Monday, February 20, 2017

Re-telling and Summarizing: Strategies and Interventions

So, how are your interventions going?  Are your students making progress in the area of re-telling and summarizing?

As teachers of reading, we all know that if a student cannot re-tell the story, he/she will have difficulty making deeper inferences, answering questions about the text, connecting with the characters, and, most importantly, enjoying the story. And re-telling, along with summarizing, is a skill that can be honed beginning in kindergarten all the way to college (think of all those undergraduate and graduate students who write abstracts summarizing research).  As an interventionist teacher supporting second and third grade students in the area of reading, I am constantly grappling with how to best support my little friends with their re-tell and/or summary {fiction texts...nonfiction texts need their own blog post!}.  After reading a book during guided reading, I would pull out a graphic organizer, and think to myself, "this doesn't really match the story structure," or "this doesn't allow the student to include the most important details."  So I began to look at the results of my assessments more carefully, searched some of the professional literature, and began differentiating my approaches in order to better break down this important component of comprehension.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Quick book review: Extra Yarn

Before this winter comes to an end, I would encourage you to try to squeeze in Extra Yarn as a read aloud.  I really LOVE this book.  Last year, I used it as a way to talk about doing great things for the New Year, but this book can be used for so many different lessons.  It is a great piece of children's literature as well as work of art.  Simple yet amazing.  Let's just go through the has it all:
  • A great plot structure {characters, setting, problem, solution}? Check.
  • A couple author's lessons, ranging from simple to more sophisticated? Check.
  • Characters with defined character traits? Check.
  • Can be read over and over again for new ideas and meanings? Check.
  • Mentor sentences?  Check.
  • Mentor text for writers workshop?  Check.
  • Suspense? Check.
  • Humor? Check.
  • Sweet and sassy? Check.
  • A hint of magic? Check.
  • The beauty of kindness? Check.
  • Multiple opportunities to change your voice during the read aloud? Check {a very important reason to pick a read aloud 😍}.
I can't say enough about this book, but Lane Smith, the illustrator of many cool books, called this book "perfect." And I agree with him.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

TPT Gift Card Giveaway...another one!

I am so excited that I get give away another Teachers Pay Teachers gift card!! It truly is such a treat to be able to brighten a teacher's day.

Please comment with the product that you can't wait to buy from TpT. It could be any product, not necessarily from my store.I'll be talking submissions until Monday, February 6th at 9 PM. I will randomly select a winner and post it on the blog, Facebook, and Instagram.

Feel free to post on my Facebook and Instagram pages for additional entries!


Congratulations to CrazyCharizma for winning the gift card giveaway!!  Now she can do some shopping at the Teachers Pay Teachers #tptbemine sale!


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Holiday Greetings & New Year's Wishes...with a freebie!

I hope everybody is enjoying his/her winter break!  What a blessing it is to be able to take some time off to relax, eat, spend time with family, sleep, and then eat some more.  Eating is my favorite. ♥

But I also know that so many teachers are already thinking about lesson planning for the New Year.  I know I'm already thinking about how to create resolutions with my little friends with the support of a good read aloud.  Last year I had used Extra Yarn, which is an incredible book with an awesome  female lead character.  And the book exemplifies how a person can have such a huge impact with a simple act of kindness.  But I didn't feel like the students developed strong personal goals after hearing that story.

This year I would like to incorporate more of a growth mindset with creating the resolution.  I've already read The Dot, so I'm thinking of reading What Do You Do With An Idea? or The Most Magnificent Thing.  I'm not sure which book to use...but it will eventually come to me...and I'll post it here on the blog and on my Facebook page.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Giving thanks...for you...with my first ever GIVEAWAY...

During the beginning of the holiday season, we often reflect what we're thankful for. Truthfully, along with being very grateful to God for good health, my wonderful family, for having a home and a job, I'm also incredibly thankful for all my followers on Teachers Pay Teachers. Your lovely comments are truly humbling.  To be part of this community of wonderful educators and to have the opportunity to create and share teaching materials that hopefully have a positive impact on children (and make teachers' lives a little easier!) is inspiring.  So to you,

So, what's the best way to thank you?

I'm ECSTATIC...better yet, ELATED, to be giving away a $10 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card.  My first ever giveaway!  Yay!

There are a couple of different ways to enter:

1.  Please comment on this blog post with a product (or products!) that you would like to buy from Teachers Pay Teachers.  It could be any product, not necessarily any from my store.

2.  Follow me on Facebook and comment under the TpT Gift Card post with the product(s) that are on your TpT Wish List!

I'll be talking submissions until Monday, November 28th, 2016, at 8 PM.  I will randomly select a winner and post it on the blog and on my Facebook page by 9 PM. 

After you win the gift card, you can go do some shopping...

Workshop Classroom store

Please be sure to share!  Thank you again!!!


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Teachers in September: Under construction

Must. Stay. Organized.

One of my goals this year is to get organized and stay organized.  But it definitely requires a huge time investment in the beginning of the year.  I'm really committed to making these changes, to improve my teaching and my personal life.  Therefore, I haven't been blogging or developing products much over the past couple of weeks. Because my life looks like this right now:

Book explosion:  I'm re-organizing my library!

The pretzels add some glamour to this shot.

Clean. Organize. Assess. Repeat.

So hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can share some more pictures of my small-space classroom that are actually an improvement.  

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Surprise Sale!

So, TpT is throwing another back-to-school sale!  A little gift for the teachers who are beginning the school year in September, like myself.  Or for those who are already in the grind of the school year and needs some extra stuff here and there.  My little store is on sale for 20% off, and TpT throws in another 10%, to make it a total of 28% off.  Check it out!

TpT Sale, Workshop Classroom!

And if I may, I have a new product that I've been using myself for a few years.  It's a word wall alphabet for small spaces because I've been sharing a classroom every since I became an academic support teacher.  It's also goes with a blue color scheme or space/star theme (which I currently have both in my room).  Check it out!  And, as always, thank you!!

Word Wall Letters for Small Spaces