We are really working on monitoring comprehension with non-fiction texts.  The big question I will ask all week (about a million times) is:  Did that make sense?  If it doesn't we will work on fix-up strategies from our Reading Tool Kit.

We are using the STP (STOP, THINK, PARAPHRASE) strategy from Next Step in Guided Reading by Jan Richardson.

The book we are using has three chapters, which works out perfectly!  Before we begin reading this week, we are doing a Text Feature review.  I'm using Hunting For Text Features from Katie Orr.

Below are two anchor charts we will also be using. 

I love linking up with Mrs. Wills Peek at My Week


Some weeks are tough.  I'm pretty sure that people who don't teach are convinced that all we do is "academic stuff!"  When in fact, there is so much more to teaching than just academics.  I believe that the relationships I've built with students will be remembered way more than what they learned in the classroom.  However, the sad reality I've learned is that no matter how much you can care for and protect students during school hours...sometimes things are out of your control when they leave school.    I know that my own children go home to a safe home, but not all children are that lucky.  There are two quotes that really have stuck out to me this week...

Amazing Race premiers tonight!!! Last week we got 4th place in the race!!! I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT!  We had a great team and each person had strengths :)  We ran tons, did challenging puzzles, obstacles, and even had to tie crazy knots!

My students have been loving working on Figurative Language.
Here are some of the books I ordered from Amazon. 
Here are some pages from their books.

My kindergarten students LOVE these anchor charts from Cara Caroll!  I printed them two on a page and they are PERFECT for small groups! 

I am so happy it is the weekend!  We have Football on Saturday...then we are going to a Boy Scout camp (for the day).  We will be canoeing, doing archery, and more!  Look at this beautiful sunrise.  What a great way to start my Friday!
My fifth grade comprehension groups are all working on figurative language.  Originally this week was slated for summarizing, but that all has changed!  Last week, and I had three students write down figurative language phrases in their "unknown words" section of their writing journal.

"Why are they talking about a picnic?"  -Life isn't always a picnic.

Then they started showing me more figurative language phrases that were causing them confusion. I was SUPER proud of them for stopping when it didn't make sense :)  So, I've changed directions and it is for the best!

In addition to lots of picture books...I'm using posters from The Peanut Galleryclose reading passages and figurative language interactive notebooks from Lovin' Lit.

You can download the template here if you want to create your own!

Here is a freebie to help students illustrate different types of figurative language.
Make sure to check out the other great visual lesson plans available at

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs!  I swear the days just fly by!  I've been so busy!!!

I cannot wait until my Amazon.com order comes in...I ordered quite a few picture books to teach similes and metaphors :)  This is just one...I'll take a picture when my order comes in :)

Every time we eat at our kitchen table, I just smile!! I love my centerpiece pieces :) 

I'm super excited because this weekend I'm running in an urban "Amazing Race!"  This will be my third year racing.  I'm with a team of five other people.  We complete lots of different puzzles and challenges, while running through a downtown.  Last year we placed third!  It is a BLAST!!!   Plus in one week, Amazing Race premiers :)

This was my view one night this week when I was running!!! I love fall sunsets :)

I hope everyone is having a good week.  I've had a couple friends that have just had a tough week!! 

I've been working on leveling books for classroom libraries.  I have had pretty good luck with Lit. Leveler.  It uses pic2shop to scan the barcodes.  However, you can manually enter the ISBN number. 
Overall I had a very high success rate scanning books.  There were a couple of brand-new books that were just published that they did not have the level.  For the most part, it was quick and easy.  It is important to make sure the camera can focus on the barcode.  Sometimes it took less than a second to scan it!  A few times, it took about 10 seconds to get focused. 
When you scan, you can add books to your library.  The library can be organized numerous ways, including Lexile and Guided Reading Levels. 

I don't often pay money for an app.  I would say that this was well worth it.  In the past, I would use different websites, trying to find the guided reading levels.  The time it saved me, was well worth the $3.99 price tag!

This week has gone by fast.  Sometimes 4 day weeks DRRRRAAAAAAGGG.  Not this week!! I'm so happy it is the weekend :)  I have family & football to look forward to this fall-weather weekend.

I made this centerpiece to celebrate fall!
I found the owls at Wal-Mart last year.  The pumpkins are from Joanne's and Hobby Lobby this year.  That vase has served many purposes!!!  I've used it with a candle alone, and in the winter I have small Christmas ornaments that I fill it with :)

 My principal gave me this hand sanitizer.  I'm a little OCD about cleaning things at school!

We have to paint our house...after many trips to Lowes...this is the color :)  It is called oatbran. 

We had a Scholastic Book Fair at our school.  My daughter was so excited I bought this for her :)  She gave it 5 stars :)  She highly recommends the author's other books!

Here is my quote for the week!

I'm having a great school year.  I'm exhausted...but who isn't!!!  I'm happy to link up with Farley

I do wish I could get more sleep...I have a very, very elderly cat that the vet thinks has the early stages of dementia.  She used to be a mostly outdoor cat, but she gets confused.  Very confused.  She cries at night, because she can't find us :(  She can't find us because we are sleeping.  I usually have to find her and bring her in our room.  This happens 2-3 times a night.  I can't put her out because we have coyotes where we live...and she'll get eaten.   Some nights are better than others! 

I loved the travel question.  If I had to be good at 1 thing in this world, I would say it is going on vacation :)    
My husband and I have had lots of fun traveling, and now we bring our children when we travel.  I will say that we are pretty thrifty.  This has benefits plus fun memories.  My husband is a huge fan of public transportation.  His attitude is, "Why take a cab and pay an expensive fare when you can pay a quarter to ride a bus?"  Although I'd happily pay cab fare, I go with it.  In fact, if you ask my son what his favorite part of any trip we've every taken, he will ALWAYS say riding the bus!

We are also a magnet for "bad" transportation.  Like the bus we rode that had a floor that seemed like it would fall out!  We kept our feet off the ground to stay safe.  One time we rode a "ferry" that was really a wooden boat with a motor.  The "ferry" schedule was about every hour or so...some days!

I've wanted to go to Thailand for years.  Our neighbor was from there and it just seemed like the perfect place to pack a backpack and go on lots of adventures.  Nepal for the hiking!  New Zealand just seems BEAUTIFUL!
Picking three just didn't seem like enough, so here are my honorable mentions:
Hong Kong

Granted, some of these countries might have some travel warnings associated with them...so I will just keep them on my runners-up list :)

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