Now Introducing- Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars!

I am so excited to have Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars come and visit me today!  She has an awesome blog that you need to check out if you haven't already done it!  She is a Reading Specialist and has some great ideas to share.  So, here she is...

Hello, everyone!  I am invading Jennie's blog today while she is living it up on vacation!  And, yes, I am too!!  I hope she doesn't mind too much!
Last week I started on a new venture of tutoring a student.  I was super excited when his mom told me that he has comprehension issues.  OK, that didn't sound good, but for me, that means I get to work on my favorite part of reading ~ comprehension!

One of the things I learned in my many classes for my Master's was to use familiar text to help with learning new comprehension strategies.  It makes total sense!  If the student is learning a new comprehension strategy, we as teachers don't want them to be bogged down in decoding the words of a story and then trying to show what they know.

Instead, we can introduce the comprehension strategy by having the students read or listen to a familiar story.   I like to use fairy tales because students have heard them many times before.  One of my favorites to use is "The Three Little Pigs".  Students know the story and understand what is happening because they have heard it so many times.  And, even though there are different versions, most of them follow the same ideas.

So, while assessing my student the other day, I noticed he had a hard time with retelling and sequencing.  To help him focus on the skill of sequence, I would use the story "The Three Little Pigs".  Reading A-Z has a wonderful version of this, which would allow him to read the story.

After he reads the story, I would help him create a flow map to show the events of the story.  I am not sure if they used Thinking Maps at his school, so I will help him with this.  Then he can use the flow map to help retell the story.

After using "The Three Little Pigs" to help him with sequencing and learning a new way to show it, I would move on to another narrative with some ideas that he has some prior knowledge with.  He loves dogs, so this would be a good start.

We would go through the process again and again, moving to topics of less interest to him, since you never know what you may have to read.

This scaffolding will help him to gain a better understanding of retelling and sequencing a story.  As he reads less familiar topics, he will still hold the idea of how to show the sequence of the story.

Since Jennie will be teaching first grade next year, this is also a great way to help new readers learn some of those skills and strategies.  After reading the story, students can use the sequencing freebie for "The Three Little Pigs" to help retell the story!  Click here or on the picture below to grab it!

Thank you, Jennie for letting me invade your blog!  I hope I didn't do too much damage!  Happy Summer!



What do you do? Week 2 Behavior Management

So I have to admit, one of the biggest SCARES I am having with going back to entertaining 20 kids (rather than 3 or 4) is behavior management.  I really want to have a plan that will be successful for both me and the students.  I have been thinking about what I want my plan to be... Right now, I have two options in mind and would love your feedback and ideas and I am completely open to other suggestions.

#1- Class Dojo.  I love that this behavior management system is online and you can print reports for parents.  Has anyone used this?  What are the pros and cons?- I would love to hear more about it.  If you haven't heard of Class Dojo- here is the website. Class Dojo

#2- Classroom Behavior Chart-  I really like the charts that allow students to move up for good behavior.  Here is a sample of one:

This chart is from Kindergarten Smiles.  Check it out- she tells exactly how she uses her chart:)  Again, I would love to hear pros and cons of this system.

I also like the ideas of having different rewards with the behavior charts.  Lindsay Griffith has a new behavior management packet on TpT that looks great.  I may need to get it- Click on the picture to check it out.

(Sorry this picture is blurry.  I got it off of TpT and couldn't get it clear...)

If you have a blog post about behavior, please link up below!  I would love to read it:)


Summertime planting!

So, yesterday I put my kids and the neighbor girls to work!  I went and bought some flowers for the JB&G (Johnson Bar and Grill) as we call it here at the house.  It is only the outside deck but it's fun and it works!  In fact, we are actually considered a "business" on Facebook because we have had so many people "check in" over the past few years.  How funny is that??  Here are some pics of them hard at work...

And some pictures of the finished product.  This is my place to "work" during the summer months!  I love sitting outside and working.  In fact, that is exactly where I am right now:)  I know... I'm crazy...

AND- here is my JB&G sign that my girlfriends had made for me for my birthday a couple of years ago!  I LOVE it!

Then I took them for ice cream.  Work gets done a lot faster when there is bribery involved...


What Do You Do? Linky Party Week 1

I have spent more time at school this past week then I did when school was still in session... Thanks to my wonderful in-laws (I know, many people cannot say that), I have been able to make the move to my new classroom.  I had to clean out the previous classroom and keep what I wanted.  I unloaded about 7 dumpsters the past few days.  Here are a few pics.  Right now, I am at the point of putting away my classroom supplies that I moved from my other room.  Once that is finished, the custodians can clean my room and then I will be able to start setting up.

This is my son Trever.  He decided to fracture and dislocate his elbow last week. Ugghhh...

Behind the desk, this picture turned out pretty dark.

I have been a little LOT overwhelmed!  But, I am getting it all organized.  Thank goodness I was following Jodi over at Clutter-free Classroom this year and cleaned out much of my classroom.  I was easily able to pack up my belongings without much hassle of trying to figure out what to keep and what to toss.  

I will keep you posted on how my room is coming along.  Even with all of this, I have been already trying to figure out how I want to set up my room.  I have decided that I NEED the expertise of all of my cyber friends out there.  There are thousands of talented teachers out there that I would LOVE to hear how you do different things.  I am interested to learn what works for you with centers, writing workshop, guided reading, classroom management, and MANY MANY other things.  

Here is my plan!  I want to set up a linky party once a week through the summer.  I am going to post a new topic each week and do a little research myself.  I will share some fun ideas that I find from other bloggers and Pinterest.  I would love to have other bloggers share on their blogs what they do and what works in their classroom as well as have teachers (without blogs) share their ideas in the comments section.  So, to start... I want to know how you run your center time.  Here are some questions that you can think about to help me (and others) out:)

1.  How long do you do centers each day?
2.  How many centers do you do in a day?
3.  Do you let the students choose or do you require them to do certain ones?
4.  Do you group the children by ability or do you spread them out?
5.  Do you use a pocket chart or other visual so the students know where to go?
6.  Do you time your centers or do the students switch on their own?
7.  Do you have students do "worksheets" so that they are accountable for their work?
8.  What centers do you do consistently each week?  What are some that you change?

Here are some fun set ups that I found!

I would LOVE for you to either link up from a blog OR post you greatest suggestions in the comments!  Thank you so much- teachers are the best at sharing their ideas!