Sunday, August 26, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust

Another summer break is coming to an end!  The school year will officially begin tomorrow.  This past week and a half have been one big whirlwind of meetings, planning, and setting up for the kiddos to come Monday!  I am embarrassed that I have gone over a week without posting, but each day I have been working until at least 6, coming home and playing with the girls until they go to bed, then working until 12ish each night on school stuff! Needless to say, I have been a sleep zombie!

While I don't have a classroom of kiddos to prepare for, I do have a staff full of teachers to assist in implementing a brand new curriculum.  Moving to the Common Core, meant that everything changed! 
Our district is now using Pearson Math Investigations (which I LOVE!)
Lucy Calkins Reading and Writing Workshop (another of my faves!)
Foutas and Pinnell Word Study
I used Investigations and Calkins in my classroom last year, so I knew my knowledge would be an asset to my teachers.  We have been busy mapping out the new curriculum,  learning new procedures, and making tons of copies!  

While my new school has made me feel welcome, I still call my former school home!  I had lunch with my friends and principal  Rebecca on Friday at , guess favorite Mexican restaurant!  Not only do they have the $1 tacos on Monday, they have a lunch buffet, EVERYDAY! We gorged ourselves on yummy Mexican faves and talked about the new staff, kiddos, and all the changes happening.  The teacher who took my room told me that a handful of kids came down on orientation night to see me :( and she told them I wasn't there this year!!!!!  I cried right there in the restaurant.  I knew it was going to happen as soon as I applied for the new job, but I haven't had to see kids all summer, so it hasn't been real.  Enter new school year and reality!

There was also significant time spent talking about Big Brother!!!  Do ya'll watch that?  I am addicted!  I read spoilers, watch After Dark and yell at the TV during the show (pathetic, but please don't judge!) Sonya, a teacher at my former school my friend, loves it just as much as I do so we were having an overly excited convo about it!  Man do I miss these ladies!!!!!  

On my last post I gave away a set of my new Common Core I Can Statements to the first 3 comments.  But only my K-2 was done then!  I am happy to say I have 3-5 finished now!  In honor of the new school year, I will give a set away to the first 3 comments.  Leave your email address and grade level and I will send them to you!  
I am almost at 200 followers and am planning a big giveaway for 200!  Stay tuned for that :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What a Week!

This week has been a doozy!  I had my first "real" week at my new school in my new role, and it is different. I am really going to enjoy it, but it is very strange to not be setting up a classroom.  I have been so busy helping make sure my teachers have every thing they need to start school that I come home and crash every night by 8pm!  (sometimes before!!!!)  I'm sorry I have neglected to update :(

To make up for it, I have a suprise!!  I have finished my K,1, and 2 Common Core I Can Statements for Math and ELA!  

 Each grade level pack gives you two choices of subject header cards and the I Can Statements for Math and ELA.  You can head over to my TpT or my TN to pick yours up.

To make up for leaving you high and dry for a week, I will give the first three people who leave a comment a free pack!  Make sure you leave your grade level and email.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back to School Sales!!!!

Who doesn't love a good sale?!?!?!?  This is one of the reasons Kohl's is my favorite, they are always having a sale.  I am having a sale at both my stores to celebrate Back to School!

Thanks Amy for such a cute graphic!

My TpT is 20% off with the additional 10% when you use the code BTS12!

I also joined the Back to School Bonanza over at Teacher's Notebook and everything in my store is 50% off through tomorrow!!!

Here are just a few things your could pick up!
 Math Key Words Posters

The Lorax Craftivity 

Reading Comprehension Poster Pack

 Titanic Lapbook

Reading Stamina Poster pack for your grade level.

Character posters 
Long Vowel Racetrack

Soil Unit

I can't wait to get my shop on with all these awesome deals!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Back to School Series: Thinking About Space

I just presented all about implementing the Reading Workshop at my districts local Teaching and Learning Conference.  I was so nervous about it, but like many of you told me, it was AH-SOME and my fellow teachers were a great audience.  They had great questions and many said they felt much more confident walking into their classrooms next week ready to tackle using this model. That was my goal, so SCORE!!!!  Go me!  I'm over here doing a happy dance :)

Today's post is all about thinking about your space when beginning to set up your classroom.  Using the Reading Workshop model requires a different set up that you might not use in a classroom that is using the basal reading program.

During Reading Workshop (and Writing Workshop) you begin with a mini-lesson teaching a strategy or skill  that will increase their reading ability.  In  order to present this mini-lesson, you need a meeting area.  I always had an easel with a chart tablet on it and my supplies I needed.  LOVE my Sharpie chart markers, a must have for making all those anchor charts!

Since I am in a new job this year, I don't have pics of my meeting area, so I borrowed some from sites online, please don't shoot me!  I did link back to their sites :D

I had this exact easel cart and couldn't do Workshop without it!  

These are just a couple of ideas that I found while searching on blogs.  Each of these give you a different way to set up your meeting area.  The first thing I always did at the beginning of the year was figure out where my meeting area was going to be and set the rest of the room around this area.  

Another thing to think about is where materials will be stored.  If you are using Reader's Notebooks (another post!)  you will want to have a place to store extra copies of reading logs, conference logs, task sheets, etc.  This need to be accessible to students, or you will spend your entire guided reading lesson giving out sheets! I used a cardboard organizer for my copies.  Another suggestion is to use plastic stacking trays.  

I have finally finished up all grade level I Can Statements for Math!!!  Head over to my stores to pick yours up!  I will work on reading next!

What are you doing for your meeting area this year?

Thursday, August 9, 2012


It's here!  It's finally here!  The day I have prepared all summer for is today.  I was asked back in March to do a presentation on the Reading and Writing Workshop for  my district.  Each year our awesome district puts on a 2 day conference loaded with a variety of topics and the best part is the whole thing is FREE!!  It is a great way for teachers to learn about the newest trends in education.

 I asked both my teammates if they would present with me....and they both said NO!!!!!!  (Thanks, Erica!)  In their defense, Erica knew she'd be back in Michigan and my other teammate isn't comfortable in front of other people  adults.  So that left little ol' me all by my lonesome.  I gave my self a pep talk and began preparing for the presentation.  I was told that my session would be capped at 30 people and was ok with that.

Fast forward to a week ago.  I got a call from Marilyn, the awesome planner of the conference, asking if I could do my presentation in a lecture hall!!!!!  WHAT!  Apparently my session had 30 people registered and 30 people on the waiting list!  So now my session is capped at 75 and over 60 people are registered!  I AM FREAKING OUT!  I know I can do this, but thats a lot of people!

Anyway, please send some good vibes my way!  I will be promoting lots of my favorite blogs :)

**Update!  I was so anxious, I finished my 1st Grade I Can Statements for math!!  Pick them up for free at my TpT!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Back To School Series: Classroom Library

With Common Core coming out, many teachers are moving away from the reading anthology and moving into a workshop type structure to teach reading.  If you have read anything about Reading Workshop you know that the cornerstone of this structure is a well stocked classroom library.  When I first began reading about the Reading Workshop over 5 years ago, I found my idol, Beth Newingham.  Am I the only one who loves her!?!?!?!? When I saw her expansive collection of books I was a little sad that I didn't have the same amount.  Many of you might be feeling that same way, but I have some tips and hints to help bulk up your library.

1. Yard Sales:  I have been able to find lightly used books at yard sales for 25cents!
2. Consignment Sales: I was shopping at a consignment sale for the twins last spring and discovered the book table!  I was able to score 15 books for under $7!
3. Goodwill: I love going in my local Goodwill and bargain hunting for classroom books.
4. Scholastic: Many of you probably already use Scholastic points you have to purchase classroom books.  I also like to purchase book sets when they have the $1 books.

When I buy books for under $1 I don't mind putting it in my classroom library as much as spending $5 on a book!

Once you have your books, you need to decide how you will label them.  I had a stamp made with my name on it at a local teacher store in town.  I stamp my name inside all the books I buy before putting them in the classroom library.  This proved very helpful this past year when I had to separate my books from those that belonged to the school.

The next big decision you have to make about your library is how you will organize your books.  After reading Fountas and Pinnell's Guiding Reader's and Writer's I decided to organize my library in 3 different ways, genre, author, and book series.  Rather than create my own classroom labels, I used those that Beth Newingham created.  I also had Print Shop and was able to use her format to create more as my library expanded.  Once I made the library labels, I created stickers to go inside each of my books to help my kiddos keep the library organized.

Here are some samples of book labels I made in previous years.  Click on the picture to download.

What helpful hints do you have for setting up a classroom library for Reading Workshop?  Do you have book labels you want to share?  Link up below and share what your doing!

Monday, August 6, 2012

I Can Statements, Currently and A Suprise!

Woop Woop it is Monday and that means Taco Night!!!  I know many of you must be thinking, "doesn't she get tired of tacos??" The answer is NO!!!!

I didn't think I was ever going to finish my 2nd grade Common Core Math statements!  I would sit down to try and work on them and I would get busy checking facebook, email, playing games online, watching TV, texting  doing other things.  I am happy to say they are FINALLY FINISHED!

You can pick these up for free at either my TpT or TN 

I am also linking up with Farley for her infamous Currently.  I always look forward to her Currently and am loving her new rule of 3 spreading the love to other bloggers.  I have met so many new bloggy friends through her linky.  

 So my B2S must haves are pretty self explanatory.  I LOVE Sharpie Poster Markers for making anchor charts.  Thanks to my teammate, Erica, I will never use another marker when making a poster!  My 2nd must have is Guiding Reader's and Writer's by Fountas and Pinnell.  It is my go to book each summer to refresh my reading and writing workshop.

My last must have is Stikki Clips.  I used to get so frustrated when I used tape and things would be laying all around my classroom the next day.  Enter Stikki Clips and I never had to deal with things falling off my wall again!  

I have had several bloggers email me and ask about how I implemented Reading Workshop in my classroom.  I decided to have a series on my blog devoted to the ins and outs of Reading Workshop.  I will have a linky with each post where bloggers can link back to their own ideas about the topic.  I thought this would be a great way to share ideas as we get ready to start back to school!

Look for my first session in this series, setting up your classroom library, this week!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Carolina Girls, Best in the World!

Today was our Carolina Blogger Meetup and while our numbers were small, we had a great time!  Whats the saying, three's a crowd?  Well we had a party then!  I just love getting together with other teachers because there is always something to talk about.  We chatted about the new school year, common core, crafts on pinterest, and blogs we read.  I really enjoyed getting to know these ladies and missed those that couldn't join us.

Only teacher bloggers would go blindly into a meet up not knowing who they were meeting, not to mention we put exactly where we were meeting out there for all the web to see!  But honestly, it was like we were old friends as soon as we said "Hi, my name is _____"

I missed the black, white and grey memo on what to wear!  Loud called and they want their dress back!  (just for you Huff!)

Make sure you check these ladies out!


Timeouts and Tootsie Rolls
Kathys Coordinated Class
And just incase your wondering, that is the famous Rebecca (my former principal)!  A fun time was had by all and I can't wait to meet up with more bloggers in Columbia.

Giveaway Winner and Summer Fun

So with my new job I get one less week to be at home with my girls (no extra pay either!) So we made the most of this past week and played hard all week.  We spent the first part of the week at the beach with my mom and my aunt (who lives down there, score!)

 Her first Pony Tail
Raegan sitting in a pool after high tide 

 Kenley preferred to play with sand toys

Back to reality and the fact that there would be no more beach trips before school starts :(
Thanks to all of you who helped me celebrate my blogiversary and entered my giveaway!  I have a winner

Congrats to Jennifer from The First Grade Dream  
Since so many of you entered my giveaway and showed me the love, I decided to give 3 more of you something from my store.  I used the random number generator for this one.  The winners are:
The Literacy Teacher at Reading Really Rocks
Denise at Yearn to Learn

To end my last week with my girls we met up with our favorite twin friends at the splash pad at our local park.  Raegan loves going to the splash pad and Kenley enjoys eating snacks while there!  It was only low 90's but it felt like 100!  They also have a train there and the girls called him "Tommy" after Thomas!  Everytime the train went around they would say "Tommy! Tommy!"  We did ride the train but no pics, sorry.  

Can't wait to see all my fellow Carolina Bloggers this afternoon!!!!!!!!


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