Top 3 Tips for Setting Up Your Classroom for Functionality and Fun!

Can we just all take a moment and appreciate the beauty and SPACE that I had in my first classroom! This picture wasn’t even taken from the far corner of the classroom! I just pulled this up and immediately felt jealous of my former self for having taught in such a spacious classroom and not appreciating what I had!! Ugh! Appreciate your spaces teachers! Ok enough feeling sorry for myself! Let’s talk about classroom set up! I remember being PUMPED UP walking into my first classroom. How was I going to set it up? What cute bulletin boards would I create?…

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Why Do We Log Our Reading Anyway?

Because I said so! -Not the best answer. Seriously. Why do we do it? This has been the question that I always dreaded as a teacher. Why in the world were we logging our reading? How was this piece of paper helpful at all? In my classroom it wasn’t. It wasn’t helpful because I wasn’t using it for anything. Kids were writing down that they read. I was checking to make sure they read at home (even though it was the same 12 kids that always read and the same 6 that never read). We were logging our reading during…

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Could We Do That Too? Planting an Idea and Waiting For it to Blossom

**Originally posted on my old blog 9-9-2015** *Alternative title for this blog post: How I am Tricking My Class Into Doing Exactly What I Want* One of the things I learned my first year teaching is that ideas are always better when they are from the students. Each year my goal is to plant the idea and have students suggest what we are actually going to do. I’ve learned a few lessons about it over the years. This year I have been ridiculously successful (seriously!) with this. I started to think, what am I doing differently this year? I don’t have definite answers…

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9 Read Aloud Essentials

Read Aloud is an essential part of the school day. Students get to see and hear how a fluent reader make meanings of texts and they get to try it out in a highly supportive environment.

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Log Your Reading With Your Students

At the beginning of our new unit I made a choice to log my reading just like my students have to. We were having serious problems remembering to log our reading and I didn’t think my students understood why they were doing it. We hadn’t analyzed our reading logs for a while and the purpose wasn’t obvious to them. We needed a boost and we needed it fast.  One afternoon while sitting in my classroom thinking about the problem I had my “ah-ha moment.” The words of my old literacy coach came into my head, “If you’re not modeling it,…

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