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A Peek at Guided Reading & a FREEBIE!!

So I've realized I'm a super lazy blogger and I feel bad because I put a lot of time into starting a blog and finding someone to make it beautiful. I had goals. Serious goals y'all. You know...  "I'm going to blog 3 times a week" goals. Then life happened and life said "Nice try." So.. that's that. 

Well, I figured if I had an actual topic to discuss and one that I could plan out a blog post for, then I would be motivated to write more. So here we are! I have decided to give you all a peek into my guided reading block and share one of my weekly outlines for a guided reading group this week. 

I currently have 25 students in my class and 5 differentiated guided reading groups. These groups range from reading below a level A all the way to a reading level N. I have to meet with these groups every day. However, it is just impossible for me to meet with 5 different groups every single day within 60 minutes, so I meet with my two highest groups every other day on an A-Day, B-Day schedule. When they aren't meeting with me they are completing independent work at their seat. 

This is how my rotations look throughout the week. I keep labels in a pocket chart in the back of my room for my students to see. You can see a post of how they look in the pocket chart from the beginning of the year (when I had 4 groups) by clicking here. I keep the B-Day labels behind the A-Day labels for easy switching. 

When I really get into my planning groove, I like to get all fancy with my documents and really plan out my week.

Just kidding. Not fancy at all. Sometimes I enjoy the simplicity of a sheet of paper and a pen/pencil. This is weekly outline one of my on-level groups and this week we are reading a biography on Michael Jordan. It's amazing that not one of them knows who Michael Jordan is! This organizer is a freebie in my TPT store and you can find it here or clicking on the picture below. 

So if your wondering, Monday is crossed out because every other week I have to spend small group time teaching spelling patterns to my differentiated spelling groups. 

These pink storage baskets are how I keep my guided reading books that I am using organized. The construction paper in between the sets of books just lets me know which group the books are intended for. With 5 groups things can get pretty confusing. I'm sure there's a prettier way to house this, but it works for me. Underneath the organized books I keep books I plan to use that I haven't planned out yet. 

So there is this weeks peek into my guided reading block. I'll be back next week with a peek into a different group and what they are working on. Don't forget to grab your FREE organizer for your guided reading block!

January Currently

It is officially 2016! Where did the time go? I've linked up with Oh Boy 4th Grade for another Currently. 

Listening: I started binge watching The Office during winter break. I've seen episodes here and there but I never watched episodes back to back. And it's hilarious :) 

Loving: I got real lazy with my planner for a while and I just picked it back up. I'm loving my organization again and the fact that I have dinner planned out for the whole week.

Thinking: I'm just super tired :/ My body is not ready for work.

Wanting: It's been a warm winter so far and it's finally gotten cold so I'm crossing my fingers for a snow day soon.

Needing: More sleep of course! I need to set a bed time and stick to it.

One little word: Exhausted. So. So. Tired. *Yawn*

December Currently

I've reached that point where I am blogging once a month, which makes me sad :( I had high hopes for October, and November and then it became December so fast lol. I wanted to recap all the cool things that happened in my classroom during those months, but by the time I get home from work every day I just end up crashing on my couch. So... here I am, linking up with Farley for the December Currently!

Watching: Don't you just love ABC Family during the holiday seasons? No matter how many times I've seen these Christmas movies I will still tune in.  I'm going to be a little disappointed though when ABC Family changes to "Freeform" in January. I get it - all the shows aren't geared towards a family audience, but I'm so used to the name lol. 

Loving: Christmas, duh! I love decorating my classroom, and doing Christmas/winter crafts. I haven't had any kids in any of my classes yet who can't celebrate holidays so I consider myself lucky in that area lol. IDK what I would do the whole month of December.

Thinking: Of how much stuff I have to do. Luckily grad school for this semester ends next week so that will be one thing off my plate. But interims are due next week, and I've got to get busy on my SLO, go Christmas shopping, clean/decorate the house, prepare for baby D (because for some reason my mind thinks this baby is coming next month), etc.

Wanting: Ice cream! I went to the grocery store and bought 3 different types of ice cream, chocolate syrup and whip cream (totally forgot sprinkles and cherries!) but I can't wait to eat it!

Needing: Motivation to write my paper, grade papers... just motivation period!

Real or Faux: Fake all the way! We save money and time from having to clean up. Plus I'm sure the dog would destroy it. 

Leave a comment and let me know what you've been up to! :) 

It's Currently November (Oh my!)

Where oh where did the time go?? Like seriously, it was just September where I felt I was staying afloat. October kind of went by in a blur and I'm so happy it's over because that means Thanksgiving is right around the corner! (My favorite holiday). 

I'm linking up with Oh Boy 4th Grade for the monthly linky party. 

You know how sometimes you have to have background noise so you don't feel alone lol... yeah that background noise happens to be the Simpsons. What is happening?? Lol. 

I am definitely loving leggings. It's all that fits me right now (In my Regina George voice) lol. They're so comfy, soft, and stretchy so is there any other reason not to love them? 

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and this year my house is hosting (pray for me y'all!). My MIL is coming in town from Hawaii and I'm excited about that. Thanksgiving also means a break! We don't have fall break here on the east coast so I am ready!

Someone else to clean my house. Is that too much to ask for? Lol. Idk about you but I am on lazy level 1,000 and I want no part of cleaning. I am proud of myself because I emptied the fridge and cleaned up the dining/living room. #progress #reallife 

Anyone else swimming in a sea of desperation when it comes to grad school, a full time job, and first trimester (yes, I'm pregnant hence the laziness lol)? Unfortunately grad school has become my last priority as I am getting paid to work, and I am tired all the time. One of these days I will open my school bag and stop goofing off - maybe this weekend lol. 

Everyone seems to be all over pumpkin pie, but you don't know love until you have eaten my wife's sweet potato pie. I am patiently waiting for her to say "okay, time to go get the pie crusts and ingredients" but I'm thinking I'll have to wait another week or two. #woeisme 

I hope to be posting some education related stuff before December so stay tuned! <3 

Parts of Speech!

Hello friends! If you are like me than you had a lot of free time over the summer and you were even able to create some awesome products for your room that you wanted to use. If you're even more like me, then you like to wait until you get it into your classroom to see how it looks before you post it for everyone. 

Well with school shenanigans going on I didn't have any time to actually finish my products (title and credit pages) and post them onto my TPT store. But I can finally say that one thing from the summer has made it into my store! WOOHOO!

This poster set includes 8 of the most common parts of speech that are learned in elementary schools. I also added 3 bonus ones. The little monkeys are too stinkin' cute and I just love them :) 

This product is new to my TPT store today and you can go snag them here

There are a number of ways you can use this set in your classroom:
Post around your room, place in your writing center, decorate a bulletin board, print 2/4 to a page and place on key rings for student use, or to glue into interactive notebooks, glue onto popsicle sticks and have students hold them up for quick assessments. I'm sure all of your creative minds can think of other ways to use them. If you can think of any other ways feel free to leave a comment so someone else can take your brilliant ideas.

You can see them hanging on my wall above my writing center below. 

Don't forget to leave a rating when you go pick up your set :) 
Thanks for stopping by!

What's been happening??

Hey guys! Idk about you but I am so incredibly tired (like every day!) I just finished up my 4th week of school and it's been a rocky start to the school year: I've got a new curriculum that I am having a difficult time adjusting to, a wide variety of learners and behaviors in my classroom from non-English speaking to a reading level M (F&P), and my grad classes just started! So yeah... 

Anyway, I wanted to share a bit of what's been going on in my classroom lately through some pictures. 

My district uses the Lucy Calkins Units of Study, but before we begin writer's workshop with our first graders, my team likes to review sentence structure. We realized that a lot of our students would be able to write these creative stories, but still had difficulty writing a complete sentence with capital letters. 

We spent about 2 weeks just going over capital letters at the beginning of a sentence, punctuation marks, and writing a "whole idea." Daily I would review the parts of a sentence and give them different writing prompts for their journal. I've seen a lot of improvements so far but we still need continued practice. 

I introduced literacy centers around the middle of the second week of school. Here is a picture of my kiddos working on their handwriting. I pulled back small groups to introduce the handwriting booklet they are working on. Now they complete it for morning work unless I have another activity for them.

The first unit in my new curriculum is our study on Monarch caterpillars and butterflies. We typically collect caterpillars from our courtyard but because of the construction and rough heat, we didn't have any. Instead, we had to have them shipped to us from the local environmental literacy center. The kids get to observe the caterpillars lifecycle and then release them as butterflies. 

At our exploration center there are a group of children observing the caterpillars and completing an activity called "I think, I see, I wonder..." It really gets their brains thinking and I had some great responses. 

After a majority of our caterpillars died (oops!) I had to think of ways to keep the kids engaged while still thinking about butterflies. So I gave them the challenge of creating a butterfly with only 3 pipe cleaners and it had to be better than mine. They were SO quiet for this activity and thoroughly engaged - it was awesome. And some of them turned out really good. I wish I would've taken pictures. 

Last little tidbit I've got for you is that my iPads from Donor's Choose arrived!! The iPads don't have access to the internet, which is okay because we have 3 computers in the room that do, but they have tons of educational apps as well as art inspired apps and "fun" apps that teach them how to use technology in a different way. The kids are really enjoying using them. 

So what's going on in your teaching world? :) 

September Currently

Hello guys! I'm a little late but I'm linking up with Farley for my first ever Currently! I'm excited for September because that means the state fair, the renaissance festival, cooler weather, and better clothes :) My favorite season is fall just because of my wardrobe and the awesome color tones.

Listening: My guilty pleasure reality show is Little Women: LA and Terra's Little Family. I don't typically watch reality TV but I'm addicted to these women. 

Loving: I am so grateful for this labor day weekend. I went to a musical playing at a local theatre on Friday and hung out at the Annapolis waterfront. Yesterday I went to an awkward high school reunion lol. Not mine so I couldn't just leave when I wanted. Today I'm going to watch some basketball at the neighborhood high school and the state fair this evening and tomorrow a cookout! Talk about a busy weekend!

Thinking: I am two weeks down into the school year and I am sooo tired! I know you all can understand! My classroom is so humid that by the time I get home I can fall asleep on the couch. It doesn't help that the top floor of my house is stuffy and humid as well lol.

Wanting: I am obsessed with love FROYO. It's kind of a problem!

Needing:  Okay now when I say meal prep I mean, figure out what I'm eating for the week and stop winging it lol. I need to get on my game by first going to the grocery store! Then I can figure out my menu for the week and get crockpot meals ready. 

3 Goals: Next Tuesday is back to school night, and Wednesday starts my first grad class of the semester (3 more classes left!) so my goal is to decrease the stress! I also need to have a set bedtime, that I stick to, during the week so I can get more sleep. I'm sure exercise is one of everyone's goals. I need to get into the gym more! It will definitely give me more energy and make me feel better about myself!

So what are you up to? How's the start of September?