Spring break is over...back to reality!  Linking up with Doodle Bugs :)


1.  I was fortunate to see a presentation by Lester Laminak...he was a great, engaging presenter, and I now have another resource to use :)

2.  I saw this on Facebook and I loved the message!  I feel very rich :)

3.  Here is an Earth Day freebie you might enjoy!

4.  State testing time is coming up...the students I work with love this video :) 

5.  I'm getting excited for spring fashions...I would say that this mint color is simply brilliant :)

I was fortunate enough to hear a presentation by Lester Laminak!  The day was so amazing, I didn't know where to begin because he shared so many ideas!!!  I'm still processing (a day later)  :)  I always like to find things that I can immediately implement after a professional development.  Two takeaways that I plan to start immediately are:

1) Have a read aloud during the day that is called the "Nonfiction Spotlight" daily.  This can be done by themes or just nonfiction books students would enjoy.  The purpose is not only to provide students with knowledge about the subject, but also to familiarize them with the structure of nonfiction text.

2) To help students learn about the concept of a theme, explain that bumper stickers usually express a theme.  Then after reading a story, have students create a bumper sticker to explain the theme of the book. Move the book to a tub with a bumper sticker identifying the theme.  Anytime you read a book with that theme, it goes in that tub.

I decided to try this with books that were around the theme of "It's Great to be Me!"  Each day I'd read a picture book out loud.  After the third book, I'd read a picture book from a different theme (The Importance of Rules).  Hopefully students would recognize that this book was different, and we'd create a new bumper sticker for picture books with the theme of "The Importance of Rules."

Below are the first nine picture books we are going to use!

Click this link for a free Bumper Sticker Template!

I've had a Reading A to Z subscription for the past six years, but I've always just used their leveled books.  I don't LOVE putting the books together, but the fact that I can find books to match a specific subject is great...and the fact that students can highlight in the books is another plus.

 I'm fortunate that my district pays for my license, but Donor's Choose might be another way to acquire this resource.

I have NO idea how I ever found this...but one day I stumbled upon these AMAZING close reading activities.   I've had great luck working with some of my 5th grade tutoring students using these resources from Reading A to Z.

They are set up for 2nd grade through 6th grade and have different level passages for each grade.  Each set comes with a teachers guide, student resources, as well as discussion leader role cards and report role cards.

We've done two sets (What Makes Something a Work of Art and How Does a Poet Create Images that Support the Theme of a Poem), and I don't follow the directions 100% but they are an excellent guide. The first time the students read their set I have them focus on the main idea, details, and making connections.  Then we get into the close reading. 

 Our next close reading set we will use is: How Can Point of View Affect your Actions?

This is how you get to the close reading section.

These are what I like to print out!

Linking up with Doodle Bugs!
1.  Fancy Nancy…We dressed like characters from our favorite books for Dr. Seuss Day.  I was Fancy Nancy.   I had a fancy skirt, a boa (that made my neck itch like crazy), and lots of jewelry.   There are no pictures because my camera dropped, in the case, and the lens broke!  This was the look I was going for :)
2.  Square Trade.  I got a warranty with my camera, and I wasn’t even sure the lens would be covered.  They were BEYOND WONDERFUL!  In fact, I mailed my lens to them on Friday night and on Wednesday I had a letter saying it was fixed, and they had shipped it back to me! 
3.  At the Teachers Pay Teachers' sale last week, I got the following two items from the Brown Bag Teacher!  The students I work with LOVE them!  These are great for workstations to help prepare for upcoming state assessments.
4.  Weekend trip.  I’m taking my children on a weekend getaway.  We have a children’s museum membership that is good all over the country.  We are taking a little adventure about 3 hours away, and will get to go to a new Children's  Museum.  I'm calling it a Pre-Spring Break Adventure!
5.  Alex and Ani…I love, love, love their bracelets.  This is my newest one.

I've been working with students in tutoring groups, and we've been focusing on Greek and Latin Roots.  In addition to making a notebook, we've been putting any words we find on a bulletin board.  To make our interactive notebook, we use a spiral notebook, instead of a composition book.  Students have to use the word in a sentence, find the definition, and draw the word.  We've been working on them in groups of six. 


I've also had a few students that have been struggling with figurative language.  Here is a figurative language freebie :)


I'm linking up with Primary Chalkboard for this fun linky party.

I love David Shannon!  He has such a variety of books.  I use his picture books with older children because they are great for teaching cause and effect!
Goodnight Moon was my favorite bed time story growing up as a child.
Wonder is such an amazing story with so many wonderful lessons.  It is a great book to really analyze characters and how character's actions impact the plot.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is one of my favorite books to read aloud to intermediate grade students!  The illustrations are brilliant :)

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