I’m Carla. Teacher Blogger, Curriculum and Blog Designer, Tech Lover, and Mom. Welcome to my site!

Literacy is my passion.

Hello! I’m Carla. Welcome to my site! My goal with this site is to share teaching tips for all areas of literacy-phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing for grades K-8. I love sharing resources with teachers, and it makes me happy to help take a little off the overflowing platters of teacher duties.

 

What Matters to Me

I absolutely loved teaching and connecting with my school kids who became an extension of my family. The stories they shared with me about their life adventures and their enthusiasm about the books they read motivated me to do my best for them, and I really enjoyed sharing resources I created and stories I wrote with them. My hope was always that they would see how much I love to write and imitate me in the future. These classroom pictures are from my last year of teaching.

This photo is of the space used for working with kindergarten students on concept of word. The kids loved using the Smartboard, and I found it helpful for teaching and practicing the COW poem.

 

Books in the classroom library were always organized by topic, author, and to some degree, level. It’s important to allow a large range for students’ independent reading. Interest is very very important!

My Classroom Library

The place I loved most in my room was always my classroom library. It took me a LONG time to gather up all my books, and I love that they got LOTS of use with children. I’ve always enjoyed sending takehome books during the school year as well as bags over the summer because many of my kids didn’t have access to books except those they borrowed from school. Last week, I took five bins of books to two brand new teachers in Title 1 schools. It made me so happy to share them, and I’m glad those books are back in hands of children

 

Here's where the action is! Small group instruction, skill modeling, and more!
Keeping assignments organized and kids focused worked well with the back side of my storage cabinet!
Kids need a space to meet as a group too. This space worked well for tutoring too.
Coaching starts with building relationships and basing PD sessions on the needs of teachers. When teachers are able to select sessions that they’re interested in and that meet their needs, then the content is much more meaningful and useful. No one likes to attend sessions that do not apply or that they’ve heard before.

This is a session I shared at an area reading council. I highly recommend getting involved with professional organizations. They help you grow in knowledge and in leadership.

Transition to Coaching

In my last year of teaching, I moved from intervention to coaching, and I really enjoyed it. I missed working with the same children every day, but still, I got to team teach quite a bit in different grade levels, and honestly, one of the things I loved about coaching was sharing resources and ideas with my colleagues.

When I first became a reading specialist, I was running intervention groups AND working with teachers. I just couldn’t keep up with both roles, so used my blog as a way to help. I think there are many teachers who truly want to learn new ideas or techniques, but may not feel comfortable reaching out and asking for assistance. On the contrary, there are many amazing teachers who know different ways of doing things when what you’ve tried hasn’t worked. Social media and blogging helps us learn and connect with knowledgeable teachers to share ideas.

 

 

Presentations I’m able to offer…

Using a Writer’s Workshop Model

This full day session introduces a workshop model, how to use the writing process, ways to organize students in the classroom, use of mentor texts, mini lesson ideas, and assessing student writing.

Building a Vivacious Vocabulary in All Readers

This 1-2 hour session includes how to plan vocabulary lessons, vocabulary building activities for word introduction, practice, and for quick review.

Using Mentor Texts to Teach Comprehension Skills and the Six Writing Traits

In this session, Carla selects and shares quality picture books and how they can be used for specific reading and writing skills. Participants are provided with a database of books categorized by reading/writing skill. (1-2 hours)

The Power of Poetry: Ways to Use a Poem of the Week

Poetry is for more than National Poetry Month! This session includes how poetry is used for building a concept of word in emergent readers, for building fluency in the primary grades, and for comprehension and figurative language in the upper grades. A collection of original poetry and activities are shared with participants. (1-2 hours)

Best Practices in Guided Reading

With this session, Carla shares how to group students, how to schedule your literacy block, information on what to use for instruction and how to run your small groups. This session includes progress monitoring tools and Carla’s guided reading binder. (full day)

 

Family is the most important thing in the world.

My Family…

When I’m not involved with designing curriculum and blogging, I am off enjoying time with my family. In addition to our two kiddos, we have two fur babies named Molly and Luna. Here is a picture of my crew from a hike last year. We love playing board games, movies and traveling.

If you have made it this far, congratulations! Until next time, happy reading and come back soon!