Thursday, September 12, 2013

FLASH FREEBIE & Stacy's Five for Friday Fun!

Happy Friday Everyone!  I don't know about you, but I am EXHAUSTED after this busy week.  After easing into the new school year, this was our first full week back.  Wow!  I'm pooped!  It didn't help that we had Curriculum Night on Tuesday and a few days of unseasonably 90 degree days up here in New England.  Unfortunately, schools are not air conditioned so the poor students and teachers at my school were rag dolls by the end of the day.  However, things are looking good for the weekend with cooler temps to enjoy some fun family time (i.e. running my boys to football games and soccer practice).

Today we are linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her weekly Five for Friday linky party.  I'm so excited to show you some projects that I've been working on in the Reading Room this week!

 I was thrilled to add this adorable welcome sign from JD's Rockin' Readers to my door.  It perfectly coordinates with my jungle themed room and it's a FREEBIE on TpT!  I love the way it complements the bunting banner that Colleen made for me last year.

The Reading Tutors and I have been knee-deep in DIBELS testing this week.  As a school, I am responsible for administering this assessment to all students Grades K-2 and select students in Grades 3-5 three times per year.  In addition to the DIBELS, all students are given the Fountas and Pinnell in the fall so my school is in a beginning of the year assessment frenzy!  At our monthly grade-level data meetings that begin in a couple of weeks, we take into account all of this data as well as MCAS results (state testing) to determine which students will continue or start working with me.  It's a big responsibility but I enjoy being the school's "Data Keeper". 
Despite being busy, I was able to find some time to clean, purge, and reorganize my room.  One of my projects was setting up a new bulletin board using our Which Tools Will You Use fix-up strategies bundle.  One thing that I struggle with in my room is the small amount of wall space we have for displaying instructional materials.  This bulletin board is thankfully next to my guided reading table but I have two other tables that the Reading Tutors use for groups that do not have space nearby.  To solve that problem, I also put the decoding strategies on small task cards so my tutors can refer to them during small group instruction.   
Last weekend was Massachusetts Resident Day at one of my all-time favorite places to visit this time of year...the Southwick Zoo!  It is a privately run zoo that has the most amazing variety of animals I've ever seen.  If you ever are visiting in Massachusetts, I'd definitely recommend a trip to see their animals!  Here are a few pictures of our trip!!

A very important tip when visiting any zoo!

Mom! What is that awful smell??

 My little buddy feeding the deer at the Deer Forest. So cool!!
 Colleen and I were jumping with excitement when we reached over 100 followers on our Facebook page this week!!  To commemorate this milestone and thank everyone on the TpT forum who helped us reach our goal, we will be having a FLASH FREEBIE until midnight EST tonight!  Sweet Tooth Crush has been our top seller since we started our TpT store two months ago.  Grab it while you can for FREE!
Have an awesome weekend, friends!!  TGIF!!


  1. WOW, you give DIBELS to all K-2 students? In our district each classroom teacher had to give their own students the DIBEL testing 3 times a year.

    1. Yikes! That must be really challenging for teachers. Are they responsible for administering other assessments, as well?

    2. My school is sort of in between - they send a sub in and the two reading specialists and I do my class and then the others teachers, same thing. So each teacher does about 1/3 of her class 3 times a year. We have to give another assessment ourselves but it takes about 15 min in all and we can give it whole class (the MAZE).

  2. Hey girl ! I am so glad I found your blog! I just got certified as a reading specialist last year (is that your position). I love to bend the ears of other reading teachers. I unfortunately searched for jobs the last two years and did not get any. I am still teaching second grade but that is fun! Some day hopefully the New England bloggers can meet up!
    Reading and Writing Redhead

  3. Bex,
    Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I (Stacy) am a Reading Specialist and my co-blogger, Colleen, is teaching second grade. It sounds like we have a lot in common.

    Would love to have a meet-up someday. Colleen and I were discussing how fun that would be. Keep in touch!!


  4. Love your blog design. Erika did mine as well. You'll have to drop by. I am a reading specialist in Virginia, and I thought I'd make contact since our blogs have a similar focus. I found you by accident on Facebook. My blog is Comprehension Connection

    1. Carla,
      I'm so excited you found us! I love connecting with other Reading Specialists. Please keep in touch!
      PS. Your blog is also amazing! Erika is so talented!!