Lovin' Literacy Blog Hop, Stop #3

My Story

I kind of fell into "reading" as my specialty.  I have an alternative certification and my plan was to teach Kindergarten.  Well, the only job available was "the" Middle School Reading Teacher in a small town.  I had no one to collaborate with and the best part no one to tell me what to do.

I was GREEN.  That year I cut my teeth using just the TEKS to direct my teaching.  My basal and an unlimited supply of magazines in the school library were what I used to teach.  I had never heard the word/s "data", "best practices" or "data wall".  Still, to this day I am unsure how 80+% of my students passed the TAKS test!

The school I'm at now teaches strictly from the Texas Treasures Reading Series.  We're lucky because Treasures does have an excellent program - as far as basals go.  Last year in my Reading classroom, I would bring in supplemental resources.  But, my students still thought it was a treat when I would do a quick read aloud.  When I taught 2nd Grade a few years ago, I fell in love with fractured fairy tales.  Of course, the first one I ever read was The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith.

I bought the book from Scholastic and within a month it was taped up and falling apart because the kids couldn't get enough of it!  What? A book kids love.  AWESOME.  So, the next time I ordered from Scholastic, I bought Believe Me, Goldilocks Rocks! (by Trisha Speed Shaskam) it was flat out hilarious and oh so engaging!

Fractured fairy tales are great resources to teach Point of View.  It makes point of view pretty easy for young kids to see and hear.  The introductions also lend themselves to teaching "introductory hooks" for writing.  

Now, if the girls in your class enjoy fractured fairy tales, then I GAR-RON-TEE they will like Whatever After, a new series by Sarah Mlynowski.  It is based on the popular Disney Princess Movies they watched as young girls.  Last year I couldn't keep these books in my class library!  My girls would BEG to borrow them.  What reading teacher would deny a child a book??

Want to watch Fractured Fairy Tales?  Check this out!

This Little Piggy just loves the Princess covers - what do you think?


Calling all Font-a-holics

By now you probably know that I'm a bit obsessed with fonts.  
I talk about fonts way more than any sane person should.  
As much as I love them and enjoy making them, I have yet to pay for one. 

If you're a new TpT or TN seller - run and download new fonts!  
Seriously, one good font can change your entire product!

This Little Piggy wants to know, "What are your 3 Favorite Fonts?"


The best laid plans...

So I woke up this morning with plans to go to the grocery store and watch Soaps all afternoon.
Sounds like the perfect day off work right?
I put my girl in the car, look down and there it is...
A big ol' shiny nail!
Scratch watching Soaps!
We are on a waitlist for 2 hours...just to get a patch!
So I took My Girl to DQ (my absolute least favorite place to eat) eating junk and ice cream.

Turns out my day just kept on getting worse....now I'm sick:(


Was I CRAZY???

This is the pic of our paper mache experiment today.
Yes, they cleaned every last drop!!

Are you celebrating Black History Month or Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday?
We are celebrating Black History Month.  I told my students that we would celebrate a person, a time period or a group.  It was up to them who we celebrated and what we did as a celebration.

My students had to do research on different choices,  choose one person, group or time period to celebrate, develop 3 arguments "why our class should celebrate their choice" and finally decide how we would celebrate.  I put a bunch of link's on our class Weebly - this is the easiest and safest way I found for the kids to move around the internet with teacher approved sights.  My Weebly is below - love it!

So, my Wednesday Class decided that they would celebrate the Tuskegee Airmen.
Good choice, right?  I thought so.  
2 out of 3 groups wrote arguments for the Tuskegee Airmen.  If you're interested in the argument page, click here.  They also decided that we would create paper mache helmets that the fighter pilots wear.
Okay, how?  It was their project, they had to decide.  Each group found a recipe for paper mache.
This is where the CRAZY ensues.  
Group 1: Flour, Salt, Water, paper bag strips - they found out that it wasn't a good mixture for what we wanted to do.

 Group 2: 1/2 Glue, 1/2 Water (basically mod podge), paper towel strips - this group thought that their product turned out okay, but it was very messy and dried pretty quick.

Group 3: Liquid Starch (something new to me), strips of paper towels - they had a lot of fun and learned that the thinness of the starch helped them create a smooth product.

Although I love a good craft, the TEKS state that they must understand how the Tuskegee Airmen made contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.  So, the students had to read a few articles and then, create a Word Salad (a.k.a. Word Cloud) about the main ideas/key points from their readings.  

This Little Piggy wants to know what is a project that sounded awesome in theory, but turned out a bit too messy for your liking?  


Don't you just love FREEBIES?

It's finally here!
It's been over two months in the making.  
Adventures in Literacy Land is finally LIVE!  
I've spent the last week working on the launch and it's finally here!

Twenty bloggers with a specific interest in literacy (reading specialists, reading coaches, literature teachers, etc.) have joined together in this effort.  I'm so excited to reveal the authors!
This group represents more than 250 years of teaching experience in the field of literacy.  We plan to share information on the best practices in literacy, keep you abreast of current trends, and provide you with excellent teaching resources.

You know how much I love freebies right?  Well, this week EVERY NEW FOLLOWER IS A WINNER!!  Just leave your e-mail in the rafflecopter and the prize pack will be e-mailed to you this weekend.  
Stop by Adventures in Literacy Land each day this week to meet the authors of this blog and read their introductory posts.  Be sure to enter the Bog Launch Giveaway for a chance to win one of four $25 Teachers Pay Teachers gift certificates.

This Little Piggy is super excited!