Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday Teacher Tips from Harvard

I would really like for you to check out this article.  It is very informative.  The key to teaching is to set the student up to be successful in their learning endeavors. Right?  This article gives a framework, a scaffold, on which to base the task of teaching students to ask questions.  It includes production, improvement and strategy in its process.

Very good article and food for thought...are we helping our students on the road to success in questioning?                                                                                                                                                                             

The possibilities are endless 27, Number 5
September/October 2011

Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions

One small change can yield big results

Friday, August 23, 2013

Getting ready for retell

When needing a quick reminder of retell qualities I use this easy series of motions to help students remember the expectations.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday Teacher Tip-Smartboards, whiteboards, dry erase boards but I still love chalkboards!

I love technology! I really love it when it works!
We were dining at a local hot spot last night and my hubby pointed out how many people were involved with their phones rather than conversing ( yes the word is conversing not conversating)  with the people at their table.  I must admit I did check my phone several times during dinner (hanging my head in shame)  But sometimes it is good just to take a break from technology.
In the classroom, the old way of doing things can be novel for this generation of learners.  I still love to break out a chalkboard for the students.  "Old things become new"
I found this chalkboard contact paper at
I think I'll order a roll and let my imagination roll with it!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Syllable Hands

Closed  Syllable

 Open Syllable 
Sneaky e Syllable

 Bossy r Syllable 
Vowel Team Syllable

I want to give credit to Janice Swicegood who shared this with me a couple of years ago.  It has been a great tool to help readers with clues to vowels.

There is one for schwa syllables but you'll have to see that in person.  Just ask.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Coffee Please! The First Full Week of School Year 2013-2014

Well it is Friday!  I might need this amount of coffee to get rolling this morning.  How about you?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Food for thought

Comfort in the Chaos on Common Core part # 1

Fellow educators,

I hear your cries.  I feel your pain. We are hearing so much about how to implement Common Core Sate Standards. Information comes down the pipe in trickles and then floods. We know there are always implementation dips when the next new "thing" comes our way.  But our number one goal is to teach our students what they need to know to become life long learners.  Step back...look at the standards... remember that CCSS standards are year end goals and teach your heart out. 

 For this too shall pass.

Please note that there is no hashtag in the title of this post.  Hope you are laughing now.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday Teacher Time- Closed Syllables

I have been teaching my students about syllable types.  This information is important in helping the struggling reader know what to do with the vowels at the single syllable word level and as they get to multi-syllable words. 

The first type to teach is the CVC (consonant vowel consonant) which is taught in kindergarten and first grade.  I have found that many second graders are not firm in their understanding and need instruction starting at this level.

In this type of syllable the vowel sound is short.  Oh they know the short vowel sounds?  If not, start instruction there. 
The hand signal for the closed syllable is a closed fist.  The hand signal becomes a quick way to check for understanding and mastery.
                                                               Closed Syllable

I posted this last school year but was asked about hand signals for the vowel patterns so I wanted to re-post this one to get started.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Teacher Fashion

Today was our second day of meetings but our students parents were invited to school from 2:00-4:00.
So I opted for one of my favorite hi-lo skirts from Old Navy and a new pink  lace tank from Target. I added my favorite black sandals from Steinmart and I was off and running for the day.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Introduce yourself

Today at our faculty meeting each person was asked to introduce themselves by saying name, position, years of teaching and something they were thankful for.  It was wonderful listening to each person not only what they shared but how they shared it.  When it came to my turn I knew that I must brag on God and His miracle working power.  No details were given but He is doing good things for my family.  I am especially thankful for God's protection of my favorite guys born on August 7th.

 This is my son-in-law, Theo, who is currently deployed serving our country.

And this is my son, Jackson, who just enrolled in college.

Teachers, please remember that the little boys that we teach do grow up and become men.  Let 's guide them to be the best that they can be.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

"Teacher fashion diva"

I was introduced to one of our new teachers as "our fashion diva." So I've decided to post a few "Fashion Diva Outfits."  I had to laugh because I began my teaching career back when you had to wear hose if you wore a dress or skirt.  Boy, have things changed when it comes to dressing for work.  
Today was a day of meetings so I dressed casually.  The outfit included peach colored  "not so skinny jeans" and a pearl collar denim vest.  I opted for gold flip flops rather than the wedges in the picture because I never know how much walking I might have to do on meeting days.

Welcome to a new school year!

This morning I rolled over to the sound of an alarm clock for the first time in two months.  After that, a wonderful day began.  I love reconnecting with all of my teacher friends. Our day was filled with information concerning Common Core State Standards and the changes that will take place. Everyone was spinning with information by the end of the day but fortunately we have a great support system at our school as we learn together.  Thanks to all of the people who presented information today.  We are a team so nobody is alone in our new journey.  So as my mom always said, "Everything is gonna be alright!"