The Literacy Spot Week 10!

The Literacy Spot, weekly tips on helping their fifth graders with writing and reading at home. This is what will be sent home to families in this weeks classroom newsletter.

Until next time ...

The Literacy Spot Week 9

The Literacy Spot, weekly tips on helping their fifth graders with writing and reading at home. This is what will be sent home to families in this weeks classroom newsletter.

Until next time ...

The Literacy Spot: Week Eight

The Literacy Spot, weekly tips on helping their fifth graders with writing and reading at home. This is what will be sent home to families in this weeks classroom newsletter.

Until next time ...


Breathe in the aroma of the coffee ...

Breathe out to cool the steaming hot coffee ...

Take a few sips:

S - Am I sleepy?

I - Am I irritated?

P - Am I poorly eating and/or drinking?

S - Am I shutting people out?

The Literacy Spot Week 7: A Book Review

The Literacy Spot, weekly tips on helping their fifth graders with writing and reading at home. This is what will be sent home to families in this weeks classroom newsletter. I will be sharing a few of my favorite books and those of my students over the next few weeks. 

Until next time ...

The Literacy Spot Week 6: A Book Review

The Literacy Spot, weekly tips on helping their fifth graders with writing and reading at home. This is what will be sent home to families in this weeks classroom newsletter. I will be sharing a few of my favorite books and those of my students over the next few weeks. 

Until next time ...

Reflection for February 11, 2019

Happy Monday! What a blessing it is to be going to school this morning
and having the privilege to teach a group of fantastic fifth graders.
Before School 7:30 - 8:00:

  • Planning
  • Hang Sugar Act on Timeline

Reading Intervention 8:00 - 8:45:
-No ELL teacher *Please project the Intervention Rotation Schedule. These groups will be temporary for this week.

Paul Bunyan

Worked with students on reading Paul Bunyan, great discussion with small group about Tall Tales. Students summarized chapter with one another and then translated to new student with very little English. I struggle with having limited communication with the new student who only speaks and understands Spanish. I only work with him once a week, but I would like some more ideas of how to better work with him.

Prep Time 8:45 - 9:30:

  • Make Copies for SS
  • Reflect on Reading Group
  • Practice Math

Our guest teacher left to pick up something to do. She did not realize that I would be teaching all day!

Math 9:30 - 10:30:

*We introduced finding volume on Geo-boards a little bit on Friday. They know where the geoboards are and the expectation (no rubber bands on the ground).

Unit 5 Module 2 Session 2
Rectangles with Fractional Side Lengths

Guided Practice(Pg. 176) Fraction Multiplication Grids, (Pg. 177) Simplifying Fractions,

After practice with geoboards and grid paper, students began to understand multiplying fractions to find the area of the space. Some students were unable to properly use the geoboards and geobands, so they were taken away. These are tools not toys. I really like the online app pictured above. We used this to show whole class the problems that were done in pairs or individuals.

Language/Writing 10:45 - 11:15:

  • Conclusion Video
  • Model how to write, conclusion

We were able to complete the conclusion of the paper. I modeled the writing of the conclusion, after watching a short video on what the conclusion does to an informative article.

Social Studies 11:15 - 11:45:

Sugar Act

  • Video
  • Read Handout
  • Activity

The para in the classroom has a few pence from London that she will bring to class tomorrow. Physical artifacts are so cool! I am happy that my students will be able to see them and understand what it is that the King of England was requesting of the colonists. Making something relevant to something that occurred in 1765. Students had a difficult time staying on task today. We watched the video, read the article, and made it part way through the activity.  I noticed many students waiting for me to write the answers on the paper projected on the board..  How do I get them to participate with the discussion?

When I waited for more students to answer, I was told by a student “you are never going to get participation from everyone.” I responded with, “you should try to not use the word never.”

Math Intervention 12:30 - 1:15:

  • Make Valentine’s Bags/Boxes

-They can use any supplies in the art cabinets except glitter or paint (ex. Streamers, stickers, ribbon, yarns, etc.) I usually set things out on the back table and then call a row at a time to pick out their materials, so it’s not too chaotic

Students were creative in making their bags for Valentine treats during the party on Thursday. We listened to the piano guys through YouTube while the decorated their bags and chatted with their neighbors.

Wonders 1:30 -2:30:

Unit 4 Week 1

  • Introduce vocabulary words and spelling 
  • Lesson opener
  • Read through the reader/writer workshop book and introduce skills for the week: Author’s Point of View and Context Clues
  • Istations/Finish reading test

Opened up the unit with a discussion of the essential questions: What kind of stories do we tell? Why do we tell them? Discussed what visualization was and encouraged them to think about the story and  what they see while I read the story today.
Chatty students made the vocabulary lesson so much longer than it needed to be. How do you make new vocabulary engaging to tired students?

After School 3:00 - 3:45:

  • Reflect
  • Prepare for tomorrow

Today was a good day ... Until next time ...

Taking a Daily Time Out

T - Take a moment for Yourself (Sit Down, Breathe & Clear Your Thoughts)

I - Intimate Relationship Development through Prayer (Talk to Jesus)

M - Make To Do List/Plan Day (Appointments, phone calls, e-mails, errands)

E - Eating Right & Exercise Regularly (Plan out your healthy meals &  physical activity)

Click here for a free printable

O - Open Your Bible & Read His Word (Scripture Reading)

U - Understand the Scripture (Application)

T - Thoughts on Paper (Journal)

Reflection for February 7, 2019

What I Wore Thursday

Before School 7:30 - 8:00 :
  • Planning
  • Copies for S.S.
  • Lock-down meeting 7:35-8:00
Was able to make copies and get to the meeting on time! Forgot to pee and had to wait until Prep! Updates on the TFSD Lock-down procedures.

Social Studies 8:00 - 8:45:

The Proclamation of 1763

  • Video
  • Reading & Questions
We finished early so we were able to hole punch our handouts from the beginning of this week. The video was a great way to introduce the message from the King. The students understood why The Proclamation of 1763 was a cause of the American Revolution. I am feeling good about the SS unit so far. I do need to figure out the assignments that will be done for the Road to Revolution, the American Revolution, and the overall unit. Focusing on one single standard.

Prep Time 8:45 - 9:30:

  • Team Meeting 
  • Prepare for Math
  • Discuss guest teacher plans for Monday and Tuesday as CT will not be in.
  • Carnival Plans, April 5th grade games : ring toss, coin toss, and another one

Math 9:30 - 10:30:

Unit 5 Module 1 Session 5: Trading Places Number String
(Pg. 170) Fractions of Wholes

We were only able to get through part of the number string. Most students were needing assistance with the proper strategies to use with Multiplying Whole numbers with fractions. Students came to board and showed how they figured it out. One student brought up a different strategy that was not clear to myself or students. Asked him if this strategy would work on other problems, he stated probably not. Then we discussed as a class of why this is not a known strategy. Students were having problems staying on task and I had to visit each set of partners to make sure they were completing their problem assigned.

The next time I complete a number string, I will put the process with explanations on a Google Slide to keep us on target. While dealing with classroom management issues, it will make it easier to stay on track.

Language/ Writing 10:45 - 11:45:

Model Paragraphs: Purpose & Results
  • Listed the sources of evidence for the purpose and results.
Students did not follow along and began side conversations. After three warnings they were given instructions to complete the purpose paragraph on their own. They copied the paper in google classroom and I am unable to view their work. A few students told CT they did not understand what they were supposed to do when she assisted them. I was instructed to make sure the students knew what they were to do; however, no students asked questions when I asked if they had any.

Wonders 1:30 -2:30:
Create this weeks Literacy Spot while students complete Unit Assessment

After School 3:00 - 3:45:
  • Reflect
  • Discuss our plan for when guest teacher is here Monday & Tuesday. I will not be in Friday as I will be attending all day seminar for student teaching.
Until next time ...

The Literacy Spot: Week Five

The Literacy Spot, weekly tips on helping their fifth graders with writing and reading at home. This is what will be sent home to families in this weeks classroom newsletter.

How do you keep up communication with your students' families? Please let me know in the comments below. Until next time ...

Reflection for February 6, 2019

What I Wore Wednesday
Before School 7:30 - 8:00:

  • Planning

Social Studies 8:00 - 8:45:

  • How to Interpret  Primary Sources 
  • Primary Source Detective: Join, or Die

For a new skill the students had a great discussion about the primary source. Students will need more opportunities to work with primary sources.

Prep Time 8:45 - 9:30:

  • Prepare for Math

Math 9:30 - 10:30:

*ELL students WIDA testing: 10:00-11:30

Unit 5 Module 1 Session 4 Sharing Strategies

  • Target One Game as Class
  • Target One Game with Partners, CT and I walk around/assist. 

Game was confusing to some students. Misunderstanding of directions of game. Previously played with one set of numbers where students played to find the equation that led them to the closest to the number 1. In real game, they were to use two sets of numbers rather than share. Next time play game in its entirety as a class to show them how to play. Made it work with one set of numbers. Students found it difficult to score.

Language/ Writing 10:45 - 11:45:

Model how to write: body

  • Body paragraph video & explanation
  • Challenges paragraph as a whole group 
  • Purpose & Results in 2 separate groups.

A few students attempted to assist me in writing the paragraph. They used information from video and sources. Students were not able or willing to share their ideas to create a sentence. Some students did not read or review the sources that we have discussed of the last week. Students are having difficulty creating sentences based on the sentences

Coming in the middle of the school year, I am not fully aware of students weaknesses and strengths. Transition statements have or have not been taught and students are unable to remember. I may have formative assessment quick-write to see what students are able to do on their own.

Wonders 1:30 -2:30:

  • Prepare for Author: Alane Adams - Discussion of who she is and questions we can ask her.
  • Assembly: Author Visit (2:00-3:00)

After School 3:00 - 3:45:

  • IEP Meeting: 3:15
  • Reflect

Until next time ...

Reflection for Tuesday February 5, 2019

What I Wore Tuesday

Before School 7:30 - 8:00: 

  • Planning
  • Hang up Timeline
Road to Revolution Timeline
Social Studies 8:00 - 8:45:
  • French & Indian War Parody Song
  • The French & Indian War (Reading Page)
  • Fold-able Activity

Students were on task. Listened/ Laughed about the Parody Song. Created Activity Whole Group. Students do not have an interactive notebook for Social Studies, I will need holes in paper so they can put it into their binder!!

Prep Time 8:45 - 9:30:

  • Quick Meet w/ Instructional Coach
  • Prepare for Math: Story Problems as a class? Certain problems or as far as we can go? Whole Class, Partner, Individual?
No meeting with Instructional Coach today. CT and I went over the math lesson and we split up the tasks so that I can be student to concept I am unfamiliar with. Thoroughly look over math practice questions and watch videos and or read to understand the process.

Math 9:30 - 10:30:

Unit 5 Module 1 Session 3 Fraction Story Problems

  • (Post Chart from Yesterday)
  • Opening - Me
  • CT - Unit Stair Case, Problem #1

Should we continue with the Fraction Story Problems tomorrow?

Language/ Writing 10:45 - 11:15:

Model how to write:

  • plan
  • intro
  • start with what you know
  • possibly write on Google classroom and have them add input and watch as you write

YES! The students (most of them) worked together to create an Introduction paragraph. Students are having a difficult time coming up with their own sentences to form an idea to share the sources.
How do we cite sources for iSAT?

After School 3:00 - 3:45:

  • IEP Meeting: 3:15
  • Reflect

Until next time ...

Reflection for Monday February 4, 2019

What I Wore, Monday February 4th
Before School 7:30 - 8:00:

  • Make Copies for SS & LA
  • Planning

Copy room was empty at 7:30 this morning! I was super lucky. Today is a good day to have a good day! Discussed the day ahead with CT. Did not sleep well, I am super tired. Lucky to have gotten an available copy room, next week do planning earlier (or at least try). Please note, CT will not be here next Mon or Tues. We will find a place to hang road to revolution in the classroom.

Reading Intervention 8:00 - 8:45 None this week. Begin Social Studies:

  • Introduction to the American Revolution Unit
  • Teaching Primary & Secondary Sources

At first, students were sad that their unit in Science was over, but then when we began they were warming up to the idea of The American Revolution. Students were quiet & attentive (some may not be quite awake). Completed planned activities. The story book pages did not transfer well to a larger screen making it difficult to read. Students who read aloud were proactive and came closer to read if they needed. Pictures were still clear for whole class to view.

Prep Time 8:45 - 9:30:

  • Prepare for Math
  • Prepare for Reading

CT & I went over the math game. Feel better about completing multiplication of a whole number and a fraction. Use

Math 9:30 - 10:30:

Unit 5 Module 1 Session 2 Target One Fractions

  • Poster
  • Game

Game only as a class, completed two rounds. Came to conclusion that the larger the denominator the smaller the “piece”. Students complained about taking notes and have no buy into needing information for their own learning.

Language/ Writing 10:45 - 11:45:


  • Review Directions Part 2
  • Organize notes
  • What should we use to answer the question?
  • Fill bracket outline

No full pre-write completed as a class there was no participation by the class. Switched to filling out bracket outline as a class. Same outcome. No buy-in that this is a necessary step to the writing process.
How do we move forward in the writing process when students do not want to take notes or fill out graphic organizer? Conversation tomorrow with students, explain outline (video).

Have students begin writing body paragraph on own. We have to be reactive rather than proactive.

Wonders 1:30 -2:30

  • Reading Machu Picchu w/ Point of View Discussion using the graphic organizer provided by Wonders.

Near the end of the lesson, students were able to find at least one piece of evidence! They are beginning to understand how to find evidence by seeking text clues. Helpful when CT was able to step in and assist students find the evidence. This also assisted with their staying on task. Chatty group, did not get through the story without pausing due to extra chatter. We still are having difficulty with some students respecting my role in the classroom.

After School 3:00 - 3:45

  • Staff Meeting
  • Reflect

How was your Monday? Until next time ...

Reflecting on my Reflective Practice

     I have a confession, it has been two weeks since my last reflection. Well at least a formal, well thought out one that encourages growth and motivates changes in my teachings. Things have gotten a little busier in my student teaching experience: I have taken over more subjects, I have completed two informal observations, I have attended weekly seminars, and have had more meaningful artifacts to create for my required teacher portfolio (ugh!).
     But, the busier I get the more I need to make time for this very important practice. I am experiencing difficulties with the template in which I originally created. It worked well for individual lessons when I taught only once a day; however, there are differences between a reflection in math than there is in reading and again differences between reading and math intervention time. So, I have a new reflection to try. (like most good ideas, this one came to me while in the shower)
    In order to make best use of my time, I will begin my mornings with the planning overview for the day. This will create the foundation of what I will need for the reflection portion later on. My mentor teacher and I use a Google Slide for each week to collaborate on the lessons for the week on a Grid. I think that if I am able to fill in my daily lesson planner with this information it will be a great start. Then, I will be able to answer questions based on the actual occurrences of the day.
     The questions include: what changes were made and why, + what worked, - what could be improved, and any additional notes that I wish to write.

What does your daily reflection look like? Please share in the comments below.

Until next time ...

The Literacy Spot: Week Four

The Literacy Spot, weekly tips on helping their fifth graders with writing and reading at home. This is what will be sent home to families in this weeks classroom newsletter.

How do you keep up communication with your students' families? Please let me know in the comments below. Until next time ...

Praying Psalms 27

You can read Psalms 27 here on Bible Gateway.

My Jesus is simple, my Jesus is as big as it is far from the East to the West, my Jesus never ceases

With Jesus, I can be confident in all that I do

no need to be full of anxiety and worry about my life

Troubles will draw near, problems will arise and people that do not have me and my family in their best interest will show up

In time all will come to pass

I can stand strong

even tho all that is around me is falling apart

I can be still

when all that is around me is hurried and rushed

This one Thing I Do

Is to know my Jesus

This one Thing I Do

Is to sit at His feet and listen

At the foot of the cross is where I can escape from all the chaos and all the noise

At the foot of the cross is where I can slip away from the disorganization and clutter

Jesus lifts me up when others try to bring me down

When I am in a relationship with my Jesus I can rejoice and be glad in Him

The Literacy Spot: Week Three

I have created The Literacy Spot, weekly tips on helping their fifth graders with writing and reading at home. This is what will be sent home to families in next week's classroom newsletter.

How do you keep up communication with your students' families? Please let me know in the comments below.

Until next time ...

Student Teaching Reflection Week 2: January 14th - 18th

Week 2 is in the books! This was a short week, as I had to travel out of town Wednesday and Thursday to take my Middle School Praxis Examinations. Yet, with only 2.5 days in the classroom I found that I accomplished a lot!

Monday - 
      Today, I began taking attendance, completing morning announcements, and leading them through the pledge of allegiance. As I sat at the teachers desk entering lunches and absences in power school as our students began their morning meeting, I experienced a moment of nerdiness, squealing on the inside LOOK AT ME BEING ALL TEACHERY! 
      Since my reading group during intervention will not begin until next week week 4, I observed my CT in her group as she worked with the students on building vocabulary and strategies to use to assist them in understanding a word when it is unfamiliar to them. 
During Language Arts, the students began a lesson on Making Inferences, you can read about this lesson here
     I led the students through number corner and had them make observations of patterns in the calendar days, make a prediction based on what they have seen so far, and then create an equation that represented what was on the days card. Then I observed my mentor teacher lead them in a activity 
     After-school, I attended my first staff meeting. The principal discussed a few district wide future happenings and then the school nurse led us through a training in Medical Care Plans. I found this to very informative and a great way to open up a discussion between my mentor teacher and I about emergency procedures. After the meeting, we went back into our classroom and she showed we where to find the emergency folder, the students' medical care plans, and our first aid. She laid out the plan for fire drills; however, she was not aware of the procedure for a lock-down at this school. Since, she has only been at this elementary for this school year, she has not participated in one.

What I Wore Day 6
Things To Do:
  • Differentiation Accommodation Form
  • Reflection on Faculty Meeting
  • What are the schools lock-down procedure?
  • Can I attend the Leader in Me Family Night (during Seminar next week)?
  • What time should schedule my observation with University Supervisor?
Tuesday -
     Half day for me, as I will headed to Boise for my testing. One of the students made me a card and they all wished me luck before I headed out of the classroom. In the morning, I completed the same as yesterday and observed/participated in the Language Arts lesson. Since there is not much to reflect on at school, I thought I would share a little bit about home. 

     A major focus on my time during my pre-internship was to find balance between home and school, in preparation for student teaching and my career as a teacher. One way that assists me is waking up early to ease myself into my day. This begins with my cup of coffee and reading from a devotional or bible. My spiritual health is being nurtured here which gives me clear focus and a solid foundation in starting my day right.

Another thing that starts my day right is a morning breakfast smoothie! Ever since my Behavior Change Project, breakfast almost has been an everyday habit. Now that I am consistently running out the door at the same time each morning, I have been drinking my breakfast on the way to school. My smoothie base is typically Slim Fast Vanilla Creme Protein Mix. I combine this with frozen fruit, coconut milk, and ice. I am amazed at how well they taste and how it keeps me fueled until lunch. I do however try to have a small snack during first recess. 

Pictured here is my inspirational wall above my desk. This special spot is where I am able to focus on my school work and my writing. My work area has been a work in progress for awhile, I am absolutely loving how it is turning out!

What I Wore Day 7
Friday -
The students were welcoming with open arms and ready to have me back in the classroom today!
While I was gone, the students wrote about inferences about a story they read. My mentor teacher saw many students forgot to use specific evidence from the story on their paper. So today, we looked at another picture and discussed the evidence they observed which assisted them toward their inference. Then the students discussed where they went wrong on their individual writings. I found this to be a great learning experience for the students and allowed them to see their mistakes so they can do better next time! As they say, FAIL - first attempt in learning. Making mistakes is a necessary component in learning a new concept. 
Feet Up Friday #2
Until next time ...

JellyTelly Board Books & Coloring Books!

I am so very excited to share with you some new board books and coloring books brought to us by some of my favorite people! Buck Denver asks What's in the Bible? presents: God Made the World, God Made Night & Day, God Made the Animals, and God Made Me; all with Clive & Ian. As a childcare provider at my church growing up I was introduced to Veggie Tales and passed on my love for them with my own children. The makers of Veggie Tales created the video series, What's in the Bible? and I have had the opportunity to review some new board books and coloring books that will be valuable to homes of young children and the Sunday School classroom.

Each board book is a short story about the various creations that God made in Genesis 1. I found the stories to be very relatable and a lot of fun to tell. Rather than sharing the words of the bible with young children, author Hannah C. Hall shares a narrative between Clive & Ian to share scripture. In addition, bright and beautiful full page illustrations make the conversation come alive to those listening to the story read to them or assist young readers in reading the story on their own!

The back pages of the book shares a parent connection to assist adults in helping kids know the love of God, Grow in God's love, and Show God's love to others. It also directs readers and adults to visit for more family fun.

Image: Hachette Book Group
God made the world and everything in it! Brothers Clive & Ian go on a picnic and discover that God created the whole world for us to enjoy.

Image: Hachette Book Group

There was a moon and there was a sun and it was good! Brothers Clive & Ian go on a camping trip and discover that God made the sun and moon, darkness and light, day and night!

Image: Hachette Book Group
Gigantic animals, teeny-tiny animals, soft furry animals, shiny animals that crawl-God made them all. Brothers Clive & Ian visit the zoo and discover that God created each amazing animal perfectly unique!

Image: Hachette Book Group
I am special because God made ME. Clive helps his brother Ian learn that he is special because God made him!

From the bestselling video series Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible? comes a new series of fun, easy-to-read board books designed just for preschoolers. Written by bestselling children’s book author, Hannah Hall, the series features charming illustrations and helps parents teach their children about God’s Creation and His love for them.

These timeless stories are perfect for board books as they will be able to last for many years to share with all of your children or multiple readings in your Sunday School classroom. These books are available to purchase $8.99 (U.S.) and $11.99 (CAN).

Image: Hachette Book Group
Color your way through well-known Old Testament & New Testament Bible stories and bring the journey of Jesus and his disciples to life at the kitchen table! This coloring book contains Bible stories and scripture on every page to enhance your child’s coloring adventure through God’s story. Featuring beloved characters from the bestselling video series Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible?, this collection is sure to bring hours of fun and connection for your family.

Image: Hachette Book Group
I have a rating system I use for those books I have read and reviewed on my blog, you may check it out here. I have given these books five cups, I love them a latte!
I would like to thank both Hachette Book Group and FirstWords for sending me the board books and coloring books in exchange for my honest review! I read this book as a part of my #ReadtheRainbow Reading Challenge, inspired by Donalyn Miller. My goal is to read at least one children's literature book from various genres every weekday and share my thoughts here on my blog. Please feel free to subscribe or connect with me on social media to follow my journey through the books I read. Until next time ...