Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Books Books and More books...

I have more books in my classroom library than anyone could dream. In fact, is it possible to have too many books? They take up sooo much space-- and I fear that mnay of them arent even TOUCHED by the students. Should I weed them out and get rid of the books that students arent interested in? My next question to ponder-- is how do I need to organize the books? For years I have organized them by genre-- and I promptly notice my boys going for the fiction, or the sports, or the graphic novels, where my girls tend to gravitate toward the fictional, realistic fiction chapter books and even the poetry. But now I am wondering, should I level all my books and put them into baskets according to level? Does anyone else level their books and group them that way for ease of students to choose books at their "level?"

Monday, July 16, 2012

Daily Five Listening to reading

I am loving the Daily Five and all the resources I am finding. I am working on a wiki http://daily5andcafe.wikispaces.com/ so that I have all my resources in one place and I can also share them with other teachers. but the most amazing resources I have found are all the listening sites! I am listing the listening sites that I have found that I will be using and will also add to it as needed. You will have to copy and paste the following as I do not have all of them linked yet. National Geographic Shel Silverstein http://www.readtomelv.com/current-books/ http://www.starfall.com http://kids.aol.com/KOL/1/KOLJrStories http://storynory.com/ http://www.wegivebooks.org/books#all http://www.web-pop.com/readersindexflash.html http://www.frankasch.com/animatedbooks.html http://pbskids.org/lions/stories/ http://www.mightybook.com/story_books.html http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/l...ups_supper.asp http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/stories/ http://www.kennedy-center.org/multim...alexander.html http://www.inklesstales.com/poems/index.html http://www.inklesstales.com/stories/index.shtml http://www.storylineonline.net/ I hope you you find these helpful! I am also considering a membership ( it is free) at http://www.symbaloo.com/ This is a site where I can place all my listening sites that I want the students to have access to during the listening to reading. The site is basically a place where you can bookmark all your favorite sites and can access it via any computer. :)

Monday, July 9, 2012


Read the book in about 4 hours this morning as I waited for my brakes to be replaced. I am ready to jump into Daily 5 and CAFE head first. I think this afternoon I will make a list of everything that I can create at home and begin. 1. I can make my Daily five signs/ Sentence Strips 2. I can Make my Cafe Signs and definitions 3. I can make my notebook for conferencing 4. I can create labels for Writers notebooks, and class journals. 5. I need to decide if I am going to make Genre labels for my book baskets or if I am going to embark on the task of leveling my books according to readability. Sheesh. That is a task all in itself. 6. I am going to start saving cereal boxes so my students will have Book Boxes. 7. Hopefully when I get back from the beach next week-- and inbetween training days, I can get into my classroom to begin unpacking the boxes and baskets that students helped me to throw together. Yes. Throw together is right. 8. I am sure there is more......... I will just add to it that as I go along.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Let the Planning Begin!

I am thinking that teachers are the biggest nerds ever. How many professions have a vacation and continue to think,create activities, presentations, and plan their job during their vacation? I have read the book Daily Five-- I bought my lesson plan book and now I am ready to fill it up with the first weeks of school plans! I am going to create my labels for notebooks, folders and posters..... Oh I am getting excited about school. Every year when the school year ends I am so weary and I welcome summer with open arms. Around the beginning of July I begin to get excited again about the new year and all that is to come: New students, new school supplies and a renewed sense of spirit. I guess if there is ever a time when I don't get excited about a new school year retirement will bwe close at hand-- or a career change. For the time being-- I will continue to love being a teacher nerd!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Relief-- and an Overachiever.

Horray! My books came yesterday! I was so excited, I ripped the box open and began reading my past due homework. chapters 1 and 2. Chapter three was to be read by today-- so I started that one also. My daughter was begging to swim, so I just went outside, parked my lounge chair in the shade while she swam in the pool. An hour and a half later I was already into chapter 7. Book read. Check.
Now to start my Wiki. Yep. I want to provide resources for me-- and who ever else wants to use them for FREE -- so that I can implement the Daily Five and Cafe in my classroom-- (Gotta read Cafe, but I wont start that one until Monday or Tuesday.) I have found some other wikkis for the Daily 5 and Cafe--but I want to make sure mine is geared for 4th grade. I would love any suggestions of sites or places to look for free resources for the Daily Five and CAFE. Face it-- we all like free. Visit my wiki-- http://daily5andcafe.wikispaces.com Just remember: It is a work in progress-- I have included it on the side bar I know that there are some resources out there already--and I will include those free resources as I find them on my wiki, but I am also dissappointed that so many things have to be purchased. TpT is obviously a booming business for many teachers, but I have spent soooo much money on supplies, books and resources-- Well, lets just say my husband is really coming down hard on the ammount of money I have spent. To be honest-- he is right. I don't know of any other job where employees spend their own money to do their job. I just can't afford to spend anymore--and keep my husband happy. I am just tired of fighting that battle. (Can anyone relate?) Okay-- so now my overachieving self has read a month long book study book in a matter of hours-- is starting a blog and a wiki-- and had guests coming tonight for dinner-- of which puts me back in panic mode-- My house looks like a bomb went off. Well-- guess it is time to play the fun game-- "Stuff and Hide" (you know, the one where you stuff everything in closets, boxes bags and hide it in the basement, garage and attic?)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Panic Mode!

I have become addicted to pinterest. In my addiction this summer, I found (or think I have) a solution to my problems. Problem number 1 Not enough time to do EVERYTHING I want to do in my ELA block. Problem number 2 Beginning the Common Core Standards this year.......Really what we are doing is teaching the "Common" standards between the common core and our own standards. (Might as well go straight to the common core then-- they are only going to be tested on the common standards..." Problem number 3 I have got to find a way to get my interventions in for my RTI students. So when I came across the Daily Five and the CAFE invite for a book study-- and a ton of Pinterest pins for this strategy of teaching.... I knew I had to be in on it.
So I went to the book store and ordered the books. I have been all excited about getting these books. As I looked at the schedule for the book study I discovered that the study would begin on July 1st. I hoped that the books would be to my house on time. July 1st came. No books. 1st assignment. Not done. July 4th. Second assignment. Not done. UUG! How can I do my homework if I don't have the books? I thought about down loading them on my Kindle fire-- But I want the books where I can turn the pages, where I can write in them if I so desire, so I can carry them to and from school...... virtual books just miss something sometimes.
Being that today is the fifth-- I am hoping my books come in today so I can get caught up. But a thought just hit me. My summer is almost over-- and I am about to panic. Next week I really need to get busy and start getting my workstations together that I am going to use for the Daily 5! (uhhhh.... yeah I know... I need the book....) thank goodness for some of the blogs and pinterest that will point me in the right direction to see what I need to do to set this up. Next week is the drawing the end of my summer!!! You are probably thinking I am nuts-- but at the end of next week I will be going to the beach-- (that in itself isn't really isn't a vacation when you are a mom of three, and will also be sharing the condo with your sister- in-law who has two very rowdy boys.....my two boys are a little older and normally pretty calm-- until they get together with hers-- and then the added drama of the only girl in the family who is 6 ....) When I come home from the beach -- I will have mentor training and then Literacy by Design training.... and then --Oh my goodness it will already be the second week of August!! Will I have enough time to set my room up? I changed rooms so everything is boxed up and stacked halfway to the ceiling in the back of the room. We all know you don't get to work in your room on those teacher work days when school starts. If I could I would go up to the school today and start unpacking-- to bad the floors are being waxed. It is July 5th-- and here I am having a melt down about not being ready for the first day of school. My husband just shakes his head.

Monday, July 2, 2012

In the Beginning.......

I went to the book store to get the books Daily Five and CAFE. I was ready to read and start a more organized method for my ELA block. They were out. So I am having to wait for my books to come in. How van I take part in a book study if I haven't read the books????? I already feel like I didn't do my homework.