Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Funny Find on Family Fun

Had to share a link to this project:

That was my idea! I wrote to Family Fun a few years ago when they asked for Valentine crafts. It was almost 10 years ago since that is my maiden name in the little blurb! Too funny that it's still on their website. I think I got some money for contributing.

I was thinking about doing something like this in my classroom where I could write a message on a heart for each student in my class. Then I could put them up on Valentine's Day to surprise them. :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Reading Assessments

Sometimes I feel like I could use every Daily 5 session assessing students' reading levels and fluency. It can get overwhelming! My colleagues decided to use Reading A-Z for our running records. Our district does not require us to do DIEBELS or Read Naturally so we use the Reading A-Z site for most of our group placements and practice fluency checks (our district does have fluency benchmarks we are required to give throughout the year). We also use Raz-Kids (from Reading A-Z) for our students to practice reading online at home. We have had great success with that site and it helps them to read stories online since they are required to do so during our NWEA MAP tests.

Here is how I organize my reading assessments.
I have a TON of folders leftover from when I did my master's project on comprehension. I purchased them on mega-clearance...I think it was a dime for five folders. Each color is a grade level according to Reading A-Z standards. In one bucket I have folders for levels AA-Z. I also have a list of "lifetime words" and high frequency words. I have a calculator, a timer, a pen, and a highlighter.  Here is what is in each folder:

On one side are shrunken copies of the fluency checks for each reading level. I use a half-sheet for each student. On the other side is the running record that we do. Each level has a few "benchmark" books on Reading A-Z. I have a copy of the book for the students to read and then shrunken copies of the running record for me to mark. On the back of each running record are the comprehension questions from the website as well. I use a half-sheet for these, too. 

Many teachers come to my room looking for masters to copy and they love that mine is organized so they can find things easily (and replace them!) and that all of the shrunken copies save on their copy budget, too.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

1. Thank the person who presented the award to you and link back to them.
    Thank you to Michele Smyth over at New Adventures in First Grade for my virtual award!

2. Tell seven things about yourself.
  • I taught at a preschool while I was going to school for elementary education. I worked from 7am-3pm and then took classes at night before going home to my husband, homework, and bed!
  • I am organized in my own mind, it just might not look like it. Want a specific worksheet? I know exactly where it is in my pile. :)
  • I am a looping teacher for grades 1-2 which means I have the same class for first and second grades. This year I should have started my fourth loop at my school but I volunteered to take over another teacher's second grade class. I'm not sure where next year will find me- maybe first, maybe second, maybe a multi-age. Who knows?
  • I grew up with many kittens, hamsters, fish, a rat, two chickens, a handful of rabbits and a couple of dogs. Not all at once, though. And we didn't live on a farm- actually I grew up in a suburban area that was just named the Best Place to Live by Money Magazine.
  • My degree is K-8 with a specialty in Communication Arts and Literature. I also have my Master's degree in Teaching and Learning. My final Master's project was on comprehension. I will definitely share those ideas here!
  • When I was little I wanted to be a teacher...or a meteorologist. Which is strange since I HATE storms. Though I was thinking about taking a community ed course on how to be a storm spotter...
  • My husband and I met online. We were together for five years before we got married. This year we will celebrate 9 years of marriage. I have two boys, ages 5 and 1 month. We also have a chocolate lab to fill our king-sized bed.

3. Pass this onto 10 newly discovered blogs and let them know they've received the award.

  • Ms. Preppy- Caitlin teaches primary math in Kentucky. I found her blog when I signed up for Holly Bloggy Christmas. Thanks for hosting!
  • Schoolgirl Style- Melanie has the most amazing blog for decorating and organizing your classroom!
  • Second Story Window- I found these ladies through Pinterest and I love their stuff (especially the freebies!)
  • Just Reed- Ashley has fabulous ideas and a wonderful TPT store. I hope she posts soon!
  • First Grade Parade- Cara has inspiring posts and lessons for first grade teachers (and lots of Pinterest boards).
  • Step Into 2nd Grade- Love Amy's posts and lessons on TPT! 
  • The Inspired Apple- Abby has AMAZING lessons on her blog and in her TPT store- and perfect handwriting!
  • Mrs. Jump's Class- Deanna is always posting incredible activities and is one of the top sellers each week on TPT. Love her stuff!
  • Mrs. Meacham- Not really a blog but awesome ideas that I reference often. You can keep track of updates on her site here.
  • Mrs. Bainbridge's Class- Christina was my partner for Holly Bloggy Christmas and she is a wonderful blogger!