Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What I Wore & GR Pumpkin Freebie!

Happy October 1st!

Looooove October...fall leaves, new boots, a weekend trip to Florida (in 23 days!), and EVERYTHING pumpkin. I was so excited for my favorite month, I  "may" have brought out a few pumpkin activities last week. I also received this awesome delivery at school:

Miss DeCarbo's Wordless Wednesday linky:

I ♥ this picture!
He couldn't stop smelling the flower! 

I'm also linking up with The Pleated Poppy for
What I Wore Wednesday!

Did anyone else pick up these cute boots from Target?
They are very comfy!

This was the too-huge blouse I purchased for the Work Your Wear Challenge. I like it because it's out of my comfort zone, but then I chickened out and wore this:

I chose basic black with a cute cardigan. It felt like a smarter choice because of my HUGE observation & meetings, plus our temperatures are wacky from classroom to classroom!
I can't wait for the Fall Style Me Challenge to start - I'm all registered and patiently waiting for "the list." I'll be back posting soon about some action shots from my Positively De-Frightful Math packet and here's a throwback post with a pumpkin freebie for Guided Reading:


More Guided Reading Freebies & Thanks!

It's Sunday...which means most teachers are busy prepping for the upcoming week, right?

(Quick side note: check out the above pic that's NOT blurry! Yes! I finally dug out my digital camera, long abandoned after I got my iphone...TWO years ago). 

Every Sunday, I'm dotting my i's and crossing my t's to make sure my Power Hour is set. We meet at 8:30 and I can't turn my back on this fun-loving group for even 10 seconds! That means if my sentence charts aren't ready, so be it! Every book is folded, stapled, labeled, and ready to go before those sweeties enter the room (and then reenter because they ran the first time & I make them do it again).

I've also been offering my Reading A-Z support materials as Sunday Freebies the last couple weeks and plan to keep it up! Right now we're on Level A with Level B on the horizon. If you need higher levels, be sure to click the Guided Reading label on the right-hand side. That's where you'll find higher levels, like F and G (sigh).

This week I'm using Maria Counts Pumpkins from Reading A-Z:

Click HERE to download!
There's also a page for Pumpkin #6 and 7 :)

As I was procrastinating researching my blog stats, I noticed some traffic from this awesome blog! A big thank you to Looking From Third to Fourth  for sharing my math freebie!

If the above links didn't work for you, you can click here to view the original post!

Thanks for reading - have a wonderful week!

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Giveaway, Observations, & Spiders!

Happy Sunday!

Lots of exciting things happening in the upcoming week! 
Too many exciting things ;)

I have two observations this week! The first one is on Tuesday for 1.5 hours. The district will be observing a student I work with and will be making important decisions that will affect his education. Please send positive vibes that they do what is right for this precious boy. 

The other observation is a video taping of a Close Reading lesson. One of the assistant principals and I are participating in a Text Complexity course and she will be taping and providing feedback for our "mid-course project." 

Close Reading occurs as a whole group during our comprehension block. As a special educator, I pull small groups to check for understanding...i.e.: we may do an additional passage (versus close reading a book during comprehension) and I will explicitly model going back into the text to highlight the evidence. I also have two first graders participating in a close reading activity during a pull-out intervention. This is such a fun time when we are close reading a "theme" and digging deep using a variety of multi-sensory strategies and texts. 

Last week was our autumn theme kick-off
and this week it's all about spiders! 
We will be exploring the following texts this week:

I also put together a quick nonfiction Spiders emergent reader with vocabulary cards: 

and created rhyming word cards to match up
after reading Aileen Fisher's poem Spiders:

As we explore spiders this week, we will be incorporating all of our senses with our weekly rotating sensory bin. I was sad to see last week's go, but then I's not about me! 
I wonder what my students will think of this:

It's filled with plastic spiders, black beans, pom-poms, etc. plus the vocabulary and rhyming cards mentioned above. At first, I had made a bin using the fake cobwebs (both the white fuzzy kind and the fishing net -style) - I DON'T RECOMMEND IT! I ended up throwing the whole thing out (!!!), except for the tiny pieces that will forever be part of my house now :(

I also found so many great slime-y ideas and pinned them to my SENSE-ational board. I'm just not brave enough to use them. 

I made 4 QR code cards for early finishers. 
There are 3 read aloud stories and one video about spiders! 
Please click here to download the cards.

I plan to bundle up all my fall themes soon! 
They need to be student-tested and approved first :)

Today (Sunday September 28th) is the last day for my GRITTY Giveaway! Please click here to enter to win my GRIT Trackers: Student Data Notebook packet! 

This post is linked up with Mrs. Jump's Class

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

I also shared this post with Simply Centers

Have a fantastic week!

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Friday, September 26, 2014

5 for Friday & a GRITTY Giveaway!

Happpppppy Friiiiiday!

Oh, this is a wonderful day!

We have a full day of Professional Development today and our students have the day off! On our agenda: more STEP training, setting up Power Hour (reading intervention) groups, extended team meetings, and a few other things I'm forgetting.
Definitely a day for a venti Pumpkin Spice!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching
for an exciting Five for Friday!

5. Gratitude!

This week was a tough one. This year has already been a tough one! Some years are like that. Last year was absolutely wonderful...I would say to my students "it's time for fact fluency!" and they would cheer and be SO excited! This year, I'm reminding students that we sit in our chairs, with our fingers safely out of our mouth, nose, ears...and that's okay. It's just a different type of year :)

It's always easier though when you have incredible support from your teammates, especially in the form of a surprise in your inbox. Here's two separate items I received this week:

Seriously, how wonderful is that note? 
Especially when my students are noisily moving throughout the building (we're working on it!)...I appreciate the kind words!

And you may have seen this on my Instagram:

This just makes me so happy :)
People are so kind and this treat came from one of the most incredible special educators I've ever met!

4. Check out these readers!

We don't officially start Power Hour for another two weeks, but I've been pulling small groups of below-level readers. We have no time to waste! This week we read The Very Busy Hen from Leveled Literacy Instruction and compared it to a read aloud of The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone. They rocked it!

3. Brain Breaks: Self-Selected!

Who needs technology? This is how my student celebrates hard work...he's rapping his math facts for a brain break!
Watch out American Idol!

2. It's time!!! The Fall Style Me Challenge opens today! Have you signed up? I. Cannot. WAIT! Here's yesterday's outfit:

I wasn't sure about it...I love the WHBM burgundy pants...except they are the type that "grow" throughout the day :(  By the end of the day, they are falling off! So I paired it with a larger shirt from the Work Your Wear Challenge list. Completely out of my comfort zone & a much more casual look for work than I'm used to. But no worries, because when I arrived at school, I realized my co-teacher chose almost the exact same outfit!

I guess this means I "have to" go purchase the same pair of Toms (hers are SO cute!).

1. Positive Feedback

I try to share little moments of happiness (and sometimes desperation) from my teaching week here on my blog. I also try very hard not to focus solely on marketing and tooting my own horn. Nobody wants to read that! But I did want to share this feedback I received this week because it literally made me cry
(I had an emotional week)!


I've reread it maybe 50 times! I may have also snapped a photo and emailed to a few people ;) It took me more than two years to complete my GRIT Trackers packet and I put everything I've got into it! I also presented on it this past summer at the KIPP School Summit in Houston. I'm so excited about this feedback and decided to throw a giveaway! You can read more about this packet and my presentation here

Hurry! the giveaway is a quick one! It's opens right now and ends at midnight this Sunday. I can't wait to hear how you will incorporate GRIT trackers with your students!

Please sign up below to win this 215 page resource! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you very much! 

For sticking with this l-o-n-g post, I'm also linking up with Teaching Blog Addicts for a festive Freebie Friday!

Freebie Fridays

It's an easy & effective addition to Daily 5 and/or Guided Reading block. I also have a collection to last the entire year here:

It's on sale 50% off through Sunday - only $2.25!

Have a fantastic Friday!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WIWW: Autumn Faves & Freebie!

Happy Wednesday!

Boy, am I missing Alison's Style Me Challenge!

The Work Your Wear Challenge has been over for a few weeks and my wardrobe-accountability is suffering! My UGG boots are trying to make a comeback. The fall and winter challenges have already been announced...thank goodness! I'm patiently waiting for the magical enrollment email! 

If you want to join me in the fun, please click right here!

If you need more convincing...

I have that scarf! And the jeans and a camel pullover. 
But I don't have those boots...yet!

This is just one sneak peek of the fall outfits!
There's more here. The best part about participating...
many items are already in your closet!  

I started participating in these challenges last spring. I also signed up for Stitch Fix at the same time (it was a desperation move last Spring Break when I was in a huge style rut). I did have to part ways with Stitch Fix :(  I LOVE reading about other bloggers' "fixes" and seeing their cute items, but my monthly fixes didn't work out. The styles and/or fit weren't my style and they were a little too expensive for my teacher salary. I did stick with the Style Me Challenges for three more (& counting) times. I found I could either find the items inexpensively (Old Navy, Target, Ann Taylor Loft) or an alternative in my closet! It's been so much fun and I've relearned how to dress myself again! At the end of each challenge, you receive a printable picture/list of each outfit. Perfect for laminating and putting on a book ring for people like me ;)

So, here's what I've was wearing this week:

Which do you like better?
I wasn't sure about the vest, but I kept it on & received many sweet compliments at school ♥  I just picked up the black ankle boots from DSW & they are super-comfy!

Today I went with a "safer" of my old no-brainer dresses, Lululemon leggings, and slouchy boots:

The above "Fashion Snap" is linked up with The Pleated Poppy and Tucker Up! They are must-see sites to check out for those who need some fashion inspiration (and help!). 

I also wanted to share some autumn faves and freebies!

My students are busy exploring this in our literacy-focused intervention block this week :)

Please click here to read more!

I wish you could SMELL the sensory bin above...cinnamon and "autumn" scented, yum! The above picture is linked up with 
Miss DeCarbo's Wordless Wednesday :)

Someday (next fall?) I will package A-L-L the sensory play and literature ideas I'm using! It's been truly MAGICAL in unlocking the learning with my students. 

I also discovered a GEM in my old(er) teaching supplies:

BOO for blurry pictures :(

Check out the little apples! I found about SIXTY of them in a Lakeshore math kit! Can you imagine how excited first graders are about these little apples? Especially when they can earn one full minute of play time IF they work hard?!?

We used them with my themed Number Bonds. I just updated this packet to include number bond math mats. Here's another option for the apple mat. You can download this freebie here!

Here's another autumn set that includes more apples and other fall favorites! I picked up acorn and fall leaves "table scatter" to use with this packet :)

Before I sign's a quick plea for help! 
I just sent out this SOS on my Facebook page:

Bummer, please read "complete" as completed...
it's a bit too early here!

Thank you & have a wonderful Wednesday!

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