Tuesday, January 31, 2012

TAG and I'm IT!

Yikes! I have been tagged three times so I thought I better get to blogging (I mean running! First, I wanted to say I was not even warned that I was in the game. Is this tunnel tag? freeze tag? NO--It's BLOG TAG!
   Rebecca at The Teacher's Chatterbox tagged me first.
Then, Tracey at Our Cool School  got me.
Finally, Keri from Teach Play Smile stunned me too.
SO I have to get goin' and start taggin' too!

So here are the rules:
1.  Post the rules.
2.  Post 12 fun facts about yourself.
3.  Answer the questions the tagger set for you in her post, and then create 12 new questions for the ones you tag.
4.  Tag 12 people and link them in your post.
5.  Let them know that they have been tagged.

1. My husband and I have been together for 21 years. We have been married for 17 of these years. We met in high school. (Shhh! I am 6 months older.)
2. My husband and I have 3 awesome children. Ashleigh age 11. She is our one and only daughter and princess. She is gifted and talented in a variety of ways. She loves to read, dance, write, and have fun! Dylan, our oldest son, has taught us about blessings and how not to take the little things in life for granted. He a fun-loving, heart-warming, sports lover with Down's Syndrome. Austin is 2 1/2. My husband and I joke that if we would've had him first he would be an only child (NO , not really). He is a typical two year old boy. He loves to read, sing, talk, play with trucks, cars, Elmo, blocks, go outside, practically get into any and everything.
3. My sister is my best friend (Not always--I mean, of course, we had our squabbles as children.). She and I also teach at the same school.
4.  I collect coca-cola items. I am a southern girl--born and raised in Ga.---where everything is called COKE (no matter if it is Sprite, Mr. Pibb, Mello Yello , Fanta, etc.)
5.  I was a cheerleader in high school. Go Red Devils!
6.  I love chocolate. Have you ever seen the shirt-I eat ketchup on my ketchup--Well, I eat chocolate on my chocolate.
7. My family loves visiting Disney.
8. My family likes to camp.
9. I live in a golf course neighborhood and neither my husband nor I golf.
10.  I believe in the phrase--"You only live once."  So therefore, I enjoy life and what it has to offer.
11. I played school as a little girl. My best friend and I even ordered Algebra workbooks (about 36) when we were in the third grade with our allowances for our "class".
12. I love all 4 seasons. I like the fall time because of the beautiful changing leaves and my birthday is in the fall. I enjoy winter because I love Christmas and the joys it brings to all. I like spring because of the "new" life it brings along with the beautiful flowers and weather. I love summer because I get to spend it with my kids.

 Rebecca's questions:

1.  What movie could you watch over and over again?Sweet Home Alabama, Pretty Woman, Fried Green Tomatoes
2.  What would be your dream vacation? Mediterranean Cruise
3.  Do you like to cook?  If so, what dish have you perfected?  Not really, but we are trying to budget and eat at home more often. AND--I make everything good, when I do cook.
4.  Are you tech savvy? Sometimes
5.  What is your guilty pleasure?
6.  What is your favorite book to read aloud to your kiddos? I love reading all books, but my most favorite of all is Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. I always cry, but I read this to all my students--no matter what grade level I am teaching.I will get to read it soon to this year's class because I read it at Valentines.
7.  Are you more crafty or sporty? crafty (not that I have time for either)
8.  Are you an early bird or a night owl? Neither--I go to bed each night around 9:30/10:00 because I have to get up my 5:30 a.m. to have Ashleigh at her clubs by 7:15 a.m. most mornings.
9.  Facebook, Twitter, or Both? facebook
10.  If you were told you were going to be teaching abroad, where would you want to teach? YIKES--I would l prefer England, but would probably enjoy the rewards from a third world country.
11.  Do you collect anything? coca-cola items
12.  What is your most memorable teaching moment? When I was named Teacher of the Year.WOW!

Tracey's and Keri's questions:
1. What do you do to de-stress? soak in the bathtub, vent by talking
2. Describe your favourite dinner? I like all food, but I love Italian eggplant parmesan.
3. What do you do on Friday night? Well--before the budget--eat out. Now eat in and family fun. Sometimes, my husband and I have datenight.
4. Do you have any hobbies? scrapbooking, but not in a loooonnnnngggg while
5. Why did you start blogging? a co-worker-Kathy at First Grade A La Carte inspired me
6. Would you rather teacher 20 eighth graders or 30 first graders? 30 first graders
7. How far do you live from where you grew up? 45 minutes ( I teach in same city, but different county)
8. Would you ever teach a member of your family (eg child, nephew, niece). Why or why not? Yes, it would be just like teaching any other child.
9. Do you want to be a principal someday? Sometimes yes, sometimes no
10. Do most people seem pleased or upset when you tell them that you are a teacher? pleased
11. How long does it take you to get to work? 45 min. (no traffic)
12. How much time a week do you spend planning, preparing etc (other than the time spent at school)? Well, I vowed when I had Ashleigh that I would not bring work home, but I still do at times..Maybe one to two hours a week that is not at school,but I go early each morning Tues-Fri because Ashleigh has clubs and I work in my room.
Here are those that I am tagging:
Amanda at One Extra Degree
Miss Bongers at Life in 4B
Sandra at Literacy Minute
1.What is your favorite t.v.show?
2.  Where were you born?
3. What is your dream vacation?
4.  Facebook? Twitter? or Both?
5. What is your passion?
6.  Are you an early bird or a night owl?
7. Do you have a color scheme or theme in your classroom?
8. Do you read blogs before or after school?
9.What do you love most about the school you teach at?
10. Favorite restaurant?
11. Do you want to be principal?
12. How long is your commute?
Now to go Tag (well I may just do this part tomorrow) because I am in need for some sleep.
Night, night--don't let the bed bugs bite.

Monday, January 30, 2012

4 Square Writing

My school recently started a writing initiative using the 4 Square Writing Method developed by Judith Gould. I have always used a variety of tools to teach writing--

Hamburger Model

The four squares model template looks similar to this:

We began by using it as a writing tool to aide in reading comprehension. We completed one together in class for our class read aloud book, Muggie Maggie.  We placed the main idea in the middle box, then in the top left box we added a detail. We also added details in top right hand box and bottom left hand box. In the last box, I had the students write a prediction of what they thought might happen next and why. On day two, we added transitions words to boxes 1,2, and 3. We added a favorite part sentence and why in box 4. On day three, after discussing options for Bodacious Beginnings (This is what we call our Writing Hooks.), we added the Bodacious Beginning to the very top. We also added our Enormous Ending at the bottom. Lastly, I showed the students how to take the information from the top, the middle square, and the 4 squares to create a paragraph. The students gasped in astonishment. Each day I sent them back to their desk to practice as we did had practiced or learned. On this last day, the students were so proud of their summaries. I saw light bulbs spark. Each week for homework, student have to read and summarize on Monday----so the results will come in tomorrow morning. 
    Now that we have used this is reading, we are also going to begin a "new" use tomorrow--Learning how to write a persuasive piece. 
    Tell me about the writing in your classroom--OR How do you teach writing?
    For more information on 4 square writing come back often---and of course ---google and pin.

TA-TA for now (practicing for Disney) 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Inspiration, Thank You, and What Are You Reading

As you can see, I have changed grade levels this year. I have been very busy learning (refamiliarizing myself since I did teach third grade several years ago) all about third grade, taking classes to earn my Gifted Endorsement, being a wife, and being a mommy. I rarely have time to blog or even look at my favorite blogs, but when I do I am totally inspired. I have been inspired to create Reading Notebooks similar to Ms. Bongers' Thoughtful Logs over at Life in 4b. Really I have taken an organizational stance with the notebooks and divided a composition book into 4 easy to use/find sections fro my kiddeos. These are reading workshop, literature circles, reflections, and lessons. We also have a Writing Notebook that I have divided into sections-Writing Workshop lessons, My Writing, Grammar. Lastly, we have a Math Notebook too. It is divided into Math Lessons and Practice and Vocabulary (mush set up like a dictionary). These are made my life so much easier. Papers are not flying around, getting lost, and I do not have to hear "I can't find it" quite so often. I have also fallen in love with lapbooks especially for Science and Social Studies. (Sadly, I do not have any pics, but google lapbooks and you will get a gazillion ideas.)

Next, I want to thank Sandra from Literacy Minute for awarding me the Liebster Blog and commenting that she enjoys my ideas in regards to Reading Notebook. The rules for this awarding is to nominate blogs with less than 200 followers.
I am also nominating the following blogs for this award:
cute, crisp blog with lots of flair for multiage classroom 2/3
I love the fraction ideas!
Third Grade in First State
We both recently opened our TpT store! :)

Lastly, my class is learning to write in cursive. I am using the book Muggie Maggie by Beverly Cleary. We are also continuing to learning vocabulary and use our comprehension strategies--especially making connections as we read. What are you reading? Or what are you reading next? I thought about a Chris Van Allsburg study OR a Mystery Unit. Any other suggestions?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Teachers Pay Teachers

I  am so excited to announce that I have bitten the bullet, and I have taken on a new adventure (as many of my blogging friends have)!! I now have a Teachers Pay Teachers page--Check it out HERE

I am just beginning to add products, but just like we tell our students if we do not begin or try, then how can be show others what we can do.

Stay tuned and visit my store OFTEN.