March 29, 2013

Spring Cleaning Sale

This weekend I am having a "Spring Cleaning Sale" on my TPT site.  Feel free to check out some of my products and get them at a discount. :)

Perhaps my spring cleaning sale will motivate me to actually spring clean my house?!?! Or better yet...... I can pin some cleaning tips and tricks on pinterest.  That is pratcially the same thing, right? haha!

Have a great weekend, ya'll!


I borrowed ths cute sale sign from 4th Grade Frolics blog. :)  Thanks 4th Grade Frolics!!

March 27, 2013

We Give Books

We have done it!  We have made it half way through the week. :) Yeah!  And...not only is it the middle of the week, it is also time for Website Wednesday!!

As a reading specialist, I am always looking for ways to build our school's literacy lab.  Our literacy lab is where we house reading resources for the whole school that any teacher can borrow at anytime.  We have novel sets, reading theater plays, Reading A-Z books, National Geographic magazines, etc.  All reading materials are organized by reading level....so teachers can easily select an appropriate text for their whole class instruction, novel groups, or small groups.

Recently, I stumbled upon this GREAT website that will help me in my mission to build the literacy lab. Not only can it help my school...but it could also help your school earn FREE BOOKS!  The website is called We Give Books.

When you sign up for a free account at We Give Books; students, teachers and parents can view children's books online for free.  The books that are available aren't boring books---but rather  popular books---that students would enjoy.  Readability of the books are ages 0-10.  Did I mention it is free? 

 

Another great thing about We Give Books is that when you sign up you can read for a certain cause.  Every time you, or a student reads a book online---a book is donated to the cause of your choice.  Until April 5th---you can select "Read for my School." and earn the books for your school (after you register your school of course---but it is not hard...don't worry)!  I know April 5th is literally right around the corner and you probably don't have time to earn a lot of free books---but We Give Books does this every year----so----make sure you sign up for this next year!  However... go ahead and visit the site and start earning books for another worthy cause!

Katie
                            



March 26, 2013

Liebster Award







Well I have been nominated for the Liebster award by Kim from Differentiation and Diving. Thanks Kim! It is such an honor. I am relatively new to blogging, so I wasn't quite sure what the Liebster award was.....so after further research I found out that the Libster Award is awarded to new bloggers with less than 200 followers.
In order to receive the award the recipient must:
  • Post 11 things about themselves.
  • answer the questions that the tagger set for you, plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve nominated for the award
  • Choose 11 people and link them in your post, and go to their blog and tell them.
  • You can't choose people that have already been chosen! In other words---no tag backs!
Here goes nothing.....



11 things about me


 
1. I got married to an AMAZING MAN November of last year!!!
2. I have a chocolate lab named Rudy. :)
3. Diet Dr. Peppers from Sonic are my weakness!
4. I played golf in high school..... And then turned down college scholarships, because I was "tired of sports." Gosh.....why do we have to be so dumb when we are young?!?!
5. I love watching and playing sports.
6. I am extremely competitive.
8. My all-time favorite show is---GOLDEN GIRLS!!!
9. NPR is my other weakness. You can't go wrong with public radio!
10. I have never broken a bone. 
 
11 questions to answer from the nominator (Kim)
1.       Would you rather play sports or watch them? What’s your favorite? That is a tough one! I suppose I would rather watch them. My favorite sport to watch is volleyball!!
 
2.      Is teaching your first or second career? If it’s a second (or third or fourth:), what did you do before this? Teaching is my first career! I knew from a very young age that this is what I wanted to do.
 3.      There’s been a lot of talk about this- MAC or PC? Both...I love me some of my apple products---iPod, iPhone, ipad....but I use a PC for work.
 4.      Are you an introvert or extrovert? Definitely an extrovert.....I truly have never met a stranger!
 
5.      What is your favorite way to relax? Hmmmm....reading I suppose.
 6.      What/where is the best vacation you’ve ever taken? I was blessed with parents that love to vacation---so I have been to a lot of neat places. However---the best was my honeymoon to Seattle!
 7.      If you woke up tomorrow and there were no more schools and you could do anything you wished, what would you do? Gosh...I have no idea! I supposed I would look for a job. Haha
8.      What are you listen to right now? Nothing......
 9.      Considering birth order, where are you in the chain of command? Which is the best? I am the baby.....so of course I think being youngest is best.
10.  What is the best part of your job? Building relationships with students.
11.    Would you rather go to a movie or a play? Which was the last you saw? I would rather go to a movie. The last show I saw was Donnie Darko.
11 questions for my nominees to answer
1. What is your favorite book? Why?
2. Who is your hero and why? (Doesn’t have to be famous).
3. What is your dream job?
4. Where would you travel if you could go anywhere?
5. If you won the lottery, how would you spend it?
6. How would your friends describe you?
7. What are some of your hobbies?
8. Cat or dog? Coke or Pepsi?
9. What is your most embarrassing moment?
10. What is one of your goals in life?
11. What is your favorite color?
 

The Blogs I nominate are:

March 25, 2013

Monday Funny :)


I made it through my least favorite day of the week….Monday (mind you….only on 2. 5 hours of sleep).  This means it is time for another Monday Funny!

 


I know it is not Pi day…….but I couldn’t resist!  Thanks geekoftheday.com for letting me borrow steal your joke! J 
 
I hope everyone had a great day…but more importantly that you all got more sleep than I did last night!  This girl is going to bed at 8:00 tonight! haha :)

 

Katie

March 24, 2013

Spring break is over......sad!

My oh my......I feel like the last week has been a whirlwind! I hate to describe it that way, because I wasn't even at school...it was spring break! Nonetheless....it was still VERY busy.....therefore I had no time to blog! Sheesh....this is terrible....I am only on my fifth blog post and I am already coming up with excuses as to why I couldn't blog!! Goodness.....

So I guess I will get you all up to speed......two weeks ago our school had parent teacher conferences. From my standpoint the conferences went well. As the reading specialist in the school, I only participate in conferences when the teachers ask me to be there. Our school has an "open house policy" when it comes to conferences and teachers are available for four hours two nights. Parents just stop by when they can.....instead of having a set time slot. So, I am sort of on call....when a teacher needs me he/she can call down to my room and I am available. I maybe had two or three conferences....so for the rest of the time I was in meetings and working with our other district reading specialists on a "reading progressions document." I promise to reveal it when I am finished with it....and I am really close!

Last week was spring break, and my family was able to take a much needed vacation to Tennessee to visit my sister! We had a great time....minus the long 10 hour drive it takes to get from Kansas to TN! We spent three days in Nashville and visited the Hermitage (home of Andrew Jackson), the Parthenon, Opry Mills....and even went zip lining! Fun, fun
fun!!

One thing I meant to do over spring break (besides blog) was to make more products for my Teachers Pay Teachers store....which I didn't have time for! Ugh! However I did stumble upon a great website for free fonts!! Not only are the fonts free.... but you can search for "free commercial use fonts" under the font categories tab. All of the fonts that pop up under that search, you can use when you make products to sell!
Soooo.....for all of you TPT sellers....this is a great resource for fonts when you make TPT products! Make sure to search "free commercial use fonts."!!! We don't want any lawbreakers...

http://www.1001fonts.com/


Well....spring break has come to an end.....and work awaits me tomorrow! We have 37 days of school left....and I hope my kids can continue to make great gains!!



Katie


March 11, 2013

Monday Funny....

Oh Mondays......my least favorite day of the week.  :(  I am always soooooo tired when I roll into school on Monday mornings, and I always feel like my weekend was too short.  I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way.  :)

This particular Monday is rough, but only because this week is a busy one for the teachers and me--AND spring break is so close I can taste it!  At school this week we have conferences, state assessments --AND it is a four day week.  But....spring break is next week!  WAAA HOOO!!

So, to brigthen everyone's Monday, enjoy the following comic! :) I got a pretty good chuckle out of it!

 
 

March 9, 2013

Vocabulary Freebie!!


Yeah...the weekend is here!!

Does anyone have any big plans for this weekend? Here in Wichita, we have the state basketball championship going on at our local arena. My husband is a HUGE sports nut....so I am sure he will spend his weekend up at the arena watching some talented young basketball players. :) I usually try to attend most sporting events with him, because I love watching sports too, albeit not as much as him. However, I do love spending time with him...and if that means sports every weekend...than that is what I will do.

Anyway....in honor of the weekend, I have decided to post a freebie!! This freebie is a fun way to practice vocabulary. I know my students get bored copying down definitions in a vocabulary notebook...so I developed a way for students to practice their vocabulary words in a fun way. It is called "Vocabulary Rock and Roll."

Vocabulary Rock Roll 


 






In order to use this in in your classroom....simply print off the vocabulary rock and roll page and give students or groups of students a dice (or is it die...I can never remember the right way to say it!). Students simply pick a vocabulary word, roll the dice and do what the vocabulary rock and roll sheet says.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Katie


 


March 6, 2013

Website Wednesday :)


Wow…two blog posts back to back….I am pretty impressed with myself.  Haha.

 

Anyway….. I have decided to start a trend every Wednesday called “Website Wednesday.”   Every Wednesday I will provide you (my fabulous readers) with an amazing website that is floating out there in cyberspace.

 

So…..the first website for “Website Wednesday” is:

 


 

At Easy CBM anyone can sign up for a free account.  Once signed up you are able to download FREE fluency and comprehension passages that are perfect for progress monitoring your students. Easy CBM doesn’t just have reading resources---but also math resources.  These tools are for K-12, so it is a fit for all grade levels.

 

In addition to all of the free monitoring probes, Easy CBM allows you to set up your class on their website---that way you can track each student’s progress.

 

In my district we use AimsWeb to progress monitor students, so we don’t have a huge need to use EasyCBM; however it is a nice resource to have for extra practice.  I have printed off all of the passages and have my students practice them once or twice a week....especially before a progress monitor test.  This extra fluency practice puts their heads in the right spot! If your district doesn’t have a tool to progress monitor students…..you should definitely check out EasyCBM!!! 

 

Katie


 






March 5, 2013

First Post!!!


Good evening everyone! This is my first blog post ever.......and I have mixed feelings about it!! I am nervous (as I am not sure what people will think when they read my blog). I am also very excited-because I think (key word---think--haha) that I have lots of good ideas to share!

Here are some things you should know about me:

1)   What's your favorite color? Turquoise and black….who doesn’t like black??


2) What is one food you could never get tired of eating? Well that is a toughie…because I do enjoy LOTS of food! BUT
if I had to pick one I wouldn’t get tired of it would be pulled pork sandwiches…yummy!


3) What's your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving and Christmas
I love getting together with my family and that time of year is so beautiful!

4) What is your favorite hobby? Reading, exercising or cooking.


5) Do you live in the same state you grew up in? Yep---Good ol’ Kansas!



6) Do you have any talents? I wish I did!! 



7) Coke or Pepsi? Diet coke! 
 
8) Favorite tv show? I hate to admit it….but I am a sucker for every Real Housewives.



9) If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be? Seattle---I have already been there…but I love it!  I can’t wait to go back.
J


10) Summer or winter?
NeitherFALL all the way!!!

Well hopefully reading that helped you get to know me better.  I have big plans for this blogsharing resources, ideas and connecting with teachers all over the world. My goal is to update it once a week---so come back for more!

Katie