...sharing strategies for teaching second graders...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 7

  First, thanks to Mel D of Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations and Nicole of Teaching with Style fame for setting up this amazing book study! I will forever be grateful! :)

  One of my favorite quotes from Chapter 7 is ""One of the advantages of the Daily Five is that the structure allows for uninterrupted blocks of time to work with children in a one-on-one situation." I am feeling empowered by this aspect of Daily 5.

   I love the idea of "conferring notebooks"  which "become our diaries and documentation" and show "our plans for where to go next, allowing for differentiated instruction." Education is all about differentiation for the individual child, as it should be. Daily 5 will be the support I need in being able to give my students more of what they need! SHAZAM!

I've been working in my room, rearranging so that we have a  gathering place, library, and lots of small private work spaces that I can see from my work space. Student loved sharing the rocking chair as well as the ottoman in my class last year. I'm adding another chair and possibly a bean bag this year. It's exciting to be able to offer children the choice for which spot is "the best place for your brain and body to work." I love how the sisters even have an "Ignoring the Teacher Focus Lesson!" That cracks me up! To top it off, I have my class list for the 2012-2013 school year and I will most likely have to use that particular lesson. YIKES!

The Check-In page in Figure 7-1 on page 94 is something I can also create now that I have my class list. YIPPEEE!

I believe the time I've spent this summer reading and blogging about the Daily 5 has been some of the best time I have spent this summer. Thank you to everyone who participated in this book study. Thanks for sharing your ideas and methods. I applaud you! May God bless you 100-fold!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Back to the Drawing Board...

Oh. My. Word! My classroom looks like a storm hit! I have books, books, books to sort and label. My hubby painted two bookshelves for me more tomorrow (and it's 8 feet long!). I hit pay dirt with two friends retiring and gifting me with books, books, books back in May. 

 I know I should have leveled, sorted, and labeled these books earlier...but I just could not force myself to go back to my classroom. Just needed the R & R! Now, I think I'll work straight through to December! YIKES! Prayers, please, peeps!

I'm happy to be back at it, though. I'm sooo very excited about doing the Daily 5 this year! YIPPEE!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Daily 5~Chapter 6

First, I'm late posting about Chapter 6 because I lost a very dear friend Tuesday morning. She'd had vertebrae fused May 23 and was still taking pain meds and either threw a clot or mixed the wrong meds. She was found on the floor in her pajamas by co-workers who came to check on her when she didn't show up for work. I did get to talk to her before she died (she could only blink to answer questions) and am assured she is with my Jesus resting in His arms. That is the only thing that has kept me going this week. It has been awful because some vicious people are hinting that she purposefully overdosed. I will never believe that! My take on that kind of gossip is that it is not acceptable to speak ill of the dead and these people simply need to SHUT UP!

I am working on saying goodbye for now to my sweet friend. I know that she is with Jesus and I told her just before she died that I expect her to be waiting beside Him when I get there! I just wish we could sit and talk one more time! That said, thanks for listening, reading my rant. You're the best!


Well, I love, love, love D5! I am one thankful teacher who cannot wait to try it out. The step-by-step plans to launch Work on Writing and Word Work are as awesome as the others. "...a direct correlation between student motivation, ability, and productivity and this increase in writing practice" is enough of a reason for me to go gung ho with Work on Writing. Students who can read and write can conquer all subjects! :) Because Work on Writing and Word Work follow the procedures already established, students quickly fall in line with expectations for these two of the daily 5.

I've done Word Work in Kindergarten and first, but haven't carried it over very well with second grade. I'm eager to use their tips and others I find blogging to go at it! I can see how it will support my learners. :)

My favorite passage from this chapter is "We want to constantly reinforce the message that children are independent so they can get to be better readers and writers, but also that the teacher has a very important job to do--teach children."


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wow! :)

Check out Janine at Faithful in First's 400-Follower Giveaway! She has a list, a looonnngg list of freebies for one follower. I am donating my first draft of Morning Messages for Smart Board, Promethean Board, or however you can use it from your computer. It is a year-long set. I got some recommendations for some other buddies to make some changes and I’m working on those as well. The finished product with both choices will be available on my TpT store…coming soon!
Thanks, Janine, for inviting me to participate in your giveaway! I’m thrilled! :)
♥ Melly♥

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 5

"Reading with someone helps students read independently and grow as readers." Doesn't that say it all? My main focus as a second grade teacher is helping my students grow as independent readers. If you can read, you can figure out soooo much! For three years I taught adults working toward their GED. Those who could read could read about the Math they needed, practice, and move on. They could read the Science, History, etc. and they could read and practice their writing for the writing segment of the test. Those students who couldn't read spent their entire time (4 hours daily, M-F) practicing reading, learning reading skills, and reading. Those who began the program reading below third grade level often required more time to finish the program (PEACH~Positive Employment and Community Help) than they were alloted. I had to write letters requesting more time due to this. Of course, some got discouraged and left the program before they could get to the technical classes which would insure they found a better paying job. :*(

I love how the sisters told exactly what they did and laid out their plan step by step for us. I attempted Read to Self and Buddy Reading last year. This chapter and chapter four have clarified so much for me! I look forward to introducing my students to ever single, little bitty step the sisters made because I know that patience and repetition with my students will pay off in SPADES! Just the little I understood to do last year paid off well. I feel empowered for this coming school year! Hallelujah!

Preparing to teach Voice Level; Check for Understanding; I Read, You Read; Read Two Different Books; How to Choose Books; Choosing Your Own Classroom Spot; How to Choose a Partner~"the only acceptable answer is "Sure, thank you!"; Coaching or Time?; and Listen to Reading ~"put small headphones on school supply lists" is the absolute best time I could spend reading this summer!

I love how the sisters lead students to "solve the problems quickly so we don't waste any of our precious reading time!" That's exactly how I feel! I've even been carrying The Daily 5 with me in the car and reading while my hubby drives this summer. I love it that much! :D

"A person's a person, no matter how small." ~ Dr. Seuss

Staples Rewards

Staples has changed their policy. I've seen this several times, but asked at my Staples store just to be sure the change is everywhere. It is at my store. :(

We get the two items for a penny each instead of being able to buy up to 25 items for a penny each. After the first two, teachers must pay full price but will receive 100% refund on their Staples Rewards. A reward check will be issued for the amount which is only to be spent at Staples. A good way for them to keep the money at their store. Rather than give you 25 items for a penny each (grand total of one quarter), they are giving 23 items just have to use the money you would have spent on those items in their store. Win for them, lose for me. I do not buy that many packages of items for my students.

I teach in a Title I school which means my students' parents really appreciated that I got the penny items at Staples. The parents will now have to buy their children's pencils, glue, etc. that I bought last year for pennies. I'm not so happy with the change.

Please let me know if you hear of or know of any good deals out there! I'll keep my eyes and ears open as well. Thanks and have a marvelous day! ;)


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Celebrations Galore!

Wild about Teaching is having a 500 followers give-away!
Check it out!

A Pirate's Life is turning one! Check her out!


Teachers Pay Teachers

I finally did it! I am excited and feeling a bit overwhelmed. Am I really ready for this step? I hope so, because I jumped in today! I gathered my courage and opened my TpT store .

I only have two items so far~Fraction freebies that are also offered here on my blog...

I'm sort of surprised at myself for this nervous attitude. I've always jumped into whatever with both feet...this sort of makes me feel pressure, though...gotta get on it!!

I want to offer my ideas and fun activities for others to be able to use. Of course, the idea is to make a little extra money since our salaries have been cut each year for the past four years (as if we were so well paid to begin with...).

Did anyone else feel excited, but nervous when you opened your TpT store? I'd like to hear...



Friday, July 6, 2012

Second Grade Squad

Have you seen Second Grade Squad? Please link up if you haven't. It's the go-to spot for all second grade blogs...what a marvelous way to link up and check out loads of second grade ideas, concerns, thoughts, get the idea. Many thanks to Charity Preston of The Organized Classroom Blog for setting up Second Grade Squad! If you're reading this and you're not a second grade teacher, check her out... she started a blog roll for every grade. Thanks, Charity!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

D5-Chapter 4 & Versatile Blogger Award: Warning~Loonnngg Post!

I'm linking up! Tessa from Tales Outside the Classroom is hosting D5 Chapter four. Come on over and join us! :)

Dang! Dang! Dang! I'm still kicking myself for not reading this last year!! Yes, I did some of it...but sketchily...not correctly due to not having the book and finding the info in January...

I love three ways to read a book! What awesome support for my little nervous nellies! ;) I love how the sisters lay it all out in the text, and then follow with the figures as a reminder of each step. I'm excited to begin practicing the first day of school! I'm excited to give the children three-minute practices of Read to Self, and have all those little mini~lessons! Yipppeeee!!! I love the Check~In idea, too. Breaking everything down into 3 or 5 or 7 or 10 minute segments is such a novel idea for me. WHY?!? I am asking myself this repeatedly. I love that this offers so many opportunities for practice as well as regroup/rehash/reteach opportunities. I think this is so awesome to me because I have always known this, but felt others (as in administration, etc.) would think we weren't accomplishing anything with all the movement. Hmp! Thanks, Sisters, for providing me with your research-based book (and lots of research quoted) so I have a basis for all I'm doing that's different. I feel FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!! :D

I've always marched to the tune of my own drummer, but tried to do the "dog and pony show" whenever someone came in to observe. No more of that garbage. Research backs up my quirks and I will revel in them now!

I love the additional information about adding 1-2 minutes throughout the first day month of school until desired stamina is built. I wondered about time frame of introducing each of the Daily 5, but found the appendix on page 119! I love, love, love it! Hooray! The sisters really did lay it all out. I think the Daily 5 should be required reading for every elementary school teacher before s/he begins her final block of student teaching! WOW! Awesome and amazing!

Here's a thanks to Heather @ The Meek Moose for the Versatile Blogger Award. Now on to seven random things about myself...

1. I am old enough to be my students' grandmother (although I don't have grandchildren yet...)
2. I taught adults working toward the GED for three years when my son was preschool aged so I could be home with him 1/2 days.
3. I won a beauty contest in seventh grade after being convinced to enter by a couple of friends...who received first and second weird is that?
4. I accepted Jesus as my Savior on my ninth birthday after a "discussion" with the Lord about folks coming to celebrate my birthday having to "wait" while the church gave me the "right hand" of Christian fellowship.
5. I met my darling hubby when I was 15 and we've been married 28 years...after dating on and off for six years, so I've known him more than twice as long as I haven't.
6. I live next door to my parents. I'm a Mama's & Daddy's girl! (yes, even at age 49)
7. My family is more important to me than anyone/anything except Jesus and honoring Him!

Now for 15 blogs... well, gotta fix dinner, then run and pick more green beans! I'll update and add these later!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Currently July & One Lovely Blog Award...

Wow! It's already July? Where, oh where, did June go? I can't believe you're gone with the wind...or lack thereof! ;) Actually, I spent June in the garden...on the green bean rows to be exact. Now it's time to get down to the nitty gritty. House cleaning, basement organizing, lesson planning and writing, yadda yadda...

Reads...I love Andrew Clements. Frindle is definitely one of my all-time favorites because I love word play. I love the letter at the end from his teacher...I just love it! The Daily 5 is my new go-to professional book because it reminds me to reteach, reteach, reteach for as long as necessary until procedures and routines  have become ingrained habits for the children. I must hold on to that! has awarded me a "Lovely" award! :) Thanks, Tammy. I've been a bit slack blogging for the months of May and most of June... :( I'm glad you found something interesting here. The Daily 5 has got me cranked back up and ready to go! ;)

Here are the rules...

1.  Follow the person who gave you the award.
2.  Link back to the person who gave you the award.
3.  Pass the award on to 15 new bloggers...received and done previously!