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Friday, December 21, 2012

Moment of Silence

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Silence for Sandy Hook

There are no words...
Thoughts and prayers for the families and the community. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Whew, I was blown away today when I realized my kids had little (to none) background knowledge about Thanksgiving! All of my lessons this week are planned around Thanksgiving, so we will be doing lots of learning this week! I had to backtrack my lessons, to help build some prior knowledge. WE]e spent today reading about and viewing a short clip on the First Thanksgiving. 
Tomorrow, I am going to have them generate some "wonderings" about the first Thanksgiving.
(I don't know how or why this got turned...sorry!) 
 At the end of the day, they will write what they have learned.  
By the end of the week, we should be on our way to write an informative paper about Thanksgiving. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Teachers for Teresa

 I’m sure it is rare if there is anyone out there reading this post who has not heard of Teachers Pay Teachers, better known as TPT.  Not only is it a great site for teachers to share their wonderful teaching ideas, it is also a place of true heartfelt kinship with other teachers and many of the teachers form virtual bonds with each other in friendship.  This is one of those times.
One of my best friends, 2nd grade teaching buddy, fellow blogger and TPTer is in CCU in Atlanta with critical medical issues. 
I asked for all of my wonderful friends on TPT to help pray for her.  Prayers have been sent up for Teresa from all over the world.  I truly believe that prayer can bring about miracles and Teresa is certainly in need of prayers.
These very wonderful and special teachers then began asking, "What can we do to help?"
Out of their love and concern came
Teresa has pulmonary hypertension and is experiencing complications. She loves teaching and has a wonderful sense of humor that keeps us all smiling. The most important thing we can all do for her, is to offer prayers on her behalf. Financially, you can help by purchasing one of the below packages. All of these items have been donated by her fellow TPT colleagues who wish to help across the world.

If you visit Teresa's blog you will see she LOVES all things piggy...hence all the pigs! :-)
You can also view her great products on her TPT store.

We know how medical bills can quickly become astronomical, especially when in the Critical Care Unit. Therefore, we are offering you some wonderful deals in exchange for donations.


Thank you so much for your donations.  I really appreciate it, but most of all, keep those prayers going!

Thank you

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bringing You A Piggy Fundraiser!

Teresa is a TPT seller and friend. She is the blogger of 2nd Grade Pig Pen. Teresa has had a medical emergency and is in critical condition. 
Cynthia, from the 2nd Grade Pad, has put together some great products to raise fund for Teresa's medical bills. Grab 23+ products for $25 from some of TPT's favorite sellers. Just click on the picture above to go read all about it. 
Or you can purchase Going Piggy Over Learning, all things pigs! All funds raised will go directly to Teresa and her family. 

On another note, Moving Forward has been a great success! I truly appreciate everyone's donations, prayers, and sweet comments. I am overwhelmed by your generosity!

We have surpassed the goal! =) 
Thank you to all who have purchased the products. You are a blessing and it is greatly appreciated. The family is very thankful!
The Moving Forward Fundraiser will run through Sunday night until 10 pm. Click the picture above to donate. Please continue to spread the word! 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Student Data Notebook

Teachers rely on data and observations to make decisions about our students daily. I spend more time tracking and analyzing data assessments every year. My lessons are all based on the data! I'm sure it's the same for you all too. While the data gives me get insight to my students, it can be overwhelming and time consuming. 
During the last nine weeks last year, I wanted to try something different. If it worked, I would save some time and if not, there was nothing lost!  So, I decided to see if the charts and graphs would help the students to see their growth. 
I was amazed at what happened as students began being accountable for recording their fluency scores each week on a graph. The students began compare one reading to the next and setting their own goals! I had students reaching goals they set for themselves, which were sometimes way beyond what I would have set for them myself. It was a great experiment, and I am ready to try it with this class. Now that the first nine weeks have end, it's time to give it a whirl! 
I would love to know how you track student data and if you have the students track it themselves. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

EEKK! Spiders!

Spiders, spiders, and more spiders! While I love teaching about spiders, I am burnout on them this year.  One week of plans turned into two weeks since my kids were loving learning all about spiders!
We started out with a reading of The Spider and The Fly by . My kids always love this book. We created a story map together. 
Then I led into informational text about spiders. We began with our wonderings. Each student was sent off to record 2 things they wondered about spiders. We charted our wonderings.
At the end of the two weeks, the students wrote what they learned. We added this to our anchor chart.
This was our first attempt at wondering and learning. It really gave me a glimpse of where my students' thinking was and where we need some guiding. 

We read a bunch of books on spiders and viewed some videos. They just could not get enough! 
I had to bring the spiders into math. Since we had been working on part-part-whole (and I failed to find enough plastic spiders to use as manipulatives), I had the students cut and color this cute little spider to use. The first two days, the students used them with mats.
On the third day, they had to create their own addition sentences using dice and the spiders. 

I also introduced graphing with the spider theme.
We compared narrative text and informational text. I was really surprised at the comparisons my students were able to make, all on their own!
As always, we had to complete a Can-Have-Are organizer. 
 I love that while the students were able to use the group chart for information, several kids wrote about things they learned that really stuck with them. Of course, I don't have a picture of those ones! 
The students took all of their learning and compiled it into a written piece. 

It has definitely been a webbed out theme on spiders! You can grab some freebies I created last year here. Or you can check out the revised unit here

Now we are Going Batty!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Finally...a back to school post!

Wow! It has been a long time since I last blogged. I am sorry for being MIA! I have been busy with life and the beginnings of a new school year. I forgot how exhausting August and September are! 
A little late but here they are-my classroom pictures for this year. 
This is how it looked when I started...keep in mind EVERYTHING (except what is on top of the cabinets) came home this about packing up! 

 Once I began, it started to flow! 

The view from the door...

The view from inside the room...

                    This is the library with student book bins. 

This is behind my teacher table...I love my new little cabinet!
 Here is how I organize myself for the week...
Part of my reading focus wall...The red cards are Secret Stories. I LOVE these! (I am working on backing them with black so they stand out more.)
CAFE wall....
More of the reading focus wall...The class promise has been moved to a bulletin board to allow for more anchor chart. (I removed the "with the Cat" since I was missing a letter!)
Here is a close up of tthe class promise...this can be found here at TPT. Loved it!!!
The characters around the promise came from this unit
The word wall...
 The writing focus wall...this is a work in progress! 
I use the carts to store word work and math stations...
Bucket Fillers...
Daily schedule...and jobs...
 Math Maddness Calendar wall...some free activities here...
 Calendar cards are here...
So, that is how my room has come along in the past month!

In other news, I am now writing a weekly blog at Education World. Last week's post was all about CCSS. Since we are working at unpacking the Common Core Standards,  I have been reading and researching like crazy! You can read about one of my latest CCSS purchases here

I promise I'll be back soon with some more updates!

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