I am really getting into the close reading strategy. I found some great freebies for Text Coding and a great website for finding reading passages....so I really felt like I wanted to share these with you.

Here's a great Prezi presentation that will help explain the Close Reading strategy.

I started out teaching my students some text codes. I found this cute freebie with some simple text codes.
After teaching the text codes we began with some simple passages. I always model proper fluency and expression first. Then  I give the students a copy for them to code.This freebie has some ready to use bookmarks with the text codes. I also give them some comprehension questions. We have been talking about thick and thin questions. Questions that are "right there" in the text or "right in their head". I have been letting them answer the comprehension questions with a partner and highlight the text evidence to support their answer. To end the session we have an open forum where students can share their ah-ha moments, questions and thoughts about the reading.This strategy has tied in great with our persuasive writing unit and author's purpose. I just love when it all comes together!

This is the AMAZING website where you can find free passages on so many topics. I was so excited when a friend recommended it to me. Check it out! Read Works 

So this week is Halloween, not really my personal favorite holiday....especially when it falls during the week. It makes kids bananas! I think they should make Halloween and the day after a holiday from school. But since that is not going to happen I made a little unit to work on that day. It includes a candy sorting activity and a human bingo game. You can get it free right here!

 Have a great Halloween, try not to eat too much candy!
I can't believe it has been a month since my last post! I have gone though a ton of changes...I was finally offered a job in the public school after trying for two years to get a position. So happy, relieved, excited and now a little overwhelmed! I am teaching third grade, a grade I haven't taught in ten years. So I have been working furiously on my room, learning a new curriculum, county, and school. I thought I would share a little bit of my room and then hopefully this week get up a new product I am working on.
A peek into my classroom:
This is the one and only bulletin board I have, so I divided it up into calendar with our meeting space/easel under it. Common Core, I can statements in the middle. And in the green section, I did a birthday board.

Here are some up close shots.

The calendar: I got the calendar math practice from
Teaches Third in Georgia and I love this product!

Here are my Common Core "I Can Statements" they
were freebies! I totally love things that are free!
        Language Arts     and     Math

I did a birthday bag wall after I got the idea on Pinterest!
I found the little polka dot bags at Dollar Tree and the Owl
poster set at Office Depot, I am putting little treats in the bags.

Some other shots:

My Essential Questions (another Pinterest inspired project)
I really wish I could have gotten different Dollar Tree
frames though. Why is it that my projects do not turn
out quite as cute as the ones on Pinterest???

My new Reading Center. My teammate found these
shelves at a garage sale for $10 each! There is another
one for chapter books too! I did something I have never
done....I don't have my baskets organized AT ALL. They
never keep them organized anyway so I thought why fight it?
So, they are just in any random basket. I am going to 
see how crazy it makes me!

Here are my organizers for Math Workshop groups 
Daily Five groups. I will put up names under each
chart to show where they go.

The last picture is of my behavior clip chart!
I love love love this freebie! We do the 7 Habits
in our school, and this clip chart has cute poems
to go with each color. It is awesome! (Our grade 
level did decide to leave out one color!)

Hope you enjoy the little tour...now on to lesson plans! Have a great and productive week!

Are you doing the Daily Five? I am trying my hand at it this year so I have been trying to find as many resources as I can get my hands on...I have of course read the book. Here is an amazing freebie, as in "I can't believe it is free" freebie! So if you are just starting or full into the Daily Five, it's worth downloading.

The Daily Five FREE Classroom Resources       

Check it out!

Ya'll, I am so excited for my new job! I am moving to public school this year....it has taken me two years to get a job since moving to Georgia! I am so so happy!!!! I am going to be teaching 3rd grade so the focus of my blog is probably going to be moving a little away from primary to third so I hope I can still be relevant to people following me, maybe gain some new followers?

Meanwhile, I am trying to find new things out there for the new year, I'm on pinterest and tpt every free moment! Here's one cute thing I found this morning and it's free! So here's one for back to school for any primary grade, I feel like I can even work it in for beginning third graders.

Here are some cute pinterest projects I have got to work on:

I have yet to figure out how to link up my pinterest with my blog???? So I apologize for not being able to give credit to the talented people who ideas are above.....but they are all great ideas that I want to do! Now I need to go check out some great third grade blogs....any recommendations?
I found this cute little blog call I Heart Recess, and she has this great linky for your goals for the month so I decided to link up! Here are mine for July:

Personal: I have been doing my usual organizing madness as I do every summer. So I have done all my school stuff in the basement, the disaster room aka, the playroom. Now I have to work on the garage and I might be finished!

Family: I really need to put aside the to-do list and remember this is my children's summer break and try to give them some fun things to do....we are going to a comedy show for kids thisWednesday at a local theater. It's been so rainy, I am trying to find indoor things to do!

Health: Step away from the dessert...enough said!

School: Well....I am changing schools and grade levels this year!!! Whoop Whoop! So excited! I am going to be teaching third grade and want to decide on a theme for my decor and it so hard. I am thinking owls but fear it might be overused? I just want something I can live with all year long......

Blog/tpt: I have so many things I start that I need to finish....

Outside the box: My new job will be one that will allow us to save more money, thank goodness! It will be nice to finally get ahead! I feel so lucky and blessed to have gotten this job and can't wait to meet my team and my new "friends"!

So much to do and only a few weeks left of summer....what are your goals?

I have really been enjoying reading Whole Brain Teaching! My thoughts on the first few chapters is....wow! I do pretty good! Chapter 3 talks about how bad teaching breeds challenging students and how many teachers make mistakes that do them in. Thankfully, I do not fall into any of these "traps" but you can see how if you did it would make your job that much harder.      

  1. Loosing your temper (never good)
  2. Confronting rebellious students (it will only make them bolder)
  3. Being disorganized (this is definitely not my problem)
  4. Not liking your job...I mean if you don't love this job...you need need to quit!
  5. The less work you do outside of class, the more work your class will be. (Face it that's why good teachers spend so much of their free time working on teaching stuff, writing, blogging, researching)
  6. You can't mold your students into little versions of yourself.
  7. Grow or die...you have to be constantly learning yourself. Growing, evolving. I really like this one...as teachers we should let our students know that we are also students ourselves. Always striving to learning new things.
I can't wait to keep reading more about their actual strategies!

I am also reading this great book:

Quite a few schools in my area use it and the "Be The Leader" program so I really wanted to learn more. My own children use it in their school. I love the 7 habits and want to use them in my classroom next year. I found some great resources on tpt to help out with this....including these great and FREE posters!


Hope you are having a wonderfully relaxing and productive summer so far! I still have so many things on my to-do list but the pool keeps calling my name......................

ah summer.....I have just been plain overwhelmed these last few weeks. There tons of things I could have blogged about or links I should have linked up with up and just never did. Report cards, class picnic, end of the year conferences. Plus if you have your own personal children at home, just multiply by the number of children you have and it officially equals super busy. At these times something just has to give!

So I have been thinking about my summer bucket list. It's going to go by fast so I need to really decide what I want to accomplish. My first priority is to organize my basement. I am so fortunate that I do not take everything I own to school, I keep everything in the basement and just take what I need. But I don't always return it in a very organized manner when I am finished! So a complete overhaul is needed, plus I plan to finally pitch some files and stuff. I have so many file folders with papers that just need to go, I really keep everything important digitally now anyway.

Next on my list is to work on some more tpt units. I have so many unfinished things that I have started. So I really need to finish those up and try to finish some of the ideas floating around in my head!

Finally, some summer reading. I was trying to think of what to read this summer when I turned on my computer this morning and read Growing Kinders blog about Whole Brain Teaching. I have been hearing a ton of great things about it and the results people are having in their rooms. So this is really exciting me! If you are interested in Whole Brain Teaching, link up and read with us. I am going to be posting my thoughts on the book and how I might use it next year.

Click here to jump to Amazon to pick up the book. 

This YouTube link is a great resource, especially if you one that likes to see something in action! There are a bunch a great videos to watch!

The author of Whole Brain Teaching Chris Biffle also has an excellent website.

So now, I just need to download the book to my computer/phone and start reading! I hope you take time this summer to grow professionally but relax and recharge your batteries too!

Happy Summer :)

Well this is my first Five For Friday...I felt like I took some good pictures this week and have a few things to share!

#1:  We've been studying the Ocean this week. I have been using Deanna Jump's Ocean Unit. Love this...lots of cute ideas. My friends especially loved the pocket chart activity.

Ocean Animals Math and Literacy Fun

#2: I changed out my Dramatic Play area to be a Mexican Restaurant. I love, love, love Vanessa's Pre-k Pages Dramatic Play Centers. I have bought ALL of them. She makes it so easy to change out the center and keep it interesting, yet educational for students. She has a ton of other cute ideas!

Here's some pics of how it turned out: (I bought some cute things from Party City to go with it!)

#3: The coolest thing I made this week I saw on a Pinterest board. I wish I could remember where so I could give credit. If you've seen it, let me know and I'll be happy to give credit. It's a great little template to use with your hundreds chart. It helps students with identifying numbers that come before or after a number. I love this idea, so I made a little template freebie for you!

You can get the freebie here!

#4: Friday was a really long day, we had our school's Spring Fling tonight. I had the Sand Art table, fun night for the kids and all proceeds raised go to a really good local charity.

#5: Personally, another reason I'm glad it's Friday is the hubby has been out of town all week and we're going to be happy to have him home!

This weekend I am working on getting ready for our Farm Unit next week!  I hope to get some cute pics to post. Hope you have a productive and fun weekend too!

Where did I go? I am finally getting around to a post, with Spring Break a few weeks ago and a little illness, time has just been slipping by! So I am finally getting around to posting. We have been having fun in my room learning about Earth Day. Need to post pictures of our cute bulletin board. This week we are going to the Atlanta Aquarium and learning about Ocean animals. I can't wait, kids just love this theme.

Here are two great units I bought on tpt to help with Earth Day and Ocean units.

Earth Day Literacy and Math Centers so cute and she has a writing center to go with it:

Earth Day Writing Center

Earth Day! Literacy and Math Centers         Earth Day! Writing Center

This Ocean unit is super adorable!

Ocean Unit Centers Activities and Games

Ocean Unit {Centers, Activities and Games}

The other thing I am busy with this week, is helping out with testing incentives for my daughter's class. I don't do standardized testing with my class but my Fourth Grader will be taking CRCT this week in her school. So I am going to make some little incentives with treats for her class. I found two GREAT freebies on tpt for this.

Now I just have to decide which ones to do and go get the treats!

Sweet Testing Notes

Motivational Testing Notes

Motivational Testing Notes

Now those are so super cute........I bet lots of people are snapping these up.

I only have 23 more days of school............how about you?

Everyone needs a hall pass now and then...I used to use one in high school to get out of class when I was bored! Now I wish I could get one when things get a little crazy! But here's a fun linky from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits

P- Product
I am a newbie so I don't have a ton of products to choose from! But I just made a fun little short vowel game  that you make with paint sticks. So cheap and easy to make and my friends just love it to do it at the word work station.

A- Area
I have two favorite areas in my room....my first area is my listening center. Now don't be jealous but I have a wireless headphone listening center! Being at a small private school, I don't make much money, but when I ask for something I usually get it. Well, I said my cd player stopped working and they bought me the mac-daddy of all cd players! When I first stated using it, the kids walked all over the room with the headphones on and their mouth wide open in surprise....it was adorable.
My second favorite area is my meeting carpet...we use it for our morning meeting and for small group reading time. These sweet girls are working on my large ten frame mat making teen numbers. I love this idea and don't know where I found it. I used a large vinyl table cloth and a wide marker to make the ten frames. We use bean bags for dots on the frames.

S- Signal
My favorite signal is one that I borrowed from a really good friend a long time ago...."Everyone listen" and the students say "Right Now" I had never heard anyone say it before until tonight when I was blog hopping...so I guess it was not an original!

Two quick things.....music and caffeine!
I totally have to start my day with coffee and while I get ready for my students and my day I listen to my ipod and play my music. I have a playlist with Chris Tomlin,Third Day and others.It start my day off right, feeling grounded and reminds me of why I do what I do each day. 
The other caffeine is Diet Coke, I can't make it past noon without one. I am addicted, its sad but true!

Now off to bed....so happy tomorrow is Friday!!

My director told me last week that she wanted my class to have a Science Fair.....well, I have taught k/1 for a long time and never really assigned individual projects before. I have done plenty have class projects and of course we have gone through the Scientific Process but I knew the parents would need some support to be able to help their child with the project. So I wrote this little parent handbook:

If you have a Science Fair coming up, it might help your parents too!

I have read this book to my class in previous years but have never really done much with it. But I L-O-V-E it! It is one of the best ways to teach children to think about kindness and how their words and actions effect other people.

So, as I mentioned previously, we are required to do a bulletin board every month. I used the book as a springboard for my school (it is a super super small school) to become bucket fillers. I put a supply of hearts and stars, markers and glue sticks on a little table under the board and invited staff, parents and students to leave a compliment to someone to fill our school's bucket. What a great response I am having so far!

Take a look at how it turned out!

We also have been working on our Random Acts of Kindness for February....my kiddos are having a great time with this. Our community service project for the week is to collect pet food and supplies for the local animal shelter. I will take pics of this at the end of the week. Today, we surprised our cook with cards and candy, she was overwhelmed by our appreciation!

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