Wednesday, October 16, 2013

One Crazy Month

It happened again....I went missing.  I have a good reason this time. My classroom flooded a few weeks ago and I have moved twice in a week! Our current room is a more permanent option because the repair schedule is a little slow and with the government shutdown who knows when it will happen. (I teach at a federally funded school)

The move kinda played a role in upsetting the balance of the class so we spent a couple weeks relearning appropriate behavior. I also had some student switching one moved to a new school and I got two new ones I am now up to 23.

I wanted to give an update on student centers. I am new to implementing centers in my classroom, honestly they were always something I thought of for the primary grades and thought my kids would be too "old". How wrong I was! Our center work is educational versus busy type work. I finally was brave enough to release the reins and allow my students to work through a menu model versus me dictating what centers needed to be completed that day. The results were surprising ....they were ready. I feel like I could have probably done it sooner, but am glad we waited due to the flooding. I wasn't ready to let go of my control of the students and was afraid of chaos. They surprised me with a pure dedication to completing the tasks for the week.

How do you work student centers?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Guided Reading Lesson Plan Template

I have been struggling for over a month to find the perfect lesson plan template for my guided reading groups. I didn't find one so I finally made one that I think is just right for me. I am sharing it and hoping it will help you! Here is a link to it in my TpT store. It is a free download! :) Happy Wednesday to you!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Missing Teacher!

Well I basically fell of the blog world lately (not that I have ever been real consistent, but it's a goal!). I have officially completed our first month of school and am excited for the long weekend! Between our air conditioner being on the fritz and water issues the school year has started a little rocky!

This year I have started my reading mini-lessons with teaching QAR's, my guided reading groups and literature circle are in full swing, and I have officially started using centers (Yikes!)..(and I love them!). Centers....we have had some amazing help from some consultants based out of Phoenix (Empower). I love them!!! They have helped me rethink what I need to be doing in the classroom and now I don't feel as guilty for not pulling out the basal. Basically I have 5 reading groups (4 guided reading groups and 1 literature circle group ...and 1 student working on independent study (he does not play well with others any ideas???)). I have 2 centers a day, SSR, and a computers. My high literature circle group only meets with me 2 days a week and my higher guided reading group meets with me 3 days per week. I meet with all other groups 5 days per week.

Thanks to some help my latest project got funded!!!! I now have the largest selection of books for guided reading and classroom library. I have had to shift my room around to accommodate the new books which is a problem I don't mind tackling! Well worth the time to set up if you haven't done so already.

I will do my best to take some pics of our class this week. I do have some of our newest books though!

Have a great loooong weekend!!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Notice & Note Continued

Well it seems like ages ago I talked about the book I was reading Notice & Note by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst. I have been teaching the signposts with my students in mini-lessons and have loved the conversations coming out of class. The book is incredibly helpful in describing how to teach the signposts. The signposts have given my students a starting point when writing their thinking tracks. This year was a new ball game for them and I and they struggled with determining what warranted a thinking track in their book. I met with my students individually in student conferences, however they still struggled. Thankfully I found this book and it has helped turn things around. My students have opened up to the signposts and are having great conversations. I will say when I used a familiar text and was able to show movie clips my students engagement increased and the conversation was richer.

Well I have officially completed my Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and hope to be more consistent and share my ups and downs of the classroom.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Great Professional Resource

I love to read but have always been a little nervous branching out with my reading instruction. Thankfully some great educators have published books that help me develop a reading program in my class without using a basal textbook. I have been trying my hardest to meet everything the CCSS ask for but was unsure if I was meeting the standards to the level of rigor I need to. I have found a great resource to add to my collection Notice & Note by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst is a great book. An easy read that clarified CCSS in the classroom for me. I now feel that I am doing a better job guiding my students.

I am hoping to become more consistent in posting when my Master's Degree is completed by the end of the month. Thank you for following!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Read Aloud

I am a little late on reading the wonderful book Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  What an amazing book!  My students and I love reading it everyday.  The book is a great resource for teaching point of view and empathy something we can all use.  We have been using the book to look at persuasive writing.  My students are taking a point of view and writing a letter based on that character's point of view. I have also noticed fellow blogger has some great ideas for using the book as well.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Native American Heritage Month

November is in full swing and my students are loving our theme this month. We are celebrating Native American Heritage all month! I selected The Birchbark House a CCSS exemplar text, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and Walk Two Moons for our literature circles this month. The Birchbark House took awhile to come in so I had that group start reading Who Was Sacagaewa first. They love those biographies. If you have not added some to your class library I highly recommend them. My students have been reading them up! In addition to the literature circles we have been reading creation stories from various tribes including the Dine (my students are Dine/Navajo). We have been comparing and contrasting the stories to the Dine creation story. For Social Studies we have been reading about the various regions and our read aloud is focused on the Navajo Long Walk. I will post about our research project next.