Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ways to help Sandy Hook Elementary

I have been on the search for ways to help the students of Sandy Hook Elementary in CT!  So far....I've found
  • Twitter #26ActsofKindness -which is inspiring random acts of kindness in honor of the victims from the school that day.
  • Snowflakes for Sandy Hook Elementary- which is a nationwide charge to bring beautiful and uniquely decorated snowflakes into the new facility that the students from Sandy Hook Elementary will be returning to after Christmas break.  This is sponsored by the Connecticut PTSA and I will include the deadline (Jan. 13, 2013) as well as the mailing address below. 
You can create and send your snowflakes to
Connecticut PTSA
 60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12
Suite 103
Hamden, CT 06514
  • Coins for Sandy Hook- fundraising ideas have spawned such as Spirit Days (something Sandy Hook El. was already doing), Pajama Days, Walk-a-thons, etc. All in an attempt to raise funds for the victims, families and remaining students. Funds and snowflakes can be sent to the same address listed above.
If you feel called to respond--I would encourage you to participate.  It can make a difference!  God Bless~

Friday, November 30, 2012


With the sadening, horrible news of the tragedy in CT......I post today in prayerful mourning of the lives lost. I am certain that many are continuing their facebook,twitter and blog status updates as usual......but I can't bring myself to. To me, it just seems that a moment of silence is in need......monumentally......and my only post would be.... no words......just prayer.

May God comfort and help to heal those affected. May they find that their faith sustains them. May their tragic heartbreak bring a light to this world that now more than ever, we need God.

As the stories unfold, much like other tragedies......we hear heroic deeds and countless acts of goodness among those facing the greatest evil they have ever known.

My daughter has already been writing. Writing a beautiful song inspired by her deep desire to help. I cannot fathom this evil, yet I know God has an ability to turn all evil for something good. My prayer is that the good that can come from this horrific evident to those who need to know it most. And I pray that we always recognize just how precious life is. A gift. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen

Ms Nash shared a family Christmas tradition with our class. She brought in the materials and showed the students how to make Reindeer Chow!!!   This is a tradition that her grandmother always did with her and her brother when they were little.  How sweet!  The kids enjoyed this fun activity!


We are now reading all of my personal Christmas favorites including a literature circlce story with The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  This is ttruly the most wonderful time of the year!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


We are doing another author study with Jeff Kinney and The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.  We are on the first book and absolutely love it!  It is so funny and the kids (and I) can relate so well to the situations the main character finds himself in!  We are MAKING CONNECTIONS to the story in our Reader's Notebook and one of my guided groups is identifying the IDIOMS from the story and using INFERENCES to figure out the meaning of them.  This is a high level skill and I am impressed with how well they are doing with it! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

What an awesome class!!  We filled our sticker chart today and celebrated with a Because of Winn Dixie party!!!  Full-on with Gloria Dump punch, peanut butter sandwiches, chips, Litmus lozenges and of course......pickles!!!

What a fun way to finish a book!!!!  :))

Saturday, September 29, 2012


We are beginning a Writing/Math integrated unit with our Monster Project! This spooky, fun, creative writing project will incorporate Math and Writing as the students create original monsters using a few geometric shapes and then write HOW TO pieces for another classmate to use to try to draw the original monster.

We will also be doing an author study with Chris VanAllsburg books, which incorporate a lot of mystery and are wonderful for helping students to MAKE INFERENCES!!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

September: Because of Winn Dixie

We begin an author study of Kate DiCamillo books with Because of Winn Dixie.

We have also moved into learning our next big literacy strategy- QUESTIONING

Types of Questions

Students are learning about thick vs. thin quesions and connecting it to what we've learned in test -taking skills. We are now identifying test questions as we read stories and learn test-taking strategies. We use a stoplight to model and help us identify the 3 main types of questions we may encounter on a reading passage test.

(Green questions are -go get 'em. They are directly in the text

Yellow questions-may require the students to think and infer using clues from the text

Red questions are skills or concepts that 3rd graders are expected to know from the common core standards)

Writer's Workshop: The Best Part of Me

We are working on a writing piece inspired by several stories from our Writer's Workshop. We will integrate technology to revise, edit and publish this writing piece. Watch for them to be on display in our hall in soon. The writing will be a project from several books (Because of Winn Dixie, The Best Part of Me, The 10th Good Thing About Barney and The Important Book :) We are learning to write with descriptive details and write from a brainstormed list.

Author Study: Kevin Henkes

Our first author study was the adorable Kevin Henkes books (with our favorite new character being the ever- precious- Lily!!) We noticed the artistic style that Kevin uses and that often, his characters look very similar, even when they are in different books! We also learned how author's write from Kevin and that he gets his ideas for stories from his everyday life.

September : Clementine

We are reading Clementine and all of her silliness is making us giggle! We continue to practice reading strategies and skills with the CAFE and Daily 5 choices

Freckle Juice

Now we are beginning our first author study (Judy Blume) with the humorous Freckle Juice. (What can I say--we're juicy!!!) This gives us a nice, light chapter book to dive into as we learn reading strategies to help us become better readers.

Daily 5 and CAFE skills

We are using a literacy framework called The Daily 5 and CAFE (Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expand Vocabulary) model.  Our first lesson was on choosing JUST RIGHT books.  I will be sending home information explaining this structure but the students practiced one of the 5 (Read to someone) this week and they are already building STAMINA!!

Click the link here for a great overview of information on The Daily 5 and CAFE.


August 2012 First Day Jitters

We started the year off right with the book First Day Jitters. The students really enjoyed our Jitter Juice with Nervous Nibblets snack and a cute book with a surprise ending!. I think we safetly chased the jitters away~


This page tells you all the latest going on literarily in our classroom :) Such as what we are currently reading and what we may be doing in our guided reading groups as well as our Reader's Notebooks.