Saturday, January 26, 2013


I am linking up today with my new favorite blog, All Things Upper Elementary, to bring you this freebie. 

We all know that students are more successful with reading when they have background knowledge to support the reading. But, sometimes we make the mistake of activating too much of their background knowledge by asking a blanketed statement like "What do you know about penguins?" This open ended question leads the kids to discuss anything they know about penguins instead of the topic they will read about in the text.  Instead, thinking of a question more directly related to what they will read may keep the conversation on the text. We might try asking "What do you already know about what makes a penguin an unusual bird?"
I love Debbie Miller's File Folder Schema lesson from Reading with Meaning.  It does just that, activates the appropriate background knowledge for the text that will be read.  Here's where my FREEBIE comes in, I created a handout that is similar to an anchor chart that we make when we first learn the strategy of activating, building and revising our schema. The handout can be made available for children to practice the strategy when reading their own informational text. Click on the picture below to download it from my Teacher's Notebook Store 

Be sure to check out All Things Elementary for some other fabulous freebies for Grades 3-6 teachers.

And don't forget to enter for your chance to win a FREE TABLET from Teacher's Notebook

Monday, January 21, 2013

Best Picture Book & New Items Listed

Today was a great day spent with my son. We went to Monkey Bizness (our favorite indoor gym) and then finished up at Build a Bear. I love that place. What could be better than a $45 teddy bear- LOL!
I'm linking up with Teacher Treasure Hunter with my Best Picture Book pick of 2012. I love H.O.R.S.E by Christopher Myers. I first learned of this author by reading several of his father books when I taught middle school. His father is Walter Dean Myers-author of some of my most favorite adolescent novels. This book is so playful and changes the way we might play HORSE on the basketball court. Be sure to check out the linky party for some other great picks.

I added a few new products today to my TN store. Click on the images below to take you there.


And don't forget to enter to win a FREE tablet:)

Have an awesome week!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Common Core Resources

One of the BIG parts of my job this year is supporting our teachers in implementing the common core standards. In Grades K/1 we are in full implementation and are making shifts in our instruction in Grades 2-5 towards implementation in the next two years. In all grades, we are considering the following 3 shifts in our instruction: 

1) Increase informational text reading
 2) Considering Text Complexity
 3) Close Reading of text with text dependent question. 

 I've found some "jackpot" websites over the past few weeks and I had to share them with you. You need to register for them, but it is FREE and worth it.
 1) Learn Zillion This website had teacher developed lessons for ELA and Math for each common core standard and incorporate technology.  There resources right now are for Grades 3 and up, but K-2 will be added soon.
2.) Edmodo  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this website. Its like "facebook for teachers" Once you register for  FREE search for the Basil Alignment Project.  This site has taken many text from major reading series and have created text dependent questions to use with the text. What an awesome way to take your current resource and align it with common core.  Use this code to join the group "etuyrm" 

I hope you find these sites helpful. Please leave me a comment if you visited them or if you have any additional sites you have found helpful.  

I just finished writing two Close Reading lessons with performance tasks for Kindergarten and 1st grade.  These lessons include a close reading of text and a written response with a scoring rubric. One of the lessons uses the L20 "So Many Penguins" book from the Grade 1 Treasures series and the other uses an excerpt from "Fire! Fire!" by Gail Gibbons from the CCSS Text Exemplar list. I would LOVE it if a few of you wanted to try out the lessons.  "Fire! Fire!" was written for Kindergarten and "So Many Penguins" for 1st grade. If you have the book and want to give the lesson a try, please comment below and I will email it to you.  They will go into my TN store in a week or so.  

Don't forget to visit Crystal at Ms. Jone's Junction to enter her 200 follower give away!

That's it for now. Happy Monday!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January Currently

Hello My Friends,
I realize that many of you headed back to work today after a relaxing Winter Break, but I am still off. We head back on Monday, Jan 7th!  I am spending the day "un-decorating" the house, and hanging out with my son.
I am linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade for January's Currently. Be sure to check her blog out to see what all of our fellow bloggers are up to.
My son received the "Blue One Eyed Monster" stompeezs for Christmas. If you don't know what they are, just check out any kids channel and you can see the infomercial. He insists on watching the informercial on You Tube and then acts it out. Very cute stuff!

I am fortunate to be off until January 7th, but with that extra time I am feeling the responsibility of organizing my son's playroom to make way for all of his new toys. We went to IKEA yesterday and purchased some organizers, so I really have no choice. 

My husband bought me a beautiful new ring to replace the wedding band that was snapped. Its a long story, but let's just say that my new ring is WELL WORTH THE WAIT!  I can't wait to get it on my finger this Friday!

Organization of my son's playroom is just the first on my list. I really need to organize my life. My daily schedule gets away from me, I sometimes make two appointments for the same time and I always wait till the last minute to finish tasks. So, now that you know my biggest weakness, you can understand my resolution of organizing.

Finally, my one little word is ACHIEVE! Might be a little word, but it sure does carry a big meaning!  I  am focusing this year on achieving the things that I say I will. Starting with organizing and moving onto loosing some weight!  

So, there you have it. My January CURRENTLY! Hop on over to Farley's blog to see what's new with her as well.

Crystal, over at Ms. Jone's Junction, is having her 200 Follower give-away. OMG does she have some great prizes to win. I'm contributing and item from my TN store to help her celebrate. Be sure to check out her contest.  Tell her Stacy sent you!