Back to School Basics @ Primary Graffiti!!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Go check out Primary Graffiti's "Back to School Basics" giveaway {HERE}!!! She has a week full of goodies planned for you!!! Today is all about the Common Core!!!


Literacy Journal Prompts {aligned to Common Core}

Friday, July 27, 2012
Need an easy and effective way to reinforce the Common Core ELA standards {reading, phonics, language arts, and writing}?!?! 

Check out my first set of literacy journal prompts! These are formatted exactly like my math journal prompts--->cut/paste prompts your sweeties glue into their literacy journals {spiral or composition book}! They can be used for morning work,  mini-lessons, a literacy center/station, homework, formative assessments, etc.!!! So many possibilities!! Can't wait to post the next set soon!!
Click {HERE} to grab your copy!!

Christmas in July Sale Extended!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Hey Sweet Friends!!! TpT did some maintenance to make the site even better today, but it took them longer than they anticipated!! I'm happy to report that everything seems to be running smoothly now & that the Christmas in July sale is extended through tomorrow!!! Go check out all of the seasonal items in my store that are all 20% off right now!!!


It's Christmas in July!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
When it is hot and humid outside, sometimes you have to think cold!
So here is the deal:  Seasonal items have been placed on sale for JUST ONE DAY!  Grab some Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter fun!

A huge thank you to Babbling Abby for making this adorable picture!

NOTE:  Teachers Pay Teachers will be off line on Wednesday until 9am, so sadly there will be no earlier birds...
Do you want to participate?  Quickly link up over at Blog Hoppin and let everyone know!



Daily 5- Chapters 4-6

Monday, July 23, 2012
Whew!!! I'm playing a game of catch up today with our Daily 5 book study!! I decided to just make one post for chapters 4, 5, and 6! There's a TON of information in these chapters!!! Ready, set, go....

Chapter 4- Read to Self
Book boxes are soooooo important to use when implementing read to self. Each child has their very own box of "just right" books! What a fabulous way to instantly differentiate your literacy block! I can see how managing them could be a challenge in the beginning, but my goal would be for my students to take charge over it! I've ordered the plastic magazine file folders below for my book boxes!!! Cute & colorful, plus they will last a long time...*I hope*!!!

Chapter 3 gave such an amazing overview of  how to start your "read to self" routine with your sweeties! Being a complete newbie to the Daily 5, I'm going to completely follow their lesson plan ideas and suggestions!! I love the 3 ways to read lesson...How wonderful that the Daily 5 gives students an option to read the pictures! I know this will build confidence and eliminate stress for my students who struggle with reading words.   

 Chapter 5 - Read to Someone 

I would have loved the opportunity to read to someone when I was a little first grader! All of my life, I have enjoyed being able to share and reflect on books with others. I know this Daily 5 choice will be very popular one in my class! My focus at the beginning of the year will be modeling correct behaviors {EEK, voice, check, etc.}. Chapter 6 gives amazing lesson ideas for teaching your students what Reading to Someone is all about! I'm excited to watch my students experience reading to a partner in a variety of ways & the growing readers they'll become because of it!!

Chapter 6- Write to Self

  “You don’t learn to write by going through a series of preset writing exercises. You learn to write by grappling with a real subject that truly matters to you.” ~ Ralph Fletcher

Ahhhh, Ralph knows what he is talking about! 

I love giving my students choices when they are writing! When you give students a purpose for writing, they are inspired, motivated, and engaged in their work! 

Again, I'm in awe of every single lesson the sisters provided in this chapter! WOW!!! The majority of my students get a major case of writer's block when they can't spell a word! I have never made "what to do when you can't spell a word" my first writer's workshop lesson, but can see in every way why it should be!! Seriously, why didn't I think of that? 

Word work is already a big part of my literacy block!! YAY!! Something that isn't brand new!!! I have a making words pocket chart center where students make words out of words, as well as a word working shelf full of different manipulatives-stamps, letter tiles, letter magnets, letter beads, etc...Most of my literacy centers provide my kiddos with other activities for working with words, too!

Here's a packet I have on TpT packed with 25 Making Words activities! I've gotten a lot of feedback from buyers about how they enjoy using it for Daily 5 word work!!! 
I also made the printables below to use when introducing my loves to read to self, read to someone, and writing to self! 

Graphics {borders} from Scrappin' Doodles 
Fonts from Kevin & Amanda and Lettering Delights
They are pretty plain, but I really wanted the students' illustrations & writing to make them cutesy!!! You can get them all *here*!
Make sure to link up over at Lory's blog to share what you thought about these chapters!!! Thanks so much for joining our book study!! I've had so much fun reading all the different experiences, ideas, and thoughts! Y'all are a HUGE source of inspiration to me!!!

Wishing everyone a wonderful week!!! I'm going to be enjoying the last 7 days of my summer before pre-planning begins!!! Most of it will be spent in my classroom getting ready for my new crew!!! haha


Vegas! Vegas! Vegas!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
I'm back and {almost a week later} still trying to recover from an amazing trip in Vegas & a bit of SUN POISONING!!! Apparently,  my sensitive GA skin couldn't take the Sin City sun!!! Hives or no hives, I feel beyond blessed to have been able to meet and hang out with such inspiring teachers!!!

I met up and flew with my sweet friend, Hope. We were SO excited and chatted up a storm during the *entire* flight. The poor people who sat around us were probably dying for some ear plugs!!
Once we landed in Vegas, we met up with Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants!!! I made her a special sign....with flashing lights, of course. If y'all could have only been there to see the reaction when I pulled that baby out of my bag and turned it on. 
 But Rachelle's reaction was the BEST!!! LOVE HER!!
 Once we arrived to our hotel {The Palazzo} and met up with all of our other blogging buddies, we shared lots of laugher, food, and the best chit chatting that's ever hit Vegas!!! I love these ladies and already miss them sooooo much!!!
Kim and Megan (KinderGals), Melissa (Lesson Plan SoS), Michelle (Fabulous in First), Rachelle & Natalie {there in spirit} (What the Teacher Wants), me , Hope (Second Grade Shenanigans), Cheryl (Primary Graffiti), Deedee (Mrs. Wills Kindergarten), Shari (Shari Sloane from, Deanna (Mrs. Jump's Class), and Kathleen (Growing Kinders).

When I wasn't at the conference, I relaxed "cabana style" by the pool with my 85 SPF {Parker's sunscreen was all I had with me}. Did you know that you can get sun poisoning even if you wear sunscreen...85 SPF baby sunscreen?? Nope, not me! I swear!

 On Tuesday night, we had a BLAST at the Vegas blogger meet up!!! Fun! Fun! Fun!
{the hostesses}

It was an incredible experience to meet so many fabulous, inspiring, dedicated, funny, sweet {I could go on & on} teachers!!! 

I adore my newest friends, Stephanie, Kelley, and Susan! Seriously, I wanted to move them all to Georgia to teach with me!!! I just couldn't get enough of their enthusiasm and energy!!
I was also super fortunate to be able to attend 2 days of the "I Teach K" conference! Although I obviously don't teach kinders, I learned so many new things & most importantly, I was inspired and ready to go try them out in my classroom!!

Before I left Vegas, I had to gamble for the first time. I was pumped up and ready to win some $$$ until I realized quickly that gambling is not what I thought it would be like! Luckily, I got out of there FAST with a big frown on my face !!!

Here are a few other pictures of the Vegas scenery!!

And a precious video that Cheryl from Primary Graffiti made to thank our sponsors for all of the giveaway prizes!!!

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Can't wait for our next blogger meet up!!! I hope you will be there!!!!

KinderGals Meet Up & I Teach K !!!

Friday, July 6, 2012
I was so excited to meet up with Kim and Megan from KinderGals this Tuesday!!! They are TOO sweet and lots of fun!!! Make sure to check out their awesome blog {here}! I'm so glad we'll be able to hang out again in Vegas because Tuesday just wasn't enough time together!!
Here I come!!!

I'm flying out to Vegas on Sunday afternoon with my fabulous blogging friend, Hope King! Woooohoooo!!!

I can't tell you how ready I am to meet up with my favorite blogging friends and attend 2 days of amazing workshops at the I Teach K conference! And play on a slot machine and experience a Vegas show for the first time!!! I know this trip will be the highlight of my summer!! This teacher is about to get recharged  & inspired for a new school year!! YEAH!!!

Here's a list of the sessions I'm attending at I Teach K...
Transition Songs- All Day Long 
Literacy a'la Carte
Amazing Manipulatives
Dollar Store Diva
Adjusting Your Instruction to Reach At-Risk Kindergarteners
ADD & ADHD-Identification and Interventions 
Reading & Math & Science, Oh My!!
 If you're going to be in Vegas on Tuesday the 10th, I'd LOVE to meet you at the Vegas Teacher/Blogger Meet-Up! For more info{date/time/location}, click HERE!!! It's going to be a blast!! 

Happy Friday!!!!


Daily 5- Chapter 3

Monday, July 2, 2012
Chapter 3 is all about establishing key materials, routines, and concepts to support the Daily 5 model. It was stated in the book that you should introduce these the first few days of school.  That's wonderful for a lot of us who are gearing up to get this going as soon as we go back to school! 

key materials, routines, and/or concepts....

Gathering kids in front for instruction, releasing them to practice, and then bringing them back to share their thinking represents the steady flow that is at the heart of effective teaching and learning. (p. 31) —Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis, Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension to Enhance Understanding 

A gathering place is a large place for the entire class to sit on the floor. This space should inspire success in our students. You will need a chart, anchor charts created by the class, and other materials. By bringing the whole class together to the "gathering place" {love that name} many distractions will be eliminated due to the set up and children will be able to easily interact with one another.

The Daily 5 makes the transitions to the gathering place seem so simple. The change from a work session to meeting at the gathering place is a signal that the activity is changing. They call these Brain and Body breaks.   

Over the years, I have tried every type of "good fit" book chart, song, etc. I am still not sold on any one of them. It's hard for a first grader to find a book that is just right for them. Usually they look at the cover and fall in love. Or see a 5th grader get a HUGE chapter book and want to follow along.

After reading the "good fit books" section, I realized that I have a few areas where I need to improve. I think the #1 thing I will start doing is discussing the importance of finding good fit books on a daily basis. I will also start using the acronym I PICK! You can click on the chart below to download.   
I loved figure 3-3 of the shoe lesson. So cute and something that really makes the concept of good fit books come alive!! Can't wait to teach that the first week of school!

  "If something is important, it is written down, and learning becomes anchored to these charts. This visible learning makes up the tapestry of the year and the decorations of the classroom."  
Boushey, Gail; Moser, Joan (2006-01-01). The Daily Five (p. 36). Stenhouse Publishers.

I love this! I've always made anchor charts, but would get overwhelmed because they take up so much space in the classroom. The Daily 5 has helped me understand that space is very special because it symbolizes what we have learned in our classroom. What's my classroom theme? Anchor charts!!! HA!! HA!

Also, check out Figure 3-8 Ten Steps to Improve Muscle Memory...very interesting!!! I'm going to make a copy of it and post it as a reminder in my classroom. And let go of how crazy a 3 minute independent work session sounds!!! Building stamina for the first time can feel a bit awkward. 

This chapter was packet full of goodies!!! Please join our book study and link your chapter 3 blog post below. 
Have a great week!!!