Teaching reading is my passion.  As a child, I didn't like to read a lot.  I was a good reader but when it came to chapter books, I think I just couldn't keep my attention on it long enough.  Now, I love to read, and I love to teach reading!

When Reading First was the "in thing", I was asked to help write the grant for my school.  Having a strong reading comprehension program with rich language and vocabulary is a must, however, grant-writing isn't really my forte'....but I digress.  I came across so many strategies that worked well in my class!  The kids loved them and actually got excited about learning!
We all learn in different ways, and kids are no different.  We, as educators, need lots of tips and tricks in our teacher toolboxes!  As you know, when you get kids involved in their learning...talking with their peers...getting hands-on... and doing activities other than just paper-pencil, they are going to  be more enthusiastic about learning!  Personally, I get GIDDY (probably more than I should...lol) when I find new strategies to use with my kiddos!  You do have to model and practice partner/group activities just like you would for centers so guidelines are established and practiced, and mastered so students can be successful...but you already know that!  :) 
So that's why I created this huge reading and vocabulary strategies packet.  There are 80+ pages and it was a real labor of love for me!  Everything is right in one place to pick and choose what works best with our students.  Each one is tried and true.  Of course I have my favorite go-tos.... Anticipation Guide,Carousel Graffiti, and Appointments for reading strategies....

and Pictionary, Word Bump and Paint Chip Vocabulary for vocabulary.   Perhaps you are needing some new ideas, as we all do!  I'd love for you to check it out.  You can find it HERE.  

As always, I appreciate you stopping by!  It does my heart good to share and connect with other teachers!

Chatterbox Blessings,
Rebecca
I've been working on this....however, I forgot to get it uploaded!!!
I wanted to have it uploaded for Halloween...and I barely made it!  But this sweet story is good for anytime! 
You can have it here...Hope you enjoy!
Chatterbox  Blessings,
Rebecca
If I close my eyes, I can go back in time and think about how I felt as a child on Christmas Eve...Oh the Anticipation!  Sometimes if my family was going on a trip that required several hours of driving, my parents would pack the car the night before, and we'd get in bed early.  Around 3 or 4 a.m. we would be carried to the car to lay down in the back-seat-turned-makeshift-bed on the road...Oh the Anticipation...  And then there's that yummy ketchup.....  
Ok....so now I'm really showing my age!  LOL

My point is....that anticipation really gets you excited for the things you love!  So, why not get kids really excited about a story?!?!?!

I love to use Anticipation Guides before reading (even though you can use them during and after reading too).  
  • Anticipation guides stimulate students' interest in a topic and set a purpose for reading.
  • They teach students to make predictions, anticipate the text, and verify their predictions.
  • They connect new information to prior knowledge and build curiosity about a new topic.

  1. When preparing an anticipation guide, think simple for younger students. Write four to six statements about key ideas in the text.  When I make mine, I have a place for them to choose if they agree or disagree with the statement before reading...and then the same for after reading.
  2. Begin by Modeling!  Introduce the text or reading material and share the guide with the students. Model the process of responding to the statements and marking the columns.
  3. Read each of the statements and ask the students if they agree or disagree with it. Provide the opportunity for discussion. The emphasis is not on right answers but to share what they know and to make predictions.
  4. Read the text aloud or have students read the selection individually. If reading aloud, teachers should read slowly and stop at places in the text that correspond to each of the statements.
  5. Revisit each statement during Closure.

Here's a good video of a teacher with her whole group during an Anticipation Guide.  You could also use a guide in a small group setting, as well.


Anticipation...Is it making you wait???

Chatterbox Blessings,
Rebecca

I love alphabet books!  Actually, I collect them! 
If you think that these wonderful ABC books are just for babies, toddlers, or littles, I'd love to share with you how I use them....in my 4th grade class!
FOR VOCABULARY
I adore Graeme Base...and Animalia is an amazing ABC book!  The illustrations alone will keep you busy for hours!  
They are just STUNNING!  
AND....the rich vocabulary in this book  is a must for older students!

FOR ALLITERATION

Alliteration is so much fun...think tongue twisters!  We loved trying those out as a kid...ok, so some of us still do...tee hee
Alphabet Soup is a book with gorgeous illustrations.  When Otter moves, he throws a housewarming potluck party.  26 friends (animals...one for each letter of the alphabet) are asked to bring something for that letter to put into the soup.  Sweet book with sweet pictures!

THEME STUDY
When doing a theme study, bring in alphabet books....there are a ton out there!  
Work your way through the alphabet as you learn about your theme!
Michael Shoulders is another author and illustrator of alphabet books.  I have had the pleasure of meeting him, when he visited our school!

FOR CREATING and IMAGINATION
OMG!  I love this book!  Liza loves her crayons so much....
but when she draws all over her wonderful blank canvas (unfortunately it was her wall) she gets her beloved crayons taken away for the day....so, she is left with using her imagination and creativity to fullfill that need for color. 
 LOVE this book!  

FOR STUDENT AUTHORS
Create a class alphabet book!  Choose a theme, assign (or have students pick) letters.  and create!  You can do the same thing with a class alliteration book!

ABC CENTER
Really?  An ABC center in upper grades?  YES! Of course! Get a three ring binder.  Add a page for letters A-Z.  Whenever students come across things that start with a certain letter, they add it to that page of the book.  
Then when you have the ABC center out for use, they will choose a certain subject (i.e. on the "W" page they might choose George Washington) and research the subject.  My kids love this!

So...if you teach older students, and you haven't thought about it before....
Take out those Alphabet Books...and put them to good use!!
And if you use them already, I'd LOVE to hear how YOU use them!

Chatterbox Blessings,
Rebecca
So, the first nine weeks has come and gone.  I have the sweetest bunch of kids in my homeroom and in my Block 1 and 2 classes!  With starting in July however, I was ready to see Fall Break arrive!  The first week of break, I traveled to New York City for the first time with my bestie.  It was an awesome trip!  Before the nine weeks had ended, I started preparing lesson plans for the first week after break.  Every year, we read The Cricket In Times Square.  The kids always love it, as do I!  So with going to New York on the break, I decided that this novel was what I would be teaching when returning from break.  

I worked days and nights on a new Novel Packet for this book.  

During my second week of break, I put together the things that I had acquired while in New York City to share during this novel study.  I am so pleased with how it turned out!  Today, was our first day back, and we began this novel.  The kids are already loving it.  I knew they would!  So, if you teach reading, then you will want to pick up this novel packet.  It is geared toward 3rd-5th grade and you can find it here.  If you do purchase it, please let me know what you think, because I put my heart and soul into creating it!
Chatterbox Blessings,
Rebecca

Wow!  Has it really been two years since I've blogged here?  How does time slip away so quickly?  My goal is to to blog regularly through the year, so we shall see how that goes.  I will strive to do my best!

So...I'm going into my nineteenth year in the public school system, with this being the third year for me in fourth grade.  I adored third grade....guess that's why I stayed fifteen years before switching grades.  I taught second grade two years, but I was ready to move up then.  With a fourth grade position available, luckily I snagged it!  I'm excited to see what this year in fourth grade has to offer!

As summer comes to a close (I start back in two days, students in nine...) I have begun to gear up for the upcoming year....you know...visiting all my favorite websites, shopping at the teacher store, looking for deals, and of course clothes shopping!  lol

So, for my first blog here in two years, I thought I'd just share some of my favorite things for preparing for back to school...so grab a drink and let's get started...

PROTEACHER
I have been frequenting ProTeacher since 1998!  It is an amazing place to be to get new ideas, make friendships, ask questions, vent and much, more!  Check it out ::HERE:: if you've never visited!  Be sure to sign up...it's FREE!

INTO THE BOOK
Ok...so this one is my new found favorite!  
OMG!  SCORE!
This site is for both teachers and students!  There are tons of resources, games, songs, books, lesson plans, and more for lots of reading strategies.  You can be sure I'll be putting this site to good use!

APPS
These are some of my favorite apps to use with my students.  I especially love Google Classroom!  If you have access, you must check it out if you haven't already!

KAHOOT!
What a FUN way to review, practice, or assess what you've taught!  The kids love it, and they can sign in anonymously!

So what sites or apps are your frequenting as a new school year approaches?

Chatterbox Blessings,
Rebecca
...for CURRENTLY!
Not only is it already AUGUST but I've already been back in school two weeks!!!
So this is what I am doing... CURRENTLY...
Listening:  to Titanic...for the hundredth time...I love this movie!
Loving:  It's the weekend!
Thinking:  Summer came and went too fast!!!
Wanting:  I get to see my grandgirl next weekend!  Yay!  I miss her so much!!!
Needing:  I need to finish up my lesson plans for our first full week of school for students.
{I have to say that I love planbook.com!!!}
My 1st day was July 21.
Students' first day was July 29.
So what are you currently doing?  I can't wait to find out!
Be sure to check over at Farley's to see what everyone else is doing!

New School Year Blessings,
Rebecca
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