Saturday, July 30, 2011


 The mailman just delivered this handbook for middle school teachers. 

From IRA website...
Middle school is a crucial time to develop the sophisticated reading skills students need to analyze literature and challenging informational texts. This handbook offers 77 simple yet effective strategies to help students develop, refine, and strengthen key comprehension skills they can apply across subject areas.

Another book I need to review before school starts is...


Friday, July 29, 2011

Google Docs Question

I just saved a word document in google docs and it didn't save the I saved it as a pdf file and all is fine...Is there anyone else who has experienced this problem?  I'm not sure why I happened to check!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Newest Addiction

As if blogging weren't addicting enough...throw in Pinterest .  But I've come to justify it by pinning ideas, blogs, websites that I can always find whether at home, school, or on the road. 

Happy pinning!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Writing Sites

HELP!  I have a writing site  on my class web pages, but there is not much there.  I'm looking for web sites that involve writing that my 4th grade students might find helpful...

Just leave a comment and the site address...thanks in advance.

The graphic below is what I chose for Vista Prints...I sure hope I like them.  Those of you who have used them-does it take awhile for the order to arrive?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Techy Blog

Free Technology for Teachers   may seem a little overwhelming, but sometimes we need something to push us in the technology direction.  Author of the blog, Richard Byrne, was a speaking at NETA (Nebraska's technology conference) and for such a young man (don't forget I've been teaching for 25+ years) he gave out a lot of technology information.  He's a google certified teacher-darn I tried but didn't get accepted- so he teaches using technology every day.  Check it won't be disappointed, if you're the least bit into technology as a teaching tool.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Web Site Subscription

1.  Spelling City  I have two spelling groups so each group has their words to practice.  I put vocabulary words on my page also and all games, tests, etc are recorded for me to see.
2.  Reading A-Z  I like this site for guided reading books AND it has a lot of choices for me when I'm teaching 5th grade social studies.  I like the quick check quizzes.
3.  Scott Foresman -reading series- this was a one time purchase and I like it because I have access to all worksheets online, and tests are either from the basal or I can decide on which strategy and make a test.  Results from the tests lets me know areas of concern.
4.  Quia-  I can make quizzes of my choice and with a subscription I can keep track of students.  Their matching/word search/cloze games are great on the smartboard.  This site takes the most time, but I can save quizzes, games, etc. and not let them be visible until needed.  I used this for vocabulary until I started using Spelling City.

I'd love to have BrainPop but my school would never spring for the cost :(
I also liked IXL Math, but I'm not teaching math this upcoming school year.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Table organization

I really like this pencil caddy from Really Good Stuff.  I have 4-5 students at a table, so each student gets their own container & the last container is for community sharing of scissors, rulers, etc.

Do you have an organizational tool you REALLY love?

Each week we read a certain genre.  I purchased this rack to display other books in the weekly genre study.  Is there someone out there that does something similar?  Is there something special you do?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Leadership Training in Nebraska (NSRA)

Just back from NSRA (Nebraska State Reading Association) leadership training. 

The IRA rep presented the following book...Three Hens and a Peacock
There is nothing new about the moral of this story—it is better to do your best at what you are best at than make a bad job of trying to be someone else.

It was the perfect book for reading councils to enjoy...since members all have their own special jobs when it comes to making councils successful.

I'm planning on using it in my room.

The illustrator, Henry Cole, will be a featured speaker at our annual state conference in February...When it gets closer to the date I'll let you know others(Aimee Buckner, Julia Cook) about a road trip to Nebraska in the winter-HA HA!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Tub

Stopped by my room this afternoon--HOT! HOT!--second floor, on the south side and the wall is mostly glass brick!  But I did stay long enough to change my book tubs.  Book tubs are magazine metal file holders from Target ($6).  I order my students with numbers and thus the numbers on the tubs (I can reuse the numbers next year).  The tag is a badge holder from WalMart, the inside is a mini picture I made from Print Shop...and the part I like best is that I've used colored brads (I've used them in card making) to attach them to the file folder.  In the past I used colored mini clips...but I love the brads so much more...isn't it amazing what little things make us happy--sun shining, a smiling face, a thank you...

Summer Time Jobs

Today I am scheduled for an eye appointment.  I've decided not to take the eye insurance this next year, so I want a new pair of glasses.  I found that the insurance was great if you wore glasses...but most of the time I wear contacts.  My last summer job is getting my teeth cleaned...oh how I hate to go to the dentist.

I'm going to school before my appointment...I have my summer purchases piling up and they need a home. 

Post again on Thursday when I'm back from our state's reading councils summer meetings.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

QR Codes

qrcodeOk  is anyone using QR codes?  I need to get an electronic device that reads them first...just testing...guess my day must be pretty slow if I'm worried about this!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I have an artisan 810 from Epson for the following reasons:
  • wireless- I print from my mac book, ipad, & imac
  • all in one ( use the scanner more than I thought I would)
  • ink cartridges are individual, but rather pricey--but then what ink isn't?
  • I've had Epson in the past and when they've printed a certain amount of copies they are programed to quit...but just find a repair place to reset the number ;-)
Happy Printing

Door Sign

It's HOT here...and what better way to stay cool than to stay inside on the computer!!  I've made a sign for my door.  The letters are pre-painted from Michael's (I think-I bought them last year).  I attached them with sticky, dimensional dots I use for card making.  Then I set it off with bulletin board border. 

My other goal for today (it's already 3:15 pm) is to print off and stuff, back-to-school letters.  We begin with students (all day) on the 17th of Aug.  My letter is a gentle nudge to read, a list of school supplies, and that thoughtful reminder that summer vacation is coming to an end.

Happy Weekend...blogging again on Monday. 


Friday, July 15, 2011

Books for the ipad

At this point in time I don't have ipads to be used in school, but I have grandkids that love to use mine.  Most of the stories on it are from the app store...until now.  Nook now has a kids' nook app for the ipad.  Now I can get real books-and in color.  There are a few that are 'read to me',  and these I'll get for my preschooler grandson. 

Finally...books I know and can enjoy!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Writing Journal-Homework

My district uses SF Reading Street '08 for reading, spelling, & grammar.  The suggestion for writing is a homework assignment since I prefer to teach writing on a workshop format.  When we're finally writing on our own...students may use the writing suggestions from the reading series.

Students use a composition notebook for their writing homework...thus the journal label that goes on the inside their notebook.  If you'd like a sample (4 per page)...please email ( I'll send it as a pdf file.

Next is a partial example of the writing from Reading Street that the students put in their notebooks to show what the writing should resemble.


Fabulous 4th Grade

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Grade Level Linky Party

join Kim at Teacher's Lane to find your grade level.  I enjoy reading the lower elementary blogs...but 4th grade it just different...we're beginning to focus on getting ready for junior and senior high!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Edmodo or Wiki??

Is there anyone social networking with Edmodo?   Did anyone get an invitation to Google Circles?  Does anyone use wiki pages?

edmodo-I like the idea of blogging and I'm not sure I want to belong to another social network...either this one or google circle.  I have a twitter account, but fb is just enough networking for me.

Wiki- in the past when we tried to use wiki pages in the computer lab, it only let so many on to edit the page...With, each student has their own username/password and they can all be on.

There is just so much 'stuff' out there in cyberspace...what is everyone using?

Monday, July 11, 2011


2011-2012 Schedule, I hope!!  We're always thrown surprises the first week into school, so here's hoping!

Word Work-Wooden Tiles

Here's wooden tiles-Scrabble version...for use during word work...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Daily 5 (in reality- Daily 3)

Here's my website with my cafe strategies... and here are picture of my board partially filled (I used a cricut to cut out the letters).  I mostly use Daily 5 (3) as a management tool, where we read to self every day, write every day, and work on words during spelling.  

I like the cafe menu to help align expectations of student strategies and give students a visual.  I use the strategies in our basal and confer with students when we READ to SELF every day from their selected books.  We're always using the word STAMINA & VORACIOUS when we talk about being good readers.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


I worked at school yesterday and took pictures...made me wonder if I'd be ready in less than a month!!  I can't seem to get it just right and I keep changing, rearranging...get the picture?  I hope you don't enjoy the video...come back when there has been an EXTREME MAKEOVER!!


Reading/interest Survey grades 3-5

Here's the interest/reading survey that I've used in the past.  It's geared more for 3-5 grades.  I hope someone will find this helpful.

Have a good weekend.
I hope this works at google docs...if not please email me & I'll email it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Postcard Exchange

Join the postcard exchange here.  Get all the details, dates, etc.  I've done a similar exchange in the past & it's always fun getting mail!!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

School Supplies-arriving

My retail store of choice would be Target...but that's 2.5 hours from here...SOOO- I was told that Walmart is starting to put our their school supplies...I ❤ this probably more than the students when it comes to shopping.

Lucky me...this year I have 2 grandkids starting kindergarten, so I'll get to take them school shopping.

Are there any other good deals coming down as far as other retail stores I should know about...a shopping trip in my future?


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

We're All in This...

Not so long ago I saw a youtube video produced by a class that showed their class's expectations, etc.  The music in the background was We're All in This Together.  Does someone else remember seeing this? 

It was suggested making a school expectation ppt as part of a technology class...I'd like to bookmark this video to use as an example...


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ipad 2

Will an ipad2 project ebooks on a screen with a projector?  I know the first generations wouldn't project anything...thanks.   

Oh, another question...ebooks from Barnes and Noble, I have one picture book on my ipad but the pictures aren't in this just the book or is this true about all picture ebooks from bn?


I'm not going to get an ipad2 until the new ios 5 is out this fall!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Freebie Share

I make these postcard size so students can keep all their usernames/passwords that we use in technology class.  This is the first time I've made my google docs public, so I hope it works...


Friday, July 1, 2011

Listen To Reading-4th grade

Here is the website I've created for students who choose to listen to a story...are there other sites out there that I'm missing?
Listen to Reading 

I'm off blogging until after the 4th...Happy 4th of July to all !