Wednesday, July 25, 2012

D5: Chapt 7 with a freebie

So, I kinda missed the last 2 chapters. I mean, I read them... I just didn't post. I thought I would finish this book study strong with a freebie to go with... who doesn't love a freebie? :)

Chapter 7 is all about making the transition from building stamina and practicing everyday to actually allowing students to make the choice of what D5 component they will choose. It also includes some frequently asked questions and answers fyi.

I have been wondering the whole time I have been reading this how long it would actually take to implement everything and be ready to work. I don't know when the Sisters start school but they are saying mid-October they are ready to "set the kids free"! We start mid-August, so that is 2 whole months.... hmmm... Not sure how I feel about that. I am thinking it was about 6 weeks to completely teach every concept, then they practice ALOT to build stamina with all components for another 3 weeks? What do you think?

I think we are all use to being in control of literacy block so I understand the hesitation the Sisters talk about when they are ready to let the students choose. Sometimes when things are going good you don't necessarily want to mess with that... but choice is important. Infact, providing choice was the topic I did my action research on-- it is important!

There is a guide for implementing the choice aspect in this Chapter that is very helpful. In addition to that guide, I created a chart you can use to keep track of choices for a week or 2 while you are making the transition to choice.

Daily 5: Make the Transition to Choice

Take a few minutes during that first week of choice to mark everyone's chocies so they get use to making a choice and they are accountable for their choice. Also, you can keep track of the last D5 component they did they day before... if they didn't get to finish Writing they may want to go back there first the next day.

I couldn't fit more than 20 students-- sorry!

For ALOT more info, regarding this Chapter and the Daily 5 check out the blog hop below... and visit the hosts of this final book club meeting:

Surfin' Through Second

Link up with us for a blog hop and leave me a comment if you like the freebie :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

font party!

I love fonts. In fact, lately, when I see an awesome font (on pinterest) I literally have to say to myself (out-loud), "You already have soooo many fonts that you don't use! You will NEVER find that font in the list if you download today...Just pin it for later!"

Here is one from Babbling Abby the other day:

Look at those amazing fonts! I just want to go download them all... insert my little speech... ok, I am pinning for later. If you follow that link you will see that not all of those fonts (and the MANY others from that site) are free--- only some are. I am loving the mishka font (only $30! what?! ridiculous!). 

Run Miss Nelsons got the Camera

Anywho, I think we all love the fab fonts out there and I am linking up with Miss Nelson to show you a few of my faves THIS WEEK....

yes, they change pretty frequently- maybe weekly. I will get on a kick with a few fonts that I end up using for EVERYTHING then I change to something new. 
Don't know if you can read that top one: It is my fave font for student sheets (Trace Font for Kids). Of course, I can only use that on a few things that actually involve tracing :)
I am currently obsessed with all the fonts from Jen @ Hello Literacy. I love seeing the new fonts that everyone is able to make on their ipads. I will for sure start making some when I get an ipad (you know, in my dreams! LOL)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 23, 2012

moday made it make-up

I missed last week's Monday Made It! I could share what I was "making" all last weekend but you might be bored to tears (my action research presentation!). I did get a lot made this week for my classroom- although it is a mess now.

BTW, I am currently in Pensacola (hopefully on the beach or shopping!) while your reading this! When I get home I will have gobs of pictures of vaca and my classroom (hopefully in a non-flooded state!).
Here are a few things I made this past week:

My mini-pocket chart hanger. This was super easy (since I got the boys at Home Depot to cut everything). All I really did was stick the pieces together and spray paint. Ta-Da! Want to do this? Click here for the pin to the  amazingly simple directions. 

This is my lone window in my classroom. It is actually a door with a window in it. I made a faux-roman shade like curtain to cover it up. No sewing, just some stitch witchery, velcro dots, tension rods and fabric. I love the fabric! 

I made these plain chair pockets a couple years ago (I say I but actually, my mom made them for me! She is a genius at sewing!) I added the mustaches with some heat n' bond! Love them! I have different colors so I can make my tables by color. 

And, not for the classroom:

These onesies were for a girl at the hubs work. Wish I had been this crafty when Addie Mae was born! 
That's about it for now!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Lots of Emails!

I love getting emails from followers about 2 posts.

First, from my transportation tags (original post here). I get lots of requests for these! I love helping out my fellow teachers, and I love that ya'll love these tags :) Click the picture to get Car Rider, Day Care, Afterschool Care, Bus Riders, Van Riders, Walkers and Bike Riders, plus blank tags if you have something different you need to write. This is a pdf but you can easily print off blank ones and write on them or add a text box to them :)

The next post I have been recieving lots of emails about is my behavior calendars (original post here). I know my school's schedule is not the same as yours, so I am posting the word files so you can edit these to match your schedule. Keep in mind, if you don't have the fonts I used, you will need to download them to see this file in this format. I used "howser" and "smiley monster" from Kevin and Amanda. I also used apple casual (that was already on my mac). Of course you can change the fonts too :)

I uploaded these via dropbox so if any of them do not work, please let me know :) You should just have to click the download button in the top right-hand corner to save on your computer.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Grad school is kicking my butt!!

I am still here, I swear! I have had multiple presentations for my Masters the past couple of weeks and they have been causing some serious stress! You would think as someone who talks for a living (to 6 year olds) I could get up in front of some colleagues with no fear but I have been freaking out! Plus I have been working on my classroom (which is a whole nother debocle!)
Here is a little preview to first grade this year:
Still looks a mess but I love the way the bulletin boards turned out. Will post a better picture....eventually!

I have that one small closet in my room and threw this shoe organizer (like $6 at Walmart) on the back. I am pretty much obsessed with this. Although, I keep forgetting which stuff I put in there! I walked around for a good 5 minutes looking for a hole punch before I realized that is where I put it!
I was feeling so organized when I left school on Wednesday afternoon, thinking... when I get back from vaca I am going to be soooo ahead of everyone! WRONG!!!
Early Friday morning we had as the newslady called it a "gully washer" <-------- where does that come from? I couldn't stop laughing when she said that! LOL... anyway, it rained a whole heck of a lot and my classroom was ankle deep in a watery mess! What?! That was not a pleasant phone call to wake up to! I didn't go see the mess... I just couldn't bring myself to see it (plus I will about 40 minutes away and I wasn't driving just to look at something when they wouldn't even let me in the room!) Luckily, my mom lives 5 minutes away and she went and surveyed the damage. It isn't soo bad. Basically just have to put everything back into place after they clean and have to replace all my tennis balls on my chairs (which is more of an annoyance than anything!) After looking through a few other pictures I saw a crate full of bulletin board letters on the floor- can't remember if I left it there or put it on the table! I really hope they aren't ruined! (You know how long it takes to pop those things out and organize them! And I just added a new "font" that day to my collection!)

So, now I am going to go on vacation thinking about my room but I am determined to have a relaxing time! I am prepping my blog for a few days of scheduled posts and hoping I don't miss too much while I am away :)

About a month ago I posted this lunch freebie when I guest blogged for Natalie at Teachery Tidbits. I am hoping everyone was able to download, if you didn't catch it, here it is again:

I don't know about you, but at my school we have to send down a "Lunch Order Form" every morning, telling the cafeteria what our students are buying everyday. The cafeteria sends home a monthly breakfast and lunch calendar with 2 choices for each meal. Of course, we have kids that bring lunchboxes too! Since I have to keep track for the cafeteria, I came up with a way to take attendance and record lunch choices all at the same time.
Sorry for the poor quality... Cell phone pic!

I put all the kids names on clothespins and clipped them to a long ribbon right by the door. I made three choices for them: Lunchbox (brought your lunch), Lunch Choice #1 and Lunch Choice #2. In the middle of the Lunch Choice #1 and 2 there is a little piece of Velcro. I would Velcro pictures of the choices everyday on those spots. Each morning the kids come in and move their clip to their lunch choice. This was a very effective way of taking attendance and lunch orders without having to ask every morning. Does your school turn in lunch orders daily? If so, you're in luck!
A freebie for you today- my lunch labels and a lunch order form. There are 25 different lunch choices with 2 blank ones (for those unusual lunches!). Click any of the pictures below to get the freebie!


This was super easy to implement and a cute way to take attendance too!

Hope you can use :) 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Made A LOT!!!

It's that time again... I have been a busy girl this week and am getting in my room this week to start getting somethings accomplished! I will post pictures of my work. Before I show my "school" made its I just have one last picture to share of my girly makeover:
I finally finished with this room!! I have to admit I do not want to be done but I must get focused on school! I painted and hung those wood letters 3 years ago for Addison's nursery (I just had to share because they are so darn cute!) I finally got my projects from a couple weeks ago hung above the bed. I also took an ordinary pillowcase to extraordinary with my new favorite invention- HEAT N BOND!!! I had never used this before and now I am in love! I printed out Addison's initials and used the scrap fabrics from my hanging art to iron on to an old pillowcase. Then I added ribbon to the ends to tie the pillowcase shut for an adorable throw pillow! I love this pillow so much! (I think my hubby was impressed as well... he asked me to make a baby gift so a girl at his work!)
Anyway... on to school...

I mainly just made some decorative things this week but I got a lot done with some adorable fabric. Here is my pallet:
Here is what I made:
  1. I made a penant style banner but it was soo long I couldn't get a good photo of it. When I get it hung up at school I will share. I follow directions from Babbling Abby and it was super easy. I had never used Stitch Witchery either and now I am in love with that too!

I had some old floor pillows around the house so I thought I would re-cover for my classroom library. They are huge pillows! The kids will definitely enjoy! My mom has a Serger sewing machine so this project was a breeze...
3. I used some extra fabric and my new fave to create some Mustache patches for some pillows and for some chair covers that I made a couple years ago. The best part is... just iron on!!
I am just in love with these!!

4. Last but not least, I decorated the front of my small filing cabinet. My dad gave me the filing cabinet and I just traced some mustaches on it with a white pen. The pen is one of those window writing markers- I am not sure how well the design will stay on but it turned out pretty darn cute!

Getting started in my room today! I am sure I will be posting updates this week. Also, my baby boy is playing in a t-ball tournament that has gone on for days and days.. I am over exaggerating, but I want it to be over (hope that doesn't make me a bad mama!) He has another game tonight- so wish him luck :)
Here he is with the hubs (who also happens to be the coach!)
p.s. and btw: I am still working on some more Reading Street packs. Waiting on some clip art but should have at least Week 2 posted soon :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Daily 5- Chapter 4

Chapter 4 is getting into the nitty-gritty of how to do the Daily 5. This whole chapter is on "Read to Self". Seems pretty self explanatory right? Well, here are the details (according to the Sisters with a little bit of me thrown in there!):

You must start with:

Three Ways to Read a Book
1. Read and Talk about the pictures- this is really looking at the pictures, making predictions and inferences and telling the story by just looking at the pictures
2. Read the Words- Actually read the words in the story.
3. Retell a previously read book- Retelling a book in great detail, maybe using actual words and details that are inferred through picture reading.
Steps to using “Read to Self”
1. Begin in gathering place.
2. Teach 3 Ways to Read a Book (Split into 2 lessons)

a.     First day teach: Read Words and Pictures
b.     Second day teach: Retell a previously read book
      3. Make an I-chart headed “Read to Self”
a.     Why are we doing Read to Self: To become a better reader
b.     Add to the why list with ideas from the class
c.      Now, make the I-chart. It should look like this:

4. Choose a student to model what should be happening during Read to Self- Can do this a couple times J
5. Now, choose a student who might like to model Read to Self incorrectly. The sisters suggest choosing a students that is use to getting that negative attention (you know, that class clown that loves attention and being silly!)
a.     After that students incorrectly models, have that same student model correctly. Now, we ALL know that student knows what to do. 
            6. Imprint this word in your teaching brain: PRACTICE!!! Yes, it is time to practice… but only for a few minutes.
a.     Start with a 3-minute practice.
b.     Place students where you want them to read, with their book bins/bags. Make sure students are at least an arm’s length apart.
c.      Explain to students we are trying to build stamina.
d.     If any student is doing something they shouldn’t be, end Read to Self early and come back together.
      7. After 3 min, signal class to come back together in gather place.
      8. Review the I-chart and reflect on that day’s practice.
a.     You can use thumbs up, down and sideways to see how the students feel about what they just did.
b.     Have a discussion about what excited the kids about that day’s practice.
      9. Have 3 more minutes of practice and another check in.
    10. Review everything you did that day by going over the I-chart and expectations. 

Day 2 and beyond…
Figure 4-5 in the book has an awesome breakdown of days 1-4
Basically, keep going over the I-chart and practicing Read to Self. Everyday add another minute to Read to Self until you have gotten to your desired time. It may take a couple weeks but this practice is necessary.
 On Day 3, teach students where to sit and how to choose where to sit.

Guiding Questions
In reflecting on your students' work with these strategies, what can you celebrate at this point in the year?
I didn’t use Daily 5 last year so I am excited to see how my students react to it this year. Last year my kids loved to read. My main problem was them getting up and down to get another book. The book bags will solve that this year.

How might you help your students continue to build stamina within these areas?
Practicing everyday is super important and takes time. I need to be patient with my students, because I know taking the time to build the stamina will be beneficial in the end.

I made a little bookmark with the 3 ways to read and posters to go along with during your discussion. You could print them smaller so they can be pasted on your I-chart too.
Click the picture for your freebie! I am using DropBox for the first time to give a freebie! Please let me know if for some reason your freebie doesn't download. Thanks :)
I would love to here your thoughts on Chapter 4, please join our Blog Hop. Also, visit my co-hosts:


First Grade Blue Skies


Happy 4th friends!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Made It!

I think I have been spending about an hour (at least) on Monday mornings blog-stalking because of this fun linky! I love seeing all of ya'lls creations! I have been a serious slacker this week... I mean it is summer right? I guess for summer's standards I have been somewhat productive. 

Before I share about me, let me share something from my newest online friend. Last week, Michelle emailed me after buying my mustache set and we have been in correspondence ever since. She is so sweet, and has shared some of her own mustache creations :) 
Click this rectangle for access to her whole color/shape poster set. 
Adroable, right? Michelle hasn't started blogging {yet} :) so she said I could share her creations on my blog! Please enjoy!

So, onto my creations...
I have almost finished re-decorating my baby girl's room. I guess I shouldn't call her a baby girl anymore (she will be 3 on Friday!). Last week she decided it was time to use the potty. I am so proud of her. So, I got her big girl bed put together and made a tutu bedskirt...
It only take over 20 yards of tulle and 3.5 hours. I also saw an ingenius pin.. putting pool noodles under the sheets to prevent falling out! 

Here she is on her first night in her big girl bed! 
I am still working on finding her the perfect comforter. Right now she has a white down comforter, I am thinking that I will make a duvet cover {eventually}. Also, need to do a little more organizing and rearranging in her room but otherwise it is the pinkest, girliest room you can think of-- I love it!

Onto school....
I am beginning to create a series that I can use with reading street this year. Last year was my first year using the curriculum and I was greatly dependent on all the resources I have found online! Sometimes I don't think my lessons were as thought out as I would have liked them, so I am doing my thinking now!  I created my supplement pack for Week 1.

I need to stop by school and check out the Review unit (which I can't find online), so I can figure out how to implement that in a quick fashion. I will be completing a 30-40 page packet with centers, explicit lessons, and writing pages for each week of reading street.

I have a busy rest of the day and need to get started. Actually have some crafting planned, and later tonight going to my son's second tournament game. His first game was on Saturday night and they won! Not sure if that is good or bad... the games are out in the country. I mean the scary country! I felt like we were driving through a scary deserted town (you know the kind from a horror movie). It is an hour an a half away so I am not too stoked about going there again tonight. So, I guess wish him luck-- either way I think these games go on through the weekend!

Check back tomorrow for my post on Chapter 4 from D5. I know it will be a day early but I will be celebrating the fourth on Wednesday.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Had to link up real quick before trueblood comes on tonight. Can't miss a Currently party!!

My favorite book to read aloud is The BFG by Roald Dahl. My 4th grade teacher read this to us when we were in class and I fell in love with it. I read all the Road Dahl books that year. I haven't read it to my class yet, need to re-read before I read aloud and make sure everything is appropriate. 

Right now I am reading the Daily 5 (as most of you know) and it is so far my fave professional read. Making so many new plans for next year while reading!

off to watch my it's your turn to link up: