Thursday, April 30, 2015

Five For Friday

Hellllooooo out there in teacherland!  Happy Friday to you!  Thanks to Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching, here's a little Five For Friday from our corner of the world!

This week's theme?  You know summer's on its way when......

You know summer's on its way when the first rose of the season shows up in your garden!  Definitely a sign that school is almost over summer is on its way!  This beauty made my heart happy! Thank you David Austen!

You know summer's on its way when you have to get the dog's pool out! Our weather has been so great this year....wait remember we live in the Seattle area....rain...cold...but not this year, so we got the pool out in APRIL! Gasp!  Unheard of!  Rosie, Boomer and Ginsey are all water dog breeds and they LOVE to get soaked.  Think we need a bigger pool though since two of them are "giant breeds."

You know summer's on its way when the kiddos are getting dive bombed with unpleasantness from the little birdies! Yep!  Look up!  See those rafters in the basketball courtyard?  They are full of bird's nests.  Most of the 750 kiddles in the school have to walk through this courtyard when they are dismissed.  And those birdies waaaay up there?  Well they make it a regular obstacle course I tell ya....trying to get through there without any little "presents" dropped on you. The third grade girls feel it is their utmost DUTY to waste time in reading group give me a daily report on how many of their friends have been recipients of these little "presents" on their coats each day.  Ewww!

You know summer's on its way when the firsties from my neighboring class, put up these adorable projects! Aren't they so pretty?  Just a little bit of happiness right there! Thanks Ms. Ng for sharing!

You know summer's on its way when you are working on TPT projects for Life Cycles and the Ocean!  Here's our newest Life Cycles Differentiated Leveled Reading Passages Set that we just finished yesterday.  We are all about differentiation at our school and these just make it so easy!  You can supplement your science topics by providing vocabulary instruction to the whole class, then have them read at their own levels either on their own or in your reading groups!  Teachers love the text dependent and thinking questions pages, as well as the sight word and vocabulary games. So if you need some resources for your guided reading groups, you can click on the picture or get them here.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday's Tip

Hi everyone!  How's your week going?  Very well, I hope!  You know how I know that summer is on its way? The weather is warmer, the birds are singing, and.......the kids are totally distracted!  Who can blame them?  They aren't into learning right now.  Maybe it's all that testing the state does, or maybe it's just spring fever!  Whatever the case, it's that time of year when we need to kick fun up a notch or two to keep the kiddos engaged and motivated.  So here's an oldie but goody that I've been using this week to keep kiddos excited about learning.

These kiddos are working on reading words with inflectional endings, correctly. How to keep them motivated?  Let them use the word cards (any word cards) to build a road.  It can be curvy, it can be straight, it can be any which way they would like.  Then give 'em cars, letting them choose their fave color of course, and have them drive along the road, reading the words as they go.  They LOVE it! Some times we have the Grand Prix, during which they have to read all of the words correctly with no help! Whoever does it is a winner! (Of course they can all be's no fun to only have one winner!) The winners get a little "award ribbon" sticker that I have, but any sticker would do, or even just the fun of being a winner is good enough, too! is a fun way to learn that sure gets my kiddos engaged.  Give it a try if your kiddos are a little tuned out.  It's a lot of fun!

Have a great week everyone!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Five for Friday!!!

Hey everyone!!! Phew...this has been a whopper of a week and I am worn out. Good thing it's my favorite time of the week...FIVE FOR FRIDAY!!! I am linking up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching to share with you my week.

Don't let this smile fool you...this girl is sick! She's got the sick hair to prove it! She had a nasty bug this week and was throwing up. YUCK! Poor thing...nothing is worse than your little girl being so sick! Good thing she's got a snuggle buddy! We are very fortunate that my husband works nights and can stay home with her during the day. The good news is...she's perking up! I give her a day and she will be back to 100% and ready for her birthday this weekend:)

This week we are focusing on 2D and 3D shapes. This was my kiddos favorite activity:) Any time you let them be creative AND have food...they are hooked. My purpose was just to teach them the difference between a 2D and 3D shape but they took it further by trying to make and name different 3D shapes. Success!!

After reading Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites by Marcia Tate, I really wanted to start having "families." I love to have my kiddos work in groups but I really like the idea of having the same groups and having them build a responsibility for each other. So this week we gave it a go. We have four families. Each member has a job, hence the tags, and they work together to solve problems, make sure everyone gets it and provide support for each other. It's been great! They are really getting comfortable with each other and asking for help from each other. I wish I would have started this sooner (palm to face moment)!

I have decided that Earth Day is one of my favorite days!! I LOVE how involved the kiddos get! They really take to heart what we talk about and try to make a difference. Plus, The Lorax is one of my favorite books and we spend a lot of time discussing it and doing some reflective thinking. I do think that Our Tree Named Steve may be taking over as my favorite. I almost cried the first time I read it! Of course, I was pregnant at the time...I pretty much cried at everything:)

Yippeeeeee!! Erin Condren is having a teacher appreciation sale...25% off!!!! So, I HAD to order my plan book for next year. I's on sale so I HAD to do it now:) You can tell you're a teacher when you get excited about a plan book...

I hope you all have a wonderful, restful weekend!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday's Tip

Happy Tuesday everyone!'s only a few more weeks to the end of the year for most schools, and the pressure's on to help our kiddles really "cement" what they've learned this year. Here's an idea for you if your kiddles haven't yet mastered main idea, details, and compare and contrast. All of these are critical core standards that kiddles need for life, not to mention the SBAC and the ELL tests our own kiddles take. In our teaching, we are committed and passionate about providing materials that all students can access, so we use a lot of our differentiated, leveled passages.  But we are always finding other materials with which they can read and compare them as well.  Books, Scholastic News, videos...we are always on the hunt.  So we are excited (picture me doing the happy dance in the middle of the store...oh yeah) when we find a new text that matches well for comparison with our leveled passages.

This week, it was good ol' Kohl's to the rescue!  They happen to have fabulous books right now by the wonderful author, Julie Fogliano, for only five bucks!  That's right....five bucks!  Now you could go to Dairy Queen and have their five buck lunch, or if you are a teacher, you'll probably opt to go for the five bucks books at Kohl's!  And for only $15, I can get a set of three that are just right for my intervention groups!  What a deal!  So this week my second graders listened to me read "and then it's spring" by Fogliano, while they took notes on main idea and details, writing them on a side-by-side sheet. (Listening comprehension is a HUGE must-master skill...but more on that another time.) Next, the kiddles read our "Spring Changes" passages, highlighted the main idea and details, then took notes on the other side of the side-by-side notes sheet. Finally, they highlighted the notes from both books that are the same.  Here they are getting ready to write a summary about what's the same and what's different.

 I love this lesson because it combines so many must learn strategies, and because it is such a great visual way for students to understand and see what is the same and what is different. So hop in the car and run right down to Kohl's to pick up some of Fogliano's great books for only five bucks! (I also highly recommend the one called "if you want to see a whale."  You'll need it in a couple of weeks when you are studying the ocean....or just reading about it while you dream of summer vacay!) Hurry....go get some of those great books, and hang in there....just a few weeks to go!

Happy Teaching!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Five for Friday!!

Yippee Skippee, it's Friday again!  Oh how I love you, Friday my friend!  Here's a Five for Friday update with a giant thank you to Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting our favorite linky party!

This week started off with the sweetest surprise from a little kiddle that I work with!  She made me this beautiful birthday card!  Hallmark has nothing on a handmade card by a child, right?  This shall sit on my desk for the rest of the year!  It makes me smile every day!

You know spring is here when.......your oldest grandbaby plays her first ever T-ball game!  T-ball is my most favorite sport EVER because it is so hilarious to watch, and to have our oldest grandbaby playing...well that is just the best!  Never you mind that she played shadow tag out in center field for a good part of the game, or that she is still practicing her professional stance....check that stance out in the pic!  I mean they are only 4, for goodness sake! AND evidently her little brother, our youngest grandbaby, is going to be a professional sports photographer!  Oh yeah...he's practicing that already!

And in groups this week?  GLAD strategies abound!  They aren't just great for ELLs, they're great for EVERY learner.  First up this week, we used the Picture Card strategy with second graders to learn vocabulary, think about how things are connected, and predict what we might be reading about! (Fighting Fires)   The kiddles LOVE this strategy and I am always amazed how it develops language and vocabulary almost better than anything we've ever used at our school...with apologies to Mr. Marzano.  Eek!

The second GLAD strategy we were using was the Key Word strategy.  We use this all the time, but this week it was for the word "opinion."  Firsties are working on that CCSS this month, so we are practicing in group too!  Here are two of the firsties using their hand signals while saying the definition...."opinon - how you think or feel about something."  We say it to the ceiling, we say it to the floor, we say it to the teacher, we say it to the door!  Another great strategy for helping to learn vocabulary!

Now I'm off to prep for Earth Day!  Ginsey is ready, are you?  If not, we have a freebie for you!  You can get a copy of our Earth Day Leveled Passages set here.  Go get it and you'll be ready for guided reading groups next week!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday's Tip

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Hope your week is going well!  Do you know how many weeks it is until school is out for the summer?  Well....I haven't wanted to count yet, but I can tell that it can't be that far away, because even the sweetest kiddles seem to have forgotten how to be kind to each other.  Seems to happen every year around this know....Spring Fever?  What to do? What to do?  I think it's time for a readaloud to the rescue!  Here's a new book that is just the ticket....especially for K-3.  It's called "Stick and Stone" by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld.

It is the sweetest story about how Stick comes to Stone's rescue when Pinecone bullies him. "Stick and Stone stick up for each other because friends rock!" Such a great story to remind your littles about being kind and being good friends.  And if you'd like more ideas to go with it, including printable friendship bracelets, you can go to this link for the publisher's extras for this book!

Easy peasy and a great lesson and reminder about being a good friend.  Hope it makes the journey to summer vacation a little easier for you.

Have a great week everyone, and Happy Reading!


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Five for Friday!!

Hey everyone!! Lindsey here and I am happy to report that I am on SPRING BREAK!!! If you aren't on spring break you may not be as happy as me, BUT I am having a wonderful week. We are linking up with Kacey from Doodlebugs Teaching for a little Five for Friday, which is all about my spring break:)

 Let's get this kicked off with last Sunday:) We had a wonderful Easter. Usually holidays are not very fun for me...We've got two small kiddos who nap and running around from house to house makes for cranky kiddos. This year, I am happy to report, that the kiddos had a really good day. We made it through church and two grandparent's houses with minimal meltdowns.

 Let's move on to Tuesday:) On Tuesday we went to the Seattle Aquarium. We go to the zoo a lot but we don't visit the aquarium that much. It's in downtown Seattle and we aren't really "city" people. We may get a little cranky when it comes to navigating through that many this was more of our yearly visit:)

Did you know the coolest part of the Aquarium is the felt board???? We take it back old school around here. 

We also went on the Great Wheel while we were at the waterfront. My daughter has only seen it from the freeway so I was pretty certain when she saw how BIG it is she would back out...she LOVED it!!!

 Also on Tuesday, we went to IKEA. It was a busy day for us:)

See...on our way to the aquarium my mom told us she needs to get a crib so my kiddos could spend the night. Now, since my son was born he hasn't spent a night away from us...he wasn't a very good sleeper. WELL...when my mom said she wanted to take BOTH kiddos bet your uncle we went straight to IKEA and got the crib. Then we had to make it fit in the car...

He was okay with being squished... the idea of a kiddo free night made it worth it :)

 On to Thursday...

...we went to the zoo. We LOVE the zoo and we like to go A LOT! We were lucky to go with some family. The kiddos love to hang with their cousins. Today we were lucky to have beautiful weather so a lot of the animals were out...they were sleeping...but they were out:)

Here's the gorilla making faces at the kiddos...Em thought it was HILARIOUS!!!

Okay...I know I said I was writing all about my spring break but I ran out of stuff. SO, instead I am going to share with you our new product...which I finished this week so it kinda fits the theme...

I teach second and folktales is specifically mentioned in our core, so, I needed some fables! Included in this set are five different Aesop's fables. Each fable has 6 different levels. This way I can work with all the levels of my kiddos on understanding the same moral. So far, we only have this bundle up. I am going to work to have the individual fables posted by the end of the weekend. Click HERE or on the picture to get the bundle :)

If you are on spring break, I hope yours is wonderful! If not, it's all downhill from here...I can smell summer!!

Have a great week!