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The Care and Feeding of My Classroom Library Part 1 : Organization!

I have been a teacher now for 17 years.  My biggest passion as a teacher is teaching children how to read and love books.  When you walk into my classroom, the first thing that you notice (besides the bright orange couch) is my book collection.   I have a problem passion for collecting books for my classroom library!   So, just for fun, a rough estimate mind you, I probably have over 2,000 books in my little classroom library.  I believe the best way to get children interested in reading is to give them a choice in what they read.  Of

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Book Talk Tuesday: We Found a Hat.

Today’s Book Talk Tuesday is about this great little book by Jon Klassen called We Found a Hat.  He is also know for two other “hat” books:  I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat. I love them all! This book is a lovely tribute to friendship in three parts.  “We” are two turtles who come upon a hat.  It looks good on both of them, but there are two turtles and only one hat!  They decide that they will leave the hat and try to forget about it and move on with their lives.  This is

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Stop, “I Don’t Know What to Write About!” during Writer’s Workshop!

  Hello all!  Thank you so much for stopping by!   Today I want you to stop for a moment and re imagine Writing Prompts. Usually when I think of writing prompts, I think of a narrow, specific task that the students need to address.  What if I told you that Writing Prompts could be fun, scaffolded, and engaging?  What if I even told you that your kiddos would ask for them during Writer’s Workshop or Writing Centers (even your most reluctant writers)?       Let me introduce: Pick a Prompts and Story Starter Cootie Catchers!   First up:

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Pumpkin Math

Pumpkin Math Fun: How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?

It’s that time of year again! Pumpkin Math time! This super engaging, hands-on, inquiry-based math activity is one of our favorites! I have a great book suggestion and a freebie for you! We start by doing estimates with our pumpkins:  How much does it weight?  What is its circumference?  How long is the pumpkin’s stem?  How many seeds do you think are inside? We record these on our sheets with a thin marker or crayon before we start. This helps with changing our estimates when we learn the real answer. 😉 Then, we start our pumpkin math investigations working on

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I bought a Zip Printer. Now what?

So, I will admit…sometimes I buy things that I want BEFORE I know what I am going to do with them. For me teaching is more than just my career, it is also my passion and my hobby.  Most of the things that I buy anymore are things that I plan to use in my classroom. So, when I saw these fun little Zip Printers, I knew I had to have one.  I didn’t know what I was going to use it for, but I HAD to have one! If you haven’t discovered these little wonders yet, you are in

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Book Talk Tuesday: Mitchell Goes Bowling

Back again for another Book Talk Tuesday! Thanks for stopping by! This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon (if you would like to get your own copy of this book!).   This week I want to share with you this adorable book by Hallie Durand: Mitchell loves to knock things down, that is just how he rolls.  His dad decides that bowling will be the perfect sport for Mitchell! They go and dad gets a strike and does a “steamin’ hot potato dance”. How cute is that? This is a great story about the love between a father and

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Book Talk Tuesday:Teaching Voracious Reading with Wild About Books!

Hello again!  Thanks so much for stopping by for another Book Talk Tuesday! This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon (if you would like to get your own copy of this book!).   So, now that the school year is up and running, most of my Reading Workshop procedures are in place, so we start with all of those great mini-lessons to help us improve our reading! One of the very first lessons that I do is Voracious Reading! The best way to become a better reader is to read. I try to instill this into my students as

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Book Talk Tuesday: My Teacher is a Monster by Peter Brown (with a little freebie!)

This post contains an affiliate link.  See below! Click on the picture for a video of the story! (Note: it is not my video!) Hello again!  Thank you so much for dropping by my humble little corner of Cyberspace! Today I want to share with you an adorable book by Peter Brown!  My Teacher is a Monster (No, I’m Not!)  The main character Bobby is one of those “happy little classroom challenges”.  His teacher Ms. Kirby is known to do a little stomping and a little roaring! But one day, they run into each other at the park, and a gust of

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To Snack or Not to Snack? That is the question!

Hello everyone! Today I want to share with you my thoughts about Snack in the classroom! To Snack? (Pros) Staves off hunger. Gives the kiddos a break. Keeps blood sugar levels steady. Kiddos less grumpy. No noise from rumbly tummies while the kiddos are trying to read. I get to snack too! Not to Snack? (Cons) Messy. Not everyone brings a snack. Takes time out of your day. Allergy issues. That being said, I am a snack fan! We have a snack in my class everyday after Writer’s Workshop and before we start our Reading Workshop.  This gives the kiddos

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Book Talk Tuesday (with a freebie of course!): Building Our House

Hello again!  Thanks for joining me for another Book Talk Tuesday! This week I would like to share this little gem! This is Building Our House by Jonathan Bean.  It is based on the story of his parents building their house when he was little!  How cool is that? The illustrations in this book are lovely. It is a great book to show perseverance, as this family build the house themselves.  It shows them living in a trailer while it is being built.  It also shows how everyone in the family helped to build it.  We talked about what perseverance

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You might not want to read this post…

So, I really went back and forth about whether to write this blog post. I mean, this is information the world needs to know right? I don’t know…this is a Teaching and Learning Blog. All of my posts should be about Teaching and Learning. Well, who doesn’t want to learn about this? Hmmmm…. Okay here we go…. It’s a surprise “Grown Up, Teachery” Book Talk Tuesday!   I recently went to Dave Burgess’s workshop about his book Teach Like a Pirate, and this what greeted us as we walked it. and then…… He didn’t even talk about it until half

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Planet Points: Mini-Anchor Charts!

Hello again!   Thanks for stopping by for this month’s Planet Point! I want to share with you an idea about anchor charts. I LOVE anchor charts!  I think that they are the perfect way to make our thinking visible.  I am a staunch believer in making my anchor charts with the kiddos. That being said, anchor charts take up a lot of wall space. Sometimes you need a smaller “reminder” chart, or just a chart for one specific idea. I have found that making mini-anchor charts works perfectly. I also found that I LOVE to make them on Super

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