Thursday, June 11, 2015


I am linking up with Lindsay over at Primary Polka Dots for #tbtFREEBIE which she is hosting every Thursday this summer.  What a fun way to find some new freebies on Facebook and Instagram!    The freebie that I am showcasing this week is my Guided Reading Binder.  This is my most downloaded freebie because it is a simple way to better organize yourself for your Guided Reading time with the kids!

Here is a picture of how I stay organized with my Guided Reading Groups:

I use velcro for my student names so that I can easily change them when I change groups.

 I keep my blank lesson plans in the back using a lettered dividers!

I have lesson plans that have the skills listed for each book level A-Z for purchase in my TPT Store!  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Making Writing Workshop WORK!

If you know me at all, you know that I have a passion for Guided Reading and meeting the needs of all students during Guided Reading in my classroom.  What you might not know is that as much as I love Guided Reading, Writing Workshop is actually my favorite part of the day... there are two big reasons why!

 1.      The kids LOVE writing workshop.
2.   Each student is working at their own level! 

Please know that what I write in this blog post is how I run my Writing Workshop.  I realize different things work for different people.  What I am going to write about works for me and my kiddos.  I hope that maybe I can give you some ideas to add to your writing workshop time…

Why do I choose to teach writing in a Writing Workshop format?
  • ALL students are working at their own level!
  • Students get to choose topics that interest them to write about.
  • The mini-lesson allows for Interactive Writing (share the pen).
  • Writing Workshop allows the teacher to conference with students individually or in small groups to focus on their needs.

How do I get started with Writing Workshop?
  • I start on DAY 1.  I encourage students to just write, write, write from the start.  Anything goes and no matter what they are writing about- it is AMAZING!
  • I get REALLY excited each day before we start writing.  I tell them how much I love writing workshop and how much they are going to love it too!  Positive energy about writing is really contagious!
  • The first days/weeks I really focus on the rules, routines, and organization of Writing Workshop.

If you were to walk into my room during Writing Workshop, what would it look like?
  • Writing Workshop lasts about 45-60 minutes every day.
  • First, we do a mini-lesson (usually on the SMART board).  I try to keep the mini-lesson between 10-15 minutes.  Many times we are writing together doing a shared interactive writing and writing stories together.
  • After the mini-lesson students will begin writing on their own.  I call table groups to get their writing folder as we watch how well everyone can get started quickly and quietly.
  • I have soft music playing.  I usually listen to a Pandora station.
  • Students will be spread around the room.  I switch off each day, BOYS will work on the floor one day while the GIRLS are at their seats and then visa-versa.
  • Students on the floor are sitting on mats in their own area (they get to choose).  I don’t allow students to go under desks though or else it turns into a fight of who gets to sit where.  They must not be able to hold their arms out and touch another student.
  • I meet with students (usually about 5 each day).  We discuss their writing and talk about where they are going with it.  I focus on WHAT they are writing and spend very little time worried about mechanics.
  • Students write for about 20-30 minutes and then come to the “story pit” to share. 
  • I have sharing/conferencing charts that I use.  Each group has about 5 students and I meet with those students that day and then they also share.  They share their stories no matter where they are in the writing process.  We focus by giving 2 compliments and an idea.

My newest product is structured the way that I run my Writing Workshop.  I did these lessons with my first graders and they are now writing up a storm!  I love to see how excited they are when writing time comes around every day. 

This product includes:
·      25 Narrative Writing lessons including getting started with Rules, Routines, and Organization
·      Lessons are also set up in SMART Notebook Files to allow for interaction on a SMART board (this is not needed but is an added bonus!)
·      Writing Folder (pages to set up your writing folder)
·      Set-up directions
·      Conferencing sheets
·      Narrative writing rubric that focuses on skill taught during lessons
·      Sharing Charts (editable)
·      Letter to send home to parents explaining Writing Workshop

Lesson Topics include:  

Each lesson is set-up along this format...

Here is a sample from Lesson #1

There is so much more that I could write about but I didn't want this post to go on and on... if you have any specific questions about how I run my Writing Workshop or any questions about this product, I would love to hear them!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

End of the Year Activities!

So, only 14 school days left.  I am ready!  I have a couple of fun activities to share with you to make the end of the year a little more exciting!  

First, I like to do a little COUNTDOWN.  I just do the last five days of school but I made a packet that has 10 days.  So, you can either do all 10 days or just pick and choose the activities that you like the best!

Basically, I put a slip of paper in an envelope for 5 days.  Each slip of paper has a "special treat" that we get to do that day.  Here are the choices:

We open an envelope everyday to countdown the last five days!
This is a FREEBIE in my store!

Last year, I also made a TIME CAPSULE!  This was so much fun and I can't wait until the kids graduate and can open their time capsules!  Basically, I send home a letter that asks parents to send in some items from this school year.  They send in pictures, pictures of "popular toys", or they can send in the toy if it will fit in the envelope.  For example, last year many kids sent in Silly Bands...
Then, we do a lot of activities in class the last few days of school to add to our time capsule.  They tell about themselves, technology today, and some of their favorite things.

This is for sale in my store for only $3.

Also, if you are ready to start getting ready for next year, I just finished my Narrative Writing:  The Ultimate Writing Workshop Unit.  This has about 2 months (25 Narrative Writing LESSONS) worth of lessons.  I also explain how I run my Writing Workshop.  Each lesson has a SMART Notebook file that can be used on a SMART board but it isn't necessary to have this technology to use this product.  It's just an added bonus!  I'm so excited for this product and I am also working on Opinion and Informational Writing!

Happy End of the School Year!  

Monday, May 4, 2015

New Product: Narrative Writing: The Ultimate Writing Workshop and TPT SALE!

I LOVE Writing Workshop (maybe even more that Guided Reading) after creating my own Narrative Writing Unit with complete LESSON PLANS.  Yes, you heard it right- complete lesson plans.  This unit lasts about 2 months.  There are 25 lessons (including "start-up") lessons to get the rules, routines, and organization established.  Each lesson comes in PDF form and also SMART Notebook that you can use if you have a SMART board.  BONUS!  No fear- if you don't have a SMART board, the unit is still just as effective!  I just finished this product and plan to post about it more later but I just wanted to share it before the big sale!

Here are some products that will be on sale!

My entire store will be 20% off Tuesday, May 5th and Wednesday, May 6th!  Enter PROMO CODE: THANK YOU at checkout for an additional 10% off!

I'm linking up with Latoya over at Flying in First!  

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

$100 Teacher Appreciation Giveaway!

Teacher Appreciation Day is almost here!  My friends and I over at iTeach Kinder, iTeach First, and iTeach Second are hosting a $100 Teacher Appreciation Giveaway!  Head on over to iTeach First and enter! 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Spotlight Seller on TPT= 20% off SALE!

Ok, so seriously, what are the odds?  I was contacted in JULY about being the Spotlight Seller in the Teachers Pay Teachers newsletter.  I have patiently been waiting- since July- to be featured!  Today it happened!  I opened up my TPT Newsletter and there I was… YAY!  
So this is what I am talking about ODDS… yesterday, I was featured in the Teacher Notebook Newsletter- CRAZINESS!  Feeling very blessed on this Easter weekend!  

Anyway, both stores are on sale through Wednesday, April 8th!

I made a You Tube clip that tells a little bit about The Ultimate Guided Reading Toolkit!



Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Sale

I woke up this morning and to my surprise I am the featured shop of the week over at Teacher's Notebook!  I thought I would celebrate over there with a 20% off sale!

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