Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mountain State Meet Up

I had an amazing trip to Colorado at the beginning of the month! It was such a treat to get an invite to participate a meeting of the minds with other bloggers and TpT authors. I learned great things that have had an impact on me in the weeks that have followed the Meet Up.

First of all I had no idea that there would be so many goodies! The giveaways were amazing!! I was lucky enough to get a giveaway bag filled with goodies from almost all of the donors for driving over 500 miles to attend the meet up.
Here are all of the generous donors!
I have already spent my Teachers Pay Teachers gift cards. I am so excited to use the GoNoodle lanyards and stickers in our class store next school year! Syllabuy had amazing donations! I got a really useful bag, t-shirt, and travel mug. WOW! I'm going to go through everything to see how I can put it to good use.

I really enjoyed the school supply exchange. I got some new purple pens, Post It notes, and magnets!

Here is your chance to snag some goodies for yourself!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Year....New Blog Goal!

Being a reflective teacher is my goal for this year! I am hoping that transitions into being more consistent with my blog posts. I have had a rocky start, but I am optimistic for the future.

Weekly lesson plans are a great place to start. The lesson plans that I turn in to administration are a little lengthy! I am still working on making them more meaningful to what I need on a daily basis. It is a living document, so I make changes often. I keep my basic structure and the required components, but I have been trying to add for myself.

My morning starts with the amazing Daily Morning Work from Young, Teacher, Love. I purchased it from TpT here: 5th Grade Common Core Daily Morning Work. My students love this resource and I love that is aligned to the Common Core! It is a great filler as my students trickle into the classroom from breakfast.

After everyone is in we start our Read Aloud. I preferred to have my read aloud after lunch, but our lunch time has since moved so I now start our Reading Block with the read aloud. We are currently reading Fish in a Tree. It is AMAZING!

 My Reading block is all morning. It starts with our Focus Lesson. I have been struggling with getting my students to think critically while they reading. For our Focus lessons I will be using a resource from Laura Robb. During small group instruction I will be using a favorite Notice and Note. I made some anchor charts for the Notice and Note reading strategies and you can get them free on TpT. After SSR we will start our shared reading. We will be starting The Watson's Go to Birmingham-1963.

I will continue with the rest of my day tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Staying on Track

How do you stay on track with small groups and centers? I use to try and track it in my head and put them on my weekly lesson plans that I turn in, but never look at during the week. Our Principal recently started requiring the teachers to turn them in at the beginning of the week and I was not on board…at first. I tried submitting what I gave my students to stay on track during the week which is a Center Menu. That was soon rejected and was asked to turn in a specific form. I tweaked it to fit my needs more and I love it! It keeps me on track and I can better record who I am seeing. I am sharing my Small Group and Center Planner as well as my Center Menu.

Fun fonts from:

and Graphics from:

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.