Saturday, June 30, 2012

50% off SALE!

Just in case you didn't see....
These items are 50% off until Sunday night!!

Happy Shopping! :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Reading Odds and Ends- last day giveaway!

Wow, thanks so much if you have been coming alog with me on my guided reading journey!  I have enjoyed sharing different things with you all week.  If you are just stopping by today- make sure to scoll down to the last several days to see all that has been shared.  Today I'd like to share some great things I've discovered.
Sarah Snippets
First off... have you been to Sarah's First Grade Snippets?  If not get on over there... she has AMAZING stuff and I could spend hours on her blog! Well she had a great post and a freebie (on TpT) of some guided reading "snapshot" sheets she uses with her kids.  They are great for getting a feel for how your students are doing AND they are great to share with parents!!  You can click this link {HERE} to read more about it on her blog OR you can go {HERE} to get a copy of them for free!! :) 

Teaching in the Early YearsI also found this GREAT idea from Shelley Gray~ she has a product on TpT called "Thinkmarks."  They are bookmarks for your guided reading time.  She lays them out on the table and as the students have a great thought while they are reading, they grab the bookmark and put it in the book.  Then they can go back and discuss their thoughts when it's time to share!  I LOVE this idea!!  You can get her awesome product by clicking {HERE} Click the button to the left to go to her blog and her facebook page is {HERE} :)  She has 
                                       fabulous ideas~ so stop by!!

Finally, I wanted to share with you a pic of all my guided reading sheets.  This is how I keep them organized.  I keep them in a pretty giant file cabinet behind my reading (kidney shaped) table.  It looks like this:

Click HERE to get some great organizers!
I usually copy a bunch of sheets at the beginning of the year so that I can just grab a sheet when I need it.  I pick sheets that I can use for any type of book or genre.  I don't always use a "sheet" but I feel that sometimes its a good follow-up activity to what we are reading so I can gague their comprehension.  When I need to do a running record, this is a good activity for the rest of the group to be working on.  In case you missed it (as I posted this before), here are some of my favorite ones that I have created. Click below the sheet to get more!------------->

Ok, so off topic and unrelated BUT... Tonya @ Tonya's Treats for Teachers AND Patti @ Tales From a 4th (and 5th) grade teacher gave me this award!!

It made my day!!  I just love this blogging community... I have had so much fun doin' the bloggin thing the past few months.  Thanks SO much Tonya and Patti!!  I know there is something I need to do that goes along with this award... I will do that sometime this weekend. :)

Last and final (I promise) thing... today is the LAST DAY FOR MY GIVEAWAY!! 
Congrats to Lisa... yesterdays winner True Random Number Generator
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 I've have been giving one of these out every day this week:
 Today will be my last one... sadly :)  HOWEVER- because I have had so much fun this week and have LOVED all your comments and feedback I have decided to make this 50% off all weekend!!  The last winner will be chosen and contacted at 5:00pm central time today and then this will remain on sale until Sunday night!!  Click to check it out!

Ok, since I've posted 6 days in a row (a new record for me), I'm takin a slight break!  I'll be back soon with my blogger award update AND TEACHER TIPS TUESDAY with another featured blogger!!
Thanks for reading!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Howdy!  Ok, seriously... where is the time going!!  Does anyone else feel like when the 4th comes that summer is nearly over?  I can't BELIEVE that the days are flying (when the school year d...r...a...g...s).

Ok, so I have two pretty cool things to share today.  Both of these activities I've done either during my guided reading time, my intervention block, or had parent helpers/aides do with the children.  The first is something that I've created that I LOVE.... 

Many of my students (even in second grade) struggle with reading high frequency words.  Those stubborn words that most of the time you can't sound out.  I always start the year by assessing what words they know of the standard 227 HFW list.  Then from there I make 3 word packs (I usually don't do this for every student- my intervention kids and low average kids really benefit).
 I take 3-5 words that the students could not read quickly (3 seconds or less) and add them to the "Words I'm Learning to Read" ring.  I pull this out and have the students read through their words- this goes quickly.  If they can read the word I then put a dot in the corner (see pic below).  When they can read the word 3 different times easily, the word is then transfered to the "Words I'm learning to Spell" ring.
The 3 green dots were from reading the word correctly.  It then moved to this ring and the red dot means the student spelled the word orally corectly one time so far.
Now the student is trying to spell the words orally.  Again, I am putting 3 different colored dots on the card each time the child can spell the word correctly.  The student can be reading words and spelling words during the same session with me.  Each one goes pretty quickly because I try to limit the words to 3-5 on a ring.  Once he/she spells the word correctly 3 times, the word then moves to the "Words I Know how to Read" ring.
I actually changed this one to say "Words I'm learning to write" ~ thought it made more sense.
This is the final ring.  If the word makes it here, the student is now writing the word down usually on a dry erase board.  Once the student can do that 3 times the word is put loosly in the bag to revisit from time to time.  I have found with the amount of repetition,  spelling, and reading of the word that the students have much better sucess really LEARNING the words.  I love this activity so much that I made it into an activity pack in my TpT store.  It looks like this:

 Sorry I don't have a fancy smancy picture of the whole thing but you can check it out by clicking {HERE}.  I have it on SALE in my store for ONLY $1 TODAY ONLY!!!!  Check it out!!  No seriously, go check it out :)
Ok, last item to share... this is pretty cool too!!  It's called FLASH FLUENCY and its from the website- "The Positive Engagement Project"  It has different types of word lists for a varitey of levels and the children read through the lists in one minute or less.  I used this in my guided reading groups and with parent helpers (in addition to the high frequency word lists- the fluency words are definitely more challenging).  The children REALLY liked trying to beat their previous time.  Click the link above to check it out!!

Ok, that's all from me today!  Make sure you stop by Coffee, Kids and Compulsive Lists for her 100 follower giveaway!  Many items up for grabs (including one of mine!) 

Yesterday's giveaway winner was:
True Random Number Generator   Powered by RANDOM.ORG
Congrats Stephanie!!  I will be giving away just TWO more of the amazing Word Family packs (see previous days post for a pic).  Remember to leave a comment below with your email.  I'd love to hear how you do either HFW or fluency with your kiddos!  **AND if you purchase the HFW Pack... come back and leave a separate comment telling me so for an extra chance to win! (and I'll be your best friend... haha..j/k).

Thanks for reading!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Guided Reading- Basal and D5 AND a giveaway :)

Thanks for stopping back again!  Well I found out today where all the kids are hanging out this summer... at the Library!  I guess that is a good thing yet I wasn't prepared to run into 3 former students/parents and other students(I didn't know!!) yelling my name from across the library... ugh.  At least I didn't look like a complete slob like I do most of the summer.  Note to self... dress nicely when dropping off the little one to storytime.
To continue with my guided reading journey, today I'd like to talk about how I fit guided reading with the dreaded Basal AND Daily 5.  Yikes!!  Of course don't have the magic answer; and I'm not even sure if I have it completely worked out just yet.  It has definitely been a learning experience with many ups and downs.  It's best to learn about your students and do what works best for that year and tweak it each year after that.  Here is a sampling of what I did this past year that worked pretty well.

Below is a snippet of my plan book-

As you can see I start off the week with the Basal story introduction (I should add I don't do the Basal EVERY WEEK- I'd shoot myself If I did!!)  Then for my first round of Daily 5 I do something Basal related- so on Monday I do a Read to Self with the Basal.  Then on Tuesday the students to a Read to Someone with the story.  On Wednesday we do a Listen to Reading with the Basal on Tape.  All during these times I am able to include my shared reading focus of the week- whatever it might be.  Also, during these times I am able to pull a guided reading group OR do an individual conference- again depending on the day and time.

Here is a sample of my guided reading group sheet(sorry this is the best I could get it!)
So this past year I had 4 groups.  I had 3 rounds of Daily 5.  I was either pulling a guided reading group or doing a conference.  I made sure to meet with my intervention group more often so that they would get extra attention.  I felt like I got so much more out of conferencing so I made that a priority.  My groups switched pretty often depending on how they were doing in the group and how they did on the running records that I gave. (at the bottom of this sheet is my student's names- that part got cut off)

So to make it all fit... for example.... on Monday during my first round of Daily 5 the ENTIRE class would do read to self with the Basal, but I pull my intervention kids and we read from our intervention text (as the Basal was not appropriate for their level).  The same goes for Tuesday and Wednesday on the first round.  On each other round I was either working with another group or meeting with students individually.

Yikes... did that even make sense??  I'd LOVE to hear how you make it all work? 

RESULTS from yesterday's giveaway:
True Random Number Generator  8   Powered by RANDOM.ORG
So... I'm giving away another Word Family Pack (great for your guided reading groups!)- BUT you need to leave a comment telling me a guided reading tip you have!  Remember to leave your email and be a follower :)  I will pick one lucky commenter at random tonight!

****Tomorrow I have another awesome FREEBIE and tip- so stop on back (and if you don't win the giveaway- come back and enter again)!!  Thanks so much for hangin' with me!
ps.. I forgot to mention that the next blog that will be featured on Teacher Tips Tuesday will be:

be on the look out for her GREAT tips next Tuesday!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teacher Tips Tuesday!

Hey Everyone!  I'm SUPER excited for this weeks Teacher Tips Tuesday!!  Jessica Tobin is guest blogging today from Second Grade Nest!  Please make sure you stop by her totally cute blog and give her some bloggy love :)  Also, read all the way to the bottom to learn more about her!!

Second Grade Nest

My Guided Reading Tips!

I have taught Kindergarten for three years and am headed to the 2nd Grade to start teaching an older set. I got to a point in Kindergarten I could NOT teach reading without doing Guided Reading. I felt if I tried it any other way, the kids just weren’t getting all the opportunities they could when in small group.

A sample of what my morning block would look like:

Guided Reading Group 1- Working with teacher (leveled readers and sight word work)

Guided Reading Group 2- Working with assistant writing in journals

Guided Reading Group 3- Word Work 1

Guided Reading Group 4- Word Work 2

Guided Reading Group 5- Word Work 3

A FREEBIE to help track your progress with each group- this is necessary to prevent mixing lessons and brains frying…

Group 1: Leveled Readers and Sight Word Work:
Teaching reading from a basal is often tough. Teaching Kindergarten for 3 years it was almost impossible to nail down an “average” reading level for my little ones. I had students reading three words and I had students reading three pages, so I started using Reading A-Z!
The cost is rather pricey, but our school purchased ours for us after special request. Individual use is $90, but if more than 10 teachers are buying, the price lowers to $75.
They give you leveled readers that range from aa-Z.
                                    A sample of a:                                   
  A sample of Z:
I created Running Records for each of the stories I used every week for every group (5 Running Records a week!), but I was very satisfied with the success I saw with my Reading Groups. All students’ progress was tracked and noted and even my lowest group was reading some B/C leveled books!
Also, my group was the group that had Sight Word drill once or twice a week. I follow the Fry Sight Word list and let students work their way through it as they mastered. I did not put a limit on where my kids ended up. One of my high reading levels girls (no joke) ended up on the fifth hundred words by March!!
I used this as my Assessment/Flashcard set for the kids:
Click to see this flashcard set!
Once they could read all 100 words from each list, they bumped to the next list!
Group 2: Daily Journal Writing
In our Kindergarten team, each teacher uses Starfall Reading Curriculum, which is a fantastic curriculum if anyone is searching! We would prompt the students with writing prompts that went along with the readings for the week out of Starfall. The students always had to self-check themselves.
Student self-assessment…
click to go to starfall
Group 3- Group 5:
Different variations of games such as…
·        Concentration
·        Letter Matching
·        Beginning/Middle/Ending letters
·        Write the Room
·        Making Words
·        Word Family games
·        Rhyming Games
·        And more! 
I hope you enjoyed a short and sweet guide to the way I did my Guided Reading for my Kinders!
My name: Jessica Tobin
The years I have been teaching: 4
The grade(s) I have taught: 3 years in Kindergarten, now moving up to Second Grade for my 4th year
The state/area that I teach in: Kentucky

My email address:
Wow!!  Those were some AMAZING tips Jessica!!  Please leave her some comments and remember to check out her blog {Second Grade Nest}!

Remember to stop back the rest of this week for more guided reading goodies, freebies and giveaways!

(Are you interested in being featured??  If so please email me!!)
Results from yesterdays giveaway:
True Random Number Generator  3Powered by RANDOM.ORG                          Congrats Delighted! I'm giving away this pretty cool pack every day this week to a random commenter below (must leave email AND be a follower)  I will pick the winner tonight and announce it in my post tomorrow.  Thanks for reading!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Guided Reading (giveaway) and Monday Made It!

I'm excited to continue with the guided reading discussion!  Plus I have a FUN teaching tool to share (and a giveaway below--but keep reading!!)

Today I just wanted to share some of the things I use during my guided reading group time.  I am in a district that has a Basal, yet we do have the freedom to use it how we wish.  I find that some of the stories are good and others are so not.  So I mix it in when I can.  So with that being said, here are some of the things that I use and how I use them:

~great for comprehension
~retelling activities
~vocabulary building
~text features

Leveled Readers- (this came with our reading series)
~read at level text
~word study

~word study

Magazines (i.e. national geographic)-
~note taking

Science Readers-

Reading A-Z-
~leveled text

Reader's Theater-

I also wanted to share a project I just completed that I plan to use during my guided reading time!!  I'm also linking up with 4th Grade Frolics (for my first time!!):

This is an activity that I've wanted to make yet life got in the way :)  This is a word family flip book-- my emergent readers will so benefit from this!!  Here's how it looks:

 Cool right? ;)  So you will need a set of word family cards (more info how to get this if you don't want to make it below).   
 Cut them out and line them up so you can punch holes in the same place... that way you have the letters match up next to the "family"
 Binding this would be ideal... yet I decided to try pipe cleaners!  It worked great and SO inexpensive!  Make a "U" first so that you have a ring shape and the cards turn more easily.

So I don't want this to turn into an advertisement ;) but I do have this for sale in my TpT Store.  It's a pretty cool pack that I'm very proud of!  It looks like this:
BUT I'm excited to say that I will be giving one away every day this week (for my guided reading week of goodies!)  So if you leave a comment below with your email address I will choose someone tonight (10pm centeral time).  If you don't win today... come back each day this week!! :) p.s... must be a follower to win!

THANKS for reading!!  Leave your guided reading questions below and I'll try and answer them! :)