Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sunny Days

Head on over to Sunny Days in Second Grade  at
to check out a great blog and a fantabulous giveaway! To celebrate 200 followers she is giving away A $15 Amazon gift card AND 5 free items from her TpT store to one winner!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Online Book Study: The Book Whisperer - Chapter One

Beth at Thinking of Teaching is hosting chapter one of a book discussion of a fabulous read, The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. I am highlighting this book as I read through  DEVOUR it. I decided to use four colors to highlight with. Here is my color coding scheme – Yellow = quotes/profound thoughts/ideas; Blue = books to explore further; Orange = ideas to try in my class; Pink = things to add to my website (i.e. links, etc.).

Discussion Ideas:

How did you feel as you started reading?
--I felt as if I had gone back in time and that I was a child again. Like Donalyn, my Mom also worried because she thought I spent too much time indoors reading. I experienced flashbacks to when my children were younger and some of the great times we spent together during family readaloud time. Donalyn pens, “I am a reader, a flashlight-under-the-covers, carries-a-book-everywhere-I-go, don’t look – at-my-Amazon-bill reader.” Can I get a witness??????
What were your first thoughts, connections, insights?
--As teachers, we can get caught up in planning reading activities and how they will be perfectly implemented. The reality though is that my students need for me to introduce them to good books and then turn them loose to get lost between the pages.
Were you like me and finally felt as though you had found someone who was speaking your language?
--Yes, Yes, and Yes again!
Which part jumped out at you and made you say "aha!!, I knew it"?
--The part that discusses that as long as we have a passion for books and model for students what it means to “live as a reader” that is what teaching reading is all about.

I created a Wordle after reading the first chapter. Click on the picture for a bigger view.

Thanks, Beth for hosting this!

Happy Reading!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sequel to Previous Post

I just got back from a trip to a different Target store and found some more items to go with my previous lemonade post. Here are pics of the latest finds:
lemonade tablecloth

lemonade banner

list size notepad, pencils, sticky notes

The tablecloth and banner will add a festive touch to the lemonade stand in the classroom. I am thinking about using the sticky notes for students to take notes on when readng some of the books listed above to help with comprehension skills.

Lemon - Aid

So, what is a girl to do when she goes to Target and finds these cute items in the dollar bin? Blog about them, of course!

If you click on the photos you will be able to get a better view of my lemony purchases. I am thinking about using them for a math center to set up a lemonade stand. Students can use the box as a cash box for practicing money skills and they could use the clipboards to take orders, etc. I would love to make some things to share that other teachers could print here to use in either a math and/or literacy setting. Being new to the blogging world, I am trying to discern what graphics can be used legally. I have purchased some in the past for personal use and am trying to research what I can and can not do with them as far as sharing materials goes. If you can offer any advice in this area, I would truly welcome it! 

Here are a few titles centered upon lemonade that can be used for literature and math activities. Unfortunately, the ones I have are in my classroom and we had to turn our keys in until later this summer.

You can watch a video clip of the author, Jacqueline Davies, sharing how the book The Lemonade War came about. She was not planning on writing a sequel until she talked to children about the book.  Click on The icon below for the cover to The Lemonade Crime to watch the short video for more details.

That's all for this blog post. Gotta go...a tall glass of lemonade is calling my name......

Friday, June 17, 2011

Back to School Bulletin Board

Kristen at
shared a cute project she did for Flag Day using Wordle. That inspired me to use Wordle to create my first bulletin board of the year. I am going to have my students create a self-portrait and then have the parents send me a list of 10 words to describe their child. I will take the lists and type them into Wordle and print them to put under their portraits. We will reveal the portraits to the parents at Open House. I have attached the parent letter I created in case anyone else wants to use it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Reading and Bookmarks

Bought some neat magnetic page holders at Wal-Mart for all of the books I am reading this summer.
They come six to a package.
Also purchased these uclips to hold key places when reading professional books.

There are 50 in the package.

Happy Reading!

Great Blog Site for Second Grade

I was just at a great blog site for second grade. Check it out! Thanks Mrs. Lemons for sharing!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Organization

Like many other teachers, I am spending time this summer to organize my thoughts and my resources, and spend time upon reflecting what worked well in the classroom, and oh yeah, what did not! I want to record more anecdotal notes next year for assessment purposes. So, my first order of business this week is to organize and create tools for this very purpose. I have seen clipboards before for assessing students, and most recently noticed one in Debbie Diller's book Math Work Stations. I am love, love, loving her book!! Here are pictures of the clipboards with 5 X 8 cards I made for each student for reading and for math. I decided to go with the biggest size cards I could fit on the clipboard so that I will not have to change them out as often. Anything to save time! I made a cover to put over the notes so that anyone else in the classroom will not be able to see any confidential information. Also, I decided to number them as well for two reasons. 1) We do not get our class lists until a few days before school starts and I wanted to have the cards "good to go." 2) If a card is left flipped up for a moment and someone else (volunteer, etc.) sees it, it will not identify a student by name.

Reading Assessment

Math Assessment

Super Cute File Box

New Kid on the Block

Hi! I am the new kid on the block in the teacher blogging world! I know I will learn from other teacher bloggers and want to share what I am doing as well. I am learning about blogging as I venture into this tech savvy world. So, putting one foot in front of the other, I am taking my first step......................................