Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Heart is in a Billion Pieces...

"Many people are wanting to know where they can send care packages and letters.  Here are a few addresses where you can send things to comfort the people affected by this senseless crime." @
Sandy Hook Vol. Fire and Rescue
18-20 Riverside Rd/Po Box 783
Sandy Hook, CT 06482
Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
77 Main Street
P.O. Box 344
Newtown, Ct. 06470
Newtown Police Department
3 Main Street
Newtown, CT 06470
Newtown Public Schools/Superintendent’s office:
3 Primrose Street
Newtown, CT 06470
Danbury Hospital Emergency Room Staff
24 Hospital Avenue
Danbury, CT 06810
You can also follow the R.I.P. Sandy Hook Elementary School Children Facebook page at:

Thursday, December 13, 2012


The big day has come and gone.

 And, yes, I do have documentation of this momentous event:

1. Breakfast with Mortie, the Tortoise. 
Mortie does not like that it gets dark at 5:30pm.
I can't say that I blame him. 
Mornings are the only times I get to hang out with him. 
Once it is dark, he goes to bed!

2. The date:
Proof that I took pictures on the correct day!
Not that you wouldn't believe me....

3. Opie the Elf is just hanging out doing his job.
Being cute and spying on little children.
Not creepy at all.

4. Morning Duty
Every Wednesday, I'm stuck watching this group.
Actually, they are pretty good. I've got it easy.
The 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders are on the hardcourt.
We need an invisible fence and shock collars to keep them contained.

5. Fundations, Unit 4 Test
Here's one of my firsties working hard on his test.
He has ASD and has been in self-contained classrooms since he was 3.
This is his first year in a gen-ed classroom and he has made SO much progress.
13/16 kids passed the test!
That is totally rad for this group (8 out of 16 have special needs!)

6. Kindergarten Reading Group
They L-O-V-E this Pete the Cat reader from Heidi Butkus!

7. Kindergarten Reading Group
She wanted me to take her picture so badly!
She was really proud of her work.

8. Terror in the classroom
Unfortunately, I have a new student who isn't quite ready for the classroom.
You can just guess what happened...

9. First Grade Reading Groups
Thank God, I've got my first graders back!
Love reading groups with these guys.
I could do it ALL day!

10. Rain, Rain Go Away!
We had to make do with inside recess.
My first graders LOVE to dance.
They beg to dance to Gangham Style and the Dougie.
We need a Talent Show with this group!

11. Hair Appointment
Oh man, did I need this appointment (and that glass of wine.)
My hair is so happy now!

12. Dessert First!
Scott and decided to be crazy and have dessert before our dinner.
We love Fro-Yo!

That's all folks.
It wasn't the best day, but it was a day.
Things happened.

Please check out Stacy's Linky Party.
12~12~12 is done!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gingerbread Man ELA 5 Day Lesson Plan

Hi-Ho, everybody!

Well, I had to look a few times, but I kept getting the same results...
Today is only Tuesday. 
I was SO wishing it may have been Thursday. It feels like a Thursday.
Oh, Calgon. Take me away! 

Luckily, there are many, many, many activities to teach during this time of year.
This week is our Gingerbread week and the kids are loving it.
There are so many gingerbread books to read and compare. With each read, the level of excitement rises. It has been fun, but "WOAH" these kiddos are fired up!

As my students are becoming "close" readers this year, I have decided to dig deep into one of our gingerbread stories, The Gingerbread Man. (had to go with the original)

As I mentioned in the last post, this is a 5 day lesson plan format using the same text. Each day, we spend about 20-30 minutes digging deep into the story.
The routine goes a little something like this:
 Monday - Read for Enjoyment
Tuesday - Analyze the text for Vocabulary Words
Wednesday - Text Coding
Thursday - Use the text for Writing Response
Friday - Use the text for Fluency Drill
*Remember - Questions, responses, and activities are all planned around using the text. Everything goes back to the text. Basically, forcing the kids to go back into the text.

Feel free to use this and let me know how it works out for you.


Tomorrow is kind of a big day, it's 12/12/12!
In honor of such a cool event, Stacy over at Simpson's Superstars is hosting a 12 on 12th Linky Party. Those interested in joining the party will be posting 12 random pictures from the 12th day of the month. Pretty easy and fun!

Click on the link to join Stacy's party tomorrow.

Have a THRILLING 12/12/12!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

ELA CCSS 5 Day Lessons

Hey, Hey, Hey! What, What, What!

I'm posting during the middle of a school week! I didn't think this was humanly possible.
And yet, here I am blogging and sharing with you some things I've whipped together lately.

I'll start from the beginning. This year my district has gotten on board the Common Core train. Full Speed Ahead! At my level, we have been strongly advised to dump our reading series (somewhat) and plan for more nonfiction texts. Like, A LOT more nonfiction texts.
We haven't had much training, so I was really at a loss with what direction I should teach these texts. I had heard that providing prior knowledge and building background knowledge before reading was now a HUGE no-no. I had heard that I needed to dig DEEP into the text. However, I really wasn't sure what to do with my littles.

Then, a few weeks ago, we had a good training session where they showed us what a week's worth of lessons should look like. Yippee! This is what I needed. Some direction. Just a little training, helps so much I tell ya!

I've made two week's plans based on the themes my partner and I have been teaching: the moon and reindeer. These lessons are about 20-30 minutes in length and I teach during my Shared Reading time before reading groups.

Feel free to download and use them in your class and let me know what you think.
I hope they aren't total crap!!!! Ha!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Currently - December

Happy December 1st my friends!

I know I have been a stinky blogger, but it's not my fault!
My schedule is a nightmare, and I never have any time to take pictures of the kiddos.

Plus, my kinder class has grown by 6 ESE students. So, we have 21 K's (11 ESE) and 18 First graders (8 ESE.) Oh boy, it's a labor intensive situation I can assure you. I mean gen-ed Kinders are so needy anyways.

Maybe next year, I'll get the handle on all of this. Maybe...

I am happy to return to do my Currently for the month. Yeah!
Thank you, Farley!

Don't forget to follow the rule of 3!