paper plans?  NO!  I'm not sure if I can do it. That's why I am also making a paper planner.  I know... I'm CRAZY!  But not that crazy!  My paper planner will not be as detailed as my online plans and they will focus mostly on my small group plans.  These will be bound together with a spiral binding comb (office store, under $5).  Here's what I'm thinking will go in it.

Yearly Pacing Guide (district created)
Year-at-a-Glance
Quarterly Curriculum Map
Monthly Curriculum Map
Weekly Outlook
Small Group Lesson Plans
Standards
Standards Checklist
Record Keeping (grades)
August-June Calendar Pages
Weekly To-Do
Guided Reading Lesson Plans (3-Rotation Template)
Bloom's Taxonomy Reference Sheets
3 Tiers of Words

Most of these can be found in my teacher planner HERE.  If there is something you are looking for, let me know.  I have already added a few things to it per teacher requests.

So, when I sit down to plan, I will need:
Laptop (for plan book)
Paper Planner (for small groups & Standards)

Within my paper planner, I will have absolutely everything I will need to plan.  I am hoping this will help me be a little more organized and ACCOUNTABLE for getting things done in a timely manner rather than forgetting or putting them off to the last minute.  I am also excited about my Peek at my Week that is a Fan Freebie on my Facebook page.  I think it's going to be a lot of fun filling it out each week!

Now for the fun part... who's ready for a giveaway?  I haven't had one of these in a long...... time :)  I'm going to be giving one lucky person a copy of my Teacher Plan Book AND my Reading Binder pack.  The winner will be announced Friday evening!

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It's Christmas... Say What?

I'm a little late to the sale par-tay.  AND... I'm not a blog hopper, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from participating in some July fun.

Today, I have all of my classroom management items on sale for 20% off.  Since I was late getting this posted, I will keep them on sale for tomorrow too!  

You can check them out by clicking on the images below.






Don't forget to stop by tomorrow to see what I will have on sale in addition to these :)


Friday, July 11, 2014

Reading Binder FREEBIES

I am so excited to share a little something with you.  In my opinion, it's an awesome FREEBIE.  It's difficult to find free things these days, so I'm pretty excited to share it with you.

I'm not sure if you remember, but I created an editable A Teacher's Reading Binder pack earlier this summer.
You can grab yours HERE.

It's not editable YET (because I'm having some issues with that) but it will be very soon!  Anyways, I wanted some cute little divider pages and tabs to go along with mine.  So, I started making them today.  Then, I decided to just make them available to everyone!

I just think these are sooo cute!  I have two different designs.  The multi-chevron matches my Reading Binder pack, but I think I'm going to use the BRIGHTS pack because it's just too cute!  I may even end up offering a BRIGHTS Reading Binder pack.  I'm not sure yet.  Anyways... you can click below each preview to grab yours!



Enjoy!

Favorite Pins Friday

Unfortunately, I just realized that I only have 4 more Fridays before I head back to work.  Is it possible that summer is too quickly coming to an end?  I feel like I have accomplished absolutely nothing... nada!  My classroom is usually all set up by now, but my floors haven't even been cleaned yet :/  Anywho, here's another Favorite Pins Friday for ya!

{Source}
I used this resource last year and loved it!  This year, Kristen has added a spelling component that I can't wait to use.  I see a post in the near future about how I incorporate this into my busy 5th grade literacy block.  It was Ah-mazing how the students actually used the meanings of parts of words to help them decode meaning.

{Source}
I'm going to be honest, there is nothing special about this picture.  But don't let that fool you into not checking it out.  This teacher has some great ideas of how to incorporate word work into a busy schedule.  I love that she offers choices to her students.  Students love to feel like they have a say!

{Source}
What's not to love about this picture?  I love how everything is organized, labeled, and has a home!  I also love how this teacher has added personal pictures to make it feel a little more 'homey'.

{Source}
I have always been a lover of binders.  I have a filing cabinet in my classroom, but I mostly use it for storage of other things besides papers.  With all honesty, I could probably do away with it and not miss is.  If you are still stuck using a filling cabinet to store all your materials, then check out this blog where this teacher discusses ditching your cabinet.

{Source}
Here's another classroom idea just because I like it!  This year I am working on having a few low shelving units near my desk so that everything will seem to flow.  Right now, I have a tall one behind my desk.  I may still keep it, but I am wanting to try out some shorter ones to get the look that this teacher has.

And there you have it!  Another Friday has come and gone!  I am hoping to keep this going when school starts back.  I love it because I love sharing ideas and I like pinning.  Having something to post kind of makes me accountable for finding some really great things on Pinterest.



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My Literacy Block Schedule

I get a lot of emails asking about my schedule at school.  Since last year was my first year teaching 5th grade Reading/ELA using a guided group model, I tried a lot of different schedules.  I changed it around quite a bit, but I finally got it down to an art by the end of the school year.  I modeled it after my guided math schedule that I followed when I taught 4th grade math.  Let's get a few things out there... I teach reading, writing, and grammar.  This year, our writing will be incorporated into our reading.  I'll tell you a little more about that later.  My grammar instruction is usually about 30 minutes each day.  I have NOT included it here since it's not really part of my literacy block.  I have about and hour and half for my literacy block each day.

I ALWAYS finish the day with binder work and a read aloud of some sort.  Most of the time, it is a novel that we are reading together.  The binder work is when the students take a few minutes to organize their binder, fill out any necessary forms to be turned in, and finish anything not completed.  I have learned a little through trial and practice and will post a blog post soon where I REVEAL ALL about my literacy binders.... the good, bad, and ugly!


Mondays:
Mondays are one of my two whole group days.  I use this day to distribute my homework for the week, have the kids write the entire week in their agenda, go over my expectations for the homework, introduce our vocabulary/spelling words, have a big whole group lesson for our weekly skills,  and conduct individual reading conferences with students on my conferring list while they read to self for about 25 minutes.  Individual reading conferences is something I want to get better about doing.  I did it last year, but not near as much as I wanted to.  I will also be using some of this time to complete running records on my students.  I purchased the Progress Monitoring packet from Hello Literacy that I plan to use to progress monitor my students.  We use FAST reading and math as a school level, but I am wanting to progress monitor some of my students myself so they can track their progress in their goals section in their literacy binder.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays:
These three days are spent reviewing our homework from the previous night, having a short 15-25 minute mini-lesson about our weekly skill, and meeting with small groups for three rotations.  What I do in small group really depends on what our skill is for the week.  We may do some reading response, close reading activity, or vocabulary instruction.

During my three rotations, my students are reading to self, word work, work on writing, or reading to someone.  This year, our work on writing will look VERY different.  Writing will now be incorporated into reading.  What does this mean for my classroom?  A lot of their writing will be connected to their reading in some way.  This is new to me, so I'm not sure exactly how this will look.  All I know is that our writing test is now incorporated into our reading test.

Fridays:
Last year, my students completed a weekly assessment that went along with our weekly skill from the week.  I downloaded the reading passages from here {FREE} and created my own questions to go along with them.  A lot of times, I used 3-4 from those already listed, but I added a lot of my own that required the students to go back to the text to support their answer with evidence.  By the end of the school year, this was something my students were experts at.

However, this year is going to be different.  I am still going to assess my students, but I am going to try to vary the way I do it.  One of the #1 feedback comments I received at the end of the year from my students was that they would have liked more projects.  So, I am going to try and incorporate more book reports {in a fun way} and other ways to assess my students.  I'm going to focus on doing more showing rather than telling.  Don't get me wrong, I am still going to assess my students with paper and pencil, but I am going to try and limit it to no more than every OTHER week.  I believe that by the end of the school year, the students became very bored with our weekly assessments (ahhh... shucks!).

BTW- the kiddos commented that their two favorite activities were our Hatchet projects and my text structure unit.  Say what?  Text structure?  I thought that was very interesting!

Hopefully this has helped you see how to incorporate components of the Daily 5 into your intermediate literacy block.  If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section below.