I'm linking up with More than A Worksheet's monthly tips for teachers!  This month the focus is on back to school tips!

 Something Old
I stock up on some school supplies each year...specifically paper notebooks and spiral notebooks.  
Last year, I posted how I use 10 cent pocket folders for students during guided reading or intervention groups.

Something New
This year, for the first time, I bought Mr. Sketch Markers for anchor charts!  I was able to get them for $5 on Amazon.  If you are looking for anchor chart ideas, I have a Pinterest board with Awesome Anchor Charts for Language Arts.

Something Borrowed
I loved the book Mindset by Carol Dweck.  It is one of my favorite professional development books I've read.  ABC's with Mrs. G made this great parent handout that informs parents about what a growth mindset is and how to support their children at home with a growth mindset.

Something True
I saw this on Pinterest, and I hope you remember this quote all year long!!!!  If you need more inspiration, I have another Pinterest Board for that :) 

Running Records are so important to guided reading because they give teachers instant data about student's errors and by using miscue analysis, teachers can determine what type of feedback they can provide students to help them improve their reading.

I thought for today's linky party, I'd provide a little information about how to code running records to provide meaningful feedback to help students.  

Coding Errors using MSV
M- Meaning
S- Structure
V- Visual

When you code the error the student made, you code it based on what systems the student is using!  Then you teach based on what the student needs to be doing.

Examples of MSV
Text:  The mom went to the store.
Student:  The mom went to the shop.

This would be coded as an M (for meaning).  The student is using meaning when they are reading, but they are not paying attention to visual cues.  Your feedback would be something like, "that makes sense, but lets look closer at the word...what does 'st' say? What would make sense that starts with 'st'?

Text:  The boy took a bath.
Student:  The boy took a nap.

This would be coded as an S (for structure).  The student is using correct grammar when reading.  However, they are not looking at the word visually, and depending on what the story and pictures are showing, they may not even be using meaning, which means they are just guessing at a word.  

This example has many potential teaching points.  I'd first start if there are picture clues.  Then I'd focus on what would make sense that starts with the letter 'b'.

Text:  The girl played with the ball. 
Student: The girl played with the bang.

This would be coded as V (for visual).  The student is looking at the letters, but is not using meaning, because it doesn't make sense and it isn't really correct grammar.  You would point out that you can tell they are looking at the letters, but you want them to focus on what would make sense.

You can download this example and print it here.

I hope these examples help you this school year when you take running records.  I have found that the more I practice taking running records and providing feedback, the easier it gets :)

Quick Shout Out!!
Next Step in Guided Reading is by far my favorite guided reading resource.  It has excellent strategies to help students in all grade level improve their reading comprehension.  There are also a number of word work activities to help students build their visual memory.  If you only buy one "reading resource" this is your book!
I also have additional guided reading information on my blog under the GUIDED READING tab.

I saw this book at Barnes and Noble and fell in love with the illustrations in this book!  I loved how Terry Border made the food seem so human-like!!

The cover illustration is exactly how the pages in the book appear.  It is like the food has come to life!  Peanut Butter is looking for a friend to play soccer with him, but all the other food is way too busy! 

This is a great book for K-2nd graders to read the first week of school when you are teaching about kindness and how we treat each other in the class (and on the playground).

This book does have a happy ending, and at the same time it also provides lots of teachable moments!

Probably one of the reason I also liked this book is that I LOVE cupcakes.  There is a wonderful gluten-free bakery not far from where my daughter takes ballet...and I stop in there WAY too much!!!

Since I like cupcakes so much, I thought this would be a fun freebie!!! 

This has been a CRAZY, BUSY week!!!  Next week I go back to school, so I'm finishing up my summer projects.  Since it is super hot out, we've been getting lots of chores done inside!
After having a bracelet custom made at a bead shop in Colorado, my daughter and I decided to try and make our own.  Michaels was having a sale this week!  I highly recommend Stretch Magic for the elastic cord.  
Here are a few of our beads!
 We bought a tray that helps you figure out how many beads you will need to make the bracelet.
 These were the ones we made this week!  I think they are so cool and aren't like anything I already owned :)
We had fun with spray paint.  This was an old, old tv stand (from 1985) that had been spray painted lilac, but was chipping and was a MESS!
Below is an old brown frame that needed some sprucing up!  My husband collects old, old football programs.  This was from 1958.

These are the after pictures!

 I worked on this during the week!  My goal was to create a packet that had lots and lots of opportunities for students to practice reading and create math word problems!  This packet has 17 open ended math stories, and students do the work and create the problems.  
There are so many different ways that students can solve these problems!  For first grade, at the beginning of the year, it is done as a whole group.  In second grade, students could come up with their own problems.  This set includes stories that cover addition, subtraction, time, and collecting data.

 These were some pictures I posted on Instagram...I'm redoing the empty space above my computer cabinet.  I ended up going with the bottom choice!

We also needed a new faucet this weekend.  This is the fanciest faucet I've ever owned!

I love summer.  We travel.  I wear yoga pants and baseball caps.  I'm able to get totally absorbed in a novel, and it is ok if I stay up way, way to late!  In less than three weeks, my life of leisure is going to come to a screeching halt!

Here are some things that help me make the transition easier.

Plan Meals Ahead of Time

I use my Erin Condren planner to plan weekly meals, but I use the Reminders app on my phone to keep track of my families grocery list.  I know they have fancier apps out their, but this is super easy for me since I am always using the Reminders app for other "to-do" lists.  I feel like everything is in one place.  Plus, the best thing is that my GROCERY LIST reminder is  a shared  list, so my husband adds things as well.
This has helped save me so much time.  We've tried the dry erase on the fridge, but if I'm on my way home from school and want to stop at the grocery store, I have the list with me on my phone.  Plus, there were mornings he would add things after we left for school, not realizing that I was going to the grocery store right when I left work.  I would miss seeing items.  This way is much, much better.

Two other apps that my friends like to use are:
GroceryIQ (free)

MealBoard (paid)

Plan Outfits for the Month (or Week)

I know what you are thinking :)  What if the weather changes or I don't feel like wearing something when I wake up.  That's ok...since you have a month worth of outfits planned, you can easily wear a different one.  This way, all your accessories are planned, and it makes it so much easier in the morning! You can download the Fashion Plan here for free!  I planned a month at a time last year, and I felt so much more together.

You can check out my Pinterest Styles for School board here!  Last year, by planning out my outfits ahead of time, I was able to wear Pinterest Inspired outfits most days!  I'm also a huge budget shopper!!!!  My closet is full of clothes from Old Navy, Kohls, or Target.  I love accessories, like scarfs, statement necklaces, and fun earrings, to jazz up an outfit!

Get Everything Ready the Night Before

Our routine before bed looks something like this:
1)  Lunches are on the counter with all the non-cold stuff in them.
2)  Backpacks are packed by the back door and are all ready for school (and any other team/sport bag that will be needed for practice if we aren't coming home).
3)  Clothes are picked out.
4)  The shoes everyone is wearing are by the back door.
5)  I also have a checklist on the back door that my children check one last time before they go out the door.

The checklist on the back door is organized by day-of-the-week.  One reason I do this is that I cannot keep up with my children's schedule.   At their school, "specials" occur on various days and special materials are needed for those days.  For example, band occurs on Monday, Tuesday, Friday for 5th grade, and Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday for 7th grade).  On PE days they must have tennis shoes/sneakers. PE has a similar schedule to band, only on different days!   It takes me until November to remember their schedule!!!  So once I get their schedule, I make the checklist.

Have a Morning Routine

You probably all ready think I'm a little OCD.  Well it gets worse :) When my children get up, there is a routine they follow.  I also set a timer to help keep us on track.  If you could meet my son, you would see why I do this.  Every morning we leave the house happy and I haven't raised my voice or snapped at anyone :)  We've been doing this for 8 years now, and it works pretty well.  In the beginning, when they would go to bed, I would remind them of what I wanted the morning to look like.
1)  Get up
2)  Get dressed
3)  Do hair
4) Eat*
5) Brush teeth
6) Pack Lunch
7) Leave

I've done it multiple ways, but I have found that once my children are dressed, they move faster.  The potential problem is that they could spill breakfast on their clothes.

I set a timer, and at 7:15, everyone has to brush teeth.  I figure if worse comes to worse they can eat in the car, but they can't brush their teeth in the car.  Plus, my children don't like eating after they brush their teeth, so this order really helps keep them moving.

Before we walk out the door, we check the checklist.  Like I said earlier, you've never met my son.  He has actually gone to school without shoes on (he had on his socks), because I told him, "grab your backpack and hop in the car!"  Notice I never said, "put on your shoes!"  Even though you probably think I'm OCD, you probably should also think that I have lots of patience :)

Have an After School Routine

1) Our routine is always to do homework right when we get home.  As soon as they are done with homework, it goes in their backpack and then is put by the back door, so we know where it is.
2)  While my children are doing homework, I check folders and make sure everything I need to do for them is done at that time (permission slips signed, homework signed, etc.)
3)  Then it is free time!

Use Crockpot Liners

This is my final tip.  I don't love to cook (or even like it), so the crockpot is my friend.  Cleaning the crockpot used to be a miserable chore for me, until my friend introduced me to crockpot liners.   Crockpot liners make clean-up so much easier!!! You just throw away the liner, and your crockpot is clean!  I still wash it,  but there isn't any scrubbing or soaking needed!!!

One of my family's favorite recipes is chicken in the crockpot with salsa.  It cooks all day and you just shred the chicken before you serve it.  We put it on tortilla chips with shredded cheese and sour cream.

I hope some of these tips will help you make the transition easier!  Please feel free to add any tips you have implemented at your house in the comments!

Writing is probably one of the most challenging subjects for me to teach.  I'm always looking for good resources to help teach the writing traits.

I've used the Crate Traits by Scholastic for the past two school years, and I like how they use picture books to break down the traits.  My school bought it for me, and I like it - BUT I felt like something was missing.  Like it just wasn't enough.  It is kind of hard to explain, but it seemed like it skimmed the surface, and I never felt that it went deep enough.....

Then, this summer I read The Writing Thief and it has given me a different perspective. It was exactly what I needed!  In my opinion, it seems to take the Trait Crate to the next level and makes every book a mentor text for writing.  I SO NEEDED THIS BOOK!!!  The more students think about how authors write and then link these to the traits, the more natural the writing process becomes for students.  I bought the Kindle version, but wished I had the paperback, so I could use it easier.  

If you haven't read it and your school uses the six traits of writing you will love it!!!

The next resource that I like is Writing Workshop by Ralph Fletcher.

On my writing wishlist is Writing Pathways:  Performance Assessments and Learning Progression by Lucky Calkins.  

I bundled my favorite back-to-school items into a great valued bundle!  On Thursday RaffleCopter will pick three winners!  It includes three different label/binder options, plus word wall labels.  It also includes classroom procedures, classroom rules, inspirational quotes, and the newsletter template.

Leave a comment about what you are most excited about in the upcoming school year!  For me, it is seeing all the students :)  

I've been busy updating some of my products and if you own My Entire Store (with lifetime updates)...you'll want to download the newest file from TPT.  Don't forget to check the Dropbox File...I updated that over the weekend.

All new Detective Word Sort File with 23 word sorts!

Updated Classroom Procedures for 2015-2016 school year.

Additional alphabet cards added to the Beginning Sound Pack (52 new cards).

New cards added to Open Ended Task Question Cards!  New picture and word cards added to my Phonemic Awareness Set.

Finally, a new Newsletter Template.

I'm working on some exciting ideas to incorporate math and literacy in the primary grades and also working on creating some new phonics games!

Please let me know if you have any requests!!

I bundled my favorite back-to-school items into a great valued bundle!  On Thursday RaffleCopter will pick three winners!  It includes three different label/binder options, plus word wall labels.  It also includes classroom procedures, classroom rules, inspirational quotes, and the newsletter template.

Leave a comment about what you are most excited about in the upcoming school year!  For me, it is seeing all the students :)  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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