Monday, February 17, 2014

Author Studies

Does anyone do author studies to teach reading strategies and author's craft in writing?  This wasn't something I was exposed to in college, so it is new ground for me.  I have done an Eve Bunting author study in the past and I am currently doing an Angela Johnson author study.  Angela Johnson is an Ohio author.  Her books relate to many of my students.  She has won three Coretta Scott King awards and one book was awarded an ALA notable award.  With two split-up weeks, I thought this was the best time to conduct our Angela Johnson author study.  We started with The Leaving Morning and Tell Me a Story, Mama.  Both books are very relatable to my students.  We discussed making connections and point of view.  This week, we will be reading When I Am Old With You and studying sentence fluency.  Angela Johnson is a great author to study in fourth grade because she has authored picture books for young children, middle grade and young adult novels, and poetry.  This offers a wide variety of books for the wide variety of reading levels in my classroom.  We will also be doing a mini-study of the historical fiction genre with her books Wind Flyers about the Tuskegee Airmen and A Sweet Smell of Roses about the March on Washington.  Both books offer opportunities for nonfiction companions.

If you would like to learn more about Angela Johnson and her books, you can visit her website at  There is also an excellent video on Ohio Channel where Angela Johnson discusses her books and writing process.

If you would like to purchase my Angela Johnson author study, you can visit my Teachers Notebook shop.  I will have it discounted this week only!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

I'm a Bad, Bad Blogger!

I have no idea how you other moms and teachers do it!  I am nearly drowning this year and blogging has been one of the last things on my mind.  My sister asked me to write a blog post for her travel blog, Glam Girls Travel and it got me in the mood to write again!  I'll let you guys know when it gets posted--it's all about traveling with young children.

I think I posted a while back that I was going to try out self-contained this year.'s going!  I do miss teaching reading all day long!  I also miss only having to prep for reading & language arts.  I do like having the same kids throughout the day, though. It can be challenging at times, but I do feel like I have a better grasp on behaviors and their progress in school in all subjects.  My teammate and I have discussed it and I think we have decided to go back to switching next of the main reasons being....

I'm having a baby!  

We're expecting a little girl in May!  So, does that get me off the hook for not blogging since August?  All you moms out there know what that first trimester exhaustion is like.  Well, mine still hasn't gone away and I'm 26 weeks.  Today is actually the first day that I feel like my energy is coming back.  Thank goodness!  I'm even considering going into school tomorrow to get some stuff done that has been neglected for far too long. 

I'm also getting ready to start Math Workstations this week.  I was busy creating some games during family movie night (luckily my hubs and kid gets it!)  I went to Dollar Tree earlier and got some dice, playing cards, flash cards, and some containers to house everything.  Once I work out the kinks and see how things run, I will definitely be posting more.  I know it's going to take some trial and error, given this is my first go-round!  

Well, I hope everyone is having a great weekend and I hope my fellow midwesterners are staying warm!  It was 45 degrees here today, which is a heat wave compared to the -35 wind chills we were having three days ago!  I am going to make a goal to post at least once a week from now on, so stick with me!