Shakin' it Up!

I know it probably feels like I have been saying this forever, especially to those who have been reading the blog for a while but I will soon be switching from teaching to speech-language pathology.  In fact, if I can get the rest of my clinical hours completed, and pass a few majorly important tests I will graduate in May!! I have thought a lot about how I am going to make this transition and what it will mean for the blog and I don't really have an answer because I have no idea where I want to work after this school year.  I plan on applying to lots of different places and seeing what's out there.  

But, I still have a considerable amount of clinical hours (which are kind of like student teaching) to complete and a baby on the way before I can think about where to look for a job.  So, I have been working on making my new speech kiddos some materials to use during our therapy sessions this semester.  I know my audience is primarily teachers but many of the materials I use with my speech kiddos can be used in someway in the classroom so I figured I would still share them here.  And maybe I'll pick up some SLP readers here and there?? : )

 I just finished this pack this weekend and it's called Read it, Say it, Play it!  This pack focuses on words with L blends, and eventually I intend on making similar packs just with different words (s-blends are next on my list). If you haven't noticed, begin pregnant has made me seriously slow down on the creating (and blogging) front.  I'd like to say that it will pick up again soon but my energy is about half of what I used to have.  Growing a baby is hard work! : )

 While I intend to use this pack during articulation therapy, it can also be used with kiddos who are learning to read words with L blends.  It has many of my kiddos favorite games (Bingo, Uno-like card games, etc.). You can click on either image below to check it out on TPT.  

Graduating in May has become even more important since we also expecting our little one right around the same time!  My husband and I have been busy getting his nursery ready these past few weeks since we are just a tad busy this semester I wanted to get a jump start on it. I wanted to share a Pinterest project that my husband and I worked on this week!  Hanging these shelves were not fun or easy but I am so happy with how they turned out! Since we are both teachers, of course we knew we wanted lots of children's books in his room.  These shelves are all over Pinterest.  They are actually spice racks from IKEA.
As always thanks for hanging in there with me and I hope you have a great week!

Close Reads

Close Reads are a popular topic right now with the Common Core and in my school/district.  As a Title I teacher I only have 30 minutes with my reading groups and the majority of our time is spent working on a close read.  I do switch it up every now and then with different skill based games but most of our time is spent building skills with comprehension, vocabulary and fluency. I know there are many different ways/aspects to close reads and I have heard many variations but I wanted to share how they are working for us!  I do not claim to be an expert on the topic by any means, this is just simply what has been working for my kiddos.

First, I find some quality short reading passages.  This can be a book but I have found that a whole book (even smaller leveled readers) typically take too long to read and hit all the skills I want to hit in 30 minutes.  So, I have created some and searched far and wide on TPT to find some quality reading passages (and all come with comprehension questions).  I have also trickled some of these down throughout the year as my kiddos have made progress.  For example, my 3rd graders began the year with the Finding Proof pack and have now graduated to Little Red's passages. Some packs focus on particular skills (inferencing, mythology or theme) while others are general reading passages. Here are some of my favorites!




As of right now, my 2nd graders are working on Finding Proof, my 3rd graders are working through Little Red's seasonal passages (and these informational ones too!) and my 4th graders are working on the awesome animal articles. 

So, what do we do with the passages?  Here's a breakdown of how we do Close Reads, again this is just what works for us.  
Here's what the passages look like after my kiddos have worked on them.
2nd Grade

3rd Grade

4th Grade (the comprehension questions for this passage are on the back of the page)

I also love to use lots of visuals with my kiddos during our reading time.  One of those is our Informational Text Feature bulletin board which is right by our reading table.  We refer to it often to identify and discuss text features.
These posters are available as a free download in the Primary Punch TPT store.  Many of the other posters I use with my groups can be found in The Ultimate Teacher Poster Pack! It also has posters for math which I love to use with my math groups. This is the ultimate bundle of posters that can be found in many of my units that I have created.
I also mentioned the RUNNERS test taking strategy above.  This is something that I try to incorporate with all my groups because I know the upper grade teachers work on it so I figure it doesn't hurt to use it with my younger kiddos to help prepare them. These RUNNERS strategy posters are also a free download in the Primary Punch TPT Store. I also have a free QR code version for the tech savy classroom.

Well that's how we do Close Reads in a nutshell.  I have finally begun to see some major progress with each of my reading groups which has been amazing!  I can't wait to see how far they come from now until the end of the year.

January Currently

I know it's a few days past the beginning of January but it has been so long since I've done a Currently, I felt like it was time! This Currently is not very school related since I've been out for 2 weeks but in case you were wondering what's been going on with me, here ya go!
I feel the need to explain some of my Currently's in case you wanted more information.  : )

 For my "needing" category…I was really sick with the stomach flu the week before break so I missed the last 2 days of school. I didn't even get to deliver my cute soap gifts, I was so bummed.  Luckily my husband and I work at the same school and he handed them out for me.  Being out before break definitely made me not as as prepared for our return tomorrow.  I have some emergency activities always prepared "just in case" but I feel so unprepared! 

I am really wanting a snow day!  Not just to get a day off of school (because we have to make up any day we miss) but I would like to see some beautiful snow!  All my friends up north have been getting a ton of snow and I'm sure they're sick of it but I'd really like just one little snow day down south.

My memory that I won't forget from this Christmas is definitely about our sweet little baby we are expecting in May. Over break my hubby and I revealed Baby K's gender to both our families using these cute booties.  We sent our families a picture of the booties in black and white before break so they were all very curious to find out if they were pink or blue!

And then we wrapped them up so they had to open a present to find out!  We were so excited to announce that Baby K is a BOY!!
Since we found out I have become obsessed with planning the nursery.  My mom and I did some serious nursery shopping while I was home in Virginia and I dragged my husband to a few shopping trips as well over break.  Let's just say shopping is definitely not his thing.  I "think" I have settled on a grey and white nursery with accents of navy blue.  I don't really want a definite theme but there will be a few elephants hanging around.

Sorry for such a non-teaching related post but that's what I've been up to lately! If you want to check out other currently's be sure to head over to Oh Boy 4th Grade!

  If you're headed back to school tomorrow I hope you have a great week, I know all those kiddos will be so excited to be back!