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Friday, November 22, 2013

Gift of Reading Blog Hop - Stop #5

Welcome to Reading is Elementary! You have arrived at  

At each blog stop, you will be gathering Reading gifts and freebies.  In each post you will find a picture of a snowman with a letter on it. Collect all of the letters to solve the mystery quote to enter the giveaway. Record all of the letters on your recording sheet and follow each blog along the way so that you can enter the amazing giveaway at the end!

The hop is set up as a loop, so you may start anywhere along the hop, but if you would like to start at the beginning you may go to A Day In The Life of A Title I Teacher's blog.  This is also where you will go after you finish the hop to enter the giveaway!!

I love this theme because the "Gift of Reading" could be just about anything.  There are too many gifts to count.  I for one, like to think about the reader that is just starting out.  For some little ones, it comes naturally.  My oldest daughter pretty much taught herself how to read.  To this day it is one of her favorite activities.  My youngest is a good reader as well, but she went through the natural steps of a beginning reader.

For other children, reading seems to be a mysterious idea.  They know that letters and words are involved, but they sometimes get the feeling that they can't do it.

For those students, I love sharing this book with them.

It is about a duck that gets stuck in the muck and she is finally able to get out with the help of some friends.

We know as readers that we all get stuck sometimes when we read.  We are like the duck, waiting there in the muck for someone to help us.  This is the time when that little reader would look up at you with those big baby blues or baby browns and beg to be rescued by you telling them the word that they are stuck on.  We know that we are doing them no favors by telling them without having any other strategies to work from.  Enter your "friends!"  These little critters are a life saver for that reader who is constantly looking to be rescued (and all of your other readers too).

When I saw that Melonheadz made a version of these "Beanie Baby" critters, I knew that I had to have them!  There are many versions out there, but here is the latest.  Click on the picture below to pick up your freebie!

Now, onto your collection!

My secret letter is...

Thank you for stopping by my blog today! I hope that you enjoyed your gift and learned something new. If you would like to be the first to know about new post, giveaways, and blog hops follow me on Bloglovin' by clicking the image below!

Don't stop now! Hop on over to Reading and Writing Redhead to pick up another amazing reading gift! Happy Holidays! 

If you get lost along the way download the Hop Map here to easily pick back up where you left off! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What's My Schedule?

I am linking up today with Susan over at TGIF! - Thank God It's First Grade.  She has a great linky there asking us all to link up our daily schedules.  She was curious when her move from one state to another got her thinking about how different all of our schedules could possibly be and we essentially have the same job:  to educate children!  Her linky is called What's Your Schedule?

She might not have had a specialist teacher in mind when setting this up, but I also get very curious as to what other literacy specialists' schedules look like!  Do you pull small groups all day?  Do you coach all day?  Do you do a little bit of both?  How is it structured?

So here is what mine looks like.

I know that it probably covers up half of my sidebar, but I wanted to make it big enough so you could actually see it.  My 40-something eyes already have the no-line trifocals!

I also have a reading teacher who is at our school for one hour a day.  She sees a group of 3rd grade students and a group of first grade students.

As you can see, most of my job is being a pull-out reading teacher.  I try to do as much coaching as I can.  However, most of that has to be done through professional development at staff meetings, conversations in the hallway, or someone coming up to me saying that they want to know more about or try something that they haven't done before and need help.

I jokingly said that the stress of this year has helped me to lose weight.  Now looking at the schedule, I think I just don't have time to eat!  My 30 minute lunches are all working lunches so I can plan what I need to do for the afternoon or next day, look at recent assessments, plan the parent or paraprofessional run intervention program, looking at data, etc!  My waistline loves being busy, but now I have no time to buy new pants!

I would love to hear what other reading specialists' schedules look like.  Link up with Susan so I can see how y'all spend your time!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November Currently

Thanks to the wonderful Super Sleuths Blog Hop, I have been getting back into my blogging groove (insert 70's music here).  Now, that I have my groove back, I need to get in some good content!  That will have to wait, because I feel the need to take stock and see what I look at what I am doing "Currently."  I am just hoping I am not like #400 on the link-up list!  Thanks to Farley for this great Linky!

Listening - This time change always takes me a few weeks to get adjusted.  I loved having the extra hour, but I feel like I am going to pay for it in the morning!

Loving - I absolutely love watching my girls in their activities.  We try to do only do one activity at a time.  For my oldest, it was softball.  Her fall season wrapped up a week ago.  They played a division up, so they were 3rd and 4th grade girls playing against 5th and 6th grade girls.  Their record had them in 3rd place at the end of the season.  For the tournament, they must not have liked that placement, because the girls went out there and won the whole darn thing!  First place in the tournament!  My youngest finished up her last football game that she cheered at on the same day as my oldest's softball tournament (always happens that way right)?  Then past two weekends, they have been competing for a chance to go to the state competition.  They did an amazing job!  Sadly, they did not accumulate enough points to make it to the state level.  To be honest, I wasn't sure if I was happy or sad about that!

Thinking - Yes, we are thinking about getting a dog.  We put our last dog down when my youngest was 3 months old.  (she will soon be turning 7)!  He was a golden retriever named Jake, and I fear I may not love another dog as much as I loved him.  I am sure I probably thought this about having a second child too.  Anyhoo, we are ready to try again.  We are looking to adopt, but taking our time looking.

Wanting - Today, I did it!  I have been thinking and eyeing personal laminators pretty much all summer long.  I bit the bullet and bought one today.  I love it!!!

Needing - I haven't gotten my hair cut since about last May.  My beauty lady (that's what I call her) will think I feel off the face of the Earth!  I have this natural curl that drives me crazy, and if I don't get it cut on a regular basis it loses its style.  Maybe now I'll have time with the girls having no activities!

A Yummy Pin - You know winter is coming when you have made your first batch of chili.  I made mine this week, and I tend to make a lot more soups in the winter.  One of my favorites is this recipe for Lemon Chicken Rice Soup.  It is delicious, but you have to double or even triple the recipe if you want any leftovers.  It is the best one I have found!  Click the picture to take you to the site.  You have to scroll down about 6 or 7 soups, but the recipe is there.  It is wonderful!