Friday, November 21, 2014

Announcing My New Blog

I know it's been up for a few days now but I'm so excited about my blog makeover.  Do you like it?  I love it.  So in order to celebrate I'm doing a giveaway and a sale.

My whole store will be on sale Friday and Saturday for 20%

I'm also doing a giveaway for my Interactive Reader Bundle.  It's a $34 Value.

You can enter by filling in the Rafflecopter below.  When you stop by my FB page, leave me a comment about my new blog design.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Snowman Interactive Readers

I saw the cutest graphics the other day and just knew that I had to update my Snowman Interactive Readers.  Remember, I've you have bought them already, you can download the new ones for free.  If you haven't got them already, they will be 1/2 price until the middle of the week.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bright Ideas Round up

Welcome to the November edition of the Bright Ideas Link-Up! This one is a special one! Over the past 10 months, thousands of great ideas have been shared through our monthly Bright Ideas event. 

This month, we are re-capping all of those great ideas, just in case you missed any! Below you will find some of my bright ideas from the 
past several months:

You can find tips on how to adapt activities for children with special needs here.  Click on the picture below.

You can find my post on how I organize my reading program by clicking on the picture below.

Want to know how I made these cool sight word stones.  Click on the picture below.

To find some ideas for bottle lids, click on the picture below.

I know it's not spring, but if you want to find out how I made this butterfly house, then click on the picture below.

I love making bubbles and children love it too.  Click on the picture below to find out how I made these giant ones.

I never realized that I could print things out in different sizes.  To find out how I did it, click on the picture below.

My last tip was on how I organized my expectations.  Find out what I did my clicking on the last picture.

I hope that you have enjoyed these bright ideas, and that you have found an idea that you can use in your own classroom. Be sure to check out the link up below for tons more bright ideas from my friends! 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Turkey Interactive Easy Readers

I just love my new Build a Turkey Interactive books. They come with flash cards and mini take home books for the kids to fill in and colour. They are 1/2 price until Wednesday.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Christmas Freebie

It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas. I'm going through all my old files and updating them.

Here's my first one. It's a little freebie for you. I updated the numbers so they are easier to read.

Click on the picture below to grab it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Squirrel math update and a freebie

 My squirrel math activities has been updated to include numbers to 20.  If you have already bought it, don't forget to go back and download the update for free.  You can grab it by clicking on the first picture.  Go to the end of the post to grab the freebie.

Here is your freebie.  It's the first activities for numbers 1 to 5.  Click on the picture to grab it.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Book Whisperer - Chapter 7

This week is Chapter 7, the last chapter, of our book study on "The Book Whisperer" by Donalyn Miller. 

   The Book Whisperer.png

If you don't have the book already,  you can grab it here.  It's not too late to grab the book and read back through the wonderful posts from everyone.

This chapter is called "Letting Go". 

The one thing that stuck out to me in this chapter was this line, "I have been told many times, both to my face and through comments on my blog, that I am not preparing my students for the "real world" by letting them read whatever they want" p166.  

This rang so true to me.  We (my EA's and I) have throughout the years not been supported (at times) in our views on reading instruction.  

Does a child need to know the whole alphabet in order to learn how to read?

  If a child is not "getting" certain letters do you drill, drill, drill until they do?  

Because part of our mandate is to take children who have just had surgery. I have had older students come to me for a short time.  Often, they have been unable to read even level one books (and hating it) and having not mastered the alphabet yet (I'm talking grade 3 or 4).  

Each year on their IEP is "knows 15 letters working on the rest",  then the following year "knows 17 letters working on the rest" etc. You get the picture. They would be in high school before they knew the whole alphabet.
  Do we start teaching them how to read then?  

In the 8 weeks of reading instruction in my class these children often jump to level 4 or above and are actually asking to choose books and to read to me. 

 Unfortunately I only have these students for a short time  after surgery before they return to their home schools. 

I know the endless drills are not working.  Does that mean that I don't work on the alphabet or phonics? No, but I work on them in the context of activities and books and real time practice.   We read, read, and read the sight words we have practiced in real books.

Each of my students have the opportunity to choose a book they want to read and then read it to me everyday. They then take it home and read it to parents.  This takes up a huge amount of my time and I've often wondered if I should stop and just have the children take the book home or maybe even pick the book for them and send it home to save on time.

 I now realize that I can't do that.  That the time they spend reading in my class has an impact on their reading levels and their motivation.   I know that the children argue about who comes to read to me first.  I hope this means I'm doing something right.

I hope you have enjoyed our reflections on the book.  Here are more links to chapter 7.

Last one:
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