Hi All!!

Five for Friday time!!

On the second day of school, I started introducing and training the class for Read to Self. I am so impressed with their stamina, so far. They can read up to 15 minutes! If you are just starting out with Daily 5 and/or CAFE, I highly recommend that you follow the Sisters instructions to the letter. It really does work! We have also spent time learning how to choose "Just Right" books. Currently, they have 8 books in their book box: one chapter book, one informational text, a picture book, and the rest are their choice completely.

I have a lot of comfy places for them to sit around the room: bean bags, pillows, beach chairs, rolling chairs, and a rocking chair.

I let them sit in my author's chair, too. I bought 2 small stools this summer at IKEA and some choose those.
Target had these folding beach chairs on sale for about $9, so I picked up two of those. When you give kids choice of books and a comfy place to read it creates that sense of independence and responsibility. Even that kid you think can't do will surprise you!

We had Open House the first week of school. I used my Beautiful Bookmark idea which is a freebie HERE on TpT. It's so simple to do and the kids just love it! They were thrilled to see what their parents created for them. 
Aren't these special? The parents wrote some sweet sentiments, not to mention the artwork isn't too bad at all!
 The students did a nice job, too!

I love the Save Fred activity. If you have never tried it click HERE to download the directions. (I can not take credit for it). Basically you use gummy Life Savers, gummy worms, paper clips, and a clear cup. Pairs of students have to work together to get Fred (worm) inside the life preserver (life saver). I had them try it individually first. Obviously knowing it wouldn't work. After they struggled a bit, we discussed what they might do to complete the task. Immediately they arrived at the conclusion that working with someone would make it easier. They paired up,  some talked it out and took their time, and got it! The pairs who didn't collaborate or were trying to rush became frustrated and couldn't do it. It is a wonderful activity for problem solving and collaboration.

Even though I don't use the reading series adopted by our county, I was SUPER excited to get these mentor texts!! I also received 4 class sets of books to use. I teach skill and strategies from mentor texts and my students practice in their own "just right" books. There are some fantastic books in this collection that are really going to enhance my library collection.

If your district is like mine when you adopt a new text book the old ones are packed up and shipped off to the book depository or some other place that stores old books and school furniture. I decided to put some of my old books to better use. I saved a bunch of science and social studies text books and I let the kids cut them up and use the pictures to decorate their notebooks. This year I decided to use one notebook for both subjects. The front is science and the flip side is for social studies. The kids loved the idea of cutting up textbooks and they found some neat pictures, too!

Our year is off to a great start! I'm so happy with the progress they have made so far. I know that I do have to work on problem solving with them. They seem to be a bit on the helpless side when it comes to some basic tasks. How has your year been so far??

I love gifts! I love mail! So gifts in the mail rock my world!! It was so much fun to be part of the S.L.A.N.T. (Sending Love Across the Nation to Teachers) Box exchange hosted by Michelle over at Lessons with Coffee.

Wendy over at 4th & 5th Grade Happiness and I were paired up. She sent me my SLANT Box.

So the box arrived....
The items inside were wrapped in this pretty tissue...
 I just love this card!  The sentiment is so me!

Here are my awesome goodies! These pens are my new favorite...Bic Velocity. The colors are so pretty and it writes so smoothly. She sent along some scrapbook stickers, a pack of incentive notes, and that cute handmade Post-it note holder with my name on it.
Now this made me laugh out loud...
I appreciate how much Wendy got to know me through emails and blog stalking! THANKS WENDY!!! Please head on over and show her some bloggy lovin'!

Stacy at PreK Explorer was the teacher who I sent a box to and I hope she enjoys all her goodies!

If you have not participated in the SLANT Box exchange, sign up! It's a lot of fun!

My first week of school is OVER! Made it through getting to know my kids. Beginning of the year assessments. AND OPEN HOUSE! Yes! We did have it already...the third day of school. I'm actually happy it's over and done. I have to say my 18 little kiddies are quite cute. I have a couple I have to work with on calling out and following basic procedures, but it won't take long...I hope!

I'm so happy to be linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the fabulous...

 I created some classroom decor for my classroom. (I wrote another post about it here.) I decided to display it in a pocket chart. I'm not sure I'm happy with this way yet. It's different from the way I've displayed the agenda in the past. I'm am moving to an integrated unit approach this year. I did this years ago, but it has been difficult to teach this way due to ability grouping for reading and math the past few years. We've had to switch classes and that just doesn't lend itself to integrating the curriculum. On my agenda board you can see that I have a clock next to Literacy Block. We will start this block at 8:15. I didn't put clocks on the other subjects because they are all included in this block. My plan is to bring in more science and social studies into the reading block and hopefully create a seamless day. I don't want a chopped up schedule! I also plan on including more writing mini lessons into this time. I use the Daily 5 approach which I think is going to work great this year with integration. I have a straight 2.5 hour block of time to work with, so I'm very excited. I'm moving math to the afternoon from 1-2. I love my schedule. Just hopes it works out as well in real life as it does on paper!
 Click HERE to see this set on TpT.

Another part of my beach theme decor products includes this behavior clip chart and reading goal clip chart. We use Accelerated Reader as a goal setting tool. I like the kids to see how they are doing by tracking their goals at 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%. I use AR, but I do not focus on their books being only AR books! A mom at Open House asked, "How many AR books do they have to read?" I told her I don't call books "AR books". There are no AR books, they are just books! I want kids to read because they love it, not because it's for AR points! The students help me set their goals and I check in often with them on how they are doing. I think the goal setting aspect just helps them to stay on track.
Click HERE and HERE to see these two sets.

ANOTHER part of my beachy decor is this Classroom Helpers set. This board is near my desk, so I also keep some teacher stuff on it as you can see. The kids decorated surfboards and I use those inside the pockets. It really came out cute.

Click HERE to see this set.

I had these on the kids desk on Monday morning, the first day. They were so appreciative and really loved their little treat. 

This is my favorite new addition to my room. It's an Exit Slip chart! I created this 4 ft x 3 ft vinyl banner on Vistaprint and I just love it! It came out so cute!! I ordered one for my sister and my teammate, too. I plan on having the kids use Post-its to write comments, questions, wonderings, new learning, etc. They will stick the Post-it on their number which will be an easy way to see who has completed one and who has not. I'm not sure if I will give them a sentence starter or stem to complete or let them choose what they want to write each day. I would love to hear how you might use something like this in your room. Do you require a slip everyday or just a few times per week? I think the kids will be ready to try this out next week. I attached it to the door with heavy duty Velcro. 

So that is a quick glimpse into my room. I have more pictures from the week and much more to share. My teammate and I have come up with a cool new homework idea for reading and I will be sharing that real soon!
Enjoy your weekend!!

Are you ready? The TpT Back to School sale is very close! August 18th and 19th enjoy 20% off every item in my store PLUS an additional 10% from TpT...for  a total of 30% 28% (not sure how it works like that. I'm NOT a math person!)
I'm linking up with Where the Wild Things Learn for this fun linky!

I, personally, can not wait to shop! I currently have 136 items on my wish list. Is that crazy or common?  I have to admit that I'm addicted to clip art, so there is a TON on my wish list. I couldn't possibly share just one set I want because I'll probably purchase many! There are so many creative, educational resources on my list, too, and I'm also having trouble picking just one.  I'm going to because those are the rules of the linky. LOL!
First stop is what I will be purchasing this weekend, for sure! Joanne from Head Over Heels for Teaching is not only a sweetheart of a person, but she is the Queen of the Post-it Notes. I ♥♥♥ the Post-it, too! I am going to have to purchase her Reading with Post-its pack. This pack is a set of templates designed for students to have a place to stick their Post-its after they respond to text. The templates are specific to various reading skills. I think these will really help my 3rd graders stay organized. Click HERE to view this very useful resource! It might be helpful to you, too.

 The second part of this linky is to share what other educators find useful at my TpT store. So to begin, my MOST wish listed (is that a word?) item is my Text Features Pack. 

This product has 15 colorful poster showing examples of common text features in informational text. I also include 6 activities in this pack. You will find an I Have/Who Has game. Text Features Bingo. A Text Features Treasure Hunt. A graphic organizer for students to use with any informational text they are reading, a prereading activity, and a culminating activity. It is a packed resource!

My second most wish listed product is 3rd Grade Common Core Math Word Wall Cards.

In this set, you'll find 83 vocabulary cards with the term and a visual representation of the word. These are perfect for a word wall, interactive notebook,  pocket chart, or even flash cards. I also include 5 header signs with the name of the anchor standard.

What's on your wish list?? Don't forget to enter the code BTS13 at checkout to get the TpT discount!
Bonnie C. is the winner of the awesome sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies! Congratulations! Check your email, Bonnie!

I am back at school this week preparing my room! I am about finished and will post some pictures soon. I decided to rearrange my book bins and change to the new labels that I made! Boy! That has turned into a bigger job then I thought it would be! Of course, I'm reorganizing and finding new ways to group my classroom library. The problem is I don't have enough baskets or the space to put them, so I have to be creative.

Friday is our Drop-In Day. This is when families can come by school between 8-10am and visit the classroom, drop off supplies, and meet the teacher. SO...this means the room really has to be finished by Thursday. Do you have a day like that? How do you teachers do it when you have ONE day of preplanning?? I have a week plus I went in two days before preplanning and I feel like I have so much left to do. My TO DO list is just filling my head! Besides getting the room lookin' cute, I have to plan, but the first week is pretty easy. Assessments. Get-to-know-you activities. Routines and procedures. Introduce Read to Self and selecting "just right" books. (There I've planned! Whew! LOL!)
The kids start on August 19th and our Open House is scheduled for August 21st. I know it's quick but I prefer it right away. I don't really worry about too many "cutesy" things up for that night since it's only the third day of school. I like to spend the time discussing curriculum and expectations for my class with the parents. With Common Core upon us, this Open House will be spent talking about the new standards. This year will be our first year fully implementing the standards at 3rd grade. Should be interesting! If you need to direct your parents to information regarding the CCSS, click HERE. The PTA has created a wonderful guide for parents. Might be good to print and give out at Open House.

I just wanted to give a quick check-in! I feel like I've been out of the loop lately. 

If you did not get my FREEBIE over at Owl-ways Be Inspired, click HERE. Be sure to check out all the other wonderful teacher authors and amazing back to school freebies! 

Click HERE to check out my book bin labels. 

Enjoy your Hump Day!! WOOT! WOOT!

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