Sunday, August 28, 2011

Nobody Greater than God!

This was the scene outside my apartment today. After loading up the car and turning it on, Nobody Greater by Vashawn Mitchell was playing on the radio and all I could do was thank God that I weathered the storm! God is truly amazing and I'm thankful that Irene didn't cause more destruction.

I lost power about 4pm on Saturday but the worst of it still hadn't come through Central VA yet. At around 3 am 80% of residents were without power in the Richmond area. That number is steadily declining. But we will be cleaning up for weeks. Teachers in the area are suppose to report back to work tomorrow, I have yet to hear any information on that though.

I packed up my car and headed north on 95 until I reached my sister's house in Caroline County, it doesn't even look like a storm has been through here. I had to leave my apartment... didn't know if I could actually survive on Peanut Butter & Jelly and Chips and Salsa like I had planned. So I'm currently comfortable in the guest room with my laptop, air conditioning and cable. I don't have cell phone service though, but that's the least of my worries!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Earthquakes and Hurricanes!

So teacher work week begins Monday and I'm convinced that some teacher who is not ready to return to work has wished these natural disasters upon us...LOL. I'm located in Central Virginia and we were rocked by an earthquake on Tuesday and Hurricane Irene is scheduled to hit on Saturday. I've got my gas, nonperishable snacks and flashlights...I'm ready! While I wait for all the action to go down I will be busy creating back to school goodies for my new third graders. I will be blogging about them in the next couple of days... granted I still have internet access and electricity. I also can't wait to finish up my classroom so I can take and post pictures of my new space!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mireya's Miracle

I am a member of Faith and Family Church and very active in the youth ministry. A couple of months ago we learned that one of "our" children had been diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia.
Mireya is four years old and her smile will absolutely melt your heart! I follow her mother's blog Three & 1 to keep up with her health updates. I have been praying and fasting for her complete healing and divine health. However I desired to do more. Then I found out that another member in our church had set up a donation page through Through this page I've had the opportunity to give and I look foward to giving more. I encourage you to go and read her donation page, Mireya's Miracle, and if you are able to, make a small donation. Every little bit helps. Thank you and God Bless!

Team Bolton's story was featured on NBC12 News Acts of Kindness .

September Books

Since my entire classroom library is sitting in my dining room waiting for me to wisk them away to school, I figured I do some more blogging about books to read. I've already blogged about books for launching reading and writing workshop, I've also blogged about mentor texts for reading skills and stratigies. Below are a list of my favorite September Books. Leave a comment with your favorite book!

Character Building
A Bad Case of the Tattle Tongue
Bully B.E.A.N.S.
My Mouth is a Volcano
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun
Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon
The Boy Who Wouldn't Share
Fill a Bucket
Have you Filled a Bucket Today?
HOw Full is your Bucket? For Kids
Do Unto Otters
Yes We Can!
The Recess Queen
Little Prickles
The Marshmallow Incident
Bullies Never Win
Jungle Bullies
Sweet Briar Goes to School
Sweet Briar Goes to Camp
Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully
Back to School
The Berestain Bears Go Back to School
Brand New Pencils, Brand New Books
Miss Malarkey Doesn't LIve in Room 10
Ready, Set, School!
A Fine, Fine School
What Teachers Can't Do
I Know an Old Teacher
Amelia Bedilia's First Day of School
My School's a Zoo
How do Dinosaurs Go to School?
Library Mouse: A Friend's Tale
Miss Nelson is Missing
Miss Nelson is Back
First Day Jitters
The Kissing Hand
A Pocketful of Kisses
A Kiss Goodbye
Marley Goes to School
Johnny Appleseed- Jane Kurtz
Johnny Appleseed- Alyse Sweeney
Johnny Appleseed- Jodie Shepherd
We All Fall for Apples- Emmi Herman
Fluffy's Goes Apple Picking- Kate McMullan
A Day at the Apple Orchard- Megan Faulkner & Adam Krawesky
How Do Apples Grow? Betsy Maestro
Apples for Everyone- Jill Esbaum
Apples- Gail Gibbons
The Apple Pie Tree- Zoe Hall
Clifford's First Autumn- Norman Bridwell
Leaves- David Ezra Stein
Chipmunk at Hollow Tree Lane- Victoria Sherrow
The Biggest Leaf Pile- Steve Metzger
The Falling Leaves- Steve Metzger
The Falling Leaves and the Scarecrow- Steve Metzger
Little Red's AUtumn Adventure- Sarah Ferguson
Wild Child- Lynn Plourde

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Giveaway Winners!

Since I only had 10 comments for the trifold giveaway, I will be sending them to all the people who left their email address! You should have already recieved your email with the download links, thanks for following!

8/14 Update: Sorry followers but the giveaway is now closed and I will not be sending out anymore downloads. Feel free to purchase them from the Teaching Oasis. I do apologize for the inconvienence.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Classroom Songs

I teacher online created some songs to help her students soar on standardized reading and math assessments. She also recorded a bully song that I really like. Check it out!           Ann Walner

Treasure's Trifold Giveaway!

So I'm in a generous mood at the moment and in honor of me being promoted to third grade :) I will be giving away the 2nd Grade Treasures Trifold Collection.

Some people have asked if I will make 3rd grade resources. Well there isn't a need to, Melissa Shaw from has tons of FREE 3rd Grade Treasures Resources! So I will be using them. If I do happen to create materials (and I probably will, I'm already thinking of making DRA practice packets for the leveled readers) they will be on my classroom website.

For a list of the stories I used for the trifolds click here. I did learn later that different states had different leveled readers.

So if you use Treasures and are a 2nd grade teacher all you have to do is 1-follow my blog 2- leave a comment with your email address. I will be choosing a winner on Wednesday night.

Friday, August 5, 2011

It's Friday!

Well I've managed to work in my room two days this week. Yesterday I went in with reinforcement and the bulk of the remaining boxes in my dining room and low and behold... we didn't have electricity in our pod. So I worked in the dark for a couple of hours and then left. I did manage to get some storage units put together and my curtains hung, I can't wait until it's finished so I can take pictures and post them.

Last night I was working a some small items to show my appreciation for my Facebook Fans. I made 7 sets of writing stationary. Click Here

Well I am hoping to have a productive day on the computer and cleaning up the place since alot of the boxes have now been removed. I can't believe I only have 3 more weeks of summer until teachers report back to school.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Books to Teach Reading Strategies

So I have a list of books for reading strategies listed here, but I thought I'd share the books that I actually use each year. Do you have an Ollies Bargin Outlet in your area? Well that is where I buy 70% of my books I use to teaching reading strategies with, most of the time it's not popular literature but it's great literature and the students haven't heard the story before! Leave a comment with your favorite teaching book.

The Emperor's Egg- Martin Jenkins
Deep in the Swamp- Donna Bateman
Making Connections: there are literally tons of books that can be used for making connections to self, world and text. Here are my ones for text to text connections.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs/Pickles to Pittsburgh- Judi Barrett
Too Many Frogs/What a Party- Sandy Asher
Amazing Grace/Boundless Grace/Princess Grace- Mary Hoffman
Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash/ Jimmy's Boa Bungee Jump Slam Dunk- Trinka Nobel
The Gruffalo- Julia Donaldson
Lily Brown's Paintings- Angela Johnson
The Salamander Room- Anne Mazer
Questioning: again there are literally tons of books that can be used for questioning but this is my favorite it!
Tuesday- David Weisner
The Black Snowman- Phil Mendez
The Story of Ruby Bridges- Robert Coles
Lucky Pennies and Hot Chocolate- Carly Sheilds
The Frog Prince Continued- Jon Scieszka
The Nutty Nut Chase- Kathryn White
Seven Blind Mice- Ed Young
My Lucky Day- Keiko Kasza
Where are you going Manyoni?- Catherine Stock
Tadpole's Promise- Jeanne Willis
When the Leaf Blew In- Steve Metzger
Ming Lo Moves the Mountain- Arnold Lobel
There Was an Old Lady Series- Lucille Colandro
Dear Mr. Blueberry- Simon James
Wolf!-Becky Bloom
Testing Miss Malarkey- Judy Finchler

Wordless Picture Books

So I've learned over the years to begin teaching a new reading strategy with a wordless picture book. I find that it works best with the following strategies...
  • making connections
  • questioning
  • predicting
  • inferring
  • synthesizing
  • summarizing(this is a key strategy using wordless picture books will enhance for your students)
Below is a list of books I use each year for various strategies.
Deep in the Forest- Brinton Turkle
10 Minutes till Bedtime- Peggy Rathman
Looking Down- Steve Jenkins
Carl's Summer Vacation- Alexendra Day
Tuesday- David Wiesner
Chicken and Cat- Sara Varon
Do You Want to Be My Friend- Eric Carle
The Snowman- Raymond Briggs
Anno's Counting Book- Mitsumasa Anno

I also found an artile here about them.

Launching Writing Workshop

I have a collection of books that I read to get students excited about writing. If you have any other good ones please share by leaving a comment!

The Plot Chickens - Mary Jane Auch
Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One - Kate Duke
Arthur Writes a Story by Marc Brown
Mr. Putter and Tabby Write the Book by Cynthia Rylant
What Do Author's Do by Eileen Christelow
The Alphabet Tree by Leo Leonni
Library Mouse- Daniel Kirk
The Best Story- Eileen Spinelli
Library Mouse: A World to Explore- Daniel Kirk
Show, Don't Tell! Secrets of Writing by Josephine Nobisso

Monday, August 1, 2011

I Pick Good Fit Books

So this weekend I traveled 2 1/2 hours to IKEA only to spend $17... probably spent more in gas! Anyway, I bought this cute picture frame to go with my hollywood theme. Earlier this evening I was blog stalking and ran across this cute I PICK Good Fit Books Display from Third Grade Thinkers and I was trying to figure out how I could do this to go with my theme... and then this was born!

I will be sure to get a picture of it in my classroom when it's all finished! What do you think, leave a comment?

Giveaway Winners!

Since I exceeded my 200 followers for the moment, I am picking 5 winners through the Random Number Generator! The numbers are...
33- Heather
10- Adriana Wilsey
18- Kim Konecny
27- Shelly
12- Kelly B (Queen B)

Be on the lookout for an email with your goodies that I am going to send out tonight!