Friday, October 11, 2013

Three Day Weekend FUN!!

Happy Three Day Weekend!!!  WHOOOOO HOOOOO!!  
We are ecstatic to have a long weekend to decompress and rejuvenate!  Stacy's plan is to catch up on some things around the house (a.k.a. housework, laundry) but also to have some fun with her family. I (Colleen) am SO excited to have my sister home from college for Columbus Day and am looking forward to spending some time with her. I'm also looking forward to a youth group campfire on Sunday night and a conference on Monday that will help me be a better small group leader to the high school girls I lead through the church! :) 

This week we are teaming up again to share the highlights of our week for Doodle Bug's linky party.  We're so excited to share our Reading Room/Grade 2 "Happenings of the Week"!

First, for news from the Reading Room....
We were thrilled to donate our "Magic-e Show" bundle to a Teachers Pay Teachers fundraiser for breast cancer research put on by the wonderful Lindsay from Beyond the Worksheet.  151 Teacher Pay Teachers Sellers have donated over $720.00 products with proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  Each bundle is selling for $25.00 and is available through the month of October!  We encourage you to check out all the wonderful resources that were donated.  Amazing work! 
About a month ago, I came across a fabulous idea by Gina from Beach Sand and Lesson Plans.  She described how she uses and displays exit slips in her classroom.  I have used exit slips in the Reading Room for a long time but I have always referred to them as "Ticket Out".  For example, before my students head back to their classroom, I will say, "For your ticket out.....I want you to tell me...."  When I came across Gina's post and saw that she DISPLAYED her exit slips, I knew I had to create my own "Ticket Out" poster using Willy Wonka's golden ticket clipart!  This is a snapshot of some of my student's responses after our lesson on Good Fit books.  When I reviewed each response, it was clear who had a good understanding of what we discussed and who needed more review and reinforcement!  Immediate assessment!!  Check out how Gina uses her exit slips here.

And now, for some updates from 2nd Grade....
In 2nd Grade, we do something called Friday Letters. It kind-of works as a weekly newsletter without me having to do the work. I have really grown to LOVE our writing times. On Thursdays we brainstorm about what happened throughout the week and then Fridays I print that brainstorm and our writing rubric and by Friday afternoon everyone takes out their journal, finds a quiet writing space and gets hard to work. I'm so proud of my kids for how hard they work during this time. The quiet music I play perfectly compliments this special time to debrief the week and report back about all the exciting things we've done. Most of my kids wrote about how we had an Alaskan author come and speak to us and about how we started Big/Little Buddies today. My kids were ECSTATIC today when they saw Big/Little Buddies on the board. It was a big surprise!  They were so sweet to our little first grade buddies. Even the kids I was a little bit nervous about were so compassionate and caring. We matched our buddies using puzzle pieces that had the children's names on them. One little friend that I paid close attention to because I thought he may shut down with this experience, walked right up to his buddy, and put his hand on his back and said "wanna see my desk?" while guiding him over to his area and showing him his dinosaur books. Oh my heart! This little munchkin's writing today just made my heart happy! :) 

This week in Fundations we have been learning about glued/welded sounds. Today, we played our Basketball Slam centers. The kids LOVED it and I felt that it truly reinforced the concepts we'd learned about all week. My kids love Friday centers and they have gotten way better at the switching and rotating concept too!

 Just like last time, I set up my centers as follows:
1) I Have Who Has
2) Board Game
3) Word Sort
4) Word Search and Word Shapes (copied back to back)
5) Finish the Word and Ladder Page (copied back to back)

If they finished any center early they took the Read and Illustrate page and picked two words with glued sounds, illustrated them and wrote a sentence using the word.

I spread out my centers around the room and put a rotating list on the smart board of how they should move. When the kids heard the bell, we switched. The kids had so much fun and I did too! Get your own set from our TpT store! It's so worth it!

And last but certainly not least....
MARK YOUR CALENDARS for an awesome Mystery Blog Hop at the end of the month!  28 Reading Specialists/Literacy Coaches will be sharing best practices in literacy coupled by a mystery-themed freebie!  AND after collecting clues along the way, you can enter to win some fabulous prizes!  Please "like" our facebook page for upcoming announcements about this exciting event!

We hope you have a wonderful weekend, friends!  Talk again soon!


  1. Your little ones are such great writes and have really NICE handwriting! =) I'm your newest follower on Blog Lovin, drop by if you'd like. =)

    Just Wild About Teaching

  2. A great blog post, I love the exit slips ideas too!

    1. Thank you for stopping by! The exit slips have been a hit with my students!

  3. I just bought the 3-5 collection for the Breast Cancer Awareness fundraiser...Oh my! It is jam packed with great stuff. I am so glad I saw this on your post. I have a dear friend who was just diagnosed with cancer. She went to the doctor thinking her rheumatoid arthritis was causing her discomfort. It is everywhere...lungs, breast and liver. Very, very sad. She loves the pre-k children she works with and has always been so caring and thoughtful to ask about my kids, etc. I may go back and add the k-2 bundle too just for the $25 donation! So excited for our hop! Finished my unit last night. Have a happy weekend, Colleen and Stacy!
    Comprehension Connection
    PS...sorry for the delete. I pasted in what I thought was just my blog address code, but my Facebook post was apparently still on my clipboard. It showed up in the middle of my comment!! :-)

  4. Carla,
    We are so sorry to hear about your friend. We now have more of a reason to buy these bundles.
    Colleen and Stacy