Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Text Features, Nonfiction, and Wondering

Jumping back into I'm a little rusty, so please bear with any technical issues... if you see any... or just be a dear and don't tell me... :)

My class is awesome this year.  It is the most diverse class I've ever taught... ranging from ESL (from China.. whoa!) and some attention issues, but they are sweethearts to the core.  This makes for a fun but challenging day.

In reading, which takes up the biggest part of our day (two hours!) we are working on Questioning/Wondering in Nonfiction texts.  If you've followed before, my district recently adopted a comprehension program called Making Meaning.  Like any program, it has its good and bad, but I do really like and enjoy using it.

Downside to this, we have been wondering forever.  Seriously, like

Almost feels like we are wandering through wondering... First, we began in fiction.  Then we compared fiction to nonfiction.  Now we are exclusively nonfiction.   I've found lots of good nonfiction resources on blogs, TPT, and on Pinterest to tie into my small groups and remainder of my whole group time.  Making Meaning only takes 2-3 days and it's also not every week, so we have lots of holes to fill.  

Well, with all the snow days we've had, I've jumped the gun on Making Meaning and gone ahead and started doing text features with my class.  What's it gonna hurt?? They've enjoyed doing scavenger hunts and connecting wondering to helping to locate information in those captions, headings, etc.  

Here's what we did today in small group.

We started by previewing our leveled books, looking for text features.  We wrote down the page numbers of any we found.  I printed their checklist on post-it notes (which blew their minds.... they thought that was so awesome...) and stuck them in their reading response notebooks.  

We discussed what they found and worked on clearing up any questions or confusion about what they found or didn't find.  Then, as they read, I had them write down at least two things they wondered about from the text.  We are working on trying to "wonder" about things as we read, not so much "general" questions like, Are robots silly?  or  Do caterpillars have arms?  It's hard for second graders to think because their schema isn't as developed as older students (not to mention crossing language barriers...) but we are making steady progress.

We ended by sharing what we wondered about and if our questions could be answered in the text.  Some of the questions and I wonder statements were really insightful.  Here's what some wrote: 

I found the idea for the post-it notes on TPT from Primarily Primary so huge shout out there!  I'm a font junkie so I changed the header font to one of Jen Jones' Hello Fonts! because I heart, heart, heart them.  

How do you teach text features and questioning?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hopefully, I still have someone who will read this!

Hello long lost blogging friends and followers...

I am ashamed to say that it's been almost one (year!!!!) since I've last posted on my poor blog.

Well, I'm dusting it off and working on getting things back in order.  

To sum up the last few months, I had baby girl number two in July.  Emilie is so much fun... her big sister loves her and poor hubs is outnumbered.  Even the dog is a girl :)

Emilie is crawling, sitting up, and cutting two teeth right now, and Natalie is growing faster and smarter every day.  She's in preschool and LOVING it would be the understatement of the year.  Having a child in school puts a whole new perspective on teaching.  

I've been working on some new units, slowly, surely, and really missed being in blogland.  My two step word problems have been such a success that I'm working on creating new ones for 3 digit numbers and even some one step word problems.

Here's one that I just finished the other week and have already had some bites!  

Click on the picture to check it out!
It's on sale for $2.00 through Thursday!!

Are you getting any snow?  We are supposed to get over a foot... not since Natalie was born 4 years ago have we had a snowstorm this big.  Hmmm.... a trend?  New babies, lots of snow?  

Looking forward to getting this blog back up and running :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Teacher Community Reaching Out

My heart has been extremely heavy for those in and affected by the Moore, Oklahoma tornado.  The news stories have been unreal.  My prayers continue to go out for all...

Teachers Notebook is putting together a bundle of products... didn't really take time to read all the details, I just wanted to donate something... if you have a TN shop, please consider donating one or more of your shop's products.  Click on the link below to find out more.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Long Time No See...

Hello long lost bloggy land friends!

It's been several months since I've last posted, (sorry) but I have a good excuse.  

I really, really do!

Meet my second daughter!  She's due to arrive in late July and I'm beyond excited (and exhausted!) to meet her.  I thought the second time around would be a little easier, riiiiight.   With a three year old in dance, my job, husband, and very large belly, it's not as much fun as I thought.  Especially when I get those lovely medical statements in the mail - quite often.  Anyone else have a high deductible insurance plan?  Then you know exactly what I'm talking about!

Anyways, that's where I've been lately.  I did want to share what I'm doing with my kiddos at school for Mother's Day.  It goes right along with our geometry unit (in case the curriculum police are out and about).... and it comes right from TPT!

Can't wait to see the final product!  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Somewhere someone is up to no good...

I am completely puzzled.

I've had my Teachers notebook and TPT stores for about a year and a half now... things have been running smoothly until I get a strange message from someone last night.

The message was at my TN store and it said that another seller on TPT had one of my calendar units listed for an amount and even had my store listed in the file.  

I'm suspicious for two reasons...

One, I've not sold that file on either shop.  Yes, I even went back and looked at my sales stats.  Two, when I asked for a link to that person's shop, I was given just a name, city, and told to enter it in to TPT.  Surprise surprise, it's not there.

Has anyone else gotten a message similar to this?  I'm thinking of just ignoring it because I don't think it's really out there.  Just as a precaution, I changed all my passwords (haha).  I don't know what to make of it.

Any one have any ideas?

Baby news:  I'm now 15 weeks along and finally feeling like a human being again instead of an incubator.  We won't find out the gender until the beginning of April, so I'm patiently waiting and getting bigger.  And bigger :)  I'm just happy I can still drink my Diet DP!

And.... it's snowing :) 

Happy Saturday y'all!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Lots and lots going on!

This has by far been one of the craziest few months in my life.  Lots, lots, and lots going on!  First of all, the most exciting news... I found out after Thanksgiving that we are adding on to our family :)  Baby Tater Tot #2 is due to arrive at the end of July.  Once I got past feeling sick all of December and into January, I'm a lot more excited!  Top it off with catching the flu right before Christmas break (and couldn't take any Tamiflu because of the pregnancy....) it took awhile to get over that.  My daughter caught it too, so thankful for the hubs for taking care of us!  She, of course, got to take Tamiflu and was over it in 2 days, just in time for Christmas.  Rather it have been her any day! :)

She is adamant that she wants a baby sister.  Every day it's "No brother mom.  Just a sister."  She's very matter of fact for a 3 year old.  Of course, I think it's a boy, but we won't find out anything until late March or early April.  Very excited!!

I feel like it took me 3 times longer to get things back to normal after Christmas because of all the sickness (both flu and preggo) and catching up at work.  Today, I'm enjoying a day at home... not because of the snow we got last night, but my district already had today off.  Of course it would snow when I'm already off :)

But I wanted to take a few minutes to catch up on here because it has been a long while since I've posted anything, and while this isn't school related, I hope my wonderful followers will pardon my absence for the past few weeks :)

Hope everyone has a terrific Friday, and those east coasters who got snow, enjoy it!  It's absolutely gorgeous!!