Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to School Linky Party

Over the summer, I started blogging about reading The Daily 5.  Then, things got pretty hectic for us....we bought a house!!


That's right! We are expecting a baby! He or she will be here in March. We are very excited! So, not only have we been crazy busy settling in, but I haven't felt well at all! So I never finished my blogs on the Daily 5!

However, I have started it in my classroom, and I can't wait to share my thoughts, successes, and failures so far:) For now, I am excited to be taking part in Mandy's very first Back to School Linky Party!

Today we are sharing first day lesson plans. The first day of school always FLIES by, and I never get to half of what I have planned. But, I figure it is better to over plan than not plan enough! Here is what I did this year.

7:10-8:00-When the students come in, I like to have something simple for them to do for morning work. A word search, or coloring page. I tell them to keep all their supplies with them at their table for now. We will unpack these later! I make sure everyone knows how they go home in the afternoon.

8:00-8:35-I usually start the day by reading a book. I usually read First Day Jitters. I think this is a pretty common one to read on the first day. Then, I have the students share whether or not they can relate to the character in the book. After we finish, we play some sort ice breaker game. This year, we all sat in a circle. I was holding the yarn. I told my name and one thing about myself. Then, I threw the yarn to another student. They shared one thing about themselves, and tossed the ball of yarn. we continued until everyone had received the yarn. It will look like a big web. we discussed how we are all unique because we all shared something special about ourselves, however, we are all connected. We are a learning family. If one person drops their yarn (I have a student model), then the whole group feels the consequences.

8:35-We discuss hallway procedures, and create a list of those. I have several students model the correct/incorrect way to line up.

8:45-we have specials at this time.

9:30-10:30-I used this time to unpack our supplies. I called one table at a time. We discussed the supplies that should go in their table baskets and where to keep pencils, crayons, etc. If they had hand sanitizer, tissues, paper, etc. I had them put it in the correct spot around the room. While I was calling students to put away supplies, I had the students work on this back to school booklet.

You can find it in my TPT store. Normally, it is $3.00. However, it is FREE for until tomorrow. I have one for 2nd grade and one for 3rd grade.

10:30-I bring the students to the carpet, and we review hallway procedures again. I introduce bathroom procedures. We create a chart of bathroom procedures. We also discuss cafeteria and lunch line procedures.

10:40-we leave for lunch and stop at the restrooms.


11:15-go to the restrooms again after lunch

11:20-12:45-During this time, I introduce our classroom rules (which are school wide). I go over the five rules with each student. This year I tried something different with this. I paired students up, and gave each pair a card with a situation on it. They discussed whether the situation described was following our class rules or not. Then, we discussed each one as a class. I also introduce my behavior system at this time.

12:45-recess-I take time to show the students around the playgorund. We walk to each piece of equipment and talk about what they are/are not allowed to do on it (Ex: walking up the slide, hanging upside down on bars- both NO, NOs). We walk to the places that they are/are not allowed to be.


1:20-2:00-We take time to review all the procedures from the day. I have students model. I also introduce morning procedures and we create an anchor chart. This way, the students know what to do when they come in tomorrow. I don't like to waste several days on the busy work type stuff that we do on the first day of school. So, I introduced the morning work page, and we did the first page together. Then, tomorrow, they know how to do the page when they come in. This year I am using Mandy's morning work packs. She has a set for August, and she just posted a set for September! They are working wonderfully so far! Finally, we discuss afternoon procedures, pack up, and make sure we are sitting quietly and ready for the craziness that is dismissal on the first day!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Daily 5 Thoughts.....Part 2

I am thoroughly enjoying my little Daily 5 study that I am doing.  I can't wait to implement it next year!  Today as I read I took a few notes.  Here are some things that stuck out to me. 

1.) Volume of voices is definitely something that makes me nervous about Daily 5.  I personally do not concentrate very well when there is a lot of noise, so I like it to be very quiet while I teach guided reading.  However, it all goes back to modeling appropriate behavior.  The sisters mention making a point throughout the whole year to make sure that their voices are never the loudest in the room even when they are teaching.  I admit, I have never really paid a lot of attention to the volume of my voice while I am teaching guided reading groups.  Of course I try not to be loud, but I certainly haven't thought of the volume of my voice being the model for the class.   I will be paying attention to that next year.

2.) I can tell that the MOST difficult thing for me is going to be not rushing the process.  I know I will think, "These kids can read for longer than 3 minutes, we are going to read for longer than that today!" I will have to remind myself many times to follow the lessons exactly as they are.

3. ) Listen to Reading really stresses me out.  Mostly because there are always problems with the tape player, cd player, headphones, etc.  I like the idea of putting headphones on the supply list, but I am usually doing good to get paper and pencils, I'm not confident that I would get parents to send in headphones.  What are some of your solutions/management tips for listen to reading? What are your favorite websites that read out loud to kids?

 Thank you so much for your advice on my last post.  Keep it coming! 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Daily 5....I need your help!!

I know that we have all heard of The Daily 5.  It is growing to be so popular among primary grades teachers. I have dabbled in it for several years now. I had not read the book by "The Sisters", but I had read a lot about it on blogs, and heard about it at some of the professional learning sessions provided by my district.   However, I have always been a bit intimidated by it, so I have only tried the parts that I was comfortable with.  I have decided that next year I am going to take the plunge and fully commit to the program.  That means that this summer I am reading the book.  I am also reading The CafĂ© Book.

I know that you train the students on Read to Self first....adding a minute or two each day until they reach the desired length of independent reading time. Now, this happens to be the part of Daily 5 that I have dabbled in and feel comfortable with.  I always train my students to read to self which takes a few weeks. Then, reality sets in. It is almost September!!  I have to complete DRAs( the reading assessment used by my district), because they are usually due sometime at the beginning of September.  I also start feeling the pressure to start Guided Reading groups because we are required to report a reading level each month from a running record.  Well, I won't have a running record score if I don't start guided reading.  AHHH...I am feeling stressed just thinking about it!! So we move on...I start guided reading, we get in a routine, and I never teach the other components of The Daily 5. 

So, I need advice from all of you experienced Daily 5 users.  How long does it usually take to train students on ALL components? How do you balance training students on all components with the demands that come with the beginning of the year?  What tips do you have for me????

Saturday, June 8, 2013

HUGE Blog-a Versary Giveaway!

Hey guys!!  I hope everyone is having a great summer!  I certainly am:)  I am enjoying sleeping late and staying up late too! I am also hoping to use the summer to catch up on blogging, and creating some new products for TPT!!  

I wanted to let you guys know about something super exciting coming up!  Christina Bainbridge is having a giveaway to celebrate her 2 year blog-a-versary!   There are TONS of goodies in this giveaway!  There have been over 100 items donated to this giveaway including products from TpT and even some gift certificates!!  I am so excited to be participating in this giveaway!  Make sure to hop over to Christina's  blog to get all the details!  It starts on Monday, and you definitely don't want to miss it:) 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Sale!!

There are so many things to be excited about during this time of the year. 
1. Summer is quickly approaching! There are only 13 days left of school in my district!!! 
2.The weather (except for this weekend) has been beautiful!! 

and last but not least.......
The Teachers Pay Teachers Teacher Appreciation Sale!!

I am so excited about this sale!!  I already have some items in my cart:) Teachers Pay Teachers is offering the 10% when you use the check out code TAD13. I will be offering an additional 20% for a total of 28% off everything in my store!! 

In addition, with any purchase of $5.00 or more from my Teachers Pay Teachers store from May 7th- May 8th you may choose any item from my store of equal or lesser value for FREE!!!  After you make your purchase, simply email me ( with your TpT username and order total.  Also include which item you would like for free!  I will then send it to you:)

Happy Shopping!!! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

New Product and a GREAT Deal:)

In second grade we spend an extensive amount of time of two areas: Place value and addition and subtraction strategies.  Common Core really allows us to teach these concepts in great depth.  Because this was my first year in second grade, it was the first year that I spent a great deal of time teaching addition strategies for the basic addition facts.  But, I really enjoyed teaching the unit. So, I put it together to share with you! 

This product is a four day unit.  The students learn strategies to solve the basic addition facts. Those strategies are doubles, double + 1, Make a ten, and counting on. Here are some things included in this unit:
-Four Lessons with hands-on activities
-Doubles Facts Posters with real world picture examples
-two games (Doubles Match, and Double + 1 Bingo)
-A Sorting Activity
-An addition chart to copy for students and/or to use as an anchor chart. As you teach the unit, you color code the addition chart. At the end, the students see that there is a strategy for every addition fact.
This unit is $6.00 and can be found on my TPT store .
I am also offering a very special deal: Purchase this item, and receive any other item of equal or lesser value from my store for FREE!  Here is how it works: Purchase this item.  Email me ( with your TPT username and the item that you would like for free!  I must receive your email by Monday at Midnight in order for you to receive a free item. 
Have a great Sunday!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My New Favorite Thing

Ok, I am a little torn.  I want to share something wonderful with you. It is a fabulous FREE website that a teacher from my school discovered and shared with us.  BUT, the selfish side of me doesn't want to share it because I am afraid that if it gets too popular, it might not be free anymore!! 

But, I will share anyway:)    I. AM. IN. LOVE. The website is Have any of you heard of this?!? It is wonderful.  When I started browsing around the website and saw all that you can do with it, I thought to myself, "There is no way that this is free!!" But it is. Totally free.

Basically, you create an account using your email address (and they don't send you tons of emails, which I was also worried about).  You register each of your students.  Then, the students are given a username and password.  When the students log on they go through a series of math and reading lessons.  All of the lessons are aligned with common core! The questions are challenging, and they are not all multiple choice!  I love that!  Some of the questions even have students explain their thinking!  The program does not allow the students to move on to the next lesson until they have scored 80% or more on the lesson. 

Everything that I have mentioned is wonderful, right??? It is free, they don't send you emails, the students are given challenging questions that make them think and are aligned with common core.  But, that is not even the best part! 

This website provides the teacher with wonderful data.  Here is a picture from the "Reports" section of my page.  As you can see it tells you the number of students that have met the target in math and reading ( I haven't gotten too many of my students on yet.  I have only tested it out with a few).

You can also look at data for each concept/standard. This picture shows my class data for each math concept.

You can even review specific student data by concept!  

I have thoroughly enjoyed this website, and just wanted to pass it along:)