I love summer vacation!  We've been swimming a few times, and I've taken my son to the park every day this week! I've been able to sleep late, work-out and read!  This is the life!  I'm still working on the bookroom at school...I go back next Tuesday.  Hopefully, I'm close to being done.  I like everything to be just so :) I saw this quote on Pinterest, and I loved it!  It is a great reminder to me that sometimes I have to take risks and step outside my comfort zone.

Monday was a little stressful.  We've been in a drought for about a year, and as my son says, "I think our drought has ended!"  It rained like crazy for 3 hours, and our sump pump broke.  Thankfully, our basement didn't flood, but my dad came over and had to manually drain it, while my husband and I were taking buckets of water away from the house!  We had neighbors whose basements flooded, so thankfully, we were home, and no damage!  This was water in a small creek by our house.

Last night's sunset :) 

I read The Litigator this week.  It was a quick read, and I really, really liked the main character.  It reminded me of The Firm, which I also enjoyed (about 18 years ago)!  

I picked up Ripped in 30 Days by Jillian Michaels from the Bookmobile. I love it!  I normally run and I do a little bit of strength training, but I thought I could do this on my non-run days.  My husband saw the box and said, "Why did you get this?"  I love that man!!!!  I had to remind him that I'm not exactly "ripped"  :)

joyin6th Homepage

I thought this linky party sounded like fun! 

This year I spent one day a week tutoring 4th and 5th grade students.  It was really successful, and probably the biggest improvement I saw was in students' self confidence as readers!  The students loved coming and were even sad when twice tutoring group was canceled due to snow days!  I would like to expand it to Monday-Thursday.  Each session was very focused.  There was always a learning target with a specific skill, and the students practiced the skill, and their homework was to keep practicing the skill and report back the following weeks, how they applied the skill.  

These next two goals are related. We are going to have a walk-to intervention model implemented for grades K-4.  In addition to guided reading (and intervention that occurs during guided reading), each grade level will have an additional 30 minutes of intervention.  We will use the classroom teachers, reading interventions, special education teacher and two paraprofessionals.  This time is not only for intervention, but enrichment as well!  In order for this to be successful, we have to have data to support our decisions for the specific interventions and a way to measure progress.  We go to training for three days later this month to learn about some new screeners that will be available.

If anyone has any experience with the "walk to" model, I'd love to hear your tips!
I am such a list person!!  I kind of am not very good at just relaxing, and I like being busy.  So this is what my summer list looks like.  Summer goes by way too quickly!!!

Vacation Related
Road Trip to Texas
Road Trip to Denver and Rocky Mountain National Park
Road Trip to Angel Fire and Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico

School Related
Move the book room to the new location.
Make sure the new book room is labeled and organized.
Attend 3 days of PD in June (K-2 Reading Intervention)
PLC Conference in Minneapolis in July
School Improvement Meetings (1 day in June, 2 days in July)
Attend 1 day of Kagan Coaching Training in August
Tutoring - Every Monday and Wednesday in June and every Monday in July

These are the labels that I'm going to use to help organize the book room!
Doctorate Related
Finalize manuscript for beginning teacher research (almost done)
Complete Chapter 3 for Dissertation Proposal meeting in August (almost done)
Meet with major professor in June

Activities for my Children
Volleyball Camp (in the evenings)- May
Swimming Lessons (in the morning)- June
Volleyball Games/Practice (now - June 12 Mondays, Wednesday, Thursdays)
Dance Recital and Dress Rehearsals (Tuesday and Thursday nights and 9 am lots of mornings on the week of June 3)
Tennis (8 am in July- I just need to pick out the weeks)
Lots of pool time in the afternoon!!!!

Fun Stuff For Me
Read lots of fun books!!!
Run/Walk...I'd like to be up to five miles by the time I go back to school.  However, I'm not really great at pushing myself when it comes to running..once I get too tired, I'd rather just walk!  This will probably be my biggest challenge!!!

1.  Today was the last day with students.  We go back on Tuesday for 1/2 day of Professional Development and 1/2 day of working in our room.

2.  Yesterday was Student Appreciation Day.  We started this tradition five years ago and each year we try and out-perform last year's performance.  This year was great!!!  This is our Glow Dance!

3.  Tonight I'm taking my children camping- in the backyard!!! Our record is 10 pm...

4.  I spent quite a bit of time making Summer Reading packets for students to work on this summer.  They included about 8 Reading A to Z books on their independent levels, sight word activities, and Letter/Sound Cards that the teachers use in the classroom.  We've never done this before, but are hoping it helps. 

5.  Our school district has been working with the local library to promote summer reading.  We've been trying to really get the students excited about it.  This is what I looked like when I passed out books and the letters about the program.  For students that participate, they bring their certificate from the library back, and there is a special book and ice-cream party with the principal.  Something that we are very lucky to have is a bookmobile that is right by the school every Tuesday and Thursday for 5 hours a day!!!  This is a great way for students to have access to books all summer long.

I love this story!  My son's kindergarten had a special end-of-the-year program tonight (school end's Thursday at noon).

They had the students narrate the story. The students would take turns reading a sentence. It was very sweet!  I believe they used iMovie with still photographs of each page and the children's voices as narrators.

I'm headed to school tomorrow with my flash drive to get a copy :)
My heart is just so sad to hear about Moore, Oklahoma.  It hits close to home...since I live in Kansas.  My heart just breaks for the families whose lives will be forever changed due to this storm!

1.  Field Day.  Today was field day.  I finally earned my way out of the field!!!  I ran the Turtle Scooter Races.  Students would time each other, and try and beat their personal best time.  It was fun because students were not competing against one another! It also stayed cloudy for most of the day, which helped keep it cool!

2.  Cleaning my desk!  That was a gigantic task! All of my binders are organized, and all of my files are cleaned! I'm so excited :)  If only my house was organized like my desk....

3.  Online Research Set
I'm using this set with a tutoring group this summer.  I love teaching students how to conduct online research, so this will come in handy!

4.  New York.  My daughter got a scholarship to a dance academy in New York City.  The bad thing is it is like getting $500 scholarship to Harvard!  I'm super proud of her hard work.  The academy is the same time as one of our vacations, so she isn't upset that she can't go.

5.  Summer Reading List....I cannot wait to read this summer!  First up is Safe Haven.  This book has been on my list for a while!  I'd love to hear about some of the books that you can't wait to read this summer!

Flash Freebie!  Until 8pm CST tonight! Please leave feedback if you liked it :)

Linky Questions
1. What made you decide to become a teacher?
2. What has been your most rewarding experience as a teacher?
3. If you were not a teacher, what would you be?
1.  When I was little, I loved playing school with my sister.  When I went to college, I did volunteer work as as a tutor in a juvenile detention center.  I also worked part-time for the Native American department of our local school district as a tutor.  I also have a degree in computer science (I'm kind of a big nerd), but teaching is much, much more fun & rewarding!  It is also much more challenging! 
2. Every day when I watch students make connections with the books they are reading is incredibly rewarding!  I also love it when past students have come back to tell me all about the current books they are reading!  I love that they are excited about reading, and I can tell that they will be life-long readers :)

3.  If I wasn't teaching, I would probably work at a book store!

I'm NOT counting down the days, but today I realized that I need to start cleaning up/organizing, so I can go home.  Sometimes I keep things that I don't need, just because I'm afraid that one day I might need them.  This is not a good habit!!!
Here is my list of things to do:
1.  Go through files and purge anything that hasn't been used this school year.
2.  Go through notebooks and make sure everything is current and purge old papers!
3.  See if there are any resources that I'm not using that another teacher might LOVE :)
4.  Organize the book room!!!

What is on your end-of-the-year "must do" list?

I love linking up with Doodle Bugs!
1. I finally got my flowers  planted :)  We did 15 baskets/pots that are on our porch, by the garage and on the deck!

2. Thursday was Formal Day at school!  It was a BLAST.  I wore a super fancy bridesmaid dress from 2001! That dress has sat in my closet for 12 years, and I finally found a reason to wear it.  I felt like a princess all day :)
3. I'm so excited for Mother's Day!  Usually we go hiking, but instead we are going to my daughter's dance competition.  It should be just as fun!
4.  The lilacs in my yard are in bloom!  They smell so good :)  I love spring.
5. This has been a wonderful week! I'm so blessed to work in a school where so many parents are appreciative of everything teacher's do! All week I've been treated like royalty :) 

This is my flash freebie (Free until 9:30 pm CST)...

This is such a fun week!  I've been spoiled at school with breakfast and lunch everyday from the PTO.  Then everyday, the PTO gives us presents!  Today I received a Sonic giftcard and a Subway giftcard.

Last year, I was able to see some of my former kindergarten students from my first year of teaching graduate from high school!  Besides the fact that I felt old, it made me so proud to be a teacher!

I hope everyone is enjoying their week and is getting SUPER spoiled! 

Yesterday, I was able to stock up on some items on my wishlist with the Teacher's Pay Teacher's extra 10% off discount (TAD13)!   I've been having lots of fun buying new paper, frames and borders!  Don't forget to leave feedback so you can earn credits!  The sale + credits are an AWESOME deal.
I'm super excited about the Teacher Appreciation Sale at Teachers Pay Teachers.   The dates for the sale are May 7th and May 8th.  My store will be 20% off, plus if you enter TAD13 at checkout, you receive an extra 10% off!  I had just starting blogging during the Super Sunday Sale, and kind of was still learning the ropes :)

I've been filling my cart, just waiting for the sale to begin :)

I'm super excited to team up with some awesome bloggers and teachers to promote the sale! You can click on the links below to access their stores!  The graphics are from My Cute Graphics!

I wanted to share my latest set.  I work with the kindergarten teachers quite a bit (that's what I taught before I was a reading interventionist).  I made this writing literacy center to help primary students with sentence writing.  It includes 168 picture cards and word cards to help build sentences.  It also includes a template so words and sentences can be customized. This set can be put in a writing center or in a pocket chart center.   I have found that using envelopes are an easy way to organize this center.  I just glue the word cards that are in the envelope on the outside.  I always find that before putting activities in centers, it helps to practice them first in guided reading. 
I love linking up with Doodle Bugs!

1.  I made the Wipeout cake!!  I had Sam's Club make a plain cake, and I did the decorating :)  I used Starbursts, gumballs, Twizzlers, Runts and Hershey Bars.

2.  I had my lass class last night.  I passed my comprehensive exams.  I am officially a doctoral candidate! I'm in the process of getting my dissertation proposal complete, and if things go perfeclty well I will graduate next May...if they don't go perfectly well it will be December 2014.

3.  Snow in May!!! CRAZY!  Yesterday we got 2 inches of snow!!!!

4.  Grading for Learning!  I have been training teachers on standards based grading and LOVE it!!!  It is a great way to focus on specific skills.  It not only helps in planning lessons, but also in teaching.  I've been working with teachers helping them get their last units in reading and math planned, so they can use standards based grading at least one time before school is out. 

5.  I cannot wait to sleep late tomorrow! It will be my first Saturday in months that we don't have dance, soccer or flag football!
Back to Top