Saturday, June 21, 2014

Daily 5 Book Study {Chapters 5 and Kind of 6}

Woo! 2 blog posts in one day? Who am I!? I just had so much to get caught up on and share! If you read the previous post, you can see why I am behind on my reading! But today is my "catch up day" and I am loving every minute of it. 

Reading Daily 5: Second Edition, drinking my water (up to 16oz which as you know is pretty good for me!), blogging and watching a Will and Grace marathon! Ahh summer, I love you. 

The more and more I read the second edition, the more and more excited I get for the new school year! Is that weird!? I am looking forward to all the changes I am going to make to my literacy block and I can't wait!

Before I jump right in to my thoughts on Chapter 5 and 6, I have a question for you! Do you use CAFE with your Daily 5 structure? Does it make it easier? What do you like about it? I am not super familiar with CAFE but the more I read this book, the more I want to explore it. 

Chapter 5 really dives into why it is important to give specific and focused instruction when launching Daily 5. I myself am guilty of rushing this step. I find myself doing minimal practice sessions and then rushing to independence before my kids are ready. I definitely place to much emphasis on their prior knowledge from kindergarten and forget that each year is a fresh start. Summer brain is a real thing, but I don't need to tell you that! 

"The tone for the entire year is established during the early weeks of school." (pg. 67)

3 ways to read a book

- Read the pictures
- Read the words
- Retell the story

When I teach this I usually do each one as a separate mini-lesson. I like the idea of combining the first 2 as a time saver, but I worry about the length of that mini-lesson! I would love to see how they squeeze that lesson into 6-7 minutes! 

Foundation Lessons

I absolutely love how the sister's teach their foundation lessons! Esepically the I-PICK Good-Fit Books lesson with the shoes! That is my favorite lesson to teach! It is fun and really gets the concept across! I really appreciated the Appendix I that had all the lesson plans for these lessons! That wild definitely come in handy as I start to plan for the first few weeks of school. I'm not quite that ready for next year yet!

Read to Self Foundation Lessons
- 3 ways to read a book
- I PICKGood-Fit books 
- Choose a successful spot 

Work on Writing Foundation Lessons
- Underline words you don't know how to spell and move on
- Set up a notebook
- Choose what to write about

Read to Someone Foundation Lessons
- Check for understanding


- Voice level
- How partners read
- How to get started
- Coaching or time?
- How to choose a partner

Listen to Reading Foundation Lessons
- Set up technology
- Listen and follow along
- Manage fair and equitable use with a limited number of devices

Word Work Foundation Lessons
- Set up and clean up materials
- Choose materials to use
- Choose a successful spot
** Do you let students choose their spot for word work? I just don't have the space for the so they have to stay at desks… Am I the worst? haha **

In all honesty, I kind of skimmed over Chapter 6. I'm not quite ready to get that in depth about the focused lessons, but I am excited to go back and read it throughly later!

I really liked the idea of the word collectors wall! In my class we use personal dictionaries that we add these tricky/robust words to throughout the year, but I like the idea of having it in a common place as well. I will definitely be using that. My new placement doesn't order personal dictionaries. I suppose I'll have to make my own this year! Just one more thing to add to TPT!

I can't wait to read all your thoughts on these 2 chapters and to see all the amazing resources you're posting! I have to be honest, looking at all the resources you guys have created makes me feel like I am slacking! It is intimidating!

I definitely still have a LOT to learn about this whole blogging/TPT business! You all inspire me so much! I hope one day I can live up!

Nursing Party, Car Shopping, PYP Training and Lip Sync Battles OH MY!

Boy oh boy was this week crazy! I am so happy to finally have some time to blog (and breathe)! I have so much to share, hence that ridiculously long title!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending my best friends graduation from nursing school! I have known this girl since we were 12 and I am so proud of everything she has accomplished! Many of you may have seen the photos all over Instagram from the party I helped throw for her, well spoiler alert, you're going to see more! 

I had so much fun planning this party! I swear, if I wasn't a teacher I would probably be a party planner. I love it! It's such a great opportunity to get my craft on! 

The first thing that I made was a 3-piece canvas set. I wanted something that was simple, fit the theme and that she could keep even after the party was over! I had my husband cut me some vinyl stickers for the letters, since no one wants to see my man-writing. The rest was easy! Being married to a decal sticker owner has it's perks ;)

I used one of the canvas' for the guest book! I had a variety of fun bandaids and colored pens (my grading pens). Guests placed a bandaid on the canvas and wrote words of encouragement next to it! I didn't take a picture of the final product, but I am asking her to take one and send it to me! 

The hit of the party was these bad boys! I found these syringes on eBay and made Jell-O shots out of them. I used the red to look like blood (obviously haha) and then made some with alcohol and some without. I labeled them +/- as if they were blood types. Get it!? I amuse myself sometimes…

Here's the recipe I used:


3 ounces Strawberry Banana Jell-O
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup Whipped Cream Vodka
1/2 cup cold water


1. Pour Jell-O in bowl 

2. Add boiling water, stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

3. Stir in chilled liquor and water mix

4. Fill syringes

5. Refrigerate until the liquid sets

6. Serve!

These little cups are filled with Mike and Ikes and Jelly Bellys!

I used marshmallows for the "cotton balls".

 All in all, I was super happy with how it all turned out! You can get the labels {here}!

Now for the not so fun part of my week…This week was largely dedicated to car shopping. I can't tell you how much research and time was wasted during this process. We had so many bad experiences!

The first place we went to (and wasted 3 hours of our life at) we had your stereotypical "sleazy" car salesman. They were the worst! We went in to see a specific car from their online inventory and when we got there, they said that car didn't really exist. It was a "phantom car" and that the car was actually $6000 more. They also kept manipulating the numbers and trying to manipulate us. So we stormed out of place #1. 

The next place we went to was just down right rude and unprofessional. We told them exactly what we wanted from the first moment. The exact car, the exact price, the monthly payments, everything. Like I said, we did a lot of research! We got to the financing phase and they tried to trick us by going over what we wanted to pay. So we left place #2. When we left, the salesman literally chased us out to the car and proceeded to yell at us for "wasting his time". He yelled at us until we were out of the parking lot. 

And finally, after being burned so many times (those 2 places were just the worst of the worst) we decided no more going in to places until we had to. We called around and found the place we wanted with the car we wanted. I did all the BS over the phone and just went in to sign papers. It was a wonderful experience, minus the fact that it took 4 hours… and that is JUST for paperwork. I almost died. 

But it is finally done! We have a new 2014 Ford Focus in candy blue metallic. It looks plain blue in the photo, but it's more of a turquoise in daylight! It's the first brand new car either of us have bought! 

 I love it! But mostly I am just glad this process is over!

I also had PYP training this week. Do any of you do PYP? I really don't understand why PYP is necessary. It just seems like more paperwork and hassle. So I would love any thoughts/input/tips you have on this. I spent 6 1/2 hours this week planning with my team and I still feel lost! And my brain hurts.

Lastly, this weekend was my parents 16th wedding anniversary! So they could have some time to celebrate, my husband and I had my 2 younger sisters and younger cousin over for a sleep over. We had so much fun! We ordered pizza, watched Space Jam and then decided to have a lip sync battle! 

If you have never seen the Jimmy Fallon lip sync battle videos, you totally should. They are hilarious! And ours definitely didn't disappoint. Each person picked 2 songs to lip sync/perform and no one knows your song ahead of time. The best part was that people got really into it and picked songs that you totally wouldn't expect. 

I chose Lonely Island - I'm on a Boat
My husband chose Michael Jackson - Billy Jean
My sister (15yrs) chose Eminem - Kill You
My other sister (12yrs) chose a song about video games that I didn't know

and the winner, my 15 yr old cousin chose some screamo song that took everyone by surprise! 

I would post videos, but I don't have them yet, and also they may have ben a tad inappropriate. Oops!  :) 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ten Things I Want to do This Summer!

Well, it's the first week of summer and so far it hasn't seemed much like summer! Not only has it been cold and raining (Yay Oregon!) but I had PD all, and I mean all, day on Monday. Today was spent car shopping, grocery shopping and helping my husband with orders. 

I should clarify, my husband owns 2 businesses so I work for him part time year round. I help him with all the orders. I won't bore you with the details, but it is super super tedious work. I am happy to help, but it just means I don't really get time off for the summer. 

This is how I get all of the decals that I use in my classroom. People keep asking me about that, I will post about it soon I promise! 
( is currently down for maintenance but he also has a store front on Amazon (click above), eBay and Etsy).

This is where he takes his designs and turns them into t-shirts! This one is brand new so there are still some kinks to work out! 

{Click the images above to go check him out!} 

Anyways, tomorrow I have another PD, Thursday a Dr. appointment and Friday I have to go to court to *hopefully* get my ticket waived from the accident.  I swear someday this summer I will actually just relax and do fun things! 

In the spirit of that I thought it was about time to link up with Deanna over at Mrs. Jump's Class for my Top Ten Things I Want to Do This Summer!

1. I plan to spend as much time as humanly possible outside soaking up the sun. Laying by the pool, going to the beach, berry picking, hiking. I don't care as long as it's outside! That is, if the sun ever decides to grace me with it's presence. 

2. I have been DYING to go to Tree-to-Tree. It is an outdoor, aerial obstacle course through the trees! They have bridges, tight ropes, balance beams and zip lines. Now if only I could get my husband on board! 

3. My husband and I are hoping to plan a trip to NY to visit one of our close friends who recently moved there to do some trading. I've always wanted to go and now we have the perfect excuse! I also really want to go visit Carlo's Bakery and see Buddy ;)

4. I would love to finally get pregnant this summer. *Fingers crossed*

5. I am so not on the "good tv" bandwagon. I only just recently watched Game of Thrones. Now that that is over (until April 2015…I'm already having withdrawal) my husband and I are going to binge watch Breaking Bad. He has seen the first 2 seasons but I haven't seen any of it. Maybe that will hold me over until GoT comes back. Maybe. 

6. I hope to finally finish our backyard! We got the hose fixed so now we just have to start over with the grass planting. Urg. But hopefully it will turn out like this. 

(I am posting this photo because a photo of my real backyard would just be embarrassing for everyone).

7. I plan to eat a whole lot of crepes. A few summers ago a couple of girl friends and I took a trip to Vegas and eating crepes kind of became a thing. Now that fresh berries are in season it is the perfect time to indulge again! 

8. Which brings me to the next one: Take a girls weekend. This year has been a whirlwind for all of us with a lot of ups and downs. We thought a girls trip was in order. Although we can't go to Vegas this year (which is a bummer because the TPT conference is there) we are thinking possibly San Fransisco!

And I guess I'll throw in a few educational ones.

9. I need to fill out my TPT store now that I finally have the time to get my already created products up and also create some new ones! I am pretty excited! I have a billion things "in progress" that I can't wait to get up and share! 

10. And lastly, I need to revamp my classroom library. I always plan to and then give up because I can't figure out what categories to separate into! So if you have any tips/ideas I would greatly appreciate it! I think an IKEA trip is in order to get some tubs (and other classroom organization pieces) first! I am not going to post a photo of the current state of my library because, well, embarrassing again. 

I also plan to get back into my freezer cooking and start running outside to rehab my knee for the Color Run in September. And spend a lot of time with family! 

What about you? Have you already linked up your summer plans!? I would love to hear what all of your fun (non-educational) plans are for the summer! :)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Daily 5 Book Study {Chapters 3&4}

Hey guys! It's my first weekend of summer and it has already been jammed packed with fun! The only downfall is this nasty weather we have been having. I want the sun back! 

 I went to the scholastic book fair this morning for the first time. I had heard mixed reviews about the book fair, but I am pleased to announce it was wonderful! I found so many books for my classroom library. Unfortunately, I had a hard time finding the books that were on my list but I did get plenty of good fit books! I also got a pretty sweet pointer with glitter! I love me some glitter. 

I also had the pleasure of attending my best friends pinning ceremony this afternoon. This beautiful, strong and genuine woman is going to make an incredible nurse! I am so proud of her! 

(I particularly like her mother photobombing this photo)

Tomorrow I have her graduation party and father's day! Oh, and did I mention I'm planning her party? I love party planning. Pictures to come :) 

While I am taking a break from all the fun of this weekend (and binge watching Will and Grace) I wanted to share my thoughts on chapters 3&4 of The Daily 5 (Second Edition). These chapters went by much faster for me! I'm not going to lie, it got me super excited for the next school year! Is that weird!?

I started by making these Daily 5 posters! You can get them {here} or by clicking any image below!



Chapter 3 talked about the 10 steps to teaching and learning independence. Independece is a huge component of what makes Daily 5 so successful! Reading these steps was a great refresher and gave me a lot of ideas on how to better instill a sense of urgency in my students!

The 10 steps:
1. Identify what is to be taught
2. Set a purpose & Create a sense of urgency
3. Record desired behavior on I-chart
4. Model most desired behaviors
5. Model least desired behaviors & then most desirable again
6. Place students around the room
7. Practice and build stamina
8. Stay out of the way
9. Use quiet signal to bring students back to gathering space
10. Conduct group check-in

My thoughts:
 * It important was to focus on the positive and not the negative when choosing desired behaviors for the I-charts. For example, stating what you want them to do (ex. read quietly) vs what you don't want them to do (ex. don't talk).

* I have gone back and forth with this concept of modeling the least desired behaviors. I worry that by doing so, you are giving those off tasks students ideas on how to do things incorrectly. Not only that, you are providing them a platform to get positive rewards (laughter) for their off task behavior. I don't know. That's just how I feel. Do you think it is a good idea? 

* It is important to ask: If ______ continues to do these things will he/she become a better reader? after each modeling. I definitely didn't do this with any consistency.

* I need to make a fancy stamina chart! Summer bucket list :)

* I need to remember to do whole group check-ins for students to self-reflect after each Daily 5 round. Do you have any tricks for keeping students from looking around at others responses? I mean, I tell them that it's personal, and everyone is in a different place, blah blah blah, but I swear I'm like the teacher in Charlie Brown when I say these things because they still look around at their friends replies. 

* I am still a little confused by the term 'barometer students'. Haaayyyulp.

One of the things that I love about the Daily 5 is that so little is required to start out! 

Here's what you need:
- Quiet signal --> I need a new one. I used to have this cute bird that chirped, but it died and I haven't been able to find another one. :(
- char rack or interactive whiteboard
- book boxes
- a gathering place (and focused lessons)
- I-charts
- classroom design

I would personally add that you also need word work activities for students to engage in! Here are some fun ideas that I have been considering incorporating next year!

This week I linked up over at Sharing Kindergarten because I still haven't figured out this particular link up. Be sure to head on over there and check out some other responses to these chapters! If you happen to know how this particular one works please let me know! 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Five For Friday {And Some Good News!}

A HUGE sigh of relief as this week comes to an end. I thought it was never going to happen.

Many of you know that this week wasn't the greatest for me. From my job placement still being up in the air, to getting into a car accident on Tuesday and then finding out my fertility treatment failed (again). But it looks like things are finally (!) turning around and just in time for Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching! So here it goes!

So on Tuesday, I got into a car accident. My first one. I had never even been pulled over in my life. Needless to say I was a little rattled! Some guy decided last minute to turn off of a busy street across 2 lanes of oncoming traffic without any warning. He slammed on his brakes, the car in front of me slammed on there's and swerved out of the way. I slammed on mine, but was not as fortunate. My car went right into the back of a big truck. Luckily, no one was hurt, but as you can tell my car is totaled. A cost we were not expecting. 

To add insult to injury, the guy who started this whole mess drove away. The other person in the accident called the police (even though it wasn't necessary since no one was hurt). Since the police had to come out, they are required by law to issue a ticket. Guess who was the lucky one!? 

On a much happier note: PRETTY LITTLE LIARS is back. Can you tell I'm just a little bit excited!? I am obsessed. Mostly because of Ezra *don't tell my husband* I am so glad it is back, I think I was actually having withdrawals! It is definitely my guilty pleasure! 

I am already patiently waiting for next week!

Today was our last day of school! Well, last day for teachers, yesterday was the last day with students. It was bitter sweet! I'm sure going to miss those kiddos! 

Also, I must say it was so much easier to pack up/clean up this year! All we had to do was stack chairs and remove things from the windows/window seal. 

Last year was intense. EVERYTHING had to be removed from walls and bulletins, EVERYTHING had to be packed into boxes and EVERYTHING had to be moved (by ourselves) onto the linoleum. 

Thankfully I didn't have to do that! Although I still could use a massage :)

I finally found out my placement for next year! I got the call as I was loading my car! I am so excited. It is such a huge relief!

I will be 1st grade still too which is even better! 

To celebrate my new job I bought my very first Erin Condren planner! I have been drooling over these bad boys for years now and have never purchased one because my job stuff has been so crazy the last 3 years! Now that things are settled an EC planner is long overdue. 

It should be here by the end of June. I am already counting down the days!

Well, I'm off to a fabulous date night with my husband! We are going to celebrate the good news. After this week, we really need it! If you follow me on Instagram, be prepared to see lots of date night food posts ;)

Tomorrow I will be linking up with everyone over at Freebilicious for the Daily 5 (Second Edition) book study: Chapters 3&4. It will also include a freebie!

Have a fabulous weekend!