Sharing my LOVE of Literacy!

If you can read this, thank a teacher !!

December 31, 2011

Hello 2012

I cannot believe I am saying goodbye to 2011.

It has been an interesting year. I was subbing in January, had a job from Feb to June, then went back to subbing in September. I hope 2012 brings me to my forever classroom!

Here's to a happy and healthy new year!

December 27, 2011

Reflections '11 in '11

Another blog is having a Linky Party about this reflections on the past year. I read one on My Life as a Fifth Grade Teacher and decided to do it myself. Some of it is personal and some of it is teacher related!

11. Favorite movie you watched: The Help

10. Favorite TV series: I am a true GLEEK and love Glee. Lately I have also been enjoying "Once Upon a Time." I love the writing and I have always been a fan of fairy tales!

9. Favorite restaurant: Carrabba's (YUMMY!!)

8. Favorite new thing you tried: I have not tried anything new, so this is a difficult category. About 12 weeks I tried the black bean burger at Friday's and it was DELICIOUS! Sad - I know... I need to try more new things in 2012!

7. Favorite gift you received: The gift of "time." By this I mean the time I have to spend with DH, family, and friends!

6. Favorite thing you pinned: I love looking, but I have not pinned anything because I don't have an account. : (

5. Favorite Blog Post: Happy Poetry Month

4. Favorite Accomplishment: Maintaining my weight loss. A few years ago I worked hard to lose 50 pounds. I have managed to keep it off and still love working out and going spinning.

3. Favorite Picture: Anniversary Dessert at Epcot
2. Favorite Memory : Being at Disney World (Epcot really) Celebrating my 7 year wedding anniversary - Best relaxing vacation in a LONG time, Yes, I said - relaxing! Sitting by the pool in 90 degree weather after a cold NY winter is heaven!

1. Goals for 2012
Professional: My Own Classroom - I am SO OVER subbing!
Personal: Save more

What are your reflections and goals?

December 25, 2011

Christmas is Here!

Wishing you all





Enjoy your holiday break and rest up for a wonderful new year with the kiddos!

Happy Reading!

December 20, 2011

Persuasive Essay Writing

Here are some pictures of my lessons from last week. The graphic organizer was created by a teacher in the district. We use different versions depending on the grade level. Color coding it helps the students when they have to transfer their work into an essay format!
Also, I showed the students a PowerPoint I found on the web about writing a persuasive essay. Here is the link: Persuasive Essay Ideas
This is a great website!! We talked about the language of a persuasive essay. We did a sample graphic organizer and essay together.
All week, I read books about winter and snow for a week. We made a list of fun things to do during winter. On the day we went to write our essay, I also read one of my favorite books - Snowmen All Year
I asked the students if they liked winter or summer better. They then wrote their own persuasive essays. I will have to take a picture of the bulletin board. It turned out so cute!

Here is a copy of mine that I wrote to help the students move from their graphic organizer to their final copy! I wish the quality was better (I used my camera from my phone!)

December 5, 2011

Love This Picture Book!

I was at my favorite store (Barnes and Nobles) and I saw this book on the holiday display. I fell in love with the illustrations! It is a cute story, too!

Santa is left by his reindeer and needs to deliver the rest of his gifts. With some Santa magic, he has the farm animals help him deliver presents!

After reading this book, I plan to have students write their own version/ending. The possibilities are endless: zoo animals, desert animals, Arctic animals, puppies, or even some Australian animals.

I just love holiday books!

November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day !

I hope everyone has a great day! Take the time to look around and see what you are thankful for this weekend!

Enjoy your family, friends, and yummy food!

I can't wait for pumpkin pie!

November 19, 2011

A Favorite Read Aloud

Dear Mr. Blueberry by Simon James is a cute story about a girl named Emily who finds a whale in her backyard. She writes letters to her teacher asking him questions about whales.

I love using this book with 3rd grades. After reading aloud the book a few times, I gave students a sheet of paper that had sentences from the text. For example:

There is a whale in my backyard pond.

I fed him cornflakes.

Whales live in salt water.

Students work with a partner to cut out the sentences and put them in a T-Chart which is labelled Facts and Fiction. I check students' answers before I let them glue the sentence stripes. As students finish I give them a crossword puzzle to work on in case I need to help kidos who need more assistance.

I am sharing a copy here: Crossword Puzzle
(I hope this link works. This is the first time I am trying this.)

Another lesson I teach with this book is letter writing. Students pretend they are Emily and they want to find out another new fact about whales. We go over the rules of a friendly letter and then the students write to Mr. Blueberry. I give the letters to a different student. Then, they research the question and write a follow up letter. The students really love doing this activity!

Happy Reading!

November 14, 2011

Turkey Day Books

I have posted in the past about some activities and books to read for this time of year. I was shopping for books and found some Thanksgiving stories I have not seen before, so I thought I would share them with you!

Ten Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston
Thanksgiving Rules by Laurie Friedman
Five Silly Turkeys by Salina Yoon
The Littlest Pilgrim by Brandi Dougherty

Click Below for one of my old favorites I try to use every year:
Thanksgiving Read Aloud

Happy Reading !

November 12, 2011

Turkey Day Time!

I love this time of year! I always notice the students need a 15 minute break because they seem to be more squirrely.

This is when my quick poetry activites come into play. One of my favorites is using the poem below and then having the students draw a picture for the poem. Some years I have the students draw what they are thankful for and other years I have them draw a picture of something they are doing on their day off!

I am thankful for many things
That I just want to sing.
I am thankful for all the food that makes me drool,
And for the day off from school.

** I have had this poem for so long I am not sure where it came from maybe from

Happy Reading!

November 11, 2011

Thank You !

Thanks to all who serve!


November 6, 2011

Verteran's Day

Here are a few ideas for Veteran's Day! (In honor of my Great Grand Father and my Dad!)

Veteran's Day Ideas

Veteran's Day by Fun in First

Two Books Below:
Before reading , I sometimes make charts to prepare for the text. For these books, Ask. " What is a Verteran?" We then add more answers after we learn new ideas throug hour reading!

Story: Emily’s Pop-Pop is shocked when he hears that Emily and Vincetta Louise don’t know what a veteran is. With Veterans Day coming up, he volunteers to talk to their class about the holiday and the people it honors.
** This book also talks about narcolepsy.

Story: Through the eyes of a little girl named Claire and her friend Robbie, children learn about our nation's veterans and why we honor them on Veteran's Day.

Hope these links and books help you teach this week.
Happy Reading!!

October 23, 2011

In Honor of Halloween...

Since I have been drooling over the new book If You Give a Dog a Donut, I have been thinking about a way to use as a guide for a writing lesson related to Halloween.

Here is what I came up with:

1. Read some of Laura Numeroff's books. Have several copies available for the students to use for their own writing.

2. Begin a writing templet for your students:
"If you give a witch a cauldron... "
"If you give a witch a broom.... "
" If you give a ghost some gum..."
" If you give a vampire a vegetable..."

3. Have students write their own stories.

With younger students, the teacher and students could write the story together. It could be illustrated by the students and made into a class book. I cannot wait to do this activity!

Happy Reading!

October 16, 2011

A New Book from a Favorite Author

I am so excited to see Laura Numeroff has another book out! I will have to add it to my holiday wish list!

I have used these books to help build sequence. I type out the text on several strips of paper. I put them in a bowl. After several readings of this book, I have the students pull out the text strips and then place them in the correct sequence. For my struggling readers, I let them look back at the pictures to help them put the text in sequence!

Happy Reading!!

October 9, 2011

Personal Narrative

I was teaching a class about reading and writing personal narratives. I came up with this poster to remind the students what is in a personal narrative. We have been reading several books with a personal narrative theme and this poster comes in handy when we talk about why the books are narratives.

I loved telling the students they are the "STAR" of their personal narrative.

S = Story about me

T = Tells about my feelings

A = Always use I

R = Reader will learn something about me

( You could also use R = Remember to write in sequence)

Students are going to write personal narratives which will be posted on the bulletin board. I will keep with the "star" idea and write "Now Starring....." across the top. Stars with their names will be attached to their writing.

Happy Reading!

October 8, 2011

If You Give A ......

I blogged about a writing lesson HERE. I was teaching in a classroom on Friday and gave the lesson a try. I read If You Take a Mouse to School to the class. We talked about the pattern of the text and about other books by the same author. It was my friend's classroom and she lets me teach writing lessons when I substitute teacher for her : )

I was so pleased with the lesson and it was so much fun! The students came up with some great writing ideas! Here are two pictures of the writing. We wrote a sample together first.

The students decided to cast a spell on me... LOL.
One student had a very creative writing piece. I took the picture with my IPhone. I wish it was bigger! Here is part of one student's story:

If you take a vampire to the drive-in he will want to see Twilight. He will want to drink fruit punch because he thinks it's blood.

Other students had some clever beginnings:
"If you take a zombie to the arcade..."
"If you take a vampire to the zoo..."
"If you take a ghost to the movies..."

Happy Reading!

Anchor Charts

There is a great post about how to use charts in the classroom by another blogger:

Chalk Talk

Go check it out Here at Chalk Talk

I know I am going to borrow some of these great ideas!

Happy Reading!

September 30, 2011

Flipping Over Flip Books

Have you ever loved one idea and used it in several different lessons?

I have and it is when I have students make flip books!

Today two classes were making flip books in social studies. They students had to read and article that was about five different time periods. Then they had to used premade flip books to write five key ideas about each time period and also illustrate that time period. The students were really into the project.

This reminded me of what I have used slip books for in the past:

1. Sequence a Picture Book ( Setting, Characters, Problem, Climax, Solution)
2. Writing a paragraph ( used 5 pages with the first page the topic sentence)
3. Reading a non-fiction text then write and illustrate main idea and details
4. Writing directions ( For example: How to make a PB&J )
5. Prefix and Suffixes
6. Character Traits
7. Book Summaries by Chapters

My friend is a math teacher and she has used flip books to teach students place value!

What is your favorite must use idea in the classroom?

Happy Reading!!

*** Picture taken from Thinking Education

September 28, 2011

Nonfiction Response Idea

Head on over to Ms. Winston's Blog and check out a reading response file folder project for students! It really challenges students to focus on the text features of book! Click on the link below.

Nonfiction Reading Response Idea

This project really rocks!

Happy Reading!

September 19, 2011


There is a Linky Party going on right now!! Go over to Kindergarten Teacher Tales to link up:

Confessions at Kindergarten Teacher Tales

Here are my confessions:

  • I am subbing this year, and yes, I am good at it.... BUT.. I HATE IT!

  • I miss being a reading teacher!

  • I love GLEE and I cannot wait to watch the new season.

  • I watch football all day long on Sundays. My DH thinks I am crazy!

  • I hate seeing miserable teachers who have jobs when I don't!

  • I love pumpkin lattes and could drink them all day long. LOL !

  • I am addicted to watching the Housewives of New Jersey. OK.. I am really addicted to reality t.v. I watch WAY TOO MUCH of it!

Go join the party!
Happy Reading!

September 18, 2011

Reader's Theater

On Friday, I worked in a grade 2 classroom where the students are practicing a Reader's Theater from two Kevin Henkes books. I love using these in my classrooms with my struggling readers. It helps with fluency as well as building confidence with those struggling students.

Here is a great link that has a ton of scripts that can be used across several grade levels:

Reader's Theater

Happy Reading!!

September 12, 2011

Top Ten Blogs I Read

I am blog obsessed ( just like a lot of other bloggers!!). It was hard for me to pick just ten of my top ten blogs!!
Here are the blogs I read and grab ideas from:


Little Literacy Learners

Mrs. Carrol does not have a blog button, but I wanted to share a pic from her blog title. Click on her link below the pick.

First Grade Parade

Happy Reading!

September 11, 2011

Remembering 911

I said a prayer for you today. I hope you didn't mind.

I asked the Lord to comfort you and put your tears behind.

I prayed for peace and mercy, too, to help you through this day,

And for His loving guidance as He leads you on your way.

September 6, 2011

Top Ten Blogs !

Top 10 TBA

I was nominated by Thinking of Teaching

Thank you, Thank you!

I promise to share my top ten blogs later. If you want to join the fun go to Teaching Blog Addict to see how:Click here

Happy Reading !!

September 1, 2011

Hello September!!

My friends have all returned to school for teacher training this week! School will be back in session next Tuesday for the students. I wish I was going to be with them! I hope they have a wonderful first day back!

Happy Reading !!

August 31, 2011

Clever Website

My sweet husband sent me a link for a teacher websites he found on Facebook. He is the Facebook addict in the house. LOL.

Here is the website:


If you have computers in your room, this website is a great addition for a literacy center. I have been playing the "Spell a Picture" game. I love how two partners could team up and take turns to spell words. The partner could try and guess which word their partner was spelling.

I also tried the "Tell a Story" page. This would be a great way to publish stories! There is also a "Make a Card" page where students could make thank you cards, open house invites, and several more!

Enjoy playing around with this website... the possibilities are endless!

Happy Reading !

August 30, 2011

Morning Routine Idea

My The newsletter sent me a cute morning routine idea for primary students:

This attendance book starts a daily routine that allows children to see their progress in writing their names. Use those individual photos from your class pictures to make a supply of sign-in sheet. Each morning, date one of the sheets and place it by the door. Have each youngster find his/her photo and sign his/her name beside it. Store the completed sheets in a notebook. During conference time, the notebook is a handy way to show a part of each child’s development. Not only can the teacher glance at this list in the AM to see if everyone is present, but I think this is a great way for students to become familiar with the names of their classmates.

This is also a great tool for a substitute teacher to use during the day to call on students!!

Happy Reading!

August 26, 2011

What happened to summer ??

In one week it will be September!!!!!!!!!!

I want my summer back!

August 24, 2011

Tuesday Talk: Advice for New Teachers

Today's Linky Party is from Blog Hoppin' and teachers are sharing advice to new teachers. Check out all the other teachers who are giving advice here:
Teacher Advice

Here are my "words of wisdom":

1. Get a good night's sleep !! You may want to grade one more paper, read one more book report, look up one more idea on the Internet. SET A BEDTIME and STICK TOO IT! It will be better for you, your health & your students!

2. Don't try and do everything your first year. You will want to, but it will become too much, too soon!! Choose one subject area you want to really focus on and give that subject your all! Try different things, develop some great lessons for that subject. Then next year, move onto another subject!

3. Choose ONE day to stay late. Do you plans, organize, gets your supplies and copies ready for the next 5 days, make a few back up plans. Then REPEAT!

4. Pick one day a week and leave right away. Grab a cup of coffee, go to Target, go to the gym. Take this time to treat yourself to a non-school thing for at least an hour!

5. Talk to your students individually. Spend 15 minutes a day and just talk. They really just want you to like them. Make them feel like they are your favorite student for those precious 15 minutes. It will pay off on so many levels!

6. Take the time to sit back and reflect. It really does make one a better teacher!

Happy School Year Everyone!

August 20, 2011

A Linky Party of Your Favs...

One of my favorite bloggers is taking a mental break and having a fun linky party post. Here is her post : Favs in Photos

I decided to join the fun!

Summer Activity:
Swimming & Sunning at Mom's Pool




Cake and Pasta

Teacher Supplies:

Magnetic Letters & Markers

Back to School Read Aloud:

First Day Jitters

Comic Strip Character:


A few of my favorite blogs:


Go join the party!!