Monday, December 31, 2012

Thankful and Resolutions

As I look back on the last year, I have many things to be thankful for in my life; yet, of course, I am making resolutions too. I have been saving this post for New Year's Eve (today) in my posts. However, I am also linking up to several blogging celebrities. I knew someone would be having a linky party in conjunction with this concept. I found this one over at One Extra Degree

However, I am listing all my resolutions in one post.

1-Technology-I am thankful that I found Pinterest. It is a blessing because it provides me to challenge myself to do new things in many facets of my life (recipes, kid stuff, family stuff, and especially teaching stuff.) However, one goal is to "clean up" my Pinterest this summer. Another area of technology that I am looking forward and would like to do more is share my lessons through units, lesson plans and games.  I have soooooo many; I just need to get them all "electronic". This would be less paper too and that is not a bad thing.  This means that I would also have more things in my TpT store. I have soooooo many things, and I have taught a variety grade levels in my career that I could maybe truly "touch" and help other teachers and students.

2-Organization- I want to work on decluttering my home closets and my teaching filing cabinets at school. (The files are organized, but I need to declutter and work on the electronic part that I mentioned previously.) I also want to organize at home by meal planning. I want to provide my family with more clean, real food (less processed and less eating out). I have seen the benefits. I want to organize my schedule to involve more time with my family.

3-Professional Growth-My school system has a new teacher evaluation system. Part of the system is a professional portfolio. I have a portfolio that I have kept current throughout the years since my undergraduate degree, graduate degrees, endorsements, and all my professional development. I want to "show off" me as a teacher. (Not to brag) I want to be seen as a leader and mentor, as well as, help other teachers learn and grow. I want to help provide collaboration and meaningful teaching and learning. Although this pic represents a few teachers at our school and our heartfulness toward the tragedy in CT., I want us to continue to show our love and dedication for students.

4-Downtime-What is that? I am a wife, a teacher, and a mommy to three amazing kids. In my downtime, however, I would like to spend more time making memories and vacationing (at Disney, of course) with my family.

I want to have date nights with the love of my life.

Have more mommy/ daughter days with my beautiful girl because she is growing up way too fast.

 Of course, I want to blog more often and gain more followers on my blog by helping other teachers and students grow and learn. Lastly, I want to make some of my new found recipes from Pinterest finds, as well as, begin a small garden.

5-Fitness-I am beginning today exercising with my husband. He works out everyday. I don't. (YIKES!) I have taken the first step, acceptance. I have accepted that I need to exercise. Therefore, it is time for me to get acquainted with this equipment once again.
 I want to eat (and drink)  less sugar. (That means I have to get rid of all the stocking candy and sweet treats from the holidays.) I want to detox my body and maintain a clean eating regime. I want to extend this to less chemicals and "bad" things for my body and switch to a healthy alternative (detergents, soaps, deodorants, make up, and whatever else I encounter.) I have joined a challenge on FB named My Real Food Family/My Whole Food Life Challenge made possible by My Whole Food Life and My Real Food Family. So if you see any blog posts that deal with these issues, you will know why. I am excited!

I wish all of you a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Here is another pic of my kids (sorry, couldn't resist)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Non-Fiction-What is it?

My second grade Focus classes have been focusing on a unit, Pastabilities (learning about Italy). Throughout the unit, we have been able to use fiction and non-fiction. I decided to go "all out" with non-fiction (definitely Common Core).

First, we learned about what is non-fiction and the features of non-fiction. Here are the charts we made:

 We also learned the purpose of each feature. Students used a variety of non-fiction sources. They identified the features. We made these charts:

We spent several days text mapping too. The students really enjoyed this. Not only did the students identify text features, they used the text mapping to answer comprehension questions about food in Italy.

Stay tuned for Non-Fiction post 2
Be sure to check out my Non-Fiction Text Features Choice Board in my TpT store.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

What is Visualizing?

What is Visualizing? Why is visualizing important?
  • Visualizing is creating mental images in our head before, during, and after reading. I explain it to my students as seeing a movie in your head as a part of reading.
  • Students may use their five senses (sensory images) to enhance reading. Therefore, reading "comes to life".
  • Reading becomes personal and memorable through visualizing.
During a recent lesson with some of fifth grade students, we reviewed visualizations and imagery. I read an excerpt from "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud". As I was reading the poem, the students were drawing their visualizations. Here is the excerpt:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. 
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Excerpt from “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth

Here are some pictures of my students drawings:


Here is a lesson I taught last year in regards to visualizations using the book, Two Bad Ants  by Chris Van Allsburg.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Why is Making Connections Important?

I have not blogged in so long.....
Today I had to leave school because one of my sons got sick (Yuck!). So I was instructed by three AP's at one time to pack it up and go home. That is exactly what I did. I carried out one huge bookbag filled with teacher stuff to do, a laptop bag filled with a computer and papers to grade, as well as, my Thirty One lunch bag, and my purse. Needless, to say I did that first before trying to get my little one. Then, he was able to walk out, but not without getting sick (I believe this time he may have a stomach virus. Usually every year around this time, he seems to want to play hookie and get sick. However, this time may be different. He did not want to eat (not even fries-his all time favorite). At first, he wanted to watch television, but that lasted about 30 minutes. Then, he was out--asleep. So I decided to blog (because I could not tell you what was even on television. No, I do not even have anything on the DVR because really I do not watch t.v.) Anyhow, I was able to sneak in this blog writing for today while he has slept. Poor  baby!


Why is Making Connections Important?

Making Connections are important because:

  1. It allows reader's to use background knowledge (schema) to connect to self, text, world, and/or media.
  2. It shows that student's are thinking as they are reading.Therefore, student's are engaged during their reading.
  3. It allows students to gain a deeper understanding of the text when meaningful connections are made.
     Teachers should teach students how to make meaningful and authentic connections through think-alouds across a variety of lessons using each type of connection.

  This bookmark and graphic organizer, as well as, other bookmarks and graphic organizers can be found at  my TpT store.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Why is Questioning Important?


Questioning is important because:

1. It helps students understand and clarify what they have read.

2. It helps students draw conclusions.

3. It helps students make inferences. This allows them to "question" the author as he/she is reading.

4. It involves critical thinking.

5. It allows the reader to evaluate the author's writing and purpose.

5. It can be used throughout life.

Teachers should teach that there are relationships among the type of questions "in the book"and "in the head":

  •  In the book questioning is usually factual. "Thin" questions are right there in the book. These kinds of questions are usually answered in one or two sentences answering the questions-Who? What? When? Where? In my head questioning usually leads to inferences.
  • In the reader's head questioning leads to making inferences.  "Thick" questions are usually in the reader's head. However, they require higher level thinking on Bloom's Taxonomy. These usually require the reader to explain, compare/contrast, use cause/effect, or list/give examples. These are usually answered in more detail using the questions Why? How?
Questioning, as all reading comprehension strategies, must be practiced and modeled by the teacher before, during, and after reading.

Here is a sneak peak at a question graphic organizer.

Be sure to check out my my TpT store for many more reading strategy bookmarks and graphic organizers.
Be sure to head on over to


for lots more fun!

Be sure to comment and tell how you use the organizer or bookmarks.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Why is Summarizing Important? (Freebie)

Why is summarizing important?

Summarzing is an important skill for students to learn because:

1.It gives them practicing in telling about and finding important events. These important events are main ideas and supporting details.

2. It is a way for students to monitor their reading and understanding.

3. It is a way to practice sequencing and decision making.

4. It can be used in a variety of subject areas-Science, Social Studies, Math (integrating using Common Core Standards).

5.  It can be used in real-life situations, as well as, continue usage through college, in jobs, and one's career.

Be sure to check out the summarizing poster.

I am working on bookmarks and graphic organizers for a variety of reading strategies. I am giving this one away as a freebie. It includes three different bookmarks, as well as, three different graphic organizers that cooridinate with summarizing. The bookmark sheets have three bookmarks per page. Copy, cut, distribute OR you can copy front to back, have the student triple fold. Use for homework, classwork, or literature circles. I have Making Connections, Questioning, and Visualizing in my TpT store. Be sure to check them out. (I am making more to follow.)

Please also take the time to follow my blog. Leave me a comment on how you plan to use.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Reading Freebies-Recap

As you are continuing to set up your classroom and/or establish rountines in reading, check out these summer freebies!!!

(You may have missed while relaxing, having fun, enjoying the sun.....)

Character Traits-F.A.S.T.

Be sure to follow.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Back to School and Me

So  busy...I have made soooo many things and I am sooooo far behind on posting, but I am doing a quick post for now for Manic Monday  at Classroom Freebies and 4th Grade FrolicsMonday Made It.

We have had students back at school for 1 week. It seems pretty odd because....

This year I am not a classroom teacher (sob, sob.....confusion.......strange). However, I am a teacher of gifted learners. Although, my blog name is Learn with ME in Grade Three, I am a teacher to the following

4th and 5th Grade Accelerated Math

2nd Grade Gifted (Resource)

5th Grade Gifted (Resource)

1st Grade Gifted (Resource)

It seems very strange. I have been a classroom teacher for 15 years. (I am calling this year Sweet Sixteen.)

I have met with all my students, and I am excited about my new adventure.

I am going to keep my blog name the same (for now. However, I was also thinking about shortening it to Learn with ME. I don't know.) I will be blogging about various things I am doing in my classroom.

Since Math is the first thing I have been teaching, my students have been working on seven Math about Me Projects. Upon completion, there will be pics of each project and how to (lesson plans/ideas), but for now I am sharing part three of the Math about Me. I wanted my students to use measurement (using standard and metric units). So I created an organizer for the students.

Here's the freebie link.

If you like what you see, please be sure to follow.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

What inspires you?-Schema Freebie

What inspires you?

Some people say


Others say caffeine

While others say coffee or some sort of energy drink

But the real truth is...

  that our background knowledge and experiences are fuel to learning.
Whether you call it background knowledge, prior knowledge, or schema I believe through using schema the students can "light of fire" for learning. Many students do not come to school with the background knowledge so it is our job to help them acquire some of this knowledge.

A couple of weeks ago...

I was inspired my watching my niece as she tended to her horses

my nephew as he told me things about Legos

my second son as he played with cars

my daughter as she read a science fiction book, The Marvelous Effect

my first son as he chose the movie he wanted to view

I thought....

this is the

Beginning of one's schema

so I decided to create a schema song poster and I Am the Expert Mini-Project.

I found a song I teach my students when I teach schema. I found it years ago on a teacher website
Reading Power by A. Gear

If you like what you see, please remember to follow my blog. Thank you so much.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Let the Games Begin

Let the Games Begin!
17 Days of Glory that Unite the World.

First, I remember as a girl watching Nadia Comaneci, gymnast, with awe. Then, Atlanta, GA (my home state) got to host the Olympic Games in 1996. Each year, I can not wait for the Summer Olympics.
Perhaps it is the support and meaning behind the Olympic Rings.
Do you know what the colors and rings symbolize?
This quote from the International Olympic Committee states:
"The five rings represent the five continents. They are interlaced to show the universality of Olympism and the meeting of the athletes of the whole world during the Olympic Games. On the Olympic flag, the rings appear on a white background. This flag translates the idea of the universality of the Olympic Movement. At least one of the colors of the rings, including the white background, can be found on the flag of every nation in the world."

Check out this London 2012 Olympics Link . It has lots of awesome photos to get you into the Olympic Spirit. It features the passing of the Olympic Torch.

This website is a link to the order of the Parade of Nations during the Opening Ceremonies.

Of course, I have been on Pinterest. There are some cute ideas for classrooms. Here are a few:

Be sure to also checkout this ancient greece and olympics link. I used this when learning about Ancient Greece. There are powerpoints that you can use. (Be sure to view first.)

For more Olympic ideas, check out my Pinterest Olympic Board. My Social Studies Board has mini-units on countries. There are so many cool things from lesson plans, to crafts, to printables, and food.

Team USA!