Sharing my LOVE of Literacy!

If you can read this, thank a teacher !!

March 26, 2012

A Poem For You

It is crunch time here in New York. In a few weeks students take their big assessment in ELA and Math. In honor of all those teachers doing their best to get their students ready for these tests, I am sharing a poem with you! Enjoy!

Difficult Math Test
By: Robert Scotellaro

Whoopie! A test! Whoopie! A test!
We’re having a difficult test!
We’d also enjoy being kicked by a mule,
then dipped in a caldron of bubbling drool,
but a difficult test is best!

A woodpecker pecking a tune on your head,
then trapped in a might collapsible bed,
or dancing barefooted with ol’ Frankenstein,
sure, all of these things, why of course, would be fine,
but a difficult test is best!

Or baked in a pie in an oven too hot,
and having your fingers all tied in a knot,
then using a chair made of porcupine quills,
can also provide you a great deal of thrills,
but a difficult test is best!

Or put in a vise and then squeezed till you’re flat,
or sharing your room with a twenty-foot rat,
and then wearing some tight cactus underwear,
but none of, no none of these things can compare
to the joys of a difficult test!

Happy Reading!

March 24, 2012

Cut Up Sentence Activity

One of my favorite things to do as a reading teacher is making cut up sentences for my students. I use a variety of words for cut up sentences:

1. Sight Words
2. Fry Instant Phrase
3. Sentences with Word Study Words
4. Sentences from a text the student is reading
5. Poems students are reading

Today I made a Cut Up Activity to share with my bloggy friends. Let me know it you print it up and how it works with your class. It is two pages.

Here is the link to google docs. I hope it works. ; )

Spring Cut Up Activity

Happy Reading!

March 20, 2012


My DH is a news junkie and he likes to send me interesting articles related to education. Normally I don't post articles on my blog, but I thought this one was interesting. If you have time, read it and let me know your thoughts! The last line of the article ROCKS !

South Carolina Teacher Suspended For Reading 'Ender's Game' To Middle School Students

In South Carolina a teacher has been placed on administrative leave for reading excerpts of Orson Scott Card’s science fiction classic Ender’s Game to his middle school students.

“The parent that reported him to the school district complained that the book was pornographic,” Tod Kelly writes. “That same parent also asked the local police to file criminal charges against the teacher. As of today, the police have not yet decided whether or not to file charges. The school district, however, appears to agree with the parent, is considering firing the teacher and will be eliminating the book from the school.

“Commonsense Media does say that the book has some violence and should be read by children over 12*,” he continues, “but the children in this class were 14.”

A film adaptation of Ender’s Game is hitting movie theaters in 2013. I imagine it will be no more ‘pornographic’ than the book, which was written decades ago for teenagers and has, to my knowledge, never been described as pornography before now.

Orson Scott Card is a conservative Mormon and an icon in the science fiction and fantasy universe. He writes occasionally at the conservative magazine National Review where he sometimes offers up really good recommendations on fantasy novels.

I’m sure that if he’s heard about this controversy he’s as surprised as the unfortunate teacher.

We’ve heard plenty of cases of fantasy novels being banned. Certainly Harry Potter has met with plenty of resistance from some groups for its inclusion of magic. Anything with magic and witches is subject to a swift censorship in American schools, even though the pillars of fantasy such as Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis are all rooted in Christianity.

But Ender’s Game is a science fiction classic that blends video games with futuristic war-for-survival. And it’s written specifically with young readers in mind. It’s a tiny bit violent, but not anything even close to something like The Hunger Games. To be fair, I’m not sure I’d want a teacher reading those books to students, but they’re much, much more violent than anything in Ender’s Game.

Either way, I think one of our most precious freedoms is the freedom of speech, and I think it’s pretty unsettling when our public institutions of learning at whatever level start firing or suspending teachers for this sort of thing, or banning Mark Twain or Ronald Dahl books. It’s Inherit the Wind all over again.

There’s not a lot we can do, of course. Education is local. It always has been and it always will be. That’s a curse and a blessing. Bad decisions are less public and more likely to happen at the local level, but they’re also more contained than decisions made at the federal level.

Anyways, I’d suggest that the officials in this teacher’s school district do a bit more science fiction reading before they make a final decision. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 should do the trick.

Censorship is a slippery slope.

Article Link:
Teacher Suspended

Happy Reading !

March 15, 2012

Calling All 3-5 Grade Bloggers

As a former 4th grade teacher, I just love looking at all intermediate blogs. I recently discovered a 4th grade blog and I just love it! There is a blog party going on over there, so click on the link below and go join the fun if you are a 3 - 5 grade teacher!

Calling All 3-5 Teachers

Have fun!

Happy Reading!

March 14, 2012

Personal Thoughts

I sat back today and thought about the "BIG" things that happened in my 30's. Here's the list:

1. I married my wonderful husband!
2. I went to Bermuda.
3. I quit my 4th grade teaching job.
4. I started subbing in public school.
5. I went to Las Vegas.
6. I went to NYC.
7. I was hired as a reading teacher - DREAM JOB!
8. I went to Disney
9. I went back to subbing b/c of budgets cuts.
10. The hubs and I booked a return trip to Disney because we had so much fun last year.

So.... now I am 40.

I am a teacher without a classroom. I love teaching. I miss having my own room. I am praying for job dust. I also need something else to work for because teaching jobs here are quite scarce!

I need a bucket list for my 40's.

My Dad told me his 40's were great. I am hoping for the same thing! Anyone want to give me some bucket list ideas??

I do have London on my bucket list... It's been there for awhile. I have been saving to go. I am looking for some other ideas.

What is on your bucket list?

March 13, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me !!

I am 40 today !

March 6, 2012


This is the first time I have done this! I hope other people can read it!
Go check out Oh, Boy Fourth Grade! and link up!

Apparently, I really do need some sleep b/c I was suppose you use 3 words that begin with C... OOPS!

Happy Reading!

March 4, 2012

I am going on a Word Hunt !!

I work with a second grade student who loves to go on a word hunt. (A word hunt is one of the Words Their Way word study activities for independent word work.)

The student and I were in the library the other day and she asked me to give her 8 sight words to look for on a word hunt. I gave her some of the ones we have been working on to find in some books. We looked through three books and only found one word. What was worse was she was frustrated and so was I!!!

I wondered how I could make make this activity better and here is what I came up with:

1. Choose a book we will read aloud with for the week.

2. The teacher will read the book first. I went on my own word hunt in order to prepare for the lesson.

3. Create a list of sight words that appear in the story at least twice. I keep this hidden from the student until after he/she has read aloud the story to me.

4. Add words to a table like this

5. As part of work work have the student do a word hunt after he/she has read the book.

This worked great. The student loved that she was able to find all the words. No more FRUSTRATION for wither of us! YAY! It was even more fun when I challenged her to find the words more than once! She made tally marks to see which word was written most in the book. Next time I will take a picture to share with everyone!

How do you use a "word hunt" in your classroom?
Happy Reading!!

March 1, 2012

Using Your ABC's

Here is another great idea from The Mailbox. I have added an idea below that is related to reading!

ABC Review
Each Monday, tape a long piece of bulletin board paper on the back of your door or on the side of a wall. Write the alphabet in large print down the left side of the paper. Then write a topic that you’ll study that week at the top of the paper.Encourage students to list one word that fits the topic and begins with each letter by Friday. Save the weekly lists so students can see how much they’ve learned at the end of the year!

Reading Idea:

Take your story of the week and make an ABC list as you read and reread the story. If you are teaching older students, you can do this by chapter. Then at the end of the book have small groups make a review ABC list. The possibilities are endless for an ABC list!

Happy Reading!