I love this linky :)

1. My birthday is on Easter!  This happens about every 8-10 years.  I love it.  I do not love the number (way, way, way to close to 40), but I just keep telling my self I feel like I'm 28 :)

2.  I am having an ice-cream sundae party with my children!  My daughter and I can't eat gluten, and I gave up ice-cream for Lent, so I'm super excited :)

3.  I also gave up Facebook for Lent, and I don't even miss it!!! I miss ice-cream way more!

4.  My son's school and our first graders are hatching chicks.  I love this. I just hope they hatch.  One year they didn't and it was so sad.

5.  I love Mo Willems' books :)  Just thought I'd share that!!!!

We use Dibels, and students sometimes struggle with nonsense words (mostly because they don't make sense and they want them to make sense).  I'm not a big fan of the test, but the data also shows who can blend words and who knows their middle vowel sounds.   You can use the word cards for a quick 30 second review at the beginning of guided reading. They can also be used in a center.  Students can sort the real words and the nonsense words, and you can even use magnetic letter apps with the word cards. 

This literacy center activity will be free today! Please leave feedback if you like it.

There is a great giveaway at Erica Borer's First Grade! Check it out!
The bad news about our two iPad carts is that they only get updated in the summer :( With my home iPad, I've been testing out Socrative.  We don't have clickers, but I think they are a great way to quickly assess students.  Not to mention they can be used for exit slips and they seem to keep students engaged (especially when they can see the responses). 

Socrative brings smart clickers and student responses to the classroom.  It allows students to see their classmates’ ideas/responses in real time and interact with the responses. Teachers can also provide feedback.  I would love to hear if anyone has used this with K-1!! Thanks Katie for hosting Techy Teacher Tuesday!

After a great spring break, I'm pretty much doing homework for the next 3 weeks!!!
Today the following item is free :)
I love using these cards to play Quiz Quiz Trade.  It gets the students up and moving, and can be done in about 2-3 minutes.  You can use the letter cards for either sounds or letters.  


I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs!  I had a great spring break cruise!  We just got back in the US this morning.  It was 82 degrees yesterday and tonight when we get home, we will be in a winter storm warning!

1. I got 2 new stamps in my passport!  I'm obsessed with passport stamps!

2.  My children loved getting towel animals.

 3. These pictures are from Honduras.  This was my children's favorite country. Mine was Belize, but I don't have those pictures uploaded yet.
 4.  Even though we could see movies at home, we never do.  Two nights we watched Movies Under the Stars.  We saw Waking Ned Devine (on St. Patrick's Day) and Life of Pi.  Then my husband and I went to the theater and saw Silver Linings Playbook.

5.  I did Zumba for the first time.  I actually ended up going every day they offered it!  I LOVED IT!!!

I have been so busy, I feel bad I haven't blogged much.  We started state assessments yesterday, and I'm SUPER proud of how hard everyone is working!!!!

Mrs. Fultz's Corner is having a great linky!
My advice to new teachers would be.....
1.  Try and stay organized, but figure out what works for you.  Many times you'll see great ideas, but they won't quite work for you.  Once you find what works, you'll know :) I tried to keep every guided reading group in one binder because it was supposed to keep my life organized :)  I found that I work much better with every group in their own binder and everything is color coded (red, green, blue, yellow). Baskets, bins, etc all are organized by color. 

2. Smile lots.  You can't smile too much!  I've learned that I can get any child to do what I ask, if I ask nicely with a smile on my face :)

3. You have the best job in the world.  Some days it will be hard to remember this, but you are making a difference in the future.  No other job has so much power. 

Here is a fun freebie that will be free today in my store until 7 pm! Click here to download.

We had PD today, and it was really good :)  The main focus was urgency and tightening up instruction.  I feel an extreme sense of urgency, because I work in a high needs school.  One of the biggest messages I got was how important it is to be intentional when planning for students that are behind, when you are trying to reduce achievement gaps.  I'm still processing everything.  However, the speaker gave some awesome questions to ask when looking at running records.
1. Was reading correct?
2. Was reading corrected?
3. Was reading comprehended?
4. Was reading attempted?
5.  Did the reading stall?

Today the following will be my Friday freebie.  Click here to download.

If you like it, please leave feedback.

Linky Party
 I am linking up with Kacey for Five for Friday linky party.
1.  State Assessments.  I loathe state assessments.  I hate that an entire school year is judged on a single test.  I can't even begin to tell you the horror stories that have happened during state assessment week.  I've had children removed from homes.  Houses that have caught on fire.  Parents arrested.  But probably the saddest was when one of my student's brother died in a drive by shooting.  If that wasn't bad enough, the summer before, she had another brother die in a drive by shooting.

2.  On a happy note...spring break is coming up! I wish I could fit into these bikini!  EDIT: I'm sure I could fit into a bikini, so I should say, I wish I looked GOOD in a bikini :)  However, I had melanoma when I was 35, so I am SUPER, SUPER careful in the sun.  I always wear a rash guard long sleeve shirt when I'm at the pool or the beach.  I love the ones from Lands End :) I wear sunscreen everyday, even in the winter.  I go every 3 months for skin checks. Needless to say, I won't get tan over my spring break!

3.  Chapter 1 of my dissertation proposal is due on 3/12.  It isn't done, but getting close :)

4.  Night at the Arts was last night and my kindergarten son had this on display.

It is titled: Red Eagle. He explained that all artists put titles on their work, and he thought Red Eagle was a good title :)  That just cracked me up, because the next thing he said was, "it kind of looks like a turtle."

5.  I love these 4 box mats.  This time it was used for word families, but it can be used for vocabulary, multiple meaning words, sight word sentences, and more!
I keep seeing them pop up, so I thought I'd give them a try.  Since I'm a literacy coach, my job description is to spend time working with teachers.  However, over my lunch break, I tutor 4th and 5th grade students to help them prepare for the state assessment.  This week I have a variety of topics to cover:  fact & opinion, plot elements, and I have one group of students that always skips over the title when they are reading :( So we are going to kind of make a big deal about the title of books and how they help you know what you are getting ready to read about.

It didn't take long to create them.  I used PowerPoint, and once the template is set-up, I think they could be done pretty easily each week.  I definitely think visual lesson plans are something I would use if I go back to the classroom; especially for guided reading and literacy centers. They also make it so much easier for subs!  Since my school is very focused on learning targets, I made sure I added them :)

Happy March!!!! I am so happy it is Friday!  Here's my Five for Friday! This afternoon, I will again be linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching.

1. Happy Dr. Seuss Days...The3rd graders helped me with this bulletin board.  Thank you Conversations in Literacy for the great idea!

2.  I am working on redoing my bedroom!  I love these colors (and I love playing with photo apps).

3.  I'm so tired of cold weather.  My hands are ready for spring!

4. My favorite Dr. Seuss book is...
5.  I love working with teachers, but I miss working with students.  Today I got to cover for first grade guided reading.  I had a blast.  I couldn't help but smile and laugh, when two of the boys told me they liked all my rings, and did I have a husband for every ring???? 

The Friday Freebie is my spring word families.  If you like it, please leave feedback!! Spring Word Families

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