Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Boys and Little House, Gingerbread, and Math~ Happy 2015!

My 4th, 5th, 6th resource group just read Little House in the Big Woods. 15 boys and 2 girls. Guess who loved it? The boys! Santa brought each of them their own color copy(they had been racing to get my one color copy when reading class started each day!), and each kid seemed delighted! Laura Ingalls Wilder was a brilliant writer. Not only did she write about adventures with bears, hunting, and butchering pigs, but she wrote simply and descriptively. She painted a picture with not too many words, so my struggling readings could really dig in! They are now asking to read either Farmer Boy or Little House on the Prairie.....I put together an interactive notebook that is expecially for struggling writers, and they are pleased with their finished products!
My primary students did Gingerbread Boy activities, and finished with decorating their own. It's cool how a child who can barely get words on paper with a pencil can meticulously decorate a gingerbread guy! Then we write "How to" story on how to make and decorate a gingerbread person.
and.....I joke about this envelope that one of my students addressed to me. I am not known for my math teaching skills! But actually it is quite a compliment because I do try to make it stress-free and fun(and common core aligned!) for this child with autism who not enjoyed math in the past!
Happy 2015! Laura

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back to School Sale- Revised Resource Manual is 0n Sale!

I have revised my manual, and it will be on sale Wed. Aug. 20 for 28% off! Enter the code BOOST to get the discount!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Here We Go!

I love my classroom! Our resource room is situated in the middle of the school, where teachers and kids come and go- just the way I want it! Looking over my caseload, I have an assortment of students K-6 with an assortment of needs. I really love this time of year, the quiet before the storm! We are going to have some fun in 2014-15 learning to read and write, counting and computing, getting social, and finding our way! Have a great beginning of the year~ Laura

Monday, July 28, 2014

Rick Wormeli: Redos, Retakes, and Do-Overs, Part One

This video is a few years old, but it is so important for all teachers! Perhaps we are more open to teaching kids until they get it in elementary school, and as parents. Having taught high school, and having my last two kids finish high school in 2015, I feel that many secondary teachers are not there yet.
Maybe I need to listen more carefully to Rick Wormeli's words to get the point across that refusal and failure are not valid reasons to quit teaching our students.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sneak Peek- Updating my Resource Specialist Manual!

Here are a few of the goodies I have included in the updated manual! I think I should have it finished in a week or two! Do you find that your summer slips away so quickly; between family, trips, cleaning out a few cupboards, and reading mysteries....there it goes! xo Laura

Monday, July 7, 2014

Librarian Liz Instills the Love of Reading

My good friend Liz is our retired City-County Librarian. She not only volunteers 4 days a week in my classroom, but she invited all of the 3rd- 6th graders from my school to her historic home to pick out books, listen to book talks, and enjoy lunch. My only wish is that every school could have a Liz! Click here to see the story our local news did about this beautiful gift Liz has given the children of our community!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Abe Lincoln's Favorite Cake

Abraham Lincoln’s favorite cake was a white almond cake. The other day, I showed the kids in my reading group this recipe, and they asked, “ So are we going to bake a birthday cake for him?” I actually had an angel food cake mix at home, and some almond flavoring, so without divulging my shortcut, I showed up with a birthday cake for Abe on February 12th! 
  We read the recipe, and discussed the ingredients, and made a vocabulary list. I wrote some phrases for the baking process on the board. Before the kids could cut the cake and celebrate, their writing task was to list the ingredients and write directions for baking Abraham Lincoln’s favorite cake!
  There is nothing cuter, and more genuine, than to read a child’s perspective of cooking! But I also think children who struggle with writing are more comfortable and engaged when they write for a reason. And what better reason than Abe Lincoln’s cake!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book Lists and Patriotic themes~

I really think that the right books are the best part of a reading or writing lesson. I made a couple new units- one for Presidents' Day and 4th of July, and one for Valentine's Day. The lessons are pretty open-ended and allow for differentiation. Then I combed my bookshelves for old favorites, and looked for some newer reads to include on the booklists I have included in each unit. My teaching brain is usually geared toward kids with learning disabilities, autism, and primary grades. My 4-6th graders can finally read these terrific books, and if they think they are too babyish, I have them read to a younger child. We also have a high number of English Language Learners at my school, so many of my units are perfect for those kids.
Here's my Patriotic book list: 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Valentine's Day

I am offering this Valentine unit for a freebie for a little while. I have created mostly open-ended activities that can be used with various Valentine's Day books, and will allow the kids an opportunity to get creative and have fun! I can't wait to use it with my own group....