Tech storage tip and Chicken Soup with Rice winner!

Giveaway winner
Congrats Crystal G!  I hope you enjoy your book!

Now, for a really quick tech storage tip!
This year as a school corporation have gone 1 to 1 devices. So, that means that every kiddo in my class now has a Chromebook.
This of course presented a bit of a storage problem.
Thank goodness for smart colleagues!
She found some storage racks that were meant for big pot lids.
Here is a picture of the ones that I have purchased.
lid holder for chromebooks
As you can see here, the chrombooks fit perfectly and neatly into the slots.
I labeled each slot by wrapping a small label around the bottom and numbering each slot.

technology storage tip

Then I can plug them in and life is good! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Giveaway Party!

Oh my goodness!  I am helping Brinca Into Bilingual help celebrate here 1.000 followers with some AMAZING giveaways that you don't want to miss!


Mrs. Nicolau is giving away TWO DIFFERENT items of your choice!
Here are your choices (click on the link to see the dimensions and more details):

Let's giveaway a gift card!! Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $25 TPT Giftcard! Remember the more entries you have, the more changes you have to win!!!

While we are throwing the house out the window, let's also celebrate with a $21.00 gift card from the AMAZING Melonheadz!

Last, but definitely not least! I have many blog friends that have joined me to celebrate this amazing event! They have all joined me to giveaway bundles by grades!!!

The first bundle is for our Bilingual teachers!

Next is the K-1 Bundle in English!

Last is our 2-3 Grades Bundle in English!

Are you excited enough?! We sure hope so! Stop by Mrs. Nicolau's blog to enter on all these great prizes!!!
While you are there, drop a note to her. She LOVES hearing from her readers! :)

Teaching Accuracy Strategies all with one book!

It's that time of year isn't it?
I don't know about you, but after I show my kiddos how to Check for Understanding and Go Back and Reread, I start working on teaching my kiddos strategies for figuring out unknown words.
A.K.A. Accuracy Strategies!
I used to teach each strategy with a different book as I went along with Reader's Workshop.

That was fine, it worked, but then a colleague of mine stumbled upon this little gem.

This little book has predictable text, but it does have a "difficult" word or two on each page that make it perfect for modeling for the children how to use the different accuracy strategies!

I always start with Cross Checking.  I tell the kiddos that this is like Check for Understanding, but with words!
When you are reading, the text should look right, sound right, and make sense.

So, I read the first page messing up while for whale.
Of course, it doesn't make any sense.
There is no whale in the picture!
It does look right (kinda, it starts the same), but it doesn't sound right and it doesn't make sense.
So, I use the strategy of point and slide to figure it out!
I point to each letter and slide the sounds together.

Of course, once I have figured it out, I go back and read the whole beginning over again.
I repeat this at the bottom but mistake "sipping" for "falling".  
We go through the process again with the kiddos helping me to figure out the word, because it doesn't look right, sound right or make sense, although I do fall a lot while skating!

The rest of the book is similar.  It is very repetitive (this kiddo LOVES Chicken Soup with Rice).
I have sticky notes stuck to the pages with the strategy I want to teach for each page.
I also mark the word that I want to mess up very discretely with a dot (I am not good at messing up without some prep).

Now, I will say that this is a small book.  It is a "pocket" book.  I wish I had the big book, but it is difficult to find.
I use my document projector when I teach these lessons.

How do you teach the accuracy strategies?
I would love to hear about it!
Would you like your own copy of Chicken Soup with Rice?  Use the rafflecoptor below to enter to win your own!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Good luck!

Messy Desk Solution!

 Hello again!  Welcome back!  
Today I am talking about my student's  scary dark mess collectors desks.
Now, I am fortunate enough to have newer desks, but that doesn't change the fact that these babies weigh 70 lbs. a piece.  They are substantial.
They are also ALWAYS MESSY!  
They eat papers, pencils, books, and an occasional snack.
Until it is time to move seats, then all of that junk shows up.
On the floor.
All over the place!

I needed a solution.

Messy desk solution

Thank heavens for Seat Sacks!
This year, I turned my desks around so the kiddos couldn't put anything inside these dark caverns of no return.
Turn the desks around

Now, the only thing on their desks is the team captain tag!
The kiddos keep all of their stuff in their seat sack or their book box!
Seat sacks in action Seat sacks in action

These things are AWESOME!
They are very durable, brightly colored, have plenty of storage space, and they provide easy access to the kiddo's stuff.
Plus, it make moving to a new seat a snap!  They only have to move their chair and their book box!
No mess all over the floor. No more dropping their stuff all over the place when they are moving.
No more "Mrs. Gard!  So and So left a huge mess in their desk!"  Ahhhhhhh!
Another thing that I love about these, is that I have easy access.  No more Mrs. Gard digging around in messy desks because a kiddo can't find something!

These have really made my classroom a more pleasant place, plus NO MORE MESSY DESKS!

I even have one for my seat at the document projector. I use my document projector all of the time, so I put all of my teacher examples, books, and notebooks, not to mention MY pencil pouch of supplies right in my seat sack on the back of my chair.
I also use it to model to the kiddos how to keep theirs neat and organized.
Messy desk solution

They come in an assortment of sizes and colors!
The company was really easy to work with and I received my seat sacks in a very timely manner.
They did come with name tags that were very cute, but I made tags that fit my classroom theme.
Ready to solve your messy desk problem?
You find Seat Sacks Here:
O2 Teach Seat Sack
or on Facebook:

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Keeping it all together. I love my planner.

Keeping it all together. Planner

If you are anything like me, you are busy.
Super busy.
I teach full time, blog, create, wife, and mommy.
I NEEDED a way to keep it all together!
I have tried everything.
Thank goodness my husband is an engineer.  He is very organized and can keep track of stuff for the boys most of the time.
He can't keep track of me though.
I have to do that.

So!  I have been searching for one planner that can do everything.
I think that I have finally found it!

Inside planner, decorated planner pages, keeping it all together.
 I am not affiliated with Erin Condren in any way, I just LOVE my planner!

I love that it has 3 sections for everyday.  I use the top box for Home stuff.
You know, appointments, boys stuff, dinner menu, etc.  Stuff for me.
The middle boxes are for school stuff.
Birthday's meetings, testing, etc.
The bottom box is for my Cyber life.  Blog ideas, product ideas, collaborative blogs, etc.
I do like to decorate my pages, but I try not to go overboard as I like to have plenty of space to write!
I love the lines around the boxes for to-do lists and reminder notes.
This planner also has monthly views that I appreciate as well.

Keeping it all together.

Last but not least, I love that there are pockets in the back to keep stuff in and a zip close plastic holder for all that little stuff that need to keep together.
The only thing that it doesn't have is a pen holder, but since I use about 50 different types of  pens I found a better solution.
I found this adorable pencil pouch at Target.  The best part is, that it has an attached elastic that allows me to put it around my binder to keep it all together.
So, there you have it!  That is how I am keeping it all together.
What works for you?

My Calendar Board...with a freebie!

Hello again!  So glad that you are back!

So, today I am sharing my calendar board set up.
Short confession time first.
I greatly dislike (I am trying to stop using the H word)  doing the calendar.
I really, really do.  
But, I know that even in 2nd grade the kiddos still need those skills.
I tried to get away without doing calendar.  I really tried.
I was not successful.
So, I try to do a bit of calendar everyday during our morning meeting.
I have tied it in with my number and word of the day and so far it isn't too bad.

Calendar board with freebie

Here is what my calendar board looks like this year.
It looks like a lot, but we do calendar everyday rather quickly.
On the first of the month we fill in our monthly calendars together filling in birthdays and other important dates.
Then a few times a week we do a "Number and Word of the Day sheet" and go over it together.
Here are the different pieces of my calendar:
1. Number of the day.  I try to do something fun for these.  The kiddos love it when I use their names and classroom numbers for the number of the day.  Marcy Cook also has a great product called (Primary) Today is the Day for Numbers.  If you have never heard of Marcy Cook, you need to check her out.  She is a math wizard and the kiddos love her stuff!
2. My birthday list!
3. This is the meaty part of the calendar.  I have mine set up so that the kiddos can see the last few days of the previous month, the current month, and the first few days of the next month.  I have a clothespin with a color coding sticker to indicate the day we are on.
I have this fun days of the week spinner by Lita Lita that I found on Pinterest.
The last part is what I call the "Calendar Query".  I put a question up about the calendar such as  what was the date last Tuesday? or How many times will we go to P.E. this month?
4. Word of the Day.  These words come from my Number and Word of the Day booklets.  I use the word of the day in a sentence.  We define the word and I have a few kiddos use it in a sentence.  It is also our magic word of the day.  It signals that I am done speaking or giving directions.  The kiddos are supposed to listen until they hear the magic word, then follow the directions.
5. Think Box.  This is a space where I put something for the kiddos to think about such as analogies, Hink Pinks, or word problems.
6.  This is not technically part of our calendar, but this is where the kiddos pick their "Thinking Partner" for the day.  Every time we come together on the rug, they are to sit with their thinking partner so they always have someone to turn and talk to!  It is divided into 2 spots.  If they put their tags with their partners under #1, they are reading with a partner our first round of Reading Workshop.  If they put their tags under #2 they are reading with their partner the second round.

So, what you have been waiting for!
Here is a little freebie of the pages that I use with my kiddos during calendar time.

Number and Word of the Day, Calendar Board

Thanks again for stopping by!

Check for Understanding...Beware of the Frog!

Check for Understanding, Daily 5, Check for Understanding

Hello all! Thanks so much for "hopping" by today!
Now that we are back in school, I am working on setting up our classroom routines and procedures (as we all are I am sure).
So, for Reading Workshop (I use the Daily 5 framework tweaked to work the best for me) once we have some stamina built up I start in with mini-lessons!
We have so much to cover don't we?
So, I usually start with Check for Understanding and back up and re-read.
Cafe Menu, Check for Understanding, Daily 5, Comprehension Strategies

I do this lesson several times, so I always try to pick books that I love.
Case in point: Beware of the Frog by William Bee.

Check for Understanding, Daily 5

This book is great!  It is perfect for Check for Understanding because it has a repetitive plot (with a fun twist at the end), but the characters change.
The kiddos love this book and so do I!  We can't believe that a little frog could be such good protection for poor Mrs. Collywobbles who lives next to a big, dark, scary wood full of creatures who come out to do her harm!

Every year I make and use these adorable Mr. Check in bookmarks by Lyndsey Kuster from A Year of Many Firsts:  They are part of this adorable freebie:

This packet is FREE... tons of cute posters, check for understandings.... worth printing!!!!

Lydnsey Kuster, A Year of Many Firsts

I start by modeling that I turn several pages before I start reading and put in the bookmark.
When I get to the bookmark, I stop and ask myself  two questions:

Of course the kiddos like to help answer the questions as well!
Then, I move the bookmark a few more pages and repeat the process.

Daily 5

Of course, I model at some point that I can't remember what is happening in the story.  Usually at least one of the kiddos knows how to solve that problem!  Go back and re-read!
So, we go back together and make sure we understand what is happening in the story before we go on.
Then, when we get to the end of the book, we do a retell using all of the questions on our Mr. Check-in bookmark.
Of course, the kiddos then get a chance to practice with their partners and then on their own during Read to Self.
We use this strategy all year long during our reading workshop time.
The kiddos get really good at it!

Thank so much for stopping by and seeing a bit of what goes on in Reading Workshop!


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