Teaching in High Heels

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Teachers ARE Heroes!

Y'all...I'm SUPER EXCITED! Teachers Pay Teachers is celebrating teachers everywhere! It's a HUGE TPT SALE...and everything in my store is 28% off! Be sure to use Promo Code: HEROES at checkout. ;) 
Here are just a few of the many resources that will be on sale. 

P.S. Leave a sweet comment below and I will randomly select one of you to win a product of your choice from my 'lil store.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Classroom Happenings

Hey y'all! It's been a while...but I'm ready to get back on the saddle and start blogging. ;) 
Here are a few random happenings we've been up to in my classroom this week. 
We've been learning about rocks this week. My littles love reading and writing about informational text...and here's what they had to say about rocks after they read a ton of information. ;) 
 My firsties are also learning to compare, order numbers and identify even and odd (thus Allie Gator pictured above with our silly rock). 
I LOVE these centers that my friend Alisha The Bubbly Blonde made for me...my kiddos have been so excited to use them during our math block. 
These were whipped on the quicks one morning to give my kiddos that little bit of extra practice with ordering numbers.  
I've also been using this little unit with my struggling readers during our intervention time...and they've been eating it up! 
They love nursery rhymes...and using them to dig deeper in our understanding is just what the doctor ordered. ;) 
And I can't wait to use this little packet next week leading up to Valentine's Day. It's based on the book The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond...super cute! 

That's it folks...my week was a mish mash of activities...but aren't they always?! 

Link up with my friend Kacey for her Five for Friday party. ;)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Close Reading Nursery Rhyme Edition Part 2

Hey y'all!
Last year I blogged about how I introduce close reading to my littlest learners. I use nursery rhymes to introduce this rigorous skill and truth be told they eat it up!
Here in Texas we don't have Common Core Standards...but we do have our TEKS...and let me tell 'ya they're not that much different from CC. The high expectations and rigor are present in both sets of standards...our students are required to learn so much...and not only that...they need to be able to think critically, analyze, and evaluate...even our little ones! 

In the primary grades our focus is teaching our students how to read...but not just how to decode and read fluently...they also need to be able to comprehend and think critically about the text they read. 

In comes close reading.

Close reading is a reading strategy in which readers critically examine a text through repeated readings. Close reading allows students to dig deeper into the text and answer the who, what, when, where, why, and how. It helps our little learners to look for story structure patterns, new vocabulary, key details, author’s purpose and inferential meanings.
Close reading is engaging and has a defined purpose. It teaches our students to become analytical readers and pay attention to the details in the text.

This is how I do it with my tiny readers...
I choose a nursery rhyme that I know they'll love.
I introduce vocabulary words found in the nursery rhyme. We go over the words and complete a vocabulary graphic organizer.
On the 2nd day of learning the nursery rhyme I give my littles their own copy of the poem. They paste it on their journal and illustrate it on the back. They usually circle sight words, word patterns, or anything that I want them to notice in the text. 
My more advanced readers will get a copy of the poem with words missing...they'll write the words themselves and then follow up with circling sight words, etc. 
On the third day, my littles will get this reading comprehension sheet. We will answer the questions as a class or in a small group. I teach them how to find the answer to the text dependent questions in the nursery rhyme. I also make sure they answer in complete sentences. ;) 
These graphic organizers are also used to support my students' understanding of the nursery rhyme. Sometimes I give them their own organizer and everyone will fill it out. At other times, I run off a few and insert them in sheet protectors when they come to my table for small group instruction we fill it out together. Super simple! :)
My kiddos love interactive notebook pages...they love having everything together in one place and I often see them go back and revisit pages they've done and loved. 
On Fridays, my kiddos know that they'll be creating a sequencing chain or retelling the nursery rhyme using pictures. They look forward to these activities and frankly so do I...they always do an awesome job! :) 

You might wonder how I keep all of these activities organized...well y'all know I love me some binder organization so that's what I do. 
I printed out the cover to this product and inserted it to the front of a binder.
The actual poem, vocabulary cards, and printables are slipped inside a sheet protector and then placed inside the binder. This way when I need a certain nursery rhyme...I can find it all together in one place. Easy peasy!
So...what do you think?
How do you introduce close reading to your little learners? I'd love to know! 
Leave a comment below and I'll randomly select someone to win this 'lil unit. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Martin Luther King Jr. Mini-Unit and a Freebie

We'll be celebrating the life of a great man in a couple of weeks...so I thought I'd share this post from last year with you all.

I love teaching my students about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.! 
We have tons of fun learning about acceptance and tolerance, and about the significant role Dr. King played in our society many, many years ago...and what his life means to us today. 
My students love learning about historical figures and Martin Luther King Jr. is one of our favorites! 

Last year we had lots of fun with this little unit...and as much as we loved it...it really needed an update...almost 30 pages later I'm loving it even more! I'm so excited about the comprehension reading passage...I cannot wait to work on it this week! :)

Take a look at everything that is included. 
I'm soooo thrilled with the update...I'm pretty sure my students will love it. 

You can grab this unit at my TpT store on SALE for today only!

I hope you check it out! 

Also, don't forget about this 'lil craftivity I created on a whim for my third graders last year. ;) 
It is not included in my MLK mini-unit. But as promised...it's available for FREE here on my 'lil blog...polished and pretty for all of you! 
All I ask is that you be a follower of my blogTpT store, or FB fan page and perhaps leave me a little love. ;) Click on the image above or here for this little freebie. 

Okay, I'm off to enjoy something on Netflix. 

Have a great evening! 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Five for Friday on a Saturday (01/03/15)

Happy Saturday, y'all! 
Today I'm linking up with my good friend Kacey for her Five for Friday party. 

I'm just a tad sad that Christmas has come and gone this year...it's such a magical time...we love it! 
This year my kiddos decided to bake a cake for Jesus...it was so precious!
Definitely a tradition we need to keep. ;) 
Hubby and I decided it was time for me to get a big girl camera...here she is! 
I can't wait to start taking tons and tons of pictures with it...it's the only way to get some practice, right?! 
So after teaching 3rd grade for two years...I'm back to teaching 1st this Monday.
I am so unbelievably excited! I cannot wait to get started! My prayers were answered when this opportunity arose...I'll be working at a terrific Catholic school, with a great staff, and amazing support system...I feel so blessed! 
Here's my little family helping me out during our winter break...because you know that setting up a classroom in a hurry is a family event! ;) 

 I cannot wait to teach my firsties about this great man...I have a little freebie that I'll be sharing on FB later on...stay tuned! 
This girl will be starting her season soon...and you know what that means, right?!
Softball for days!! So excited! 

Don't forget to link up with Kacey and join the party...so fun!