Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Journey from Reading Street to Journeys and Giveaway Reminder!

     This year will be my first year using the Journeys Reading series. I have been a Reading Street teacher for the last five years, but not anymore! I even have a whole page dedicated to my Reading Street Resources. So I decided I need a page dedicated to my Journeys resources. In the past I've created newsletters and choice boards and a lot of people have downloaded them. I'm wondering if teachers would be interested in leveled reader worksheets. I thinking about doing a side with vocabulary from the reader and then text based questions on the other side. What do you think? I'm looking for suggestions on what would be helpful. 

       Tomorrow I'm going to the teacher store in Knoxville with one of my teaching besties. I'm on the hunt for grammar help, since I went from being the reading teacher to the ELA teacher. Any good suggestions on 5th and 6th grade grammar resources?   

If you haven't entered my Giveaway go here. Lots of great prizes!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Working in My Room and Giveaway!

      I found a great deal at Walmart last night on zebra valances. I found the valances for 4.74 a piece. They have other colors and styles as well. 

Sorry for the cell phone picture, but they still look good! 

      I also recovered my crate seats. They have been zebra and white with stars, but they start to look dingy after a while. So my theme is zebra and pink, so I decided to do pink crates this year. Here are a few of them. 

If you haven't entered my Giveaway, go here. Lots of great prizes! 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Locker Assignments Freebies and 150 Follower Giveaway

              Our students have their own lockers in grades 3rd-8th at our school. Which means we have a lot of lockers. To keep track of each student and their locker number I use a tracking sheet you can find here. We also give each student a locker slip on open house and in their information packet for the year. The slip I use can be found here. Since we have so many lockers I like to make it easier for students to find their lockers at the beginning of the year. I go to the Dollar Tree and get the cute little die-cuts and write the name of each student on it and then stick it to their locker.You could also cut out your own die-cuts. Most students leave them on their lockers all year long. 

The die-cute packs are 1.00 for thirty. 

    Another note on lockers, after I have put all the students names in their books I put them in their lockers. Then I don't have to hand them out during class. If you haven't entered my Giveaway go here. Lots of great prizes! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Room Progress Pictures Part 2 and Still Needing Help!

       I went in and worked in my classroom again today. I have furniture in my room, but I still have a big mess. A lot of my teacher friends were there so I spent a little too much time socializing. Here are some pictures of the progress.

  Tomorrow I have to get a crown put on a tooth and another one prepped for a crown, so I'm not sure if I'm going in to work in my room. If not, I'll be back at work on Thursday.

   I am looking for some help to celebrate 150 Bloglovin followers. If you are interested in helping, fill out the form below. Thank you!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Room Progress Pictures and Help Needed!

    So I've been working in my classroom to get in ready for school to start on August 7th. Here are some pictures of the before I started to work. It looks so big without any furniture!

Around my teaching supplies area. 

My world wall, leveled readers, and Rhino the Guinea Pig! 

        I'm going to work tomorrow and will take pictures of what it looks like! I'm still looking for help with a giveaway. If you are interested fill out the form below.

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Common Core Training Day 3 and Giveaway Help Needed!

        I finished my last day of this week of training. I continue training next week on even more common core information. In the last couple of posts I've covered close reading which can be read here and accountable talk which can be read here. Today I'm going to discuss text complexity. 
    Text complexity is basically how challenging the material is for the student at their specific grade level. Students need to read complex text in order to prepare them for college and career. There are three steps to figuring out a text's complexity. 

  1. Quantitative Measure: Readability score such as Lexile and Flesch Kincade. These programs give you a specific grade level for the text.  I discussed how to turn your Microsoft Office into a Flesch Kincade reader here.  (See image below for the scores for each grade level) 
  2. Qualitative Measure: Levels of meaning, structure, language, conventionality, clarity, and knowledge demands. A rubric to help you place the text into a grade band can be found here for literary and here for information text. 
  3. Reader and Task Considerations: Background knowledge of reader, motivation, interests, and task assigned for the text. Basically, would the student in able to read the text and be interested. Also, does the task you would assign with this text be appropriate for the student? There is a rubric for that too, but they haven't published it online (or it's hiding from me online). As soon as I find one I will post. 

    After you go through all three steps you will decided whether or not it is appropriate for your students. Quantitative is important, but not the most important. Sometimes readability is very high, but is more appropriate for a lower grade level. It takes some time to level text based on complexity, but the more you do it the faster it gets. 

Quantitative Measure Table

Common Core Band
Degrees of Reading Power®
The Lexile Framework®
Reading Maturity
2nd – 3rd
2.75 – 5.14
42 – 54
1.98 – 5.34
420 – 820
3.53 – 6.13
0.05 – 2.48
4th – 5th
4.97 – 7.03
52 – 60
4.51 – 7.73
740 – 1010
5.42 – 7.92
0.84 – 5.75
6th – 8th
7.00 – 9.98
57 – 67
6.51 – 10.34
925 – 1185
7.04 – 9.57
4.11 – 10.66
9th – 10th
9.67 – 12.01
62 – 72
8.32 – 12.12
1050 – 1335
8.41 – 10.81
9.02 – 13.93
11th – CCR
11.20 – 14.10
67 – 74
10.34 – 14.2
1185 – 1385
9.57 – 12.00
12.30 – 14.50

    I just reached 152 followers on bloglovin and 148 followers on Google Friends. I want to celebrate by doing a giveaway. If you are interested in helping please fill out the form below. Thank you ahead of time.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Common Core Training Day 2

      I survived a second day of Common Core training. We learned so much today, I think my head may explode. Our first topic of the day was Accountable Talk. Accountable Talk is talk that seriously responds to and further develops what others in the group have said. Students engaged in Accountable talk follow the following indicators: 

  • Students actively participate in classroom talk
  • Students listen attentively
  • Students elaborating and building on each other's ideas
  • Students work to clarify or expand a proposition
  • Students support their ideas with evidence from the text

    A lesson with Accountable Talk would start with a close reading of a text. Then the teacher will pose a problem or question about the text. The students will then take over the conversation. The teacher would not share her opinion on the subject, they would only help continue the conversation by using Accountable Talk stems such as:

  • Could you clarify your statement...?
  • I do not understand, could you tell me more about...
  • My evidence is...
  • On page__, it says...
  • I can connect this to...
  • I want to add to...
  • I want to build upon...
  • I would like to tie into what______just said...
  • I want to respectfully disagree with_______...
  • I agree with______...

    I found an excellent video with an example of Accountable Talk in an 2nd grade classroom. The only thing I would have changed would be for each child to have a hard copy of the text to use during the discussion. The video has two minute intro before you see the classroom example.

      I hope this information is helpful. We covered other topics, but I thought it was way too much information for one blog entry. I have one more day of training this week, so I'll be back tomorrow with more information.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Common Core Training Day 1

         Today, I started my first day of Common Core training for ELA. We focused a lot of our time on close reading. Close reading is when you give a student a text with a brief intro to the text. The intro does not contain any information that the student could obtain from reading the text. After the brief intro you ask the students to read the text to themselves. After the first reading you ask the students comprehension questions. The type of comprehension question is very important. We must move away from questions such as "how many houses are in the neighborhood?" Instead we should ask comprehension questions such as:

  • What is the text about? 
  • What are the big issues? 
  • Who is the speaker? 
  • What is the author's purpose? 
  • Who is the audience?
  • What do we know about the speaker?

        The comprehension questions can be asked and answered individually and then have a group discussion or you can answer the questions as a group discussion. The student must provide textual evidence for each of their answers. If the answer can not be supported by text it is not correct. Next, the teacher or a student that has a good reading ability reads the text aloud. You may also choose to have the students read independently or in pairs/groups. After the second read you will have the students complete another task such as questions about the structure of the text, the speakers use of figurative language, or to make an inference. The process continues, read the text then complete a task, read the text then complete a task, and so on. 

       I continue my training tomorrow and will come back with more information. 

Monday, July 15, 2013


        Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten is having a MEGA giveaway for reaching 400 followers on bloglovin' and TpT.  Check it out! The giveaway has already started and 
ends next Sunday (7/21 at midnight). I have donated any one item from my TPT site. There are five different giveaways. You should go check it out by clicking here

       I will be attending Common Core training this week for 6th grade ELA. Next week I'll be attending for 5th grade ELA. I'll be sure to post about what I learn. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Free Technology Resources

       I am blogging from TETA in Dyserburg, TN. We have learned a lot the last two days about tools to use with your students. I have one last day of the conference before I go back to East Tennessee. I've attended several sessions and here are some of the sites that would be great for classroom use. Click on each link to go to the site.

  • Tennessee History for Kids - Great site with primary sources, virtual tours, videos, and many other resources. 
  • Saylor Free Educationa collection of more than 280 free online courses available any time and at your own pace.
  • CK-12 FoundationCollaborative learning via a community where authors, teachers, and students create, access, share, rate, recommend, and publish Flexible platform that helps teachers to design & distribute relevant learning material
    • Common Core and NSES aligned digital FlexBooks serve as core text
    • Take a quiz and track your progress
    • Bookmark, highlight and take notes
    • Study guides to help students prepare
         I hope you find these sites helpful! 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Goin' on a Blog Hunt!


       We're going on a blog hunt to find elementary education blogs! Laura Candler from Corkboard Connections is holding this blog hunt to help us find elementary education blogs. I've jumped on the Bloglovin bandwagon. I was able to switch over before Google Reader left our wonderful blogging world. Since I have joined I have found so many new blogs to follow and read. I'm so excited about all the new posts to read. If you would like to follow me on Bloglovin click here

    Also remember I am presenting in a little over a week at the Tennessee State Summer Technology Institute and I am looking for blogs to share during my presentation. To join in on the fun click here to link up. 

     If you'd like to link up, head over to Corkboard Connections to check out the details! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Share A Blog Link-Up and To Do List Linky


 I will be presenting at Tennessee Summer Technology Institute in a few weeks. I will be presenting on blogs. I will be sharing my favorite blogs, how to blog, and  the benefits of blogging . I want to be able to share lots of great blogs with teachers and technology individuals. Link up below in the category that matches your blog best.

       Share with all your blogging friends. I would love to have lots of blogs to share at the Summer Institute.

       I have also decided to link up with  Lorraine from Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies for her "To Do List Linky". Teachers return to school on August 5th and students first day is August 7th. I've already started working in my classroom to get it ready for the new year. Here is my to do list: 

  1. Create resources for my new Journeys Reading Series. I have used Reading Street the last few years and have a lot of resources, so I have a lot of work ahead of me. 
  2. Tackle my classroom closet. I'm pretty sure the closet is going to fight back, it is a huge mess. I would like to open the closet and find what I need instantly. 
  3. Wrap my mind around teaching reading, language arts, and writing in an hour and half. I've taught reading only for the last couple of years with the same time limit. I'm really going crazy figuring out how to do this. Any suggestions would be great!
  4. Organize data on my students for the upcoming year. I loop with my fifth graders to sixth grade, as well as getting a whole new group of fifth graders. 
 Remember to link up with me and over at Fabulous Fourth Grade Froggies