Monthly Archives: January 2013

This Moment

From Soulemama

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.



Check It Out: What Teachers Make

I thought in the middle of this frigid January drudgery we could all use some encouraging words (unless you are in Australia… In which case send warm/ sunny thought our way). So that is exactly what I will share with you this Wednesday.

See you all Saturday!


Call for Submissions

Hi all,

I started this blog in hopes of sharing what is going on in teachers’ classrooms because I really believe that you are all doing wonderful and amazing things. What I am finding is that teachers are even more humble than I originally thought. I have momentarily run dry on people willing to write about themselves. So this is an open call for submissions.

I know it can be a bit daunting to pick something to write about so I have come up with a list of topics that I would love to include on this little blog…

-Daily routines and procedures
-Small group work/centers
-Guided reading
-Lesson planning (both weekly and long term)
-Pencils and classroom materials organization (is this only a daily annoyance for me?)
-Internet resources
-Technology (for either teachers of students)
-Math groups
-Any curriculum that is working well for you
-Tips for teaching ELL’s
-Favorite authors
-Classroom library

And a million other things. Genuinely I am still pretty new at this whole teaching thing and I want to hear about anything that is working.

So if you are interested or know someone who you think should be interested then please click right over to my submissions page. Or leave a comment with your contact information and I will get in touch.

Don’t be shy! It’s really simple and quick.



Hello Again and Daily 5

Hello again!

I have broken the cardinal rule of blogging and disappeared for a while but I am back and regular posting will resume today. I’ve been thinking a lot about the fact that teachers (at least elementary school teachers) talk a whole bunch about how important routines are for our students and how much they thrive on predictability. Mainly I have been thinking about how much I rely on routines and procedures myself. That is exactly what happened with this little blog of mine. I got pulled into the vortex of vacation and am just now finding my way back into the normal rhythm of my weeks.

I am also taking on some new and exciting changes. In particular, I am taking a new class which I am very excited about. This is a class that is being offered at my own alma mater entitled Young Adult Literature. I hope to enjoy reading and talking about some new and interesting books in this class (and I’m sure any of you who see me in real life will hear about them too!).

So with all this thinking about routines and procedures and reading, I decided I would share a few videos about the Daily 5- which is my favorite routine going on in my classroom this year. Daily 5 is a program focused on the idea that every day students should be engaged in genuine reading and writing experiences every day. And that through these activities they gain valuable time to practice what we are teaching them. If you haven’t heard of Daily 5 before I recommend you check out Gail Boushey and Joan Moser’s books. You can find them and many(!!) other resources on their website here.

In my room it is actually the Daily 4. We do Read to Self, Read to Someone, Work on Writing and Word Work. And man, oh, man do my kids LOVE it. They always get up in arms on the rare days when we have to skip it. I don’t follow the book exactly but I have found my own spin on it and I am just in love with the results too. My kids have become prolific writers and really do consider it “sacred reading and writing time” (which is what I always refer to it as). We have quite a book culture going in my room. Just about daily, I find myself saying “I know it is hard but we have to put down the books and get ready for gym/art/music/lunch now”. I seriously could not be more happy about anything right now. I got good responses from parents at conference time too. Many told me how their children were getting more excited about reading at home. As I like to tell the kids, that just makes my teacher heart swell with pride!

So if you are at all interested I can not recommend this program enough! Without further delay here are some videos to get you as excited as I am:

(As always, these are not my videos and I take no credit for them)