SLANT box - June and July

Have you heard about the SLANT box?  I have been watching people post about them for the last few months, always saying to myself I should join in, but never remembering to sign up.  That is until this past June.  I was paired up with two great teachers for the theme SUNSHINE!  I sent a box to Cara from Michigan - who lives close to the water and doesn't like snow!   

I was lucky enough to get a box all the way from OZ (Australia)!!  How exciting!  Paula from Paula's Place was sweet enough to put all of these goodies together for me!


Want to learn more about the SLANT box?  Visit Jameson's blog HERE and check it out.  Sign ups for August (hometown is the theme) are closing SOON (if they haven't already), so check it out quickly!!

The Literacy Teacher's Playbook - Action Plan Part #3

I honestly cannot believe that this is the second to last week of our book study - The book will be over this week, but we will come back together for one more week to reflect and think about what we read and learned and thought about during this book tour.  

This week will conclude the action planning.  What are we going to do with all of the data we collected??

I work in a school where we all work as a team.  I work VERY closely with the ELL teacher (she does push-in and pull-out groups in my room), a literacy aide (who does much of my assessing and takes reading groups), and a Title 1 teacher (who will work with small groups or with kids one-on-one).  Managing all of these kiddos and adults can be a challenge.  

While, I don't LOVE the system Serravallo suggests, it did make me think about what would be a good way to help keep everyone on the same page day-to-day.  This will be a beginning of the year goal for me - a single note taking page where quick thoughts can be written and kept organized... This is a work in progress.  

I also like the idea of parent notes - especially for those kids getting reading intervention because they are struggling.  The more parents are aware of the issue, the more they can do at home to help.  You never want a parent to be blindsided by their kids lack of progress.  

I will be working on some tracking sheets - literacy and math based as I start to think about back-to-school.  But for now, I will enjoy my last few family vacation days topped off with my BIG race on Saturday!  I'll check in again next week! :)

Falling In Love with Close Reading - Chapter 4

 Hopefully, this post goes up on time!  The family and I are away this weekend for our summer vacation!  I hope you are all able to spend some family time in the sun this weekend!

 It’s time for some more close reading! This week we will be talking more about the structure and organization of the piece we are reading.  The chapter was geared more toward older readers, but I really feel as though I have some clear takeaways for the little ones too!

The author's, again, created a chart to help structure our teaching when reading closely for structure.

1.  Read through lenses.
-  Decide how you will describe the organization of the text.
     -  One way is the techniques the author uses (descriptions, dialogue between characters, flashbacks, definition of a term.
     -  Then describe the purpose of that organization (to set the stage, to reveal, to create suspense).

2.  Use lenses to find patters.
-  How are the parts similar?
-  How are the parts different?
-  What purpose do the parts serve?

3. Use the patterns to develop a new understanding of the text. 
-  Look at patterns to think about:  
     -  a character's development.
     -  a whole text's themes, central ideas, or author's purpose. 

As I was reading, I'm thinking - NO WAY can I do this in first grade!!!

Then, I got to the section in the chapter for ideas to provide additional support.  Students can follow these steps (above), but instead of being so complex, students can talk about genre as a structure or about the sequence of events in a narrative story.  I think with support my readers could be able to do some of this as the year moves on!  YEA!

Thanks for stopping by, don't forget to enter the giveaway and continue reading for more ideas!

Digging Into -Technology Integration

Happy Weekend!  I know some of y'all have just finished your first week back and others are setting up their rooms.  I guess I am extra lucky because we have a month before we head back (though I was working until the end of June!).  The week I kept myself busy with some non-teachery things like making this cake for a sweet friend's birthday.

And packing for our trip north for our mini-vacation.  We did Disney in the spring, so this summer we are only going to be away for a long weekend in the mountains (with of course NH's best amusement parks thrown in for good measure- Storyland and Santa's Village here we come!)

This week we are talking all about tech integration.  Two years ago my school was 15th out of 15 elementary schools in my district when it came to what we had for technology.  Things are not equal as far as technology goes and each school's PTO raises what it can to supply classrooms with what they needs.  The parents (obviously) weren't happy with our standing, so they raised an ASTOUNDING $75000+ for technology in our building.  Each grade was able to get different items that were needed.  Our grade level chose 5 iPads per classroom.  We spend last year working on finding some great ways to integrate...

Ok.  Before I get into the iPads, I want to share a technology project that I LOVE and have blogged about before, but does not use the iPad.  Pattern Block Symmetry T- shirts

We struggled with the two differing philosophies of our district around  the iPad.  One group felt as though they should be used for projects - processes not skills work.  And the other camp felt as though skill work was a good use of time.  We DO use it for skill building centers - mostly in math because the best apps we have found have been math.  The literacy apps seem to be harder to find the right level for each kid...

We did one BIG project on the iPad this year and I blogged about it.  MORFO!!   

This year I have a BIG idea and it came from another teacher-author who I admire!  I don't know about you, but my listening center is always a challenge.  Mostly because at some point during the station some child lets me know that they can't hear the story because of a fluke with the headphones or the jack.  I have been through 2 listening centers in the last few years, so I know it will just keep happening.  

Then a few weeks ago I saw this:

Holy macaroni and cheese!!  This is the answer to my listening center dilemma and a GREAT way to use my iPads even more!!  I haven't purchased yet, but you can be sure that it is in my cart!!!  I can't wait to use the QR codes and the iPads - and best of all each kiddo gets a choice about which book they what to read!  The books are organized monthly by theme.  Can you tell I am excited???  Make sure you check out her store HERE and the year long listening center pack HERE.  

Thanks for joining me on this weekly look at my thoughts and teaching practices.  I look forward to continuing with you next week when I get to choose what I want to talk about - Have an idea for me???  Leave it in the comments!! :)