Thursday, June 30, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Posted by Rachel at 8:16 PM
Sunday, June 26, 2011
1) What is your favourite book (or series) from childhood?
Right now, I am currently reading The Spellman Files series. I've read the first two books and the third is on hold at the library for me as we speak! These are hilarious mystery books and perfect summer reads!
Loving mommy, wife, teacher, friend.
Tea-Iced, unsweetened. I have a large, pink "Bubba Keg" mug that I carry to school every day with my iced tea-it keeps it cold all day long! It's hilarious at the beginning of the year when the kids think I'm drinking coffee from it-I don't think I could see straight if it was full of coffee!
The question arises then, how do we get our students to that point? I'm hoping The Book Whisperer has some answers!
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Please excuse my lack of posting, as my brain is just not in school-mode right now. But don't count me out yet! I've got books on reserve at the library and I will be creating some units using the 6 Traits. I'm also super excited to read The Book Whisperer, as part of the TBA Book Club! Thanks for being patient with this super busy blogger!!
Posted by Rachel at 10:39 AM
Posted by Rachel at 4:42 AM
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
While at the Liberty Bell, I couldn't help but notice a family with children about the age of my students that were carrying around a packet and taking notes. I was intrigued. The National Parks Service has a Junior Ranger program on their website. I had to check it out! Here is a list of National Parks that offer the Junior Ranger Program: http://www.nps.gov/learn/juniorranger.cfm.
The Independence National Historical Park's Junior Ranger packet has activities for ages 5-7 and 8 and above. They even have activities marked as "easy" and "hard." (Nice job at differentiating, NPS!). Some of the activities include drawing the Liberty Bell, answering questions about the tour of Independence Hall, labeling important documents such as the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, exploring timelines, etc. I was thoroughly impressed! If the Junior Ranger completes a certain number of activities, they take their packet to the ranger station for a prize.
My husband and I want to pass along our love for history to our son. This is the reason we take him to historical sites at such a young age. These Junior Ranger packets are an awesome way to focus learning and keep your kids from being bored while exploring our National Parks. They would also be great to take on field trips as well! Happy Exploring!
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Since writing this post, I've played around a little with the design of my blog, and decided to add my summer reading list as a separate page on my blog.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
My principal e-mailed the results this afternoon, and though we didn't meet as many indicators as we had hoped, I am still pleased with the results. My building struggles with meeting the OAA indicators. We have increased our performance greatly over the past few years. It's no secret that my students face a lot of challenges in their lives, and school is not always high on their priority list. We have a supportive building principal and a highly motivated staff and we are all working together to get our students where they should be.
Though overall as a grade level we did not meet the indicator, I had so many students increase in their scores that I can't be upset. I had so many students who worked so hard throughout the year that seeing their passing score literally just made me want to cry! It took all I had to not run up the street to the grocery store where one of my students' grandmother works to tell her the good news! Our OAA incentive this year is a summer pool party for all the students who either passed the OAA or increased their score by 15 points from last year. I am so excited to see all my students and tell them great job!
In other good news, our third grade met both indicators in Reading & Math! I'm so thrilled for those teachers, and it gives me a lot of hope for next year!
While on vacation, my blog reached 50 followers! Everyone knows what that means....
Since my absolute favorite store is Target (whose isn't?, I'd like to know!), I will be giving away a Target gift card!
Here's how you enter: (3 chances!)
1.) Follow my blog and leave a comment.
2.) Post about my giveaway on your blog & leave a comment.
3.) Add my blog to your blogroll. Leave a comment telling me you did so.
Posted by Rachel at 5:52 AM
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Trying out mobile blogging today so forgive me if this doesn't work! This blog post is coming to you from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We drove 9 hours today to spend a long weekend in the City of Brotherly Love. We are taking the crazy toddler to Sesame Place for two days. We are also going to check out the Please Touch Museum and hopefully some historical sites for this history buff!
I am so excited that I hit 50 followers today! Be on the lookout for a giveaway very soon- when I return from our mini-vacay!!!
Posted by Rachel at 7:09 PM
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
That being said, I am going to join the door decoration linky party at
The reason for this being, I am so proud of the door decoration we did for Right to Read week last year. We had local illustrators, Jeannette and Christopher Canyon visit our school. Jeannette Canyon has illustrated beautiful books such as Over in the Jungle
and Over in the Ocean In a Coral Reef. Her husband, Christopher Canyon, has adapted illustrated books to many John Denver song lyrics, such as Take Me Home Country Roads and Sunshine on my Shoulders.
It was actually a door decorating contest. The winning classroom received a $25 gift certificate to Half Price Books. That was enough for me to get involved! We had to decorate a door inspired by any one of the books of our illustrators. My class chose Over in the Jungle. I covered the door, did the letters and made the tree, but my students did everything else. I think that is why I loved it so much. They really took the time to study the illustrations and the rainforest animals in the book and tried to replicate them. I especially loved the sloths hanging on the vine reading a book. We didn't win the contest, but I personally felt we had one of the best doors!
Sunday, June 5, 2011
While packing up my room last week, I took the time to take a good, hard look at the books I'm keeping in my classroom. I have over 500 books, and I would say at least 50% were purchased by me. I have an affinity for books. Every year I always say I'm going to scale back on what I buy for my classroom. This never includes books. I was just at Ollie's on Friday and purchased about 15 books again. I don't know if Ollie's is regional, but if you have one in your area, check it out! Hardcover books for $3.99!
Anyways, this week I had my class help me sort my books by genre. Of course, the majority of my books are realistic fiction and fantasy. I also sorted picture books, fiction animal books, fiction sports, science fiction, historical fiction (which, as a Social Studies teacher I had a ton of), biographies, non-fiction Earth & Science, non-fiction history, and non-fiction general. I was pleasantly surprised at the broad selection my students have to choose from. I didn't feel as though my classroom library was utilized this year as much as it should be, and I blame my AR leveled-sorting. Next year, my classroom library will be sorted by genre. I teach genre, why not sort the books that way?
Organizational tip: While packing up my books, I placed them in gallon sized ziplock bags and marked the genre on the bag. When returning in the fall, I just have to put the pre-sorted books in their bins. I also kept a list of the # of books I have in each genre, so if I'm out at half-priced books, Ollie's, or yard sales, I know what I should be on the lookout for. I know I'm definitely going to add some poetry books and folktales to my collection.
What tips do you have for organizing your classroom library? Do you organize by genre or level, or both? Do you put color-coded stickers on your books to make sure they get returned to the appropriate bins? How do you ensure your books get returned? I would love to hear your input!
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Posted by Rachel at 3:53 PM