Five for Fridays (on Saturday)

Another week has come and gone, and tonight, I write this post while I kick back and watch the new Iron Man. I don't expect much inspiration from it.  Ha!  It's been a long week though, so it's nice to just relax with a movie.  So what's new for this week?  Well, here it goes...

First off this week, I've been working on my unit for our Super Sleuth Blog Hop that is happening the weekend of October 25th.  This is the first event I've organized, and I'm so glad to have partners to help.   I just finished my freebie for the hop, and I think you all will love it. It's an adorable Nate the Great unit that you can use for guided reading groups.  Can I just say that Melonheadz and Creative Clips puts out adorable detective themed clipart?  Here's a little sneak peak.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have two college students working with my students and I, and I find mentoring such a great opportunity as a veteran teacher.  I love sharing ideas with them and helping them build their files and teaching repertoires.  As they prepared their lessons for this next week, I shared two wonderful reading fluency handouts I found with them. The second handout was a little different, but I thought the information was very valuable, so you may find one better than the other for your age level of students.
The third big thing for this week is that I signed up for another blog hop and giveaway sponsored by Jessica at Hanging Out in First.  She's a fellow Virginian and reading specialist, and this is the first event she's organized too.  Her blog hop is scheduled for November 8th and will have a Fall/Thanksgiving theme.  Hopefully, we'll all enjoy some nice goodies to help make our classroom planning easier

Blog hops are great fun, and if you haven't participated in one yet, you'll have to check these out.  Blog authors write up information to share on a topic and typically share a related freebie.  With my stops, it will be a reading strategy and some sort of materials I've made.

The fourth tidbit I thought I would share is a new author I've discovered.  If you're looking for rhyming books and adorable illustrations, check out Chris Van Dusen.  These books are adorable, and I love that their written at a little higher level.  Struggling readers need book that can challenge them a little, but I've found they get bogged down with longer books.  High level picture books are often filled with Tier 2 vocabulary, so if you have kids that have adhd or struggle with reading longer books, please allow them to read picture books.  I still hear sometimes of teachers who insist on chapter books all of the time, but really, don't we just want our students reading?  So check these out...

Number Five is dedicated to my father.  He passed away a year ago Sunday, and he left behind lots of inspiration and loving memories.  My dad was one of a kind.  He was honored multiple times for his volunteerism in his community and within the State of Iowa.  It's been a long, lonely year for my mom and for the rest of the family with his loss, but we remember him this weekend and honor him for the contributions he made to make life better for the people he touched.  His efforts to organize benefit dinners for those in need, celebrations for high achieving students in the community through Rotary Club, Meals on Wheels, and emergency meals during the holidays has been a great demonstration of how many hands make work light.  I don't know if I will ever completely follow in his footsteps to that level, but he certainly provided my sister and I, our spouses, and our children with the inspiration to help others.  .  

So on that note, this week, I believe I will look for ways to lift someone up and give them an unexpected hand.  Hope you will too. :-) 

PS...Hope that last paragraph isn't over the top.  If it is a little bit, please bare with me. 


  1. It's funny that I had never heard of Chris Van Dusen until Thursday when he visited our school. The kids loved him! They were so excited to meet an author in real life. Now I have some new Van Dusen books in my classroom. Great author and illustrator.

    1. I recognized his illustrations right away. I *love* Mercy Watson! I love discovering new authors that the kids love. Did he charge a lot for the visit? We love having authors come. Julia Cook visited our school last year...fabulous visits and wonderful books. (I should have mentioned hers time!)

    2. Hi Carla!
      Thank you for the book suggestion! I'll definitely check him out!
      Will be thinking of you tomorrow. You father sounds like a very special man. May your family lean on each other and remember all the wonderful shared memories.

    3. Thanks Stacy! My sister and her family are spending the day with my mom. We're in Virginia, and they're all in Iowa.

      I absolutely love his illustrations...brightly colored and different from any other illustrator. He illustrated the Mercy Watson books.

  2. I love Chris Van Allsburg books. They have fabulous illustrations and always create a good discussion.


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