Friday, December 14, 2012

Bingo For Books

Working at an environmentally focused school we have started a tradition that just keeps getting bigger and bigger! It is called Books for Bingo. Students donate gently used books in the weeks leading up the night time event. On the evening of the event students bring their family to play bingo and when they get a BINGO they get to select a book of their choosing. We had the largest turnout ever this year!! It was a packed house! Our Principal and Assistant Principal are great sports by calling the BINGO numbers all night! Many other things were for sale for fundraisers on this night as well. Produce from our Hydroponic Garden, pizza to support our Safety Patrols, and Rita's Italian Ice, all were surely a hit! We also had several classes perform between games. Parents always LOVE to hear their kids sing or recite poems! We have a great turnout of teaching staff to assist with the flow of the night and our PTA is an awesome support donating gift cards to a local book store for winners of select games! At he end of the night kids walked away handfuls of books to read. Watching the excitement on the student's and their sibling's faces makes the enthusiasm increase in the cafeteria!! This is an event that costs no money, gets families involed in reading and supports the idea of reusing books!!! Give it a try and it is surely to be a hit at your school too!!! Pictured is me and my Reading Coach!!! She is the master mind behind this event!!!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Liebster Blog Award: An Amazing Way to End the Week!

I got  a great surprise this week when I checked in with my blog and found that I had been nominated  for the Liebster Award! I am still getting used to keeping up with the blog and posting meaning information. I also got a new follower which is so honoring!
I was nominated by Sarah at Clearly Kindergarten, I absolutely love her blog! 

The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers. It was created to show new bloggers that they are appreciated and to help spread the word about new blogs. Thanks for the opportunity Sarah  I will answer the questions below! And then below that are the questions for the people I nominated to answer.

The rules:

  • You must post 11 random things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions the nominator set for you.
  • Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
  • Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
  • No tag back (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so I can learn more about you)!  

11 Random Things about myself:

1. I taught Special Education for  15 years and 5 as a Reading Specialist
2. I have a Bluetick Hound, Greyhound, part Beagle part German Shepherd
3. I have had a Dachshund and a Dalmatian
4. I still love Lucky Charms!
5. I won Teacher of the Year in my County in 2007(It was like an Academy Award Moment, Big revel, speech and all event), I have won an a Professional Educator Alumni Award from my University, I have been nominated for several other awards. P.S. I HATE the limelight! I LOVE being in my room with my students!
6. I love Country Music!
7. I have 2 teenagers, over 50 kids at school and tutor 9 children a week. I am rarely not surrounded by kids!
8. I got my Master's Degree in  Reading 2009
9. I am Nationally Board Certified in Exceptional Student Education
10. One thing on my bucket list is to write a children's book AND get it published!
11. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 19 1/2 years and we dated for 7 and 1/2 BEFORE we got married. That is a total of 27 years!!! I am only 44!

Questions asked by Sarah:

1. What is your favorite theme or subject to teach?
Reading Comprehension Strategies

2. How long have you been teaching?
20 Years

3. What is your favorite read aloud book?
Oh so many... Every year I read "Mr. Peabody's Apples" It creates so much conversation! Also LOVE the chapter book, "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" by Kate DeCamillo

4. How long have you been blogging?
2 months

5. Do you have any hobbies?
Reading, tutoring (I actually LOVE it), taking care of my pets... 3 dogs and 4 cats No time for anything else!!

6. What is your favorite place to visit?
Walt Disney World! It holds so many memories of special times spent with my family.

7. What is your favorite thing about teaching?
Seeing my students go from reluctant readers to voracious readers!

8. Would you still teach if you won the lottery?
I would as school is my HAPPY Place!

9. What is your favorite food?
Popcorn! With LOTS of butter and salt!

10. Do you like to read for fun? What is your favorite book?
I read all the time! I love books for middle schoolers and adult Realistic Fiction!

11. How many blogs do you currently follow?
Only 3 but I am sure I will find many more!!! OK after nominating those below I added 11 more!
11 Questions for people I am nominating:
1. What has been your best teaching experience?
2. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
3. What is your favorite day of the week?
4. What is your favorite grade to teach?
5. What is the word you frequently misspell?
6. What is the funniest movie you have ever seen?
7. Do you have any pets? What types?
8. What is your favorite childhood memory?
9. If you were on an island and could only have 1 food and drink what would they be?
10. Did you every play a team or individual sport? What?
11. Do you watch any reality shows? Which is your favorite?
Blogs I am nominating:
Than You again to Sarah for finding me and nominating me! If I nominated you I LOVED your Sites annd thought they would add something to my own toolbox of skills. Leave me a post after you complete the steps above!
Warm Wishes and Happy Blogging!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The meaning of "sharing" has been the focus for the past month. I have opened my classroom to two different people. The first was a student teacher who need observation hours with various teachers with students with special needs. I love the enthusiasm of prospective teachers and watching the momentum build. This gentleman is already a substitute and has worked in both elementary, middle and highschool. The kids have not scared him off yet and know he is going to make an outstanding teacher!

The second person was a new teacher to my school who is going to be teaching primary reading resource. She spent over a week observing and learning about the program. I once again witnessed the excitement of the teaching profession blossom in someone. This renews my outlook on the teaching profession and that many dedicated people are waiting to work with today's kids.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

It is the LITLLE things

Hooking kids into Reading...  A secret plan...
As a reading specialist working with only kids who have challenges when it comes to reading, I have to find the smallest things to REEL them in. Having a revolving door of groups one quick way I reel them in is by dismissing my students at the door and allowing the groups passing in the hall to PEEK into my room. "I wanna come into your room!", "Oooohhh that room is cute!",  and "Wow, Look at all those books!!" Are just a few comments I have heard over the past weeks. I usually tell the students that maybe when they get older they can come to my room. By the time they get to grades 3, 4, or 5 they are dying to get in "THAT" room! Well... my room! Then, I can really hit the ground running! Have no fear, pictures will be coming! And I hope you to will want to come on in!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Today we became "Word Detectives". The lesson was on using "Cross Checking" to monitor meaning as we read. Stopping when you come to an unknown word, either you can not read or you do not know what it means, and asking yourself three questions. "Does it look right?  "Does it sound right?" "Does it make sense?" If you can not say yes to all the questions then as a reader you need to go back and fix that unknown word with all the strategies in your bag of tricks.

Through the modeled lesson the kids were great at tell what does not "Look Right, Sound Right or Make Sense" Then they were set to practice being word detectives in their own leveled text. Many students asked, what if I know EVERY word? Well, of course the answer was then the text is TOO EASY (which we have worked on in previous lessons)! When set on their way they became serious investigators! We generated a board full of words. Each new group saw the challenging words that other students found, adding more to the frenzy!

The best word found was PANDEMONIUM! Which is what this lesson created! Now my readers are set up for shear pandemonium for making sure the words they read are truly the words the author intended. 

Check out my Click-Clunk cards that go with this lesson as students begin to learn how to be WORD DETECTIVES!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Welcome to all things reading with children!     Take a peek into the job as a Reading Specialist the tools needed to have success and the stories in between. Enjoy!!