Donut SOL

Photo on 2-11-15 at 7.50 AMNo, it isn’t healthy and definitely defeats the purpose of Wellness Wednesday.  However, a few Wednesdays ago I stopped to get donuts for breakfast to share with the other third grade teachers.

As I hurried around the room getting stuff done, I enjoyed my cookie dough donut.  Fifth grade bloggers began to wander into the room for their weekly blogging club lead by our literacy coach.  Mary, the student in the picture above, asked for a donut or at least a bite of my donut.  Instead of repling with a mature, “Sorry Mary, but I can’t share junk food with students.”  I replied with, “Nope.  Mmmmm…This is so good.”20150224_064727

No, I am not the most mature or empathetic teacher, however it was very fun to tease her with my delicious Wednesday Wellness treat.  🙂   And tomorrow I will be giving her a donut….a giant eraser shaped like a donut.

You can read the student’s SOL post here.  It would be great if you left her a comment too!

What I’m Loving Wednesday 2.18.15

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 2.05.13 PM     The last few weeks have been ROUGH, both personally and professionally.   I really am in no mood to write about what I’m loving today, because honestly, I’m not loving much.  However, since I’m feeling like this, I’m thinking it is more important than ever to remember that I am lucky. So…here it goes…

♥  I have a job that doesn’t involve dressing like the Statue of Liberty and dancing on a busy road.

Every time I pass by one of those people I feel bad that they have to dance in the gold wearing that outfit to earn a living.  I am also extremely grateful that I earn my living doing a job that makes a difference, that gives me a creative outlet, and that does not require a costume.

51R6KBB4YSL♥   The Tale of Despereaux:  Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread

I love this read aloud with our third graders!  We just started it this week and the kids are enjoying it.  We read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane earlier this year and so the kids were excited to read another by Kate DiCamillo.  I love how the author addresses the reader in each chapter!

10978584_837651163684_7796171745677410731_n♥  Timehop

Seeing pictures like these remind me how lucky I am to have one amazing boy!

♥  Kindergarten Minds

While observing in a kindergarten room today, I heard this conversation.  The teacher was modeling drafting using pictures and labels for nonfiction texts.  Her topic was cars and a section of it was about what cars need.

Student A raises his hand, “You forgot to put an engine.  All cars need engines to run.”

Student B, “Well, actually, I need to tell you,” speaking to A, “not all cars have engines.  Some run on engines, some on        gas,  some on batteries.”

“And some are electric,” chimes in Student C.

The conversation went on between the students, ultimately it was decided to include the picture of the engine.

Screen-Shot-2015-02-18-at-12.53.59-PM-10mofw0-300x198♥  Reading blogs written by my students.

Click on the picture to read the Slice of Life that goes with the photo.  And click here to read more about our classroom blogging adventure.


Sunday Letters 2.15.15

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Dear Students,20150205_153715

I am so proud of your blogging and I can’t wait until the March SOL Classroom Challenge!  You have grown so much in your writing and every thing else this year.  You are amazing, spunky, special kids and I am so grateful to be your teacher!


Your Proud Teacher

P.S. I’m also very grateful that you don’t eat pencils like this one that I found in a Kindergarten room.

PicMonkey CollageDear Self,

You totally deserve the gifts you bought yourself for Valentine’s Day!

Me  🙂


Dear Amanda and Liz,

I absolutely love being your mentor!  You both are very talented and dedicated teachers and I am learning so much from you.  I know that this has been a hard year, but just think of how far you have come already.  You are making a difference in young lives every day.

With pride,

Your Mentor


Dear Gilmore Girls,

Thank you so much for existing.  (And thank you Netflix for making binge watching possible!) You were the perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day night as a single introvert.  🙂  If only real people had conversations like Lorelai and Rory.

I just found out, through Pinterest, that Stars Hallow is a real place called Washington Depot or something.  I really want to take a road trip now!


A Devoted Fan

Classroom SOL Challenge…We’re ready!

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 7.12.13 PMOur class is blogging and I must say they are pretty fantastic!  This fall we asked the students to put their weekly letters to us about a book on Kidblog.  Then, right before winter break we introduced blogging and edublogs.  This way the kids get more choice:  theme, formatting, and blog name.   One week before winter break and these last two weeks…the kids are ready for March’s Slice of Life!

Screenshot_2015-02-14-19-31-05In preparation for our March Challenge our Literacy Coach created a fabulous bulletin board to track student blogging and we included information in our biweekly parent newsletter.

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We taught the kids different topics they could write about, including a slice of life.  We also stuck in several mini-lessons on run-on sentences and possessive vs. plural.  After talking about what a “Slice of Life” means, we gave the kids notebooks to jot down ideas throughout the day.  Our young writers were totally motivated and even took them with to P.E. that morning!

20150213_115828Here are a few links to some great posts by the kids.  Clicking on the picture should bring you to the post…Enjoy!

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This one is about the SOL Challenge.
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Fabulous SOL by a very talented young writer!
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This SOL makes me question if this whole thing was a good idea…

The Benefits of Being Short

1.  Pants that are supposed to be Capri or ankle length are actually full length.

2.  Getting flour from the top shelf in the kitchen is a climbing adventure…

3.  Plenty of throwing practice putting groceries away on the high shelves.

4.  Being taller than a guy (or almost anyone really) is a non-issue.

5.  Meeting someone shorter than you is a unique and exciting experience!


Questioning, Visualizing, Summarizing…Oh My!

This is from one of our mini-lessons. We always tell students not to spend too much time on drawing their visualizations!

After coming back from break, all is generally forgotten. So, we wanted to review the very important reading strategies of questioning and visualizing, while also beginning to teach the strategy of summarizing.  We used poetry to work with these strategies for about a week.

We used this graphic organizer in guided reading to practice the strategies.
We used this graphic organizer in guided reading to practice the strategies.
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We tracked student application of these strategies with a checklist.

Image 1-28-15 at 6.46 AMAfter four days of modeling and guided practice, we wanted to see what students were able to do on their own.  We read a poem together and the students showed us what they could do in their notebooks.  We then took this information plus our guided reading information to report student progress on these strategies to parents.

We sent this letter home to parents with an explanation of each strategy.
We sent this letter home to parents with an explanation of each strategy.
On the back of the letter, we reported student progress on these reading strategies.
On the back of the letter, we reported student progress on these reading strategies.

Hopefully this helps you encourage these very important reading strategies in your young readers.  You can purchase these resources at my TPT store.  And now I will leave you with a few thoughts from our third graders after reading this poem. Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 7.15.33 AMScreen Shot 2015-01-27 at 7.17.10 AM