September 23, 2013

Monday Funny!

Time for a Monday funny.....

Lil' teacher humor. Someecards.

Speaking of raising money from Target.....did you all hear that Give With Target has extended their deadline to September 30th.  This means that you get an extra week to vote!!    Click the link below to vote for your school!

Here is to everyone raising money for their school!!

Have a happy Monday!


September 11, 2013

Hump Day....Woot woot!!

The following video has been all the rage at my school....and I have to admit it is pretty darn funny!!

In other news.... I stayed up way past my bed time last night as I continued working on my interactive notebook pages.  Check them out if you get a chance!

Well.....Happy Hump Day everyone!!

September 8, 2013

MTSS Symposium Follow Up

Just as anticipated the MTSS Symposium was AMAZING!  I was able to see Anita Archer....not once....but TWICE. Regrettably I didn't get a picture with her.  I (and my teacher friends that attended with me) decided it would be a tad creepy.  The first time I saw Anita she was presenting on reading foundation skills and the second time I saw her she was presenting on increasing middle and high school engagement. Both sessions were equally informative and entertaining, but it was Anita Archer we are talking about, so I don't expect anything less! 

At the conference I also saw Jan Hasbrouck, Deborah Glaser and representatives from MiBLSi (Michigan’s Statewide MTSS Project).  Dr. Hasbrouck presented on how to use your reading assessments to inform instruction.  She is just as engaging as Anita Archer and always presents excellent information.  Dr. Glaser was a real treat as her presentation was on various hands on writing and reading routines one can use to help struggling readers.  Last but not least, representatives from Michigan’s Statewide MTSS project came and presented on the function and impact data coaching can have in your district.

I would go into further detail, but I am planning a blog post over each of the sessions I attended.  The information was so great---I just have to share it!  So stay tuned for future posts!

This past week, my school finished up AimsWeb testing....which is awesome for a data nerd like myself.  Now that the data is in....I can finally start forming my Tier 2 and Tier 3 groups!  Typically my reading intervention classes consist of helping students with decoding and fluency...but this year our kiddos are quite a bit higher and I will mostly be working on comprehension. This is a very encouraging data trend to have :).  

I have decided to use interactive notebooks with my students (like I did with my summer school kids) and I can't wait!  In case you haven't heard about interactive notebooks---they are personalized textbooks or a working portfolio of notes, classwork and even quizzes and tests.  Interactive notebooks are a great organizational tool for students and a perfect way for students to review reading strategies. I have decided to organize the interactive notebooks my students use by sectioning the notebook off into key comprehension strategies that are proven to increase comprehension: story mapping, questioning, meta-cognition (thinking about thinking),  making predictions, inferencing, vocabulary, main idea, text structure, and drawing conclusions.  So far I have only made the story mapping pages for the story map section.....hopefully I get the rest of the pages done before my Tier 3 kiddos start!!  

Pictured above is an easy (and cheap) way to organize the interactive notebooks---write on small sticky notes and place on the first  page for each section in the notebook.  Use tape to secure the sticky note to the page for extra durability.
Above is one example of a story map you can use with your students.  I always have my kiddos label each page with a number, the title of the story and the author.
Here is yet another example of s story map you can use with your students.  Students can draw a picture on the outside of the tab or make a bulleted list.  Flip the tab open, and have students fill in more descriptive information.
 This story map foldable for the interactive notebook  is perfect for transitioning into writing a summary.  Students can fill out the foldable and then use the writing stems on the foldable to help them with the summary.
 If you have struggling students use a differentiated story map with easy to understand vocabulary and less sections.

Last but not least here are a few more tips that I am going to make sure and tell my students for their interactive notebooks.
  1. Date and number each page
  2. Keep a table of contents
  3. No doodling that doesn't relate to classroom notes
  4. Notebook will only be used in my classroom
  5. No tearing out pages
  6. Always write title and author at the top of the page
  7. The left side will be used for students--this is where they will keep their diagrams, cartoons, drawings, poems, foldables, etc.
  8. The right side will belong to me (the teacher) for guided notes, comments to students and graded tests and quizzes. 
If you are interested in these interactive pages...visit my TPT store!  I hope to have the rest of the pages done soon! :)

Have a great Monday tomorrow!

September 4, 2013

Website Wednesday

Before I reveal my website for Website Wednesday....I have to share my excitement for what tomorrow brings.  Tomorrow, I (and many others) will be attending the Kansas MTSS Symposium!!!  I wish you could see my face right no-- because my grin is stretching from ear to ear!!!

The Kansas MTSS Symposium is a HUGE conference that brings together teachers and administrators from all over the state of Kansas in order to strengthen instruction for all students.   It is a fabulous three day affair where I will be blessed to hear presentations from some of education's best and brightest ---we are talking national speakers from all over the US!!  Can you sense my enthusiasm?!?!  AHHHHH I can barely stand it!!!

I am most excited to see Anita Archer---she is one of my reading instruction idols!  Have you heard of her?  I am currently using one of her resources (Sopris Rewards) with my tier 3 kiddos.  The resource is paying off, as I have seen remarkable improvement in my students ability to decode multi-syllabic words.  Their fluency and confidence has also increased.  Do you think it would be lame to try and get a picture with her.....maybe even her autograph?!?  Maybe that would be creepy......

I promise I will blog about all I have learned :) So....stay tuned

Now on to the website. :)

I feel as though there are a multitude of reading diagnostics to assist teachers in diagnosing students' reading needs.....but what is there for math?  What is out there to help teachers determine math weaknesses in their students?  Lucky for you I have discovered a free diagnostic math website.  Yep--FREE!  Yep---a MATH diagnostic. :)  The website is called Math Reasoning Inventory.

Math Reasoning Inventory is directly tied to Common Core and allows you to discover how your students think and reason through math.  The MRI instant report is perfect to inform your instruction, organize intervention groups and awesome to share with parents.  You are able to enroll 160 students on the website--and it is FREE!!

I don't know all the ins and outs of the website---but I was just so excited I had FINALLY found a math diagnostic!!

Have a great night....I hope I can sleep...I feel like it is Christmas Eve!!


September 2, 2013

Currently September

Happy Labor Day everyone!!  Isn't it great to have an extra day in the weekend---I could get used to this :). Today I am linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade and presenting my Currently September.

1.   Harry Potter is definitely my favorite book series of all time....but strangely enough I have never watched the movies.  I have seen bits and pieces of the films here and there---and apparently that is how it is going to be today; I started watching halfway through the movie.  Maybe one day I will actually get to sit down and have a Harry Patter marathon!

2. Don't you just love the extra day in our weekend?  The husband and I have had a great weekend so far--we have gotten in tons of gardening, cleaned the house, had a barbecue with friends and taken the pup for lots of walks.

3. I for sure need to get some grading done!  Last week I tested 5th graders using our district's diagnostic assessment (DRA--Developmental Reading Assessment).  Now I just have to score the comprehension packets.  Do you all use the DRA?

4. Hopefully I will be able to squeeze in some reading today.  Last night I downloaded two books on my nook--The Giver and The Maze Runner. I just finished up The Hunger Games, and I was going through book/series withdraw---so I am pretty pumped I have something to read now! Has anyone read either of these books?


5. I need to finish some TPT projects--I have so many ones that I have started, and it is high time I get them done!

6.  Just like Farley said on her blog---the last Currently space should be reserved for a little "you time."  Something that makes you happy.  Thus--I am going to try and get in 150 miles of walking this month. Last month my husband and I walked 130 miles--so I think we can do it!!  I also would like to get a pedicure--I haven't had one in over a year and I think I should treat myself. :)

Hope everyone enjoys their day!