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Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Book Whisperer: Reading Freedom {Chp. 4}

In chapter 4 of the Book Whisperer, Donalyn shares with us how she gives her students reading freedom in her classroom.
Donalyn gives her students reading freedom by allowing them to choose their own books for the year.  Her students also help decide what books they will read together as a class, and they spend time talking about their choices and recommending books to friends and classmates.  Giving students the freedom to make their own reading choices allows them to grow as readers. Even if they choose books that are juvenile, or if they choose to stop reading a boring book, those students are discovering what they like about reading.  They are on their way to becoming lifelong readers.
Of course as teachers we also need to have some requirements for our students.  Donalyn requires her 6th graders each year to read 40 books across different genres.  She then keeps up with their reading through individual reader's notebooks and conferences with the students.  This format gives her students freedom of choice while still exposing them to different types of books through the genre requirements and recommendations that she gives.

While I had no problem last year letting my students choose their own independent reading books, I was not as successful in talking about those books with my students.  I gave them time to read, but didn't take time for individual conferences.  This year, I am planning on spending time with each student at least once a week to talk about the books they are reading.
I also had them start a reading notebook, but I had a hard time remembering to have them write in it consistently.  This year, I want to set aside 10-15 minutes every Friday for them to write in their reader's notebook.  This will give them time to write down books they have finished and write a short message to me about the books they are reading.  {Also, having this happen on Friday will give me the entire weekend to respond to their messages.}

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Independence Day Sale

I don't know about everyone else, but I have a busy day planned with my family and friends.  We are seeing a parade, grilling hamburgers, and possibly doing our own fireworks at night.  {We will see how that goes!}

And to share the fun and celebration with all of you, I am throwing a sale in my TeachersPayTeachers store. Everything is 20% off for all of Saturday and Sunday. 

While you may not want to think about going back to school yet, now would be a great time to get some great products at great prices.

I also have some special deals going on for this weekend!

This back to school task card product is an $8 value which includes 4 different products.  During this sale, I have marked the bundle down to only $4. This is exactly what you need to review telling time at the beginning of the school year!

If you are thinking about something different to use for classroom rewards next year, your students will love earning reward coupons.  These colorful rewards are normally $2, but I have marked them down to only $1 for this sale.  You can read more about how I use reward coupons in my classroom here. {I also have the same reward coupons in polka-dots, and those are discounted as well.}

These fall themed addition and subtraction task cards will be perfect for back to school this year.  I have marked down the price from the normal $4 to only $2 for each set.  

I know I am not the only teacher having a sale this weekend.  If you want some other great stores to shop at/follow, Buzzing with Mrs. McClain is hosting a linky of stores with sales!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Five for Friday: Summer!!

I realized today that I haven't linked up with Doodlebugs Teaching for Five for Friday in a long time.  

Of course, it is summer vacation, and I pretty much spend every week doing the exact same things.  I thought I would share those with you today.

 Most of my summer days are filled with watching my son play with his cousins outside.  My sister and her family are visiting so we have been having lots of fun family time.

And that fun always has to include trips to the beach and ice cream cones!

My son turned 8 on Sunday so we had a little party for him after church.  I can't believe how fast he is growing up.  

By the way, if you ever need an amazing present, I would definitely recommend Snap Circuits.  My son loved this building the different projects in this boxed set, and I loved that he was learning about how electrical components affect the electricity flow!

I have been struggling with what I thought was an eye infection. I went to a clinic at first and got drops for the eye infection.  After a week of using the drops and not getting better, I went back to my own eye doctor.  Come to find out, it was an eye inflammation instead which means the drops were not working at all.  New drops, another week, and my eye is finally starting to feel better.

As you can see in the picture above, I have had to wear my glasses for close to 2 straight weeks now.  I absolutely HATE my glasses!  They drive me crazy. I am so looking forward to being able to wear my contacts again!

While I have been having lots of fun this summer, I have been working a little on school related things.  I have been reading and participating in a book study about the Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. 

I have also been doing little bits of things here and there in my classroom.  Our textbook order came in a few weeks ago so I sorted through that and organized the books by grade level.  I also unloaded almost everything that I bought from IKEA into my classroom.  {I didn't put it away, but at least it's not in my car anymore, right?}

I have also been participating in the #tptsellerchallenge.  It has really been pushing me to keep working on TpT things this summer.  I am almost done with my Fall Time Task Card Bundle.  I hope to have it finished and edited by Monday.  Once it's done, I will be giving away one copy on my blog {either Monday or Tuesday}.  You can follow my blog or Instagram to find out when it's happening!

We also have a big day planned for the 4th of July tomorrow! {I know this hasn't happened yet, but I am excited!}  We are taking all the kids to a parade in the morning. Then having a burger making extravaganza with friends in the afternoon.  All different kinds of burgers, toppings, and add-ons along with corn on the cob and homemade fries - So delicious!  I hope you all enjoy your weekend as much as I plan to enjoy mine!

Be sure to head over to Doodlebugs Teaching to read some other Five for Friday posts.