Monday, July 30, 2012

New School Year Resolutions

Today I am linking up with Amanda Madden at Teaching Maddeness to share and commit to my Back to School Resolutions. I'm not going to lie, I always make a New Year's resolution, but I can't tell you the last time I actually followed through with it.  So, here in blog land I am going to make 3 commitments for this school year.

#1:  CREATE A TO-DO NOTEBOOK: My good friend and colleague, Sarah, keeps one of these going all school year. Every year I watch her with her notebook and envy when she crosses something off and starts a new page. What a great way to look back at the end of the year and see all that you have accomplished- even if it was just "turn in comp time request!".  I may even make a fancy notebook to house all of my tasks!  I'm sure I'll find inspiration on Pinterest.

#2.  READ MORE FOR PLEASURE: This is kind of entertaining that as a Reading Coach I need to add this to my list.  I mean, I do read for pleasure, but those books happen to be children's books or professional books. I feel a little left out out not being able to talk about The Hunger Games- kind of like how I let the Twilight obsession blow right by me.

#3.  COACH MORE TEACHERS: This is a tough one that so many instructional coaches face. But, I am committing to finding a way to participate in more coaching cycles this year. Sure, I worked in a lot of classrooms, held workshops, etc. I've even coached teachers on new strategies that we were required to implement, but I really want to find the time- among my many daily demands- to coach teachers on areas of their own interest- not just school or district initiatives.  Maybe the first thing on my to-do list will be to talk with other coaches for some ideas on time management. Oh Boy....I guess some sort of time management goal needs to be in here too....But maybe I'll save that for my New Year's Resolution.

I'd love to hear your resolutions for the new school year. And don't forget to visit Amanda and link up!

Happy Monday!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Freebie

Freebie FridaysIt's FRIDAY!!!! And that means I am linking up again with Teaching Blog Addict's Friday Freebie Linky Party. My idea for this week's freebie came while in the bathroom- yes you heard that right! As a mom, I am so suprised at how little me time I get and I can no longer count the bathroom as one of those times. My son brought a book to me the other day that belonged to my niece (we are all on a mini-vacation this week.) It came with one of the many American Girl dolls and accessories that she has. It is called "Coconut's Guide to Life." and it is comprised of golden rules for life from a little girls' best friend- her dog Coconut! 
I included a few photos from the inside below. I can see myself introducing a little stuffed pet called Coconut and each day sharing one of her lessons with the class. We could role play- what that rule looks like, sounds like, etc.  The possibilities are endless. 
So...onto my freebie. I made a set of "Golden Rules for Life" posters that includes each of Coconut's Rules that are explained further in the book. I also created an editable title page in case you wanted to adjust the title.  In the document is also the poem that starts off the book. Just on the picture below to take you to the free download.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tell me more, tell me more!

I linking up with Amy Lemmons from Step into Second Grade for her Tell Me More Linky Party.

So here goes...all of the random facts about me that you wish you knew. LOL-now you will know them whether you wanted to or not.

1.)  I have a crippling fear of cats. I mean any cats- from the cute as a button kitten to the nastiest stray cat around. I figure this probably dates back to when our neighbors cat jumped into my crib and had at me while I was a baby.  But, it is actually entertaining to those who know me. I am sad to say that I am passing that fear down to my son.
2.)  When I was about 8 years old, I stuck a pair of tweezers into an electrical outlet in our home on a dare.  Needless to say I do not take dares anymore. Seeing the wall light up bright orange, and being thrown backwards definitely put a stop to that. The hubby seems to think that is to blame for a lot of my decisions! HAHA!
3.) I've always wanted to be a teacher. My mom was a teacher, and I can remember playing with her teacher's edition books when I was in Kindergarten. If only I knew that real teaching doesn't come from a textbook-that I've learned from experience.
4.) I am St. Joseph's University Hawk- anyone familiar with the school?  I am number 16 in my family to graduate from their and my dad's cousin was the 1st female graduate.
5.) Although from the same Philadelphia neighborhood, I met my husband at the Jersey shore- he is 10 years older than me, so it wasn't until I was old enough to go to the bars that we met.
6.) I have 17 neices and nephews- that makes for a TON of Christmas gifts.
7.) The name I was given when I was born was Anastacia- although I've never gone by it. My family has always called me Stacy- but Anastacia was a saint's name and since we are Catholic that was a must!

That's enough random facts about me. Anyone out there have anything in common with me?  Let me know if you linked up, I'd love to learn more about each of you.

Can't wait until my Friday Freebie post with TBA tomorrow. It has to do with life lessons learned from a little dog named Coconut! I'm really excited about it!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blog Hopping!

This is a blog hop for newbie bloggers. Not sure where it orginally started, but thought I'd give it a go and meet some new bloggers.

What state are you in? Florida

What is your current teaching position?  I am a K-5 Reading Coach. 

What is your teaching experience? I just finished my 16th year in teaching. Most of my experience is with Grades 3-5, but have also taught 2nd grade. Now I work primarily with teachers in improving our teaching practices together.

When did you start blogging? Well, I started blog stalking in December, and created my first post in June- I love it!

Share some blogging tips... I'm not sure I'm equipped to share tips, but I would say just have fun. I'm not worried about my number of followers (although I'd love some more teachers to connect with.) I'm just enjoying putting my ideas out there, "meeting", and sharing with other teachers.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Guilty Pleasures

I'm joining up with The Resource Room for the What's Your Guilty Pleasure linky party. Check out the others posts and link up at:

Blog Title

So here goes:

1.) Real Housewives of New Jersey AND Watch What Happens Live. Not sure which I get more pleasure out of. But...I'm definitely loving both and faithfully watch and DVR Watch What Happens Live. Nothing was funnier that watching Andy Cohen fidget when Mike Tyson and Joe and Melissa Gorag were on. Who knew Mike Tyson was a fan of RHONJ.  My favorite line was when he said he was a lot like Joe and Theresa Guidice- broke but still fabulous!

2.) US Weekly IPHONE/IPAD APP: I definitely need to keep up with my celeb gossip and I love this app for that. But perhaps more funny than the articles are the serious comments left by the readers- I mean, come on, does anyone really take that stuff that serious!  

3.) McDonald's Ice Coffee with Vanilla Syrup- LOVE IT!!!!! and cheaper than Starbucks

4.) My son- sorry this one isn't too exciting, but to me nothing is better than telling my son "I love you" and hearing him respond with " I love you more, Mommy!" I'm hoping that lasts forever- right now at 2 1/2 I'm the most fabulous person in the world to him. I guess that makes me feel like my own brand of celebrity. Just look at that face!

5.) Napping- yes, I nap every Saturday and Sunday. I sleep hard and I love every minute of it. Sure, I could get a lot done when Frankie takes his nap, but nothing feels better than curling up in my own bed and sleeping away 2.5 hours!

What's your guilty pleasure????

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Monster Numbers

One of my new favorite blogs is Heather's Heart. She really has put together some adorable resources for teachers, and we printed and are framing her F.R.O.G poem for Frankie's room.  My favorite resource is her monster number and letters activity packet. Of course, Frankie had to give it a try and so we printed a few copies of the cards for #'s 1-10. We played a variety of games with them but memory and matching the numbers were his favorites.

Here are some pictures of him in action and a shot of the adorable monster number cards.

Visit Heather's Heart and see the original post with all of the options for the Monster numbers and letters here:

Heather's heart

Liebster Award

Like most bloggers who are just starting out, I'm wondering if anyone reads my posts or enjoys some of my ideas the way I do when I explore everyone else's blogs.  Well, I am happy to say that I was given another blog award

Mindy, from Kindergarten Kidlets nominated me. Please check out her blog. I am in awe of Kindergarten teachers- my obsession with them began with a former co-worker named Kim- I couldn't believe what she could teach those kiddos to do. And that obsession (or I should say admiration) continues with my dear friend Heidi and all of the Kindergarten bloggers out there.  THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO!

Here are the rules for the award:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you. Done- thanks Mindy!
2. Post the award to your blog. Yep- see above:)
3. Give the award to at least 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers. It's my pleasure!
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award. Done!

Sara, from Fourth Grade Fanatics. 4th grade is where my heart- and most of my experience is- so I was drawn to her. That and the great give-away she has going on with a Thirty One bag.

Fourth Grade Fanatics


Jessica from Fabulous and Fun 4th Graders.  Check out her latest blog on her Pinterest finds!

Mona from First Grade School House. Her most recent post is making me miss my hometown up north!

Jackie from Here We Go Loopty Loo. Ok- I know she is a little of 200 followers, but her  Daily Five posters are adding to my D5 craze!

Mrs. M at Ramblings of a 5th Grade Teacher- the name says it all. She also writes for Grades 3-6 Free Resources- what could be better than that!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Freebie!

Freebie Fridays

I'm linking up with Teaching Blog Addict's Freebie Friday and am sharing my "Owl Incentive Charts." Click on the image below to take you there and click on the Freebie Friday button to see even more awesome Friday products! Just do me one FAVOR...if you grab my FREEBIE and you love it, become one of my followers if you haven't  done so already!
Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Guiding Readers Chapter 7

I'm finally getting a chance to get back to posting about the Guiding Readers book. This Chapter is all about  readers in the upper grades. Lori brings to our attention that guided reading may look like Literature Circles. This is a point of interest to me, since at our workshop today we discussed the role of Literature Circles in Guided Reading and/or Independent Reading.  And Lori mentions that sometimes Guided Reading may also look like Independent Reading. I completely get this, and love that it offers some options for us as teachers. However, I struggle with this concept in how well we can prepare for these thoughtful lessons based on student needs on an individual basis when sometimes it is a struggle to meet with all groups.
All readers struggle at some point and our job is to teach them how to work through text for deeper understanding, but some of those students may not struggle for understanding unless we increase the rigor of the task we ask them to do with the text. So, I can definitely see how we may work with a Literature Circle group and ask them to analyze the text (with our support) in a way that they otherwise would not typically do alone in a Lit Circle Group. 

Hmmm....lots to think about for sure.

Alison from Toad-ally Exceptional Learners is hosting Chapter 7- Struggling Readers in the Upper Grades and of course, you will also want to check in with Beth from Thinking about Teaching also!
Thinking of Teaching

What's your Super Power?

"I Teach. What's Your Super Power?" How awesome is that name? What's even more awesome is Megan's blog with that same name.  She is celebrating 150 followers with some AMAZING give-aways!

Check her out, and tell her I sent you. Be sure to check out here posts on Grammaropolis. What a fun website! While you're at it, comment here and let me know your "teaching super power!" If anyone has the secret to potty training, I am in need (I should say my son is in need-just so there isn't any confusion- LOL!) 

I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Reader's Notebook

Today I conducted and Independent Reading Training for teachers in Grades 3-5. We had wonderful conversation about growing our students as readers. We shared ideas about organizing our students and the work they do in Reader's Workshop and brainstormed sections for a Reader's Notebook.
So, I couldn't resist created cover sheets/divider pages for their Reader's Notebooks.

They are available in my Teacher's Notebook store, but I am giving them away free to the anyone who comments below with their ideas for sections for a Reader's Notebook by tomorrow at 1:00 pm. In your comment, please also not the color you like best. And....if you like them all, no problem! I'll send you a document with a variety of the colors. There are two editable pages for you to personalize. The cover sheets (pictured below) are editable as well to add student names. The blue one has that option as well, but I saved the picture before adding it.....It's late and I'm ready for bed, so I'll switch out the pic later:)

Click on the pics to go to my Teacher's Notebook store to see the full description.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Growing my Little Reader

Since I've entered to world of blogging, I've "met" so many great teachers who work with preschool children and I am so impressed. One of my favorite blogs is: 
The Moffatt Girls

Annie is a stay at home mom (yes, I'm jealous) and former elementary teacher (she must have been AWESOME!) Her blog and shop has so many fabulous ideas for growing young readers. I recently came across a post of hers that outlined the activities she was going to do with her toddler this summer. So, I had to give it a try with my little reader.

My little guy just loves to read (even mommy's books!)

I just couldn't resist trying her activities out with my little guy. He had a blast!  Here he is at work, he had a huge smile on his face and kept saying "More ABC's mommy!"
 And here he is matching the cut out letters to those on the page.  When he wasn't sure, he match it to a letter on the board that was the same color (Hey, I'll take that!)

In her original post, Annie has her board on a magnetic cookie sheet and each of the small letters have magnets on the back. That will be my next step when I head out shopping this week, his little arms kept sliding some of the letters off of the board!

Here is a link to the original post:

The Moffatt Girls

Thanks Annie, for helping me grow my reader!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


A few weeks ago, I received the One Lovely Blog award from Lynn at
and then was surprised to receive it from Mrs. Bartel's School Family also.  Please check out their amazing blogs- lots to learn from these gals!
Now it is my turn to pass this award along. There are some rules:

Once you receive the award, you have to pass it on to others! Here are the 3 rules to follow:
1. Follow the person who gave you the award. DONE!2. Link back to the person who gave you the award. DONE!3. Pass the award on to 15 new bloggers. PLEASE VISIT ALL OF THE FABULOUS BLOGS BELOW- NOT SURE HOW NEW THEY ARE, BUT I JUST FOUND THEM AND LOVE THEM!!! I  CAN'T SAY ENOUGH ABOUT PRIMARY TEACHERS- AND OF COURSE A FEW ARE INTERMEDIATE BLOGS TOO!

Teaching My 3T.G.I.F.

A-B-SeymourLittle Minds at Work