Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reading and Writing Packet to Send Home for Summer

Many of you are already enjoying your summer, but school is still in session for some of us. If you are looking for something to send home with your students to keep them reading and writing over the summer, please check out my Summer Reading and Writing Packet for Home on Tpt.

It's finally heating up in Michigan... but I'm not aloud to complain about the heat, right? 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Classroom Jobs

I was in my classroom today (yep, Sunday).  I was supposed to be working on a list of about a million things, because it seems like I can't get anything done with all the special activities and meetings at the end of the year. While I was there, I added about another 15 things to my "change for next year list".

I have a few jobs for students in my classroom.  Honestly, I struggle a bit with classroom jobs.  I work really hard to make sure students are responsible for themselves and their own area in many ways.  I would like to add a few though.  I rotate the jobs each week, so that students get a chance to do different jobs throughout the year. I took this picture of my "job pockets" a few days ago. A few of the jobs are not in the picture.  I made a new sign for next year. Using laminated library pockets with their names on craft sticks is easy for me to manage, so I'll continue with that system for next year.

The "jobs" in my classroom this year included:  book bags, snack drinks, lunch cards, attendance cards, paper passers, book shelf keeper, morning message checker.  The picture only shoes a few of the jobs and I made a new sign recently.  Next year, I'd like to add a few.  If you have "jobs" in your room are willing to share your "jobs", I'd love to hear about them!

Click on the picture below if you'd like to download the new sign that I will be using for next year.

Off to bed, so I can wake up early to get ready for my favorite parade of the entire year.  The Memorial Day parade where my family lives is AMAZING!  I cry every year... a proud, happy cry of course.

Mel at Oh The Places We'll Go and Mrs. Lochel at Keeping Up With The Kindergarteners are both having linking parties about classroom jobs.  Stop by to visit them to read other blogs on this topic.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Leveled Book Lists

I finally found time to revise the leveled book lists that I give out to parents (and teachers). In my district, we use the Fountas/Pinnell leveling system.  My lists include several book titles at each level.  The lists go from level B to level M.  I did not include level A, because level A books are difficult for parents to find at the library or a store.  Since I'm in a K - 2 building, the highest level I made was level M.

I make copies of the lists and cut them in half, so I can send the list for one level home at a time with my students. It makes me 5 kinds of bonkers when parents have their child practicing Magic Tree House books when the child is really a level B. That's why I only send the list for their child's just right reading level home.  Each time a child moves to a new reading level, I send a note home to notify their parents.  I often send the just right book list for their new level home at the same time to help parents find appropriate reading material for their child at home.  I also send a just right book list home with each child  at the end of the year with my Summer Reading and Writing Practice for Home packet.  The packet is available on Tpt.

I always include the instructions for using the Scholastic Book Wizard. Parents can type in the title of any book from the list and get a list of additional just right books to help their child practice at home. I also suggest that they take the list to the library or bookstore. I am super lucky to work in a district where parents really want to help their children succeed in school

You can click on the pictures below to download a copy of the lists and the book wizard instructions.

Hope someone can use these.  Thank goodness it's Friday!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

End of Year Survey

A few teachers emailed me to ask if I'd post the parent survey I use at the end of the year. I revised it a little, so it was not specific to my own classroom.

Over the years, I have received mostly positive feedback and some great suggestions. Occasionally, I receive a completed survey that makes me roll my eyeballs, say things that I wouldn't want my kids to hear and call my own mom to complain. The helpful and positive feedback I've received still makes it worth sending the survey in my opinion.

Here it is to use if you'd like to give it a try.
Hope you have a great week!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hurry the Sale Ends Today!

Today is the last day for my Tpt store sale! Everything is 20% off today.

Some of my featured items include a Father's Day book, a Memory Book, a Get Ready for Summer Writing/Drawing Activities packet and a Summer Reading and Writing Practice for Home packet.

It's Saturday and I woke up (later than 5 a.m.) and the sun is shining (unlike so many other days lately) and we only have 1 scheduled event this entire weekend (unlike the out of control schedule we've had the past few weekends). Off to grab a Dt. Dew to start my day (yep, even on Saturdays). Oh happy day!
Hope your day is just as happy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Giveaway at Mrs. I's Class

Cathy at Mrs. I's Class is having a giveaway! She is celebrating reaching 150 followers. Stop by her blog to find out how to enter.

Congratulations, Cathy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

High Frequency Phrases

Happy Friday (well almost)!

My school is a K-2 building. Someone recently asked me how I work on reading fluency with my 1st graders. We do not time students for fluency in my building. We do work on a variety of activities to practice good reading fluency.

One of the things I do in my daily routine is practice high frequency phrases with my students. I put 3 or 4 phrases in a small pocket chart each week. We read them together the first day, then individual students come up to read the phrases each day. The students are also invited to visit the pocket chart to read the phrases whenever they are finished with their work. I change the phrases and about once a week. Each week, I  also pull out the stack of phrases that we have already covered to review them.

I didn't make up the high frequency phrases that I use. They were created from a list of the most frequently used words for beginning readers. I simply typed them on the document below so it would be easy for me to print them on cardstock to use in the pocket chart. Click on the image below if you'd like to download a copy.

Happy Friday! Don't forget I'm having a sale right now at my Tpt store... everything is 20% off until Saturday (May 21).

2 Winners and a Sale for Everyone!

Congratulations to Heather who is the winner of the $20 Target gift card!  Heather - email me with your address so I can mail it to you.

Congratulations to Mrs. Hill who is the winner of one item of her choice from my Tpt store.  Mrs. Hill - email me with the name of the item of your choice from my Tpt store and I will get it to you.

I love a good sale!  Don't forget that everything in my Tpt store is 20% off today through Saturday (May 19 - May 21).

Some of my featured items include a Father's Day book, a Memory Book, a Get Ready for Summer Writing/Drawing Activities packet and a Summer Reading and Writing Practice for Home packet.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Giveaway and a Sale!

Hurry my giveaway ends tonight! Tomorrow, I will announce two winners! The first winner will win a $20 Target gift card. The 2nd winner will win an item of their choice from my Tpt store.

Click on the image below to enter the giveaway.

And... because this week has been a little stressful... I'm having a sale (a good sale always makes me feel better).  From Thursday through Saturday (May 19 - 21), everything in my Tpt store will be 20% off! 

Some of my featured items include a Father's Day book, a Memory Book, a Get Ready for Summer Writing/Drawing Activities packet and a Summer Reading and Writing Practice for Home packet.

I appreciate you following my blog!  14 more days of school! 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hip, Hip, Hooray! It's Time for My 200 Follower Giveaway!

I woke up this morning to discover that my blog hit 200 followers while I was sleeping! That is for sure a reason to celebrate, right?  I am so grateful for those of you who read my blog.  I'm also grateful for all of the hard working teachers who share so many ideas on the blogs that I follow.

So... I'm having a giveaway! I will be choosing 2 winners. The 1st winner will win a $20 Target gift card!

The 2nd winner will win one item (of their choice) from Tpt store.

You will get one entry for each of the following...
1.  Follow my blog and leave a comment. (1 entry)
2.  Follow my Tpt store and leave a comment. (1 entry)
3.  Add my blog (the name or my button) to your sidebar and come back to comment. (1 entry)
4. Blog about this giveaway on your own blog and come back to comment. (1 entry)

All entries must be received by Wednesday, May 18.  The winners will be announced on Thursday, May 19.   Good luck!  Thank you for following my blog!!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bossy R Book Idea

It's taken me forever to get this post together... just because of my out of control to-do list. I'm sure you can relate. Anyway, when I introduced r controlled vowels earlier this year my students did a word sort and made a bossy r book to take home at one of our centers.

The book is really just 3 4x6 blank notecards folded in half. To make it into a book you'll need to make a small cut at the top and the bottom of the fold. Next, add a colorful hair tie. Presto! You made a book!
  Front of Book (I used scrapbook paper to put behind the title.)
                                        Back of the Book
                               A Few Inside Pages

    Bossy R Sorting Sheet and Book Pages (Click on the images to download)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Father's Day Book

It will be Father's Day before you know it! I just posted this quick, easy and affordable Father's Day Book on Tpt. You can click on the image below to check it out.

At my Tpt store, you can also find a summer packet to send home with students to help reinforce skills over the summer months and a packet full of "get ready for summer" writing activities to help you keep your students busy during the last few weeks of school.

I Confess... I'm Thinking About Next Year Already

I can't be the only teacher getting excited about all the things I want to do next year already! Time4Kindergarten is having a linky party about things teachers do at the end of the school year to prepare for the next fall.

1. The first thing I do is take pictures of the things I liked in my room this year (things I made with students, areas of the room, charts/anchor charts, etc).  Throughout the year, I take pictures of work samples and anchor charts so I can file them with specific topics/themes to refer to next year.

2. I also take pictures of things/areas that need a makeover or special attention. Then I can rethink/reorganize and plan over the summer.

3. I set at least 2 personal teaching goals for the following year.

4. I keep a "summer bin" near my desk of all the professional reading I want to do over the summer. During the last few weeks of school, I fill it with books that are related to my new goals.

5. I keep an end of the year to-do list in my "pink book". It's just a lined journal that I use as my never ending to-do list. There is something so rewarding about making a cute little check mark next to each completed task.

6. I keep a beginning of the year to-do list in the same "pink book", so I don't forget important things that I want to do at the beginning of the next year. Oh, how I love my pink book!

7. I almost always send a parent questionnaire about the school year.  Feedback is good for me (most of the time).

8. During the last couple days, my students help me "clean" our bins, plastic manipulatives and chairs. We use shaving cream (Barbasol). It takes off glue and other mystery substances in a snap and the kids have so much fun! After everything is covered and scrubbed with shaving cream, we carry it all outside to spray it with the hose. A little bit of sunshine dries everything and I'm ready to pack it up.

9. I also keep a list of things to look for/buy over the summer (books, center supplies, new math manipulatives, etc.).

10. Finally, I take home any evidence of my Dt. Dew addiction and enjoy the summer!

How do you prepare for the next year as we work our way through the last few weeks of school? Be sure to link up with Time4Kindergarten.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

After Mother's Day Writing Freebie

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers in blogger land. I have 3 reasons to celebrate Mother's Day. The first one is my own amazing mom, who is also an amazing teacher! The other two reasons are my greatest blessings... Marissa (age 8) and Donavon (age 5).  I am truly blessed to be the proud mom of my little ones.

I usually have my students do a little "after Mother's Day writing" for their morning work the day after Mother's Day. There are two different versions.  You can download both by clicking on the picture below.   I hope you can use them.  Did I tell you that I love comments?

I'm also working on a few different freebies for later this week!  Be sure to check out Teaching Blog Addicts for Freebie Fridays! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sale Extended!

Apparently there were lots of people who had a hard time getting on the Tpt site to make purchases last night. I am extending my sale for today (Wednesday, May 4). All items in my Tpt store will be 20% off today.

If you made a purchase from my Tpt store already, thank you! I made several of my own purchases from my bloggin buddies around the country.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Gotta Love a Good Sale!

Yep, that's right! I'm having a sale at my Tpt store today (like so many of my bloggin buddies). Every product at my Tpt store is 20% off today! Plus if you use the code TAD11, Tpt is giving you another 20% off today. That's 40% off - yahoo!

Click on my blog button below to go to my Tpt store! If you see something you like, don't forget to become a follower of my Tpt store as well.

I'm off to fill up my own cart with some fabulous deals! Thanks for reading my blog! I appreciate you!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Summer Reading and Writing Practice for Home

It's official... I'm ready to count down to summer!

Here are a few things that might help you get ready for summer...

I just posted a packet that I'll be sending home with my students to use as reading and writing practice over the summer months. You can check it out by visiting my Tpt store.  It includes a reading log (well actually 2 different reading logs) and lots of activities to keep your students writing and reading over the summer months.

And to help us make it through the last  few weeks of school... I have another packet full of fun activities to help you keep your students engaged as we gear up for summer break.  You can also find this packet at my Tpt store.  It's called Get Ready for Summer Writing/Drawing Activities.

Don't forget that all products from my Tpt store will be on sale on Tuesday for 20% off.  In addition to the 20% off that I am offering, Tpt is also offering 20% off when you use the code TAD11.  You can combine the two and get 40% off your purchases on Tuesday.  Gotta love a great deal!

Teacher Appreciation Idea and a Sale!

Blogs are buzzin'...It's almost Teacher Appreciation Day! My daughter is in 2nd grade and she has a FABULOUS teacher! Honestly, we consider her a blessing and a gift. We try to tell her (and her principal and the superintendent) how fabulous she is as often as we can. Tomorrow, my daughter will be giving this jar to her amazing teacher for Teacher Appreciation Day. Let's face it... doesn't every teacher love Sharpies! And... we love Mrs. M!

Now, about that sale... in honor of Teacher Appreciation Day (and to show all of my fellow bloggers how much I appreciate all of your ideas and support),  I will be having a 20% off sale at my Tpt store all day on Tuesday, May 3.  Tpt is also having a 20% off sale that day, which means you would have combined savings of 40% off anything you buy from my store.  Use the code TAD11 for the Tpt discount.  

I'm off to finish a new product that I hope to post before the big sale on Tuesday!