Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Making inferences mini lessons

So, my job this year is to provide targeted interventions to students who are partially proficient.  Good times.  I have oodles and oodles of assessment data,  my daily observations of the little rugrats precious children, and of course my overwhelming conclusion after I've synthesized (holla Strategies that Work) all this information is that the students need scaffolding in making inferences.  So after looking at professional literature and resources online, I decided that I wanted to create something break down the process which will hopefully allow students to be more metacognitive about inferring.  I would confer with students, and they would tell me that they didn't understand what they read but it didn't phase them one bit that they didn't understand.  They were not interacting with the text at all!!  Arghh!!  My goal is to eventually have the light bulb go off in their heads when there is a lack of or minimal understanding and then GO BACK to the text to make more meaning of it.  Well, here is a sneak preview of these posters.  If you're interested make sure to visit my store.  If you have feedback, let me know!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's beginning to feel a lot like...

things are hectic.  And crazy.  And the kids want to go on break.  And the teachers NEED to go on break.  However, let's reflect on the fun things that happen this time of year.  First, I *love* making cards for parents/guardians.  This activity is so simple, yet so significant, combining the academic element of how to write a letter as well as the character development aspect, an opportunity for the students to express an appreciation for their parents.  One of my wonderful colleagues showed me this idea of creating a present out of the card.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Math resources galore!!

Switching grade levels is frustrating.  Switching positions AND grade levels is just insane.  Just a little.  It also doesn't help your blogging skills.  Well, anyway, my job is to provide intervention in literacy and math in the upper elementary grades.  In my humble opinion, there are approximately a bazillion (read:  too many to count) resources, programs, and books that talk about literacy intervention.  Because there is a lack of resources for math, it's become my mission as of late to discover these resources that provide some insight about strategies and approaches to reach struggling learners as well as possible resources for parents.  I know there are a few good books on math intervention strategies; however time and money are not on my side, so my best friend Google and I have sifted through many search result pages, and I've created a list of blogs and websites that look promising.  If you know of more resources, please, please share them. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So what are you thankful for?

A first grade list of thankfulness.  Who isn't thankful for his Wii??

No matter what grade you're teaching, you're always going to discuss with your students about what they're thankful for in their lives.  Every year when I create this list, it's always fun to hear some of the interesting things they're thankful for...

Along with my mile-long list of personal thankfulness, I'm also thankful to be employed, to be able to work with amazing professionals, and to do what I love...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Check out this blog!

I can't seem to add this blog onto my list of favorites, so I guess I have to post how fabulous it is.  It's called Look at My Happy Rainbow, and it's all about the adventures of a male kindergarten teacher.  He has some very cute stories about his little "sprouts".  Check out the "Turkey Time" song he posted little friends from last year would have loved dancing to this!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Starting to think about Thanksgiving...

You know teachers, always thinking a little ahead...or maybe frantically trying to catch up.  I'm probably part of the latter group.  Anyway, I was perusing my bookmarks when I found this site with all sorts of Thanksgiving poems and songs.  I remember last year it was my mission to find fun/educational/vocabulary-enhancing poetry, chants, and/or songs for shared reading.  Anyway, my favorite song is "Albuquerque the Turkey" because it's just so darn catchy.  When it's May and I allow students to choose a poem or song for morning meeting, they choose this one (along with Jingle Bells).  You gotta love first graders...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

National Novel Writing Month

So thanks to A Purse Full of Cheerios, I found out that this is National Novel Writing Month.  I'm a little bit late to this party, but I figured I'd post about it anyway.  This wonderful site is a cool opportunity young writers to transform themselves into novelists!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Writing Celebrations

How much do I love writing workshop?  The irony is that I really didn't like writing throughout my academic career.  In fact, writing cover letters, essays, blogs, etc. are still challenging for me.  However, this philosophy of allowing students to select their topics rather than assigning a topic is liberating.  The concept that everybody is an author is amazing.  The idea that they can emulate my their favorite authors (ie, Mo Willems) is incredible.  I really do love writers workshop...

Anyway, I was reflecting/reminiscing on past writing celebrations.  Last year, around this time, I had invited the kindergarten teachers to celebrate with us Writing for Readers.  We were showing off our legible writing, stretched out spelling, and neat work.  Each student left his/her writing piece on the desk while we walked around and read each other's pieces, like a gallery.  When the xylophone played a melody, we rotated tables.  Teachers were free to meander as they pleased.  In the end we reflected on what makes a writing piece readable.  So much fun!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Text-to-Self Connections: Sheila Rae the Brave

One of personal favorite comprehension lessons is teaching students to make connections to the text.  Debbie Miller has wonderful lessons in Reading With Meaning.  When I grow up, I would like to be her...sigh...

Anyway, one of my favorite October activities is making connections to Sheila Rae the Brave by Kevin Henkes

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Supply List

I know that most of you in teacherland have already set up your classrooms, have started off the school year, made your to-do lists...but I just couldn't help but to post this great supply list from Mimi.

I just discovered her blog, and I really believe she is saying what most teachers are thinking but are afraid to say out loud.  I haven't read her book yet, but it's definitely on my to-do list now.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Helping parents establish routines

I know that Back to School night is coming up and soon after report cards and parent-teacher conferences. Parents often ask for advice regarding how to best support their child at home, and they may want to see handouts or resources. I thought this little chart would be useful for helping establish a homework routine. 

For more of Sylvia's great ideas, check out A Purse Full of Cheerios.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Setting up the classroom

Because of my new position this year as an academic intervention specialist, I did not have the opportunity to set up a classroom...and I missed doing it a lot.  I am hoping for the chance to go back to the classroom, and this blog is an opportunity to remember what I've done and what I might tweak in the future.

Ahh, the word wall.  According to the literature (for example, here and here), the word wall should be accessible to the students, and the white board is a perfect place because the words can then be magnetized (magnetic tape is one of my many best friends).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Here goes...

After much thought and careful consideration, I'm actually joining the realm of educational blogs, hoping to share some ideas from my classroom experiences, but also to obtain new ideas from all the wonderful, hard-working, and inspirational teachers that are out there, trying to make a difference.  I hope I become worthy to have you as an audience!