Pretty much my entire day was spent working on my dissertation proposal.  I did take some pictures of the snow; which leads me to my next topic...

Fun Collage Apps for Photos

 Collage is available for free (it is what I did the snow picture in). There are a ton of collage apps, but this is the picture of the one I use.

PicPlayPost is great for adding borders! It is $1.99.  When I downloaded it, it was free.

Cuptakes is amazing- I would describe it as a scrapbooking app. It is also $1.99

I am working with some teachers and we are using picture books to teach plot.  Here are some of our favorite picture books...we are also using a story of Jack and the Beanstalk to introduce plot.

For my 100 Follower Giveaway...these are the winners. All winners were contacted by email!

Andrea- Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Donna- iTunes Gift Card
Jessica- $25 TPT Gift Card
Jessica Z. - $10 TPT Gift Card
Reading & Writing Red Head, Katie and Crystal- all won any three items from my store.

I'm also excited to report there is a HUGE drawing over at Teaching and Tapas! 

Teaching and Tapas: 2nd Grade in Spain

 My CVC and CVCe game set is one of the items you can win :) Click here to see the details of this collection of CVC and CVCe games 

Linking up With Doodle Bugs...Five For Friday
1. It was a short week of school.  I'm happy that when I left on Wednesday, I had everything done to be ready for Monday!!!

2. Two snow days!! I love snow days!  Thursday wasn't much fun to play outside, but yesterday was great.  Needless to say, I am not a good snowboarder :(  I keep trying.....I'm afraid I'm too old!  This is NOT me in the photo :)  I would love to be able to do something this cool, but just making it down the mountain (without any broken bones) on a snowboard would be awesome!
3.  I hit 100 followers.  This makes me so happy!

4.  I got a new winter coat!  I'm so excited.  It was on clearance, and it is a boys coat, but it fits perfectly and it was on clearance...just in time for the snow!
5.  I ordered a new book.  My dissertation topic is on leadership and new literacies.  This is my fun reading for now!!!
Thank you to Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting the Friday Linky Party :)

Click here to enter the 100 Follower Drawing!!! a Rafflecopter giveaway
I love our reading series, but for kindergarten they only gave about 3-5 practice words a day to use with the phonemic awareness component.  Many students come to kindergarten and they already have phonemic awareness skills. However, many do not.  Four years ago when I was working on my reading specialist certification I had to read this book as part of an inquiry project.  I really liked it because it really explained the importance of phonemic awareness. I think my "ah ha" moment when I was researching for this project was the following: 

Research indicates that phonological awareness is the best predictor of the ease of early reading acquisition (Stanovich, 1986).  However, it is important to remember that children need to develop all aspects of language and literacy awareness in order to become successful readers (Chapman, 2003). 

This fall, to help out the kindergarten teachers, I made this phonemic awareness set.  It is only meant to take about two minutes a day, but gives extra practice for students. Instead of just 5 words a day, many days there are 15 extra words.  It is meant to last for at least 30 days.  I recommend using this in small groups. It is free today!!!! I just updated it with more practice words (thank you snow day)!  Click here to download.
Please enter My 100 Follower Giveaway!

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References (Please forgive my lack of APA is hard on a blog)
Stanovich, K.E. (1986). Matthew effects in reading:  Some consequences of individual differences in the acquisition of literacy.  Reading Research Quarterly, 21, 360-406.  
Chapman, M. L. (2003). Phonemic awareness: Clarifying what we know and implications for practice. Literacy Teaching and Learning, 7, 91-114.

I love the ABC Magic apps.  They are all free!

ABC Magic is great for practicing letters and sounds. When students play ABC Magic 1, they can repeat the sounds that go with the letters and the pictures.  You'll hear lots of /b/ /b/ /b/ and /d/ /d/ /d/ :)  The little voice on the app is adorable!  There are lots of different versions that cover lots of different levels. Below are screen shots from ABC Magic 3 and ABC Magic 5.  The higher the number, the more challenging the tasks. 

ABC Spelling Magic  is great for practicing sounding out words (more of a phonics game than a spelling game).  This is a screen shot for ABC Spelling 1. There are lots of different versions of this app, as well.  The higher the number, the harder the task.

Here is a screen shot of some photos I took on the iPad of some of the ABC Magic apps.  The top Right is ABC Magic 1, next to it is ABC Spelling Magic 1.  On the second row is ABC Magic 2 and some of the apps in my ABC Magic Folder.

Please enter my 100 Follower Giveaway! I'm so happy to have 100 followers :)a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'm almost to 100...and I just couldn't wait to get started....I'm so excited to ALMOST reach 100 followers.  I've put together an exciting giveaway. It ends next Sunday at midnight.

1.  $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Certificate
2.  $15 iTunes Gift Card
3.  $10 Barnes and Noble Gift Card
4.  $10 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Certificate
5.  3 winners will receive any 3 items from store
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I have been trying to do the Clutter Free Challenge.
Clutter-Free Classroom
I thought I would post pictures of my "area." I should have taken before pictures, except I started to do this, THEN found out about the challenge.  I only have after pictures. I'm in the computer lab, which is pretty much a public area.  I have a desk and a file cabinet.  I don't have a bookcase, which is the one thing I wish I had.

Over parent teacher conferences I worked really hard to keep things organized.  Since I don't have "regular" students, I go to some meetings, have planning meetings for our school improvement team, and then at night while teachers are meeting with parents, I was able to organize :)

This is what I did:
1.  I went through my stacks of paper and either filed them where they belonged, or I recycled them.

2.  I went through my file cabinet.  One drawer has all my literacy files.  One drawer has all my "school" files.  I cleaned them out!!!!

3. One drawer in my file cabinet has my binders for school (School Improvement, Title 1, Progress Monitoring Data, Common Core) and some professional books that I don't use very often, but are still a great resource. This drawer was in pretty good shape.

3.  My last drawer has supplies.  I have found great uses for the pencil boxes you can get at the beginning of the school super cheap.  I have quite a few and they are labeled. I use them to keep the following:  pencils, pens, markers, highlighters, glue sticks, sticky notes, tabs for dividers, and tape.

4.  My desk area is now pretty clean.  I have a small crate that holds file folders and I use that to keep everything I need for my weekly grade-level collaborations.  Then I keep all the professional books I use on the small top shelf of my desk.

5.  All my pens that are the same color are in the black and pink owl mug :)

6.  I keep my binder clips and my small post it notes in the galvanized owl buckets on top of my file cabinet. 

Freebie:  Until tomorrow at math fact games will be on sale :)  If you like it, please leave feedback!
Click Here!
Friday Linky Party.  I love this party :)

 Today I'm linking up with Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching! Here are five random things from this week....
1.  I cut my cat's hair.  She loved every minute of was like a spa day for a cat...however I believe I'm Edward Scissorhands!
2.  I just got my daughter this book for her birthday on Thursday (2/21).  I haven't read it yet, but it looks great.  It reminds me of the "Choose Your Own Adventure Books."
 3.  I finally downloaded a book for my Nook.  I haven't read a "fun" book in what seems like forever.  I probably actually won't get a chance to read it until spring break.  I really like my nook :)
 4. Safe Haven is the book I downloaded!  I'm so excited to read it!
 5.  Last night I had class and didn't get home until almost 9 pm. I leave at 3pm, but the University is over an hour away from my house.  These flowers were waiting for me when I got home.  I wasn't expecting them at all! 

I was going through some stuff, and I found a "Blast From the Past!"  I found a Mailbox Magazine issue in the filing cabinet downstairs.  I bought this magazine years ago!  This issue was dedicated to writing.  Ten years and Common Core later, that magazine I've saved is perfect for Common Core!  There were all sorts of writing ideas and prompts to use with picture books. 

These are some of my favorite picture books to use with writing.  I always stop students at different parts and have them write down predictions in their Writing Journals about what they think the main character will do next, or what is going to happen next in the story.  I let students share these predictions with another student, to get them talking about their thinking. 

Probably my favorite one is My Story.  One of the things I like the best is that you can email the story, and then open it in iBooks...and it becomes a story on your iBooks Bookshelf.   Students can record themselves reading the story, which they LOVE!  I love apps that incorporate reading, writing and creativity.  These three apps are some of my favorite!

I also like Toontastic and Sock Puppets.  I have the FREE version of Toontastic.  There is also a $9.99 version. That is more than I have ever spent for an app!! Sock Puppets is free, and fun.
There are just somethings that I really believe strongly in, and one of them is Learning Targets and Objectives.  Our school has adopted Setting Objectives and Learning Targets as one of our school improvement goals.  Our goals came from Classroom Instruction that Works.

Since, I'm a literacy coach, I really don't see students....except I've started tutoring over my lunch on Thursday and I LOVE IT!!!!!!  I'm working with 4th-5th graders. 

I just thought I'd share my learning targets for our tutoring sessions.  These were my learning targets for my lesson's on author's purpose and cause and effect.  I use Mondo Safari Magazines to teach these lessons.  These are a great resource.  Each magazine has a non-fiction story, a fiction story, a play and a poem.

I'm currently doing a book study on Learning Targets.  What I'm most excited about learning is how students can self-assess if they met the learning target.  Everything I've been reading stresses the importance of the students taking ownership for their learning. 

One of the neat things I see when I go into classrooms is when teachers are referring to the learning target before, during and after the lesson, so the students are making a connection to the outcome of the lesson and why they are practicing the specific skills.

Is this something that you are expected to do at your school?  How do you help students link their learning to the objectives you set?
 Today I'm linking up with Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching! Here are five random things from this week....

1.  I'm one of those people that just loves the little things.  I found these at the checkout counter at Wal-Mart for $1 last weekend!  These file folders just made me happy :)  Plus it gave me a reason to do some cleaning of my files!

2.  I survived Parent Teacher Conferences and was able to spend all day today doing homework!

3.  I got great feedback from the K-2 Non-Fiction Book Exchange Cart that I set out for parents.  The students will be able to exchange books.  I have some fifth grade helpers that will bring the cart to breakfast every morning, and students can get a new book every day!  I also made a bookmark for parents that provides them questions they can ask their child about nonfiction text.  Unfortunately, it is saved on my work computer, so as soon as I can I will share it :)

4.  This was a fish on the wall at Cheeseburger in Paradise.  We ate there last weekend, and my son HAD to get a picture!  They have a great gluten free menu :)

 5.  I just started a new book study!  This will be my 3rd this year :)  I had some time during parent teacher conferences to look at it, and it looks really good!  I worked with one of our 2nd grade teachers and we are going to start and Interactive Response Journal for two of her guided reading groups.  Students will ask each other questions and respond to each other.  The book has fantastic prompts and tons of great ideas.  I'm excited to do more reading. 

Today's Friday Freebie is a Valentine's Day CVC matching game! Click here to download.

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