Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It #6!!!!

Well, here goes nothing.  I am posting this from my phone because I am in Dallas at Mary Kay Sapphire Seminar!!!  Woo Hoo Party Time.  Yes, that is right, on top of being a teacher, parent, and stitcher, I am an independent beauty consultant.  Interested in skin care, body care, color cosmetics and more?  Then check out my website at and let me guide you to amazing things.

Okay, okay, I'm back on track now.  Back to school stuff.  Well, this is what I "made".
Well, rats!!!  Can't figure out how to insert the image off my phone, I'll explain instead. 

I have printed off over the past few weeks lesson passages and ideas from my district web site and to create separate binders for the different concepts in reading (summary, main idea, inference, etc.).  The binders are coming together slowly, but I'm still working on it. 

Then there is the stuff I printed on card stock - Parts of the Daily 5, CAFE Headers and Strategies, Daily 5 bookmarks, Calendar Pieces, Affix Word Wall, figurative language posters, genre posters, and I think 1 other thing.  Okay, I know not really a made it, but a heck of a lot of printing, and then at least an hour of cutting and trimming to get ready to laminate.  Thank you Mardels for the coupon for 5 feet of free laminating.  At least it will save some money (oh, and they accidentally gave me 2 :))!!!  So as for later this week, I will be a laminating, cutting machine, because as you can tell, I only have a little laminating!!!!

Well - Ta Ta for now, post more about seminar later, and the another stitching weekend coming up, then I guess it is back to reality.

Tara, sorry but the only way I know how to put a link to the Monday made it site with my phone is this way -  I'll try to rdmebed to grab your button on Wednesday when I'm back at home.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Made It - #? for me

Hello All,

Well last week was crazy and I am so behind.  Behind on Guiding Readers book study, Daily 5 Book Study, and now CAFE book study.  I plan on catching up today between doctors appointments and other things, so today will be a multiple blog day (sorry).

I finally got the craft projects I wanted to get done on Thursday.  My brain just wasn't in school last week, and it was probably due to all the divorce stuff I was handling (that's okay because I was ready for it to be done with).

Here is all what I completed thursday night while watching TV, and procrastinating on house work.

#1 - No Name Board -
         There have been so many out there, so I can't tell you exactly where I got my inspiration, maybe a little from all.   I kept mine simple.  (sorry its the wrong direction)

# 2 -   Table Tubs and Buckets
I got the tubs from the dollar store and the buckets from the dollar spot at Target.  If you go looking for these and can't find the orange one, it is because I spray painted a silver one orange.  The silver one (s - don't forget I painted one orange) had a chalkboard spot on them to write and I just put my labels over them.   I created the labels on my computer and then went Modge Podge crazy (well at least for me). 

I plan on the tubs holding community crayons, colored pencils, scissors, glue sticks, and maybe markers.   As for the buckets, I am thinking one at each table each day for them to put their trash in and then empty at the end of class, just maybe this week keep little papers off the floor.

#3 - Where are you board -
Again  I know I have seen this in circle format somewhere on our Monday Made It's, but I am not sure who started it.   I got the two rectangular trays from Dollar store and took some spray paint to them.   The magnets are the clear class rocks from Michaels in the flower section with Modge Podged numbers that I created off my computer and magnets glued on.  

#4 - Well I had extra of those clear rocks and decided I should make some more magnets from the stitching crew I am getting together with the first week of August.  Back to the computer for some fun pictures and more Modge Podge.  Hope they like them.

#5 - Tuesday at my Mary Kay Meeting we had a party and I was responsible for the fruit salad.  Loved my fruit bowl and had to share.

# 6- I need your help here.  At my big stitch weekend a couple of weeks ago, the ladies gave us these medal siding things.  They weren't a big hit, but I knew I should be able to use them in my classroom somehow.  I ended up getting mine plus the 4 others from the people at my table (like I said, they weren't a hit).  I spray painted them to match my buckets as a start (I know I am missing yellow, didn't have yellow spray paint at the time).  I'm not sure what to do with them?  I have thought of stacking them to show class volume, putting them on my table for the kids to request bathroom, etc, or maybe one on my table to show busy or free for when I am in small groups.  I would love to have your ideas.  Here is a picture so you know what I am talking about.

Hope you all have a Marvelous Monday and Don't forget to Link Up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for all of this weeks Monday Made Its.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Made It #4

Well, I am back from my wonderful birthday weekend and all I have for a Monday Made It is for my home from my trip.

I got to attend a stitching retreat put on by The Silver Needle in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  I was able to join all of these women.

That would be 121 women representing 24 states and Canada.  For Thursday and all of Friday till 5 we got to work on what every project we wanted.  So there were lots of neat projects going on.  During that time I was able to finish a piece I have been working on for months.  (unfortunately during school, I don't get to stitch daily).   Here is what I finished on Friday.

Friday evening the ladies at the Stitching Needle had the designers of Bent Creek Designs come and give us projects and teach us some new stitches.  YEA!!

Here where the projects we received Friday:                          


Both of these ladies also helped us  make these magnets.  One is just cutesy and the pink one is a pin cushion.  Here is a pictures.  

To finish up Saturday we got some awesome gifts:

 And I finished one of Friday's Teaching Projects:

I guess I now have to get ready for some school made its, but I sure did have a great amount of fun in Tulsa with my mom and my sister and all the women.

Till next week.  Happy Make It Monday.  I can't wait to see who else posts things on Tara's Monday Made It.  Link up and see what others have done and post yours as well.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Guiding Readers - chapter 7

Well, this one won't be as long, due to the fact that I'm in Tulsa at a stitch retreat. Look for my Monday Made It to see what I did. Now on to chapter 7. All of what was said here really hit true to me. I love the lesson ideas as well. I think visualization is so hard for older kids because they didn't always do it when they had picture books because they used the pictures. One things I have done is read a picture book without showing the pictures and have them draw a scene. I also tell them to make a movie in their head. I also use pictures for inference. My favorite web site for that is Sorry, I they started stitching class, so I am finishing this on Sunday night.  If you have never been to, let me tell you why I love it for inference.  #1 - there is a new picture every day, #2 - they are typically real world things (animals, places, people, events, etc), #3 - there are squares you can click on in the picture that will take you to links to tell you what it is.  I think working with our higher grades, doesn't mean not teaching what they need, but instead teaching it in a way that allows the students to feel that they are being taught on level and not like a "baby."

Hope this helps some.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Daily 5 - Chapter 4 - Update

Okay, I would like to answer a couple of questions/concerns I am seeing repeated in the comment sections at .We Read, We Blog, We Teach

Stephanie - Yes, start read to self on Day 1. Ibbeck1701 is correct, till you have a good amount of time to pull students or a group, you go to a spot and pretend to be busy. Trust me it all comes together.

For those of you that are overwhelmed, hang on. When we start CAFE, it will all make more sense and you can see how it all merges. I was overwhelmed, frustrated, and panicky after I read D5 the first time before I read CAFE. Once I read CAFE, it all came together.

As for retelling the story - yes this is something the lower leveled readers will do, and yes they do it by pictures, but a lot of times a Non-Fiction Text can be read by pictures and gain information. We read the captions for information, right? So I do teach all 3 ways to read a book, because I want my students to know you can get the information from more than just the words, especially in Non - Fiction Text.

Here is a couple of video's the Two Sisters have done regarding Read to Self and the "Barometer" Child (the one who tells you when to bring the group back).

and some links:

I could just keep going. I just went to their website (, and typed in Read to Self in the search area. Then I looked for the public links. They also have member links. I hope this helps some of you.

If you would like to see my original thoughts and comments on Read to Self, you should be able to find it on my blog's home page.


Daily 5 - Chapter 4 - READ TO SELF

Woo Hoo, we are in the Meat and Potatoes of this. Read to Self is one of my favorites. I time for kids to read on what they want to read, but oh how it can be frustrating at times. I think I will just answer Mrs. Klohns 5 questions today:

How do you launch or plan to launch the Read to Self component in your own classroom?
1. I always begin Read To Self the way the book suggests. As a class (and each individual Class, I will have 3 this year) we create the I chart. Yes that means 3 I charts in one day. No I don't post them all, I combine to make 1 that gets posted. As you can see the Sisters give you what should be on there, so they all end up being about the same. Some years I add picture visuals, some years not.

  How do you implement modeling within your reading workshop time? Do you always model, or do students model correct reading behaviors too?

2) I also do modeling with the kids. They think it is funny, but it makes my point. Even though I teach 6th grade, and a lot of my students have done this in the past, I still find it very important. Each teacher is different. My versions of a bubble space, silent, and appropriate seating spots may differ from the previous teacher(s). I mainly have the kids model. As for time, I don't always start with 3 minutes, but I never start with more than 5. Yes, they are 6th graders, but we don't want wrong practice and believe me there are years we don't make it past 3 minutes.

How do your students choose their spots of read to self in your classroom?

3. I let me students choose their spots to sit, of course this is after we make an anchor chart of where appropriate seats are. (Where I can see you, what is a bubble space, where you will stay awake, yes you can be on the floor, no more than 2 people at a table, etc)
Do you allow your students the opportunity to book shop during their read to self time, or when do your students have an opportunity to do this?

4. I prefer book shopping to be done before Daily 5 starts, but with 3 classes and only 90 minutes each, a lot of time the book shopping has to be on the way to their spot. I haven't figured out a good way to do this. I will take any ideas that may be out there.
Is Read to Self something that you expect your students to do on a daily basis when they are picking their rotation spots?

5. I think Read to Self is a DAILY must do. I am hoping to have a Daily 3, where Read to Self and Work on Writing are required, and then Read to Someone, Listen to Reading (don't do this very often), and Word Work as an optional the 3rd rotation. However to be honest, even after doing this 3 years, it is still hard to get it all in for me. I have also found that my Mini Lessons some times are 20 minutes (hey with 6th grade sometimes it takes that) and we can only do a Daily 2. I have also realized in order to get those grades, we all must have, I have to help my students understand that Read to Self may include an activity to do as well. Sometimes we need to record as we read to completely comprehend.

If you want to hear what other teachers are saying, link up the Blog discussion going on at We Read, We Blog, We Teach.

We Read, We Blog, We Teach

Till Friday, make sure you take some time for you to have READ TO SELF.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Guiding Readers - Chapter 6

Well, I decided to try something new, colored letters instead of black.  I know I'm a day late, again!  I promise to try to be on top of things a little more, however Chapter 7 will probably be late as well, I will be out of town from Thursday to Sunday.  

This chapter really hit home with me in several ways -

1) This is where a lot of my students are.  I teach a lot of ESL kids and while they can read fluently and with accuracy, their comprehension and vocabulary are weak.  

2)  Hello, CAFE.  Does this not connect so well.  Our students have the A - accuracy and F- Fluency strategies and we have to work on the C - Comprehension and E - Expanding Vocabulary.  

3)  I think I have figured out how to include this with Daily 5/ Cafe.  I can so see myself teaching these strategies as a whole group the first few weeks of school while getting my Daily 5 set up, and then reinforcing these strategies in small groups with their Must Do's being their activities during Daily 5 Time.  I think this might just work.  

I also like how she includes the writing components and vocabulary components which fit right in with Work on Writing and Word Work.  

Oh boy, I may be putting too much on myself trying to get all this to come together, but I love all my thoughts.  Now how to include Geography, I'll figure it out.  

The neat thing is, is Lori's strategies (lessons) during Small group match up and give you strategies for teaching the Comprehension elements and having a physical for grading. 

I can't wait for the next chapter (Hey my color goofed), That's better.  Working with Struggling Readers in the Upper Grades is where I am, so I can't wait for her new ideas.  Has anyone thought of putting a spreadsheet together of her Lesson Routines, What they Are, and Her Must Do's along with what area of reader they go with?  Stupid Auto Save, changed my font again.  Maybe that will be my first TPT.  Not sure if mine will look as cute as ya'lls.  Till next time.  Happy Reading.


To see what others have wrote link up with Beth at Thinking of Teaching.


Monday Made It # 3 - for me

Hello all,  this Monday Made it has kept me on my toes.  It seems as I complete one project I get to add two more to my list.  I have decided I am going to do two more fun projects and then on to things that help my students learn.  I will be incorporating Reading, Writing, and Social Studies all in 90 minutes (YIKES!).  I need to figure out how to make my Daily 5 work with Social Studies too.  I have always struggled teaching vocabulary and spelling, so those are two things I think I will work on the next couple of weeks.

This weeks Monday Made It I got my inspiration from Alison at Eberopolis and her creation of the Writing Process. (Click on the picture to see how she did this.)

I did mine a little different for two reasons.  # 1 - I wanted it to take up less space and #2 - I have 3 classes of up to 30 students each.  That is a lot of clothespins.

Here are the clothespins - 30 of each color and I added plate joining biscuits (from the hardware store) so I could write the numbers bigger and hopefully see them from some distance.

Here is the Writing Process.  Modge Podge and I didn't get along very well.  This is the first time I did it and there are some wrinkles, but I think it will do for this first year.

I know that I probably can't fit 90 clothes pins on each board, but I got at least 60 done last night, and who has all the students on the same step in the process.

As for next week, I plan on having two fun teaching projects and a stitching project.  I am going to a stitch camp from Thursday to Sunday, I can't wait.  Well, the laundry needs to be done (YUCK) and the house needs to be cleaned (YUCK, YUCK) so I guess I better get that done so I can work on some more projects.  Wish I could just blog hop instead and work on crafts.

Happy Monday Made - It.  Until Next week, have fun creating. If you need ideas, go see what other teachers have created on Monday Made it with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics.  Just Click on the Button Below.  Tara, I hope I grabbed your button correct today.  I've been trying to figure it out)


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Daily 5 - Chapter 3

Wow, so many thoughts and ideas. I am so excited. I will be starting my 4th year using daily 5. The first 2 years I used book boxes. I was in 4th grade, the first year I was self contained and the 2nd I taught only 2 classes, so it wasn't to difficult. Last year and this year I will be in 6th grade. Last year I had 60 kids and this next year it will be 90. Yikes, how to find a space for all those books. I try to encourage my students to keep their library books with them and then I have a library. I'm not sure what I will do this next year, but I will keep thinking.

I also have a gathering spot. For some of my larger students, I allow my students to sit in chairs but with in a close proximity to my gathering space. I realized 1/2 through the year last year that if I didn't bring the students to a gathering spot, I was not having the engagement I needed in the class. A gathering place is something I will continue.

Anchor charts are an interesting topic when you have more than 1 class you are teaching. Last year I got to play with a Promethean Board for the first time, and it was so much fun. I really liked this for Daily 5 and my anchor charts. I created a flip chart for each class and created our Anchor charts on the flip chart. After all class' had created each I chart, I combined all information on a piece of poster board to post in the room. This way each class got to come up with their I chart, but their was also a visual available at all times. I also like the idea of making copies for the students to put into their reading journals.

As for the 3 minute time frame, I understand the thought of "they should be able to do this." However, Last year I learned very quickly that my idea of how Daily 5 looks and the teachers before me where very different. My version of silent and theirs were different. My idea of a bubble space and theirs were different. So starting out with the 3 minutes and increasing time slowly. I realized this is important if I want my expectations met.

As for signals there are a few I have done:
1 - I say "Alakazu" and the kids respond with "Alakazam" and put all eyes on me.
2 - I say 5 loudly and then count down on my hand till I hit zero and I should have all students on me.
3 - I have done the same thing as number 2, but using a bell
4 - I have had a student teacher use the McDonald's theme and the students respond with "I'm loving it."

I would recommend finding one or two and sticking with them.

Here are some links to the 2 sisters website that have some more ideas on all of this.

I Pick and Good Fit books

Book Boxes

I know that doesn't seem like many, but we will get into the I charts more with each part of the Daily 5 pieces.  I also only chose the public articles you can get to.  I have a membership, and it is well worth it along with their weekly e-mail.  It comes on Friday. 

If you have read my review of Chapter 3 and want to see what other teachers are saying, go check out the blog We Read, We Blog, We Teach.

Happy Daily 5 Reading. 

We Read, We Blog, We Teach

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fiction Friday

I know it has only been two days since I posted, but I really keep looking for a way to introduce this book to you.  Thank you Amanda at The Teaching Thief for having Fiction Friday, now I get to share.

Have you ever heard of Narrative Poetry?  I hadn't until I came across this set of books in my closet in my new 6th Grade classroom and started reading the book.  It was quite interesting how I came across it.  My students and I had just finished reading "Tuck Everlasting" by Natalie Babbit, and they were dying to read another novel.  So I went into my closet and started searching.  My choices that the district recommends were Manic McGee, Esperanza Rising, and Home of the Brave.  I started reading the previews of each and Home of the Brave caught me, because it was about a refugee from Africa who had come to America and his "adventure" as he adjusted.  We were studying Africa, so it sounded like a perfect fit.

Home of the Brave 

In this book, each chapter or section is written as a poem.  Hummm, Poems, fiction, I can teach lots with this I thought.

What is the basis of this book, well it is about this boy, Kek, who lost his father and brother in Africa as a part of the war, and they can't find his mother.  So he is sent to America as a refugee to live with his Aunt and his cousin.  He has so much to learn.  First of all he is traveling from Africa to Minnesota.  He doesn't know much English and to top it off, the culture is completely different.

The first line in the first chapter is something like (hey my book is at school, I'm not, so I have to paraphrase), "The flying boat arrived back on Earth, and I looked out the round thing and saw white all over the ground."   Flying Boat, Round thing, and white on the ground.  What is he talking about?  Hello figurative language (I can teach this too).  He was talking about a Airplane, looking out the window, and seeing snow.  That is the first of many confusions Kek has in terms of America and how things are so different.

I found that my students really liked this book, and even though it was at a 6th grade level, I could see any grade 4th and up doing it with guidance, and 3rd probably doing it as a read aloud with discussion. 

I would recommend this to any teacher to read with their class.  The understanding of people coming from other countries and what they have to face is unbelievable.  Not to mention learning about culture from another country all at the same time.

Happy Reading.  If you are interested in more about this book, click on the picture and it will connect you to Barnes and Nobles website to find out more.

If you want to find more literature that teachers are suggesting connect up with Amanda and her Fiction Friday.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Guiding Reading - Chapter 5

Chapter 5 - The Developing Reader

I know I am writing this early before the group is posting it, so I will link up later.

Here is the link. Beth at Thinking of Teaching is giving us our notes.  Check with her to see her thoughts and all the others who link up.

Chapter 5 continues on the basics of Before, During, and After Reading strategies, but takes it up a level.  These readers are transitioning from reading out loud to reading in their heads.  Something I realize, is this may not just be young readers, in fact in my 6th Grade classroom I have some of these.  They may be the students with learning disabilities, are a little behind, or my English Language Learners.  This chapter also reminded me of some strategies I could use with my strugglers.

One thing that really hit me was having the student read the story through once, and then after the second read you start the comprehension part.  Give them the opportunity to tackle those words, because during tackling you loose meaning of the text.  Maybe I need to explain this to my students better.  I'm not sure if everyone does this, but in Texas and our state exams we always tell the kids to read and reread before they answer the questions.  It still amazes me at how many student refuse to do this.  How many times when you are reading a professional or personal book do you go back and reread something to clarify.  I know I do. 

When Lori talks about "mini-Lessons" you can do with the groups and then the must do's that go along with it, I thought "oooooh - this is how I can fit this into Daily 5/CAFE and get grades".  Those Must Do's are assessments, who says a rubric with those can't be a grade.

I am really enjoying refreshing my brain with this book.  I can't wait for Chapter 6.  Happy 4th to all and Happy Reading.


Daily 5 - Chapter 2 Thoughts

Wow, did this chapter really hit me in the face in reflection of my teaching last year. Last year was my first year in 6th grade, and coming from 4th grade I had a lot of students that I had 2 years earlier. I had these expectations that they would be able to jump into Daily 5. They had done it in 5th grade as well. At the beginning I did a lot of trust without really working on the procedures and expectations and building the correct stamina. By the middle of the year, I was frustrated, irritated, and not trusting at all. I realized that my expectations in Daily 5 may not look like or sound like the teacher previous. Community - well they have been together for years, I shouldn't need to develop that (WRONG), I have realized that I must rebuild that community in each class, teaching respect for one another. Learning how to react before the big hormones start is definitely a must in 6th grade.

So for next year I really have to build, build, build the expectations and practice them before I let go, but also trust that these students can be responsible enough to take ownership of their learning. Heck isn't that what we want in the long run, students to become life long learners? With that TRUST I have to give Choice (ugh - this is hard, I'm not sure I like this), and stay out of the way.

I once had a cousin of mine who home schools say, you know I get some much more done with my son when we study what he is interested in. We have periods when he is really into reading, and he soars. However, if I try to force reading on him when he doesn't want to read, it is like beating down a brick wall.

Okay - I know we can't do this, but if we allow the students to do the Daily 5 in their own order then just maybe their sense of urgency will be their and their stamina will be stronger. Just a thought. I can't wait to continue this book study and ponder on more things I need to focus on a little better.

If you are interested in seeing others thoughts hop on over to We Blog, We Read, We Teach and see what others are saying.

Till Chapter 3 - Nicole

Monday, July 2, 2012

Guiding Readers - Chapter 4

Well, I'm a day late, but at least I caught up.  Here are my thoughts on Guiding Readers - Chapter 4

Guiding Readers Book Study

The Early Reader really hit home with me on a couple of levels.

#1 - It is where my daughter Tamara (7 - going into 2nd) is.  She knows the strategies, she could do it if she wants, but hey lets just look at the first letter and call out a word, weather it makes sense or not.  We all have one of these students in our class, and for some reason I can handle my own students better than my own child.  But these strategies are great for me to review so I can think of my wording.  Instead of "Tamara that isn't right." I could say "Tamara does that make sense."  Let her realize the wrong instead of always pointing it out to her.

#2 - The before, during and after reading concepts.  I don't care what GRADE you are in, we always encourage our students to do this.

Before Reading - Think about it - doesn't a chapter book sometimes grab you by the front cover, or the colors.  Isn't it the Title that sometimes get us.  On a Non-Fiction book - What do you do first?  Me - Look at the text features.  Aren't we all "previewing" the book or doing a "book walk" to determain if this is a Good Fit Book (as the 2 sisters would say) for us?  Don't you ask questions about what you might find out or how something might end based on the written preview or pictures you  have seed.

During Reading - I'm not sure I realized I did these things till I had to start teaching them, or maybe I just notice it more since I have had to teach it, but I am always asking my self questions as I read.  "I wonder if ...... is going to happen." "Will they save the .......", " Who committed the .........", and I can't stop reading "I have to know if ........ did ......."   You fill in the blanks.  Isn't this what gets us hooked into a book so we can't put it down.  Isn't this what keeps the attention of kids who are reading chapter books (or picture) to finish the book.  It is vocalizing and modeling this that helps kids becoming reading lovers.   I have had to teach some of my 6th Graders how to do this.  Mrs. Rutledge - I just don't like long books, I can't get into them.  My solution - Read a few pages and write down a question you have, then see if you can find the answer.  Works like a charm.

After Reading - I think we do this as well, especially when it is a book we really like.  We replay it in our head.  We make it into a movie, TV Show, or Play right inside our brain and we VISUALIZE it.  Isn't this what our kids are doing when they retell.  Isn't this what we want them to do.  And making connections - How many of us go "If I were ..... I would have done ......"  I don't know about you, but I do it when I read, and when I watch TV.  I think our students know how to do this, it is a matter of making them realize it.

How many of your students could currently retell you "Madagascar 3",  it is a movie, but they can retell it (the after).  The trailer is the preview for them (the before read).  How many students could tell you what their favorite character, part is and why? (hello - connection) 

Sometime students struggle with these things because they have never connected them to reading.  Maybe if you have a struggler you can do it with a movie or TV show first and then take it to a book.

I feel like I have rambled and gotten my "Hello, this is how you do it voice on."  If I came across that way, I am sorry.  Just my passion coming out.  I can't wait to discuss more thoughts that come our way with the next part of our book study.   Happy Reading.

Click on the link above if you want to see what others are saying and their thoughts.


Leibster Blog Award

I want to thank Kaitlyn from Smiles and Sunshine for the Leibster Blog Award.

This Award is for those blogs that have less than 200 Followers.  (that's me with only 1% of that number)

Here are the rules for the Award:

1.  Copy and Paste the Award on your blog  (Check)
2.  Thank the giver and link back to them (Check)
3. Reveal your 5 top picks and live a comment on their blog to let them know.

My Top 5 are...........

Teaching in Sixth Grade

Fancy Free in Fourth Grade

My Photo
Every New Beginning

Eberopolis      Thanks again for my great award.  Nicole                       

Monday Made It #2 - For Me

I am so excited to link up with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics for Monday Made - It.

I can't wait to show you what I did, but First a little background as to why I choose and stick with the same color scheme year after year.

During my first 2 years of teaching my wonderful sister stitched me this blanket.
When she started it I was teaching Pre-K.  After that year I moved to 4th grade, but there were 2 Fourth grade teachers retiring and giving away their stuff.  In that pile I found a Mickey Mouse Cursive Alphabet (Whoo Hoo)!  I was so excited. 

The next year after having my daughter I moved to a new district and was back to Pre-K and my room had a glass door to the outside.  My mom and I found a Twin Sheet (looks like the bedspread in the following picture) and she made me a full size curtain to cover the glass door.

Over the next few years, as I moved classrooms, that curtain has been mainly a bulletin board, and is now a curtain because I have 3 rooms in my portable.  The other two windows are covered with white curtains that have primary color geometric shapes.

So with all this in mind, and my quilt being so precious to me, I have always kept my room in Primary Colors. 

So my Monday Made It is my Teacher Toolbox.  In Primary Colors.  I can't wait to put it in my room and fill it.  I will have to be patient because I can't get in my room till the middle of August.

So here is the big reveal..............

 Till next monday -----  

Nicole Rutledge

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July's Currently

I'm Linking up with Farley @ Oh Boy 4th Grade for July's edition of Currently.

Thanks Farley for doing this, I love all the book suggestions.

Here is my currently -

  Whew - Took awhile to figure it out, but I did.  YEA!!!


Guiding Readers - Chapter 3

I'm on a roll.  Just finished Chapter 3.  Reading this reminded me of my son, Paul.  He is 4 and definitely in this stage.  I'm reminded that kids at this age, read the books by pictures.  Something I think we need to let our parents know is okay.  Most parents don't understand that reading pictures is a way of reading a book and the first steps to reading. 

From being a previous Pre-K 3's, Pre-K 4's, and 2nd teacher, a lot of these things ring true and I have seen.  I love the fact that I am able to read these are refresh my ideas on some techniques that can be used at the beginning stages of reading.  I really feel that the picture walks, vocabulary, and prior knowledge are really important when also working with your ELL learners.  Helping them connect to the text is also very important.

Till Chapter 4, Happy Reading.

Guiding Readers - Chapter 2

Okay, Okay- I know I'm really late on this, but What a Week I had. 

Chapter 2 has a lot of things I am already doing and correlate with Daily 5.  I guess my biggest concern is the 18 minutes.  With 90 minutes to do reading/writing/SS, I am not going to get very many groups in with my major lessons as well.  Thoughts Ideas?  

Having focused lessons is great, but being in 6th, Im not sure my students have to be reading the same book to work on the same lessons?

Hummm,  thoughts to ponder, maybe I will understand more as I hit the next chapters.

Hope to be caught up by the end of the day!!!

Daily 5 - Chapter 1 Book Study - My Thoughts

I am a 6th Grade teacher. I started using Daily 5 3 years ago in 4th Grade being Self - Contained. I then moved to 4th Grade Reading/Writing/SS and last year and this coming year I am doing 6th Grade Reading/Writing/SS. I have joined this book study as a way to refresh and rethink, but maybe I can help in some ways too.

My rethinks:
1) I need to teach the procedures, rules, guidelines and practice them completely before I let the kids go.
2) Choice is part of the options
3) Part of the Daily 5 is the students being responsible for their own behaviors, not me being the behavior police (that's hard for me to break)

How I have done thing -

I have never done a true daily 5 due to time constraints and the age of my kids. I have always done Read to Self and Work On writing. I have also tried to incorporate Read to Someone. The two sisters will tell you that Read to Self is a MUST!!! This is where they grow. I added Read to Someone because a) they like it and b) with as many different levels in my classroom, the ability for each student to learn from another comes in handy.

For the last 2 years, I have had about 2 hours to complete REading/Writing/SS (much less time than the 2 sisters recommend) plus my lessons were hard to teach in that 5-7 minute mini lesson. Here is how I did my blocks.

1 - I tried for 2-3 10-15 minute Mini Lessons (usually 1 comprehension with a Picture book, 1 Writing, and 1 reading/SS for non fiction strategies)
2- Their Daily 5 (independent) activity was between 20-30 minutes long.
3- Your mandated curriculum, common core, or TEKS as we call them in Texas are taught during the mini lessons. Those are your strategies or skills.
4 - While the students are doing their Daily 5, you are pulling your small groups, or individual conference, and this is where your differentiation comes in.

I know for us upper teachers this system seems confusing the first time you go through it. It did for me as well. The first time I read Daily 5, I thought - Wow this is great but how am I going to do this, and this, and this. Then I read CAFE (The second part of this book study) and I went AH HA, that is how. Believe me it all comes together when you have read both books. Cafe will also connect to a lot of the mandated, Common Core, or TEKS requirements. Happy Reading. Hope this helps, and Can't Wait for Chapter 2.

These are my comments from the Daily 5 Book Study I am a part of.  Please feel free to go on over to the actual blog and read what others are saying.

We Read, We Blog, We Teach        We Blog, We Read, We Teach

My first AWARD!!!!

I received this award from Jill at Tales From Second.  Thank you very much.

Now for the Rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. (or bloggers, in my case)

2. Include a link to their site.

3. Include the award image in your post.

4. Give 7 random facts about yourself
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.\

6.  When nominating, include a link to their site. 

7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.
(I love Cut and Paste)

Random Facts about me:
1.  My degree is in business (not teaching - Uh Oh), and I'm an Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay
2.  I was a competitive swimmer in Middle and High School
3.  I have always owned a pet of some kind in my life
4.  I currently  have 2 Dogs (Bailey - Dachshund, and Einstein - Sheltie) and Carter (Canary)
5.  I have only not moved classrooms two times in the past 10 years
6.  I have taught Pre-K 3's, Pre-K 4's, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th
7.  My dream vacation is to visit Sweeden
 My Nominee's
(Okay, I only posted 5, but I'm new to this blogging thing.  Hope everyone has a blessed July!!!)