Monday, September 1, 2014

Markdown Monday Linky...Scarecrow Resources

Happy Labor Day readers!  I hope you're enjoying your day off with picnics, pool time, and family fun. I know that's what I plan to do at least part of the day.  

I am linking up today with Kelly and Kim's Kindergarten Kreations for Markdown Monday.  We were asked to choose one item to mark down and blog about it. 

$2.00 for Monday 9/1/14 only

I am choosing my Fall Poetry for Your Pockets set, and from the set, I thought I'd share "A Scarecrow's Job" and how I use the poems along with few other resources that could be used with it.

The poems come in black and white and color.  Each is intended to be used several times over the week for a brief fluency practice session as part of guided reading.  Other activities I've done with these include:  marking phrases, timed repeated readings, partner reads, and acting them out.

The target age group for these poems would be 2nd-3rd.  

If teachers are wanting to use the poem in conjunction with other scarecrow themed books, one of my favorites is Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant. It has wonderfully poetic language.  The unit I designed to go with the book will be 1/2 price for Monday too.  It includes materials for reading comprehension and writing. 

$2.00 for Monday 9/1/14 only

Other options for Scarecrow themed books include the following:

For Scarecrow themed freebies from Teachers Pay Teachers, click on the preview picture below:

Scarecrow Glyph & Puppet Pattern CraftivityScarecrow Paper PlateScarecrow Art & Writing
Scarecrow Writing & Craft Activity FREEBIECompare & Contrast with the Lonely Scarecrow

I hope your day is more exciting than a Scarecrow's.  Until next time, happy reading!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Morning Letters

Happy LONG weekend readers!  How nice to not be scrambling to get lesson plans done today! We get to ease into things.  Even so, I am heading into my school today to just lazily organize things in the peace and quiet.  I think I'll grab some music to play while I work.  Before I head off to get ready, I thought I'd link up with my friend Michelle at Big Time Literacy.  She started this great linky to help bloggers become reflective practitioners.  As the year goes, I'll try to include thoughts on the week too.  Today, we'll see where my letters go.  They are just coming off the top of my head. :-)

Dear Molly,
You are the cutest dog, but you need to start behaving.  Your daddy isn't crazy about you like Catherine and I are.  He gets frustrated when you sneak things out of the pantry and get on the furniture.  You know you aren't supposed to do those things because we can see your guilty expression when you get caught.  I think we'll need to be a little more strict with you, so I hope you will learn.  Even so, you are loved my furry friend, and we look forward to great walks this week.

Dear Sweet Catherine,
You are driving me crazy with your messiness, but you teach me at the same time.  I love your creativity and endless energy, but it tires me out sometimes.  I guess if people visit, they will understand all of your work in progress.  You have taught me to never judge messy houses that's for sure!  You remind me often of this saying:
I'm so glad you had a great first week of school, and I am so thankful you have teachers who recognize you are a student who loves to learn and wants to achieve.  I am so happy that you're loving your book, Sounder.  I hope you have tissues for the sad parts.  Have a great week, my dear.

Dear Sam,
It makes me so happy to hear your voice and know you are having fun.  Your text messages mean a lot, and I look forward to quick notes even if they are short.  I can't wait for Parent's Weekend.  We are going to have so much fun with you.  The house is not the same with you gone, but I am happy knowing you are happy.

Dear  Students,
Only a few more days until I get to meet you!  I can not wait for you to find your home in my classroom this year, and I am filled with energy and excitement that I get more freedom to choose your curriculum this year.  It will be nice to weave in time to build a love for reading and share some of my favorites with you this year.  I hope you'll be inspired by Patricia Polacco, Gary Paulsen, Cynthia Rylant, Pam Munoz Ryan, and Kate DiCamillo.  I can't wait to see which authors you love. Perhaps I'll get to add a few new ones to my list too.  You have struggles with reading, and I promise to help you work those out.  I'm looking forward to helping you be the best you you can be.
Your teacher

Dear Readers,
Thank you for being interested in what I share on my blog.  I am humbled all the time, and I enjoy connecting with you.  When I started this blog, I had visions of how I wanted it to be.  It's not there yet, but I'm trying to improve it.  I am working on adding activities to my page links.  If you would like to share something that you think others would appreciate, feel free to email it to me.  I am adding activities to the Word Study page first, but eventually, I'll add to the others.  I think that will make the pages much more useful for me and you.  If you love working with themes, be sure to come by Thursday to check out the posts about Space, and if you have themes you need help with, please let me know. Now, it's time for me to close. Have a fantastic week!

Anyone else up for writing letters?  Just grab the blog post header and do it!  Then, link up with Michelle.

Until next time, have a wonderful week and happy reading!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Five for Friday-First Week of School

I believe I am seeing spots...or maybe my eyes are tired from all the assessing I did this week!  Eek! DSA, Running Records, Kindergarten Screenings, data entry, and phone calls for test scores, but I believe we've got a good feel of where our students are at this point.  I feel very good about all that got accomplished while my colleagues have been working to build a positive learning community among their classes. I enjoyed the one-on-one time with the kids too to reconnect after not seeing them all summer.  It is a nice way to get to know the new students too. It was a busy week, and here's what most of us look like Friday afternoon.  Relate??
Notice crossed eyes and hair disheveled, but thumbs are up!
Cartoon Number OneOf course, we all had first day jitters Monday (I did not sleep well Sunday night despite my letter writing post.), I went through the schedule I don't know how many times.  After all, we were lazy in the summer, and  I even had to dust off the alarm clock since it hadn't been used for a bit. We all got where we needed to be on time.  What a miracle!  Here is my sixth grader gearing up for her first day. Where does the time go??  She was so excited to where her glitzy shirt (but I think she was a bit hot by the end of the day.)  Oh well!  She had a great first day, and she even let me curl her hair.  It's the little things that make you happy, right!    

Cartoon Number TwoIn the middle of the week, I shared pictures of my classroom.  I have had so much fun decorating a full size classroom.  I went with an animal print theme..."We're getting Wild About Reading!"  It's been wonderful being able to spread the children out and use the space for paired work and for children who just need room to spread out.  I've gotten a little spoiled I'm afraid.  My pride and joy is my library.  I'm still working on leveling the books.  They're all sorted by theme and author.

Cartoon Number Three
On Wednesday, my sister tagged me for the ALS challenge.  I debated uploading the video clip, but I believe it is just too embarrassing to share.  I didn't quite make the 24 hour deadline, so I donated to Susan G. Komen in honor of a close family friend and to Autism Speaks in honor of my nephew. Here he is when he was little.  Just look how precious he is.  My sister and brother in law are amazing, and he is one special guy.  

Cartoon Number FourThursday, I introduced a new linky I will be running, Thematic Thursday.  I will share the theme a week in advance to allow time for bloggers to think about their posts.  The theme for the first week is Space, and I'd love for those who link up with Five for Friday this week to consider linking up with me for it.  Any grade is welcome and all subject areas as long as they stick to the theme.  When you write up your post, you might want to include the intended grade level for the activities too.  The only thing I ask is that you not link up directly to your store.  Readers enjoy seeing materials in action.  Here is the linky button for those who'd like to give it a try.

Cartoon Number FiveI will end with our buddy, Molly.  It was National Dog Week, and here's our pal.

For other Five for Friday posts, you can visit Doodlebug's Teaching [here].  Enjoy your weekend, and until next time, happy reading!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thematic Thursday Linky

This summer, I really enjoyed teaching our summer reading program.  We planned each week by themes, and the children had opportunities to explore science, write, read a variety of texts and genres, share reader's theater and poetry, and much more.  It gave me the idea of doing a Thematic Thursday Linky.  

I would like to explore a different theme each week and share resources that could be used to go with the themes.  With blog posts, I'd love bloggers to use this as a time to share book titles, writing prompts, activities (may be modeling a product tied to the theme if you like), freebies, and anything that would make planning the theme easier for all.  This is not intended as a link up where products are linked directly from your store.  In fact, any links that go to a store will be deleted.  Rather, this linky is intended to be a permanent post that readers can come to in the future. Again, you may share products through modeling how they are used, but please do not link up marketing posts.

Now, let's get things started.  Next week, the theme will be...
Think of space themed books, math activities, writing prompts, science ideas, art projects, and any other type of learning activity you could include.  

I hope this will be a really fun posts to write and even better, I hope the ideas will help you make things fun for kids.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

2014 Classroom Room Reveal

I don't know about my readers, but I love looking at pictures of other teacher's classrooms.  I have gotten a few ideas from other blogs and scanning through many, many Pinterest pins.  Finally I remembered to snap a few pictures today, and my friend Alexis at Laugh, Eat Learn invited people link up their room reveals with her linky, so maybe my readers will take away a few ideas from my room set up and those on Maja's blog.  If you want to check them out, you can visit her blog [here] 

This is my library area.  I used the portable closet on the righthand side to block of the area for private reading.  I brought in additional throw pillows and used the beanbags again that I've had in the past.  I rearranged my books some this year use crates that I ziptied together to create a bookshelf.  I found I needed to add extra support due to the weight of the books, so I had a board cut that fit just right in between the two rows of crates. I am still in the process of leveling (with color coded electrical tape by AR level since that is what our students are accustomed to).  I am sorting the books by genre, theme, and author to make it easier for students to find books they like.  

This is my reading table obviously.  I made a focus board this summer using an oil drip pan from Walmart.  I will be using chart paper for modeling, have a place to post our reading vocabulary and phonics elements, and finally, a place to model spelling patterns.  I will probably not use all board sections with a group, but have that as a possibility.  In the corner of my room, you see the reading vocabulary wall.  That includes terms often seen in state testing materials.  Under the board, I've put together a crate/basket for all of the kindergarten word building manipulatives.  

We will also use this area of the room when we work on the smartboard or have skill modeling time.  I think my 4/5 groups will enjoy having this area as well.  The crate seats are so nice for sitting on and storage.  You can see I have my anchor charts to the right which are hung on a magnetic curtain rod I picked up from Walmart. I will be posting the kindergarten sightwords on the board to the left.  In the far corner, I have student mailboxes and a pocket chart for our Concept of Word poems we'll work on each week.  The door may have to be locked during that period of time so none of us gets smooshed. :-)

Here is a second reading area that will be used by our teaching assistant if she's working with me at the time. Again, the anchor charts are displayed as well.  I may also use this area for centers if I am solo and need activities while I run groups.  
Here is the backside of the closet.  I covered it with burlap by using a nailgun.  It will stay forever! The signs are laminated so that I can put daily homework on them.  I have purchased several versions of R-E-A-D to display in different places (trying to give a message...and hoping it works!)  
The final picture is of our book bins.  Once the children start, each will have their own bin where they will place 3-4 books they want to read for independent time.  I have placed their interactive notebooks in them for now, and they will keep track of their reading in it this year. We will be running the 50 book challenge in my room, and I hope at the end of the year, I'm able to say each child did it.  
The children will start with me next week after we finish assessing.  I can't wait to hear how they like this year's space.  

Have a great day!  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Two for Tuesday-Ezra Jack Keats Style

Happy Tuesday!  I am linking up today with The Teacher's Tribune for 2 for Tuesday, and I thought I'd discount two of the Ezra Jack Keats units I have listed.  I am working on building an author study, and these two are the first units I've completed.  Below are the unit previews.  You can access each file by clicking the image.  They are discounted to $2.00 through Wednesday.  
Have a wonderful day!  It's 80 degrees in Virginia today, and we are so happy to see the sun! Thanks for visiting today!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Night Letters

Well, today is BTSS, and what does BTSS stand for?  I expect you've figured it out by now.  It is Back to School Sunday.  The day before the children arrive and the day I probably won't sleep much.  Every year, I get the back to school jitters.  Do you?

Today's post is a link up with my blogging buddy, Michelle at Big Time Literacy who has asked bloggers to write their thoughts for the week in letters.  Maybe my letters will help work out some of my jitters.  I'll be back tomorrow to report.  Until's a piece of my mind.

Dear Colleagues,
I hope you have enjoyed the weekend and haven't spent every moment fretting about tomorrow. It will be what it will be, and if things don't go as planned, the important thing is connecting with the children.  I know you will be exhausted at the end of the day, and your feet will hurt, but that first day is such an exciting time for the busy little people who will go through life reflecting about their time with us.  I hope you get good rest tonight, and that this year goes down as one of the most rewarding of your life.  Do your best, love the children, and make this year lots of fun.
Best wishes,
Your Reading Buddy

Dear Daughter of Mine,
I love you so much, and I worry deeply about the challenges you live with daily.  I hope that your teachers will love you as I do, and I hope they are filled with patience and energy.  I hope they see your bright funny side and the potential inside of you.  I hope that you will value your teacher too and make your best effort to please him and her by giving your best with your work, being a friend to others, and by listening well in class.  I worry about what is ahead for you, but I must trust and have faith supporting you as much as I can.  You are excited about the new year, and I will do my best to keep it that way.  Have a great day tomorrow, sweetheart.

Dear Son of Mine,
I miss you terribly.  I hope that your first year of college is filled with the fun of being on your own, making new friends, and building memories with them, but I also hope that you *go to class* daily! Remember why you are in college all the time.  :-)  Your smile and positive energy is definitely missing, but the joy and excitement I feel for your future is really great.  We have been by your side for 18 years, and I feel very good about the man you have become.  We are so proud of you.

Dear Yummy Cake in the Teacher's Lounge (or whatever yummy treats that get brought in),
I am going to keep you out of my mind this year.  I am going to focus on making a healthy me.  I have weight to lose, and you will not be allowed.  You are officially my enemy, and I will work hard to keep you out of my life (at least til Christmas).  I hope you understand.
The Carbohydrate Junkie

Dear Laptop,
We've become such good friends, but I may need to let you get some much needed rest.  I will visit you daily of course, but I think I am going to need to limit my time with you.  My dear husband is getting jealous, and you know how important he is.  We can have extra time together when he travels for work which happens to be Tuesday, so can you wait til then?  I know you won't mind the break.  Thanks my friend!
The Technology Addicted

Dear Sweet Joe,
What a gem you are!  I am so lucky to have found you, and our children are lucky to have you as their dad.  Your quiet, thoughtful ways and even temperament help balance the energy in our home.  You keep things fun and funny.  Thank you for being you.

Dear Students,
I hope that I will be the teacher that you need this year.  I promise to fill your heart with a love of literature this year, prepare you and guide you in tackling the challenges of your grade, and most of all, I promise to be available to you when you need a listening ear.  I will give my best to you each day to ensure that the day is a positive learning experience for you.  You have the potential to be anything you like, and I am determined to help you reach it.  Have a wonderful year, and I'll see you in the morning.
Mrs. F.

Anyone else up for writing letters?  I feel so much better now, and I know this is going to be an amazing year.

Until next time, have a wonderful year and happy reading!


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