Friday, August 30, 2013

Five for Friday

It is Friday!

It's a THREE day weekend!

Can I get an AMEN?!

I'm pretty sure there will be a dull roar heard across the world at about 3pm as teachers finish their 1st week and sail into a THREE day weekend!

You did it! You made it! Now go enjoy a nice cold drink ;)

As many of you know and maybe some of you don't, I am not going to be back in the classroom full time this year, just part time. If you had no idea, welcome! If you did, than this is nothing new. If you'd like to read more of why I'm not, check out this post. So my Five for Friday's are going to look a little different until I go back in October.

So even though I did not just survive my 1st week back, I KNOW the feeling! Pure exhaustion, lost voice, feet hurt, bed time has turned to 5:30pm. Go for it!

Onto my link up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.

1. My position with the school district doesn't start until mid-October, so I have been asked by our district's GT (gifted and talented) coordinator if I would take over for a GT teacher at one of our schools for the next 6 weeks. I am very excited about this opportunity! I will have a classroom, small groups to meet with, and fun high order thinking level activities to plan! Who knows? Maybe this is my calling?

2. Since everyone is back at school, I also had to create a schedule for myself. Part of it includes going to the gym AT LEAST 4 times a week. I've made it 3 times so far, as soon as this blog post is done, I'm getting my booty to the gym! My schedule also includes working on wonderful things for you! I am almost done with my "Launching Writer's Workshop". I hope to have it posted by this weekend!

3. Another plus of not going back to school yet is I'm able t make some yummy meals! And let me tell you, this weeks meals were to DIE for! Click on the pictures to take you to the recipes.

Creamy Tomato and Sausage Tortellini. Pretty sure I'm making this again next week! And yes, that is also Sex and the City playing while I cook ;) Don't judge!

Avocado Chicken Salad. This recipe didn't have the exact measurements but it wasn't hard to put together! We also had a yummy tomato, mozzarella, basil salad with balsamic vinegar on top. Again, no recipe, just cut and combine!

4. If you are needing something to read each morning that will encourage your day, than this is it! I am loving this little flipbook my sister gave me of encouraging sayings for every day! I have definitely needed it lately. It's called "Rain on Me" daily moments of hope and encouragement. By Holley Gerth.

5. And last but certainly not least, ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?! We certainly are over at our house! We went to Texas A&M and we can't wait to see the Aggies have an amazing season! I know I have some fellow Aggie readers, make some noise!

Well that's it! Enjoy your weekend and get some rest! :)
 photo FlyingHighSignature3_zps4182a214.png

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Who's That Blogger REVEAL!

Who's that Blogger Reveal & Winners!!!

Michelle from the 3AM Teacher labeled the childhood photos with the matching blogs for you all to peek at!! Because of the volume of entries, winners will be notified throughout the weekend. I appreciate your patience as we send out emails and prizes.

I was picture #14. It was from when I was in kinder :)

Click on each image to see the photo

Winner of the $125 Amazon Gift Card!!!
You will receive an email notification and once your email has been confirmed, I will send you the Amazong gift card!!

Thank you so very much for playing!!
Michelle from the 3AM Teacher created a fun FREEBIE for everyone to grab!! 
Please feel free to share the freebie through pin & she always appreciate your feedback!!
Have a WONDERFUL Sunday!!
Click the image to visit her TpT shop and download the new decorated owl FREEBIE!!

 photo FlyingHighSignature3_zps4182a214.png

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Reader's Workshop

Today I am linking up with Ms. B over at Buzzing with Ms. B for her Reader's Workshop Linky Party.

As we get near the first day back to school, I know we are all thinking about how we are going to teach the first week. Will you just go over rules and no actual teaching or will you jump right into teaching? For me and my district, we jump RIGHT into teaching the 1st day. The logic behind it is to start teaching day 1 so that the kids start seeing what the rest of their year will look like!

My district is very big on the workshop model and we do it for math, reading, and writing. I wanted to share with you how I launch reader's workshop in my classroom.

If you are new to the workshop model this is what it looks like. Mini lesson, independent reading/centers (during this time I meet with small groups), sharing (normally reading from their reader's response journals). The total time of the workshop can vary (60 minutes at the most) depending on the length of the mini lesson, but remember, the lesson is MINI. So make it short! No more than 15 minutes.

For the first 3 weeks of school I am teaching the students why we read, how we read, what we do when we get to a word when don't know, how to write in our reader's response journal, etc. all within the workshop model. So when I'm ready to start teaching predicting, inferring, visualization, my students already know the workshop model and can easily transition!

Here is an example of how the 1st day of reader's workshop would look in my classroom.

I would bring the students to the carpet (that's where all of our learning happens). I have my easel up there and all of my supplies ready to use for filling out anchor charts.

The first day I talk about why we read. And as a class we brainstorm ideas of why we read and record them on our "Why Readers Read" anchor chart.

A trick I use so that I can use these anchor charts year after year is write the students responses on sticky notes and stick them to the anchor chart. Then at the end of the year, pull off the sticky notes, and store the anchor chart till next year!

All of our anchor charts are displayed ALL year long for students to refer to whenever they need!

After the "purpose of reading" mini lesson I tell the kids that we are going to read a book for fun today. I think it is so important to read to your kids DAILY! My favorite author is Mo Willems. I always start out with a pigeon book. They LOVE them! After I read it we talk about why we read that book. Of course to have fun and entertain us! And it of course entertained us! That darn pigeon!

Day 2 and 3 of school will consist more of what the mini lesson will look like and what independent reading will look like. Here are some of the other anchor charts we do within the first few weeks.

Baby steps are so important when you are laying the groundwork for the workshop. Don't try to shove too much into one day because you'll end up having to reteach it later because they aren't going to remember.

If you would like to do reader's workshop in your classroom, check out my "Launching Reader's Workshop" unit in my Teacher's Pay Teachers store. It is geared for K-2. I promise if you stick with the lessons, you're kiddos will be ready to tackle reader's workshop in 3 weeks! Kids strive on consistency and that's what reader's workshop does for you!

If you have any questions about reader's workshop, please do not hesitate to email me at I'd love to help!
 photo FlyingHighSignature3_zps4182a214.png

Who's That Blogger?

Welcome Everyone!!

         Are you ready to have some fun??
                                              ....Play a game?
                                                              .....Win  prizes and cash?

I have teamed up with 65 AMAZING blogger buddies to put together the ultimate Back to School Linky/Giveaway!!!

Each one of my blogger buddies submitted a cute childhood photo & generously donated something special from their online TpT shops for this occasion!! We have included a fun game for you to play for a chance to win over $300.00 in prizes and a BONUS  CASH-PRIZE raffle you can enter at the end of this post!! 
The game is easy to play....

 Your job will be to try and match each blogger with their childhood photo!!! With over 60 childhood photos and bloggers to match up, this might get tricky!! As I mentioned above, each blogger has generously donated one awesome prize from their TpT store. Successfully match a blogger and childhood photo, and you win the prize offered from that blogger!!! The more you matches you make, the more prizes you win!!! 

Check out some of the prizes you could win!!!

but Wait....
That's not all....

ONE lucky follower will win a $125 Amazon Gift Card!! Scroll to the bottom & follow the directions in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win $$$

The link below will open a form that will allow you to submit your answers for the match up. 

Use the blogger links and numbered images to help you along the way!! Each childhood photo has been assigned a specific number. 

Once you open the form, use the drop-down menu beneath each blog button and select a number that corresponds to a childhood photo. 

The form results will be collected throughout the week. At the end of the week, each submission will be "graded" and you will receive a prize for each blogger and photo you successfully matched up!!

The game closes on Friday, August 23rd at midnight (Arizona Mountain Time). Answers will be announced on Saturday, August 24th. Winners will be notified through email throughout the week. 

Use the blog links below the photos to search for clues!!
Click HERE to Play the Matching Game!!


Follow the directions in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $125 Amazon gift card!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for participating!!! Good Luck!!!

If you would like to post about this linky/giveaway, grab the special image below to display in your post and link up below!!! Make sure to use the link to the actual post...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Best and Most {linky}

Don't you remember voting on the "best dressed" and "most likely to succeed" in high school? Well, a group of bloggers and I are going to do the same thing with products we use in your classrooms!

As we close in on the Back to School Sale, it's fun to think about everything you want to buy to make the most out of your year with your babies! So I want to show you what I feel is the "best and most" of what I use in my classroom.

But first, I must share with you my high school drill team picture. I never was voted anything in my high school yearbook, so this will have to do :)
I've always wondered if that uniform still fits. I don't dare find out though :)

Now, onto the best and most of things to use in the classroom.

Let's start with the "Teacher's Pet". My teacher's pet is my "All About Me" book. I LOVE this activity because it's a great way for students to help me get to know them at the beginning of the year. The students also learn about each other as they work through the book. I love listening to the conversations around this activity. It is also not a writing intensive activity, so even your babies who are not the best of writers, aren't afraid to tackle it.

Next up is "Most Likely to Help Your Student Succeed". I love these centers packets because they include simple centers activities that will build up your student's confidence as you are teaching how centers work in your classroom. What I also love about these units is they work for numerous grade levels. The 1st grade set can be used in 1st grade at the beginning of the year or kinder a few months in. Same goes for the 2nd grade set. It can be used in 2nd grade at the beginning of the year or 1st grade a few months in.

The "Best Couple" goes to "What is a Scientist?" and "Launching Reader's Workshop". You may be thinking, how do science and reading go together? Well let me tell you! They are a great couple because both units are a great way to introduce science and reading into your classroom at the beginning of the year!

Well that wraps up the Best and Most of things I use in my classroom. I hope that you are able to get everything you need to make your classroom successful this year during the sale!

My store will be 20% off Sunday and Monday and don't forget to add in the code BTS13 to get an extra 10% off when you check out! This is not something you want to miss!

Head over to Christina's blog to check out the other bloggers who are sharing their "Best and Most".

 photo FlyingHighSignature3_zps4182a214.png

Friday, August 16, 2013

Teacher Week {tricks and tips}

Every good thing must come to an end and today the end of Teacher Week is here! I hope that you were able to learn something new from me this week, whether is was something new about me or something new you can use in your classroom.

Today's topics is Tips and Tricks.

I was so sad to miss yesterday's topic, {taming the wild}, but I was up at school with my sister helping her organize her library. It's turned out great and looks so much better than just books thrown on a shelf. 

This also happens to be my FIRST tip. Have an organized library so that it's easier for your students to pick out books, put them back in the right spot, and it's one more thing you don't have to worry about being a mess all year long.

This is how I organize my library. They are categorized by genre and topics and put into buckets. Each bucket has a label on it with a colored sticker. All of the books that go IN that bucket have the same colored sticker. So when the child comes back to the library they just have to look for the sticker.

What if you have lots of books and only 4 colored stickers? No worries! Put a number on each sticker and you can make lots of them! So you would have a 1 buckets in all the colors, then a 2 bucket in all the colors and so on.

Now for my trick. I LOVE this trick and some of you may already do it, but I must share! It's called the mystery walker. I have a jar of popcicle sticks with my students numbers on them. I pull one before we leave to go anywhere in the school and don't show them. I watch that student as we walk to our destination. If they do a good job, they get to clip up on our clip chart. If they don't, then they don't. If they don't earn their clip up, I don't tell who the person was. Normally the class can figure it out anyways ;)

Well I hope you enjoyed teacher week and I will thinking of all of you as you get ready for back to school. I know we are all stressed about getting everything perfect, but it will all work out in the end. Enjoy your year of loving on those babies!

And to make going back to school a little less painful, TpT is throwing their Back to School SALE! It is here! So start filling up your cart and get ready! It'll be here on Sunday and Monday. Even if you're already back at school, you cannot miss this sale.

Be on the look out tomorrow! I will be listing some of my favorite units that you just can't pass up. Get excited!
 photo FlyingHighSignature3_zps4182a214.png

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Teacher Week {Now Teach- organization}

For some reason organization seems to be hard for some teachers. For me, I love it, but I also feel like I could do better. Whenever my teammates come into my room and I complain about not being organized they normally laugh, because I am VERY organized, but I always strive to be more organized that I was the year before. So I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' to show you how I organize things in my classroom.
First off I want to show you how I organize all of my curriculum information. This includes lesson plans, scope and sequence, year at a glance, testing schedule, etc. I use binders. I started this last year and I love how much it has helped me stay organized.

I have a binder for practically everything. Here's a peek into some of them.

I use Reading A-Z for running records. If your district doesn't have it, you should really talk to whoever is in charge because they are the best! Great for doing quick running records or sending home for guided reading.

My math binder houses all of my lessons for the year along with testing schedules and scope and sequences.

This binder is used for when I meet with small groups during math workshop. In my district we also do something called "First Steps". It's a program to help bridge the gaps for our low babies!

I always make sure to have my groups written out so that if I forget, I can easily go look!

My guided reading binder is alot like my guided math binder.

I include my guided reading groups, our district reading correlation chart, our schedule for what level our kids should be on every month, what I should be working on them with for their certain level, my guided reading lessons for certain books, and of course Rachelle's reader's response sheets. I keep TONS of them in pocket protectors so if I need something to send home on a whim, voila! I can just pull it out and send it home.

My next binder is my writing conference binder. I somehow didn't take a picture of the cover, but here's what's inside.

I have my writing conference schedule and my documentation page that I have for every student. Great way to get some quick documentation for writing time.

This binder is another favorite! It's only 1 binder! Did I trick ya? :) But it acts as 2 different things. This is where I house my students information sheets along with any communication I have with parents.

This list is imperative :) You can tell how many times I've used it through out the year. This is the first page in the binder.

I have dividers for every student. I number them so I can use this binder year after year.

Behind each tab is their information sheet, that you can download from my TpT store for FREE here. After that I put notebook paper for me to document conversations that I have with parents that need to be documented. THIS my friends, is GOLD! When you need the documentation, it's right there! Also, don't wait to write it down. Write as soon as the conversation is over if it's in person and if it's on the phone, write as you talk!

This is also where I house all of my volunteer information. I send home my volunteer sheet at Meet the Teacher night and then keep them here. I also print off my volunteer schedule so I can reference it easily.

AND the best part about this binder is when we go on a field trip, I just grab it and we go! It has all of my students information (allegies, parents numbers, etc) that I might need on a field trip.

Ok, next I want to show you how I organize all of my papers for the week. I promise, it's quick! :)

I have a crate with hanging folders for every day.

Then I have these folders in each hanging folder. I put them in order of my schedule for the day.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!! Just pop those babies in there when you make copies! And then it's waiting there for you for the next day!

To organize how my kids turn in their work I bought hanging file folders and gave them each a folder. They would turn their work in there and if they didn't put their name on it, I knew who's it was because it was in their folder :) Genius I tell ya!

If you are needing help keep your parents in on what's going on in your classroom, and this is for you!

 This product is an editable 12 month editable newsletter! My parents LOVE getting this newsletter because it keeps them in the loop!

PHEW! I hope you held on through that blog post! I know it was long, but I just had to share how I organize in my room! It's such a great thing to get under control so that you can focus on teaching those babies!
 photo FlyingHighSignature3_zps4182a214.png