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Where's My Mummy? Fall Book Party

I'm linking up with Ashley from The Teacher's Treasure Chest  to share one of my favorite Fall books.
Where's My Mummy?  by Carolyn Crimi is always a class favorite.  
Little Mummy doesn't want to go to bed so he begs his Mummy to play one more game of hide and shriek.  
The events that happen next will have your Littles shrieking with delight.
The simplicity of this fun book makes it the perfect book for making predictions and asking and answering questions about key detail in a text.  (Common Core Standard RL.K.1)

and it is also the perfect book for modeling many of the Common Core Standards:
RL.K.2 Retell familiar stories, including key details. 
RL.K.3 Identify the characters, settings, and major events in a story. 
Class discussion & Sequencing Cards
Character Tree Map
RL.K.10 Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding
The illustrations in this story are perfect for 
RL.K.7 Describe the relationship between the illustrations and the story in which they appear.  

If you are interested in my unit that goes with this book you can click on the picture below.
The unit is on sale for $4.00 for a limited time.

Click below to get the book from Amazon
The HARDCOVER is on sale for $7

Read this story along with, Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman and compare and contrast the stories
RL.K.9 With prompting and support, compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories.


Guided Reading 101 Part 1

I've been asked a lot of questions lately about Guided Reading so I thought I'd do a few posts to help answer some of your questions.   This one will be just a quick overall post and then I will come back and go into more detail about each component.  

I conduct my Guided Reading groups at a table.  However,  guided reading can even be done on the floor.  All you need are kids and leveled books and you are good to go!!!

Each student has their own Reading bag.  In their bag they have their Reading Strategies menu, guided reading log for their parents to sign,  guided reading book, and guided reading work.  After they read with me they take their bag home, read the book to their parents and show them their word work.

These are the Reading Strategy posters that I use to teach my students how to use a variety of strategies to figure out unknown words.   Because each strategy has an animal icon attached to it the kids really get it!  These are brilliant!  I've seen many variations of these all over the web over the last 6 or 7 years and I just recently found out that the original creator of this idea was April Schilb.   Her website is no longer available and I've been told she retired but I wanted to make sure and give credit where credit is due.
 Love this idea, April!!!

Each reading group has a strategy board.  Each time we learn a new strategy we place it on the strategy board.  Our lessons always begin with a review of the previous strategies that were taught.

The kids LOVE to read with pointers!  This is really helpful for those Littles who are beginning readers.  It helps them with one to one correspondence.  Once they get past a level C I don't give them pointers to use (except for on special occasions because they all LOVE pointers)  because it slows down their fluency when they are trying to point to each word as they read.  
I use a variety of pointers but their favorite are the finger lights that you see in the bottom picture.
They go crazy over these!  
They are available on Amazon for less than $1.00  You can click on the image below to check them out.

The key to successful Guided Reading groups is to stay organized.  In my binder I have a spot for plans and then I have a tab for each student. 
Below are some of the forms I use to plan my groups.

You will notice that I meet with the Red group everyday.  They are my kids who need extra practice and support with their reading skills.

During each group session I do a running record on a student so that I can consistently monitor their reading progresss and move their reading levels as soon as they are ready. These are stored in the Guided Reading binder behind each student's tab.

Each student has a Guided Reading Work notebook. This is where we record all of the word work that we do during Guided Reading groups.

Here are some examples from several different students.

If you have my Guided Reading resource you will want to go to TPT and download the revised version.  
I changed out a lot of the graphics and added several new anchor charts!  
Here's the link:

So... the next posts will be based on any questions you might have.  You can post them in the comments section below or email me at  

I hope you've had a great week!  Friday is almost here!!!


Constitution Day

Constitution Day is observed each year on September 17th.  It is a federal observance to recognize the adoption of the Constitution and those who have become U.S. Citizens.  The book,  We the Kids by David Catrow is a great book to read to observe this holiday.  The adorable illustrations in this book make it easy to teach your kids about the Preamble to the Constitution and what it means.  The Constitution is a set of rules that Americans live by.  We discussed why the Constitution is important to us and then we made our own class Constitution.  Each child drew a self portrait to hang with it.  This was simple and it made it very easy for the students to understand.  I just love the Little's self portraits!  Adorable!

This book is now available in Paperback for less that $6.00  You can click the picture below to view it on Amazon.  

Great song on YouTube!  Brings back memories  :)

My New Home Office and a FREEBIE

My friend, Lindsey (a.k.a  The Teacher Wife)  had a linky party a few months ago about home offices 
( You can see her cute office HERE) and I wanted to link up SO BAD!  But the problem was I didn't have a home office.  I have always wanted a place that was mine.  ALL mine!  So when we moved into our new house I put my claim in on this itty bitty room and I set up shop.  Printer (check).  Coke holder (printer box) check.  Place to work (chaise chair) check.  Pretty impressive huh?  :)
It wasn't long before I was scouring Pinterest searching for the perfect Home Office set up.  
I found a ton of ideas but I couldn't find anything that matched my vision.
So I sat down and sketched out my vision on paper and took it to a cabinet company.
It took eight LONG weeks for me to see my drawing come to life and then finally they came on Wednesday and installed the cabinets.  Now I have a place to work without the aggravation of television noise and conversations.  I love my family but,  HELLO!!!!  I'm working here!  :)  
Okay, so I know you  DO NOT care what my home office looks like and I'm probably talking to myself by now, but I'm so happy I'm going to continue anyway.

This is the new view when you look in the room.
I had cabinets built on both sides so that I would have a work area, storage area and more importantly a place to display all of my favorite things. 

This is the view of the cabinets on the left side of the room.
Lots of drawers and cabinets.  

My favorite thing in this whole room are my Snoopy Pictures that my daughter, Taylor made for me last year for Mother's Day.  I LOVE them!!!

Here's an up close picture so that you can see the detail.  She made these by gluing paper dots on a canvas.  The whole picture is made with paper dots.  They are so cool.  This would be a fun project to do with the kids at school.  She drew the images with a sharpie marker and then glued on all of the paper dots.  
 I think a class could make a vase of flowers using this method and it would  make a great Mother's Day gift. 

This is the right side of the wall.  It has my work space and more areas for storage and display.

 Up close pictures of the display shelves.  I Love finally having a place to display my Disney characters and all my fun collections that didn't fit with the decor in the rest of the  house.  Another one of my favorite things in the monkey painting my granddaughter, Madison painted when she was four.  The monkey is wearing a necklace, earrings, lipstick and nail polish.  So adorable!!!

Up close picture of my desk area.  That is not a real $100 bill....

Those are the $100.  bill napkins that my friend, Erica Bohrer gave me in Chicago last year.
I have them here because a) it is one of the funniest gifts anyone has ever given me.  I think it has a lot to do with the delivery.  Erica is to the point and hilarious!  and b)  it serves as a reminder that I need to keep working.

This is also on my desk.  I wanted a To-Do list that was quick and easy so I made one that I could laminate and use with post it notes.  

You can click on the image below to download it for yourself.

Thanks for humoring me by letting me share my home office with you!
If you are in the Orlando area I highly recommend Statewide Cabinets!
Have a great weekend!

Math Part 2

Yesterday, I told you a little about mine and Deedee's new Math Workshop unit.  We are so pleased with the feedback we've been getting on TPT.  It makes us feel great to be able to help make the lives of teachers a little easier.  :)  Because let's face it... Teaching is rewarding but it isn't easy!!!
If you read Deedee's blog post HERE you saw that she said she does Math all day long.  Ditto!
I try to incorporate Math and Reading skills into just about everything I do. Providing the students with integrated instruction allows the brain to make connections and the learning sticks.  I also incorporate music into my lessons whenever possible.  Here are some songs that go perfectly with our Guiding Kinders: Math Unit 1.    The videos are all on You Tube and I put the links into the file below to make it easy for you.  All you have to do is click on the picture below to download the file.  Save it to your computer (email it to yourself at school if you are at home) and then when you are ready for a song just open the file and click on the icon for the song you want to use and it will take you to YouTube where the song is located.  Easy Peasy!

In addition to our Math Workshop we do Math journals for our morning work.

We also have Math Stations that we do later in the day.    
The Stations give the kids repetitious practice on the skills we've covered so far in math.  
They love playing all of the mat games so much they don't even realize they are learning.  :)

This is my cute granddaughter, Madison playing one of the math games at home because she likes them too!  

P.S.  I have blogged for two days in a row.  Can I get a Woot!  Woot! ?
#ivebeenabadblogger  :)

Math Workshop

Doesn't it drive you crazy when a casual conversation with a friend ends up being something you obsess over?  Usually it's a new pair of shoes or dreaming of going to a certain vacation place but in this case it was... (wait for it)  MATH!  :)  Not the typical type of thing you'd obsess over, but hey we're teachers right?
Anywhoooo,  Deedee and I  were discussing the fact that we weren't pleased with how our math block flowed. So, after many conversations we decided to create Math Workshop units that mirrored the flow of our Writer's Workshop.  We have only completed the first unit and we are really pleased with how it's going.  Each lesson has five components.              
This part of the lesson is a warm up that will help our students build their fluency for various math skills.  It will usually involve flash cards and the focus is on speed and accuracy.  

One of the skills we are working on at this time is subitizing.  Subitizing is the ability to instantly recognize the number of objects in a set without having to count.  If you are interested in more information about subitizing there is a great article  HERE

We introduce and model new concepts and skills through a mini lesson. 

The teacher and students will work together as a group to actively explore the concept that was introduced..  

The students will independently complete a task that will allow them to apply the new concepts that were taught.

This is our “math talk” time.  It allows for the students to orally share with a partner and discuss what they learned. 

You can check out our unit by clicking on the cover page below.


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