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Dr. Seuss & Pinterest Links

dr. seuss pinterest board ideas

Friday is the day to celebrate Read Across America.  Will your school be participating?  It is a great way to get your students involved in some fun and some reading!!

I thought it would be fun if we all exchanged Pinterest links if you have a Dr. Seuss idea board!  I have collected so many ideas from snacks for that day like Mr. Grinch floats and truffula trees made from marshmallows to tons of great bulletin board and door decoration ideas.  I love Dr. Seuss stuff and of course who doesn't love his books??

dr. seuss pinterest board ideas

The top picture and the above picture are a couple of screen shots from my Seuss Pinterest board.  I also wrote about what we did to celebrate last year.  You can click here to read that post if you missed it.  Here are a few ideas from what we did.

So how about it?  Click the picture below to see and follow my Pinterest Dr. Seuss board.  You can follow just that board or you can follow them all.  Leave your Dr. Seuss board Pinterest link in the comments so we can follow each other and get some great ideas!!

cat in the hat :)

Analyze Student Writing with Post It Notes

If you have been following my blog for any time at all, you know that I believe in RtI.  And if you believe in RtI, then it follows that you must believe in information like data driving your instruction.  So I guess I am crazy for data...or maybe I am just crazy!  :)  

But I do think that the anecdotal records we keep and all the data we collect needs to be for a reason.  Not just something we do because we are supposed to, right?  I don't want the things I do in my classroom to be done for no reason.  I need it to be real and I need it to be efficient.

 I want to keep a close eye on my students (struggling readers), getting in there in the trenches with them while they read and write. I like to dive in a little deeper to what my students are doing or getting confused with and then I can use that information to drive the instruction that my students receive next.

Reading and writing are reciprocal processes- one feeds the other so to speak.  We can tell a lot about what is happening with a student's reading and writing by looking at what they are doing in the other process.  

It is a good idea to take your reading journals or other piece of writing and analyze it to see what your students are missing or getting confused.  You can then use this information to correct confusions or to take the students to the next step with their learning.

This student wrote about a snowman coming to life after we did a unit on Snowmen at Night.  As you can see, they struggled with long vowel sounds in the middle of words (life, games, snow), the final d sound in Candy Land, and left out periods.  

This is from a student with huge speech issues- she used to speak using only the medial sounds.  iii ooo was flip flops!  Amazing progress from her, but as you can see, she is still having trouble with ending sounds.  As well as bossy r vowels, silent e words, etc...

I like to make it easy and efficient by just using Post It notes to jot down what I see.  Pretty soon I see a pattern going on with my students.  Some of the patterns will be wide spread enough that I will use that for a whole group lesson.  Then some of the things I see going on will be for individual conferencing lessons.  I only showed two pictures, but the overall picture when I looked at all of their writing (these are struggling first graders) is that I need to do some more lessons on the silent e like Making Words and Word Sorting.  

Several of their writing samples showed me that they are STILL forgetting to use beginning of the sentence capital letters and periods.  Oh my!  So to correct that we will have some lessons where we will  take a look at some favorite authors of ours and do some looking around in their texts and how they use capitalization and punctuation.   I will want them to notice where the author used these skills and why they used them.  Then we will be be like our favorite authors and do what they do by applying those skills in OUR writing.  :)

RtI and Sight Word Stickers

Sight Word Activities

Our second RtI cycle of the year has begun.  One of my groups is a Tier II group of first graders.  They have really come along this year, but these students were placed into tier II as they just weren't quite where we want them to be at this point in the year.  At our school, we try to catch and intervene at an early stage.  

This one particular group has been doing some quick practices on sight words.  We go through our sight word slides on the SmartBoard trying to get them to be automatic and quick.

Dolch Pre-Primer Sight Words

Dolch Primer Sight Words

I have several different ways of helping the students become automatic with their sight words.  One of them we used today- sight word stickers!

I have noticed that some of the students had particular trouble with one or two words each time.  So those words became their sticker words...I wrote their target word on a label that I had cut in half and stuck it right below their hand.  I didn't want to write on their hand- some parents frown on that!  And I placed the sticker below the hand so they could still wash their hands if they were so inclined to do so.  Please, please let's wash those hands!!

After they practiced their words on the Smartboard, got their sight word sticker on, they got out their familiar read baskets and went to work reading. By having the sticker on this side of their hands, students could see them as they read.  They they could use the sticker to help them as they read.  It was fun to see them notice their word in their books.  :)

As students went through their day, they could read their sticker words to their friends and teachers.  Just a quick way to get that word to stick by seeing and reading it over and over and over!

5 W Questions Plus How Freebie!


Say who?  Say what?  Say where?  No, I'm not confused...but sometimes students are!  

Do your students use the 5 Ws plus How?  Common Core requires students, specifically second graders, to use them when asking and answering questions about key details from the text.  Seems like students can get part of them, but it is hard for them to remember all 5 plus getting in the How.  

I am sharing my 5 W Questions Plus How classroom posters to help them and you out!



All 5 W questions- who, what, when, where, why, and also how are included.  Print them out, laminate them and then hang them on your walls or bulletin boards for reminders about what key details they should be remembering as they read.  Maybe you will get less say what, say where, say how in your day! 

Click here to pick them up FREE at my TpT store!  Don't forget to click follow me while you are there please.  :)

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Freebie Fridays

Jigsaw- Comprehension Strategy in a comprehension strategy not the puzzle!  

My second and third grade students were working on a planets book that was divided up by the different planets.  Before that we had read about the sun, moon, and stars.  

I decided to place the students into groups and jigsaw the book.  Jigsaw is a cooperative learning strategy that helps students work together to comprehend a text in manageable chunks.  Groups read their sections and then teach the other groups the information from their parts.  That way everyone learns the information from each section.  

Students were placed in small groups to read and decide which information in their section was important to learn and remember.  They then made charts to visually display what they had learned.  

I like how the groups have to work together to accomplish the task.  There is a lot of discussion about what they should include on the charts.  I had each group decide how they wanted to display their information.  I like to give students choices in their learning.

As you can see in the first chart above, these students decided to go with bullet points and drawings of their planet.

This group also went with bullet points, but decided they would add symbols to represent the important information.  I love that they applied learning from social studies in the classroom and applied it to learning they were doing in another room!!  That is how you know they really got it when they start applying the information in other areas and for other people.  :)

Can you tell this group was a group of girls??  We had previously learned about using circle maps to organize our information.  These girls decided to use the circle map to display what they learned.  Then they went back and drew a bunch of Venus planets and some squigglies to pretty it up!  So interesting how different groups decided to make their charts.

RtI & Blends and Digraphs

Blends and Digraphs Chart
Updated Version Includes black & white chart too!

Our next cycle of RtI is about to begin!  Now some teachers may not be excited when they hear RtI (Response to Intervention).  That's okay.  It is a lot of work and in some schools it doesn't run very well.  If you have missed my previous posts on RtI just click here to read them.

Some of the students that I will have in this cycle of RtI need some extra work with blends.  They struggle with associating the two sounds with the two letters that make those sounds.  Most can hear and associate the first sound to the correct letter, but some have difficulty with the second sound/letter when reading and writing.  

I wasn't completely satisfied with the blends & digraphs chart that I was currently using.  So I decided to make a new one (very top photo) that can be posted in my room.  And I can print it out, place each one in a plastic sleeve and put in the student's reader notebooks.  Then they will have one right at the table to reference as they need to!

My students need some practice at isolating the beginning sound and then identifying the letters that make those sounds.  So I used these blends and digraphs in a game:  I have Who Has!  Kids love to play that game!  I learned about it many years ago and it is still popular.  

I used the most common blends and digraphs for these cards.  I will be creating a new set that has the blends and digraphs that are a bit more difficult as a companion to this set.  

Update:  Here is the new set!

Blends and Digraphs

Blends and Digraphs Chart

I know my students are going to love playing this game during RtI and I am going to love seeing them improve and apply these skills to their reading and writing!!

Picture Books-Snowmen at Night

I am joining in with Denise for a picture book show and tell!  There are so many picture books that we just love.  But at this time of year, my students and I really enjoy the Snowmen books!  If we could just get a little snow our way.

But NO SNOW for us!  Not sure what kind of winter this is, but it is not what we usually have.  Not even close!  Usually we have enough snow and/or ice that we end up with lots of snow days off of school.  This year...not even one!

But the lack of snow didn't stop us from enjoying the Snowmen at night and Snowmen at Work books!

Snowmen at Night (Storytown Library, Grade K, Story 8)Snowmen at Work

We love our snowmen!  The first graders worked on retelling the story using sequence words.  Kindergarten was working on  retelling using beginning, middle and end.  

After we wrote our retellings, it was time to make our snowmen!  These snowmen are made out of scrapbook paper.  My aide and I  cut out all the pieces ahead of time.  I just don't have the time to spend on that in my room like I might if we were in the classroom.  Students chose their colors and patterns and glued them onto the night background (black construction paper).  Then I sprayed snow on the pictures to make it more realistic!  I think the students would have loved it if they could have been sprayed by the snow!  

The first grade retelling using sequence words is included in my Snowman Literacy Unit.  It includes lots of comprehension for Snowmen at Night and Snowmen at Work.  I have also included 2 writing units to go with them too!

Click Here to be taken to a post that tells more about my Snowman unit!

Click here for a look at the resource It's Snow Fun!

Super Bowl Sunday!

Will you be watching the Game today?  Who is going to win?  Or are you watching to see all the great commercials?  They always have some good ones!

How about some TpT shopping?  There is a huge sale today so you better fill up your carts!

I thought I would show you a variety of items today.  The one above is great to use during RtI.  We are getting ready to start our next cycle of RtI interventions and these will definitely be helping me!  There are 6 different short vowel activities:  a foldable, Roll A Word, Picture Sorting, Bingo, Making Words, Short Vowel book that the students create.  

These are some fun things for Valentine's Day parties!  How about armbands instead of regular Valentine cards?  

This last one is my Snowmen At Night Literacy Unit.  Lots of reading comprehension activities and writing units like narratives and explanatory writing.  

Click here to be taken to my store.  Don't forget to use the code so you can get the maximum savings! 

Enjoy the game and have fun shopping today!

Love Notes

It's all about the things we love!  Amy from Literacy and Laughter is having a fun linky about all the things we love for the month of February.  It will help us to get to know each other better!

After you read my Love Notes, be sure to head over to Amy's blog and link up too so we can read about all the things you love!

Name: Lori
Grade you Teach: Reading K-5
State: Missouri
Birthday: December 28
Favorite Colors: Blue
Lucky Number: 8 or 10, why I even have a number that comes to mind, I don't know!  I just remember liking those two numbers when I was a small girl playing a Bingo game with my grandma at her house.  
Favorite Subject to Teach: Reading of course!
Go to Snack: anything salty, Pepsi, a good cup of coffee
TV Show: Survivor
Last Movie You Watched: Skyfall
Music You are Loving Right Now: Matt Redman, 10,000 Reasons
Always shopping at: on the internet as I can seem to get to town often enough
Word of the day: Grace

Love Links: 

Blog That I Am Loving:
The Pioneer Woman Blog

Beth Moore Blog

A Product That I Adore:

My Binding Binder

We'd All Love To Know...

What are your favorite hobbies or what do you enjoy doing during your free time? 

My family is my first hobby.  When my boys were playing sports, I was always at their practices and games.  Now that they are older, I don't have as many activities to go to.  I love to blog of course and to read.  I mostly read non-fiction books.  Traveling during the summer is one of my favorite things to do in the summer.

Your favorite vacation destination?

Truly, where ever my family wants to travel is great with me.  I just love to travel almost anywhere!  When our boys were little we traveled a lot with their traveling sports teams.  I also really enjoy going to the beach.  I love going on cruises too.  Grand Cayman was a beautiful place to visit!  And Destin, Florida is a lot of fun too.  My husband does not love the beach (isn't he crazy?).  He likes to go to the mountains.  I love that too.  We like Colorado.  Last year we went to South Dakota.  Here is a beautiful shot from there.

The best advice you’ve been given?

Ask questions if you don't know!  Solves a lot of problems later.  :)

Most rewarding part of teaching?

Seeing struggling students learn to read and to love books!

What are you known for?

Ohh, this is kind of hard.... Kind of in general answers...Being a wife and mother, loving to teach, being a Christian, smiling and being positive.  :)

2 random facts:

#1  My husband and I met in a strange way:  When we were younger it was popular in our area for young adults to cruise the local town square.  The inside circle would drive one direction while the outside circle would drive in the opposite direction allowing the drivers to stop and talk to each other.  We met this way and have now been married for over 24 years!  Don't we look like babies starting our adult life?  

#2  I used to babysit for the golfer, Payne Stewart's sister.  He took me home after babysitting a few times.  I was so sad when he died several years back.  He was a nice guy.

The Loves of Your Life:
Share a picture(s) of your LOVES.

My family of course is the love of my life!  Our boys are a few years older now than in these pictures.  They were taken on our vacations.

Now that you know me better and what I love, go link up with Amy and share about your loves!!

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