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Tweaking Daily 5 to Make it Work for Me... Teacher's Week - Organizing for Instruction

Hello Friends,

I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago and thought that I would link it to Organizing for Instruction this week on Blog Hoppin!  Also, I added an idea for how I organize my crayons. I just added this, so if you would like to read it, click HERE

 

 Before I begin, I want to preface this by saying that I LOVE Daily 5 and admire every teacher who can make it work just as the book explains. One of my co-teachers followed Daily 5 to the letter last year and she absolutely loved it and plans to follow it exactly again this year. I, though, love creating centers for my students and didn't want to completely eliminate them from my literacy time. And I truly love Debbie Diller's Literacy Work Stations method, so I wanted to keep parts of that, too.

So, this is how I do it.......

I begin the year by teaching the elements of Daily 5  just as the book explains. All the words of wisdom for implementation are contained within the book.  So if you haven't read it, get a copy and read it! It is excellent! We practice READ TO SELF, READ TO A PARTNER, WORD WORK, and LISTEN TO A STORY. One element that I delay is WORK ON WRITING because I feel it is important to teach this skill correctly before adding it into a rotation. I add WORK ON WRITING as a rotation later in the year.

When introducing WORD WORK, all my kiddos do the same center. We discuss center rules such as how to clean up, how to share, how to use quiet voices, what to do if you don't understand the directions, etc. After the initial rules have been explained, I set the timer for 10 minutes and my kiddos practice the center. That is all we do the first
day. The next day, they all do a different center for 10 minutes. This continues for 4 days with my kiddos doing a different center each day. The next week, I use the same centers, but introduce rotation. I set the timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, they move to a different center. We do this until every group has rotated through all 4 centers.

After my kiddos have a good idea how to rotate, it is time to introduce the Daily 5 rotation chart. My kiddos are always confused that the chart is called Daily FIVE because on my rotation chart, there are only 4 numbers.  I tell them it is because there are FIVE choices to choose from, but they only do 4 of them a day. I was confused by that myself when I was learning Daily 5! Kids have 5 choices, but do not do all them in one day!


The yellow boxes are covering up the names of my kiddos, but you can still get the idea of how it looks! I teach my kiddos that they look for the strip that is ABOVE their name. I used to just number the rotations from the top, but my kinders had trouble understanding how to drag their finger from the top down, so I added numbers in every row which seemed to help their understanding.The kid's names are attached to a black strip with Velcro. Attaching them with Velcro makes it easy for me to change names around.  My kiddos stay with the same group all week; if I make group changes, it is on Monday and they stay with this group until Thursday. Because the names are attached to the black strip, it makes it easy to move them from one rotation to another. I move the entire group from row to row every morning until they have completed every rotation. There are pros and cons to keeping kids together for every rotation. I have tried many ways to group my kids and this way works the best for me. The beauty of our profession is the fact that we are allowed to create structure that works for our group of kiddos as well as something that works for the teacher. Trial and error is a part of what we do!

When I begin rotations, I do NOT add TEACHER TIME. My kiddos must learn how to rotate correctly before I start pulling them back to me. Once I feel they are ready for TEACHER TIME, I make sure that they are working confidently and independently before I bring them back to me. The picture above shows how rotations look after every element has been introduced and practiced.

Okay...... this is how I vary the Daily 5 routine.......

My kids do FOUR Word Work centers a week. Each center is color coded; red, blue, yellow, green. When my kiddos look at their rotations for the day, they look for the apple color on their WORD WORK card. This apple shows them which Word Work tub, they are to do that day. My kiddos rotate with the same group each day. True Daily Five teachers allow their children to make their own choices, but as I said, this is where I varied the structure. When they are not doing WORD WORK, they are doing another Daily 5 element. Within each WORD WORK rotation, there are choices that the kids can do if they are an early finisher OR sometimes I just put in Word Work choices that they choose from during this rotation such as magnet letters, play dough sight words, and sight word "Boom". Regardless of what is put into each WORD WORK center, my kiddos do ONE Word Work center a day which means that they do four Word Work center weekly.  I use many of Debbie Diller's Literacy Work Station ideas in my Word Work centers.

Here are some close up views of how the strips look. You can see that each WORD WORK rotation has a different colored apple on it. If you would like a copy of these rotation strips, click HERE. Please note that I am not including the Daily 5 images by themselves. You can find the small choice cards here at KinderTastic.




The structure of this type of literacy center rotation has cut my planning time in half; maybe even more! I plan 4 centers weekly. I prepare them on Monday morning and they do not change the whole week. Sometimes I will keep one WORD WORK rotation the same from week to week. Some WORD WORK rotations match our theme and some are just fun. The beauty of this type of rotation besides freeing me up from planning so many centers is that my kiddos are still benefiting from the Daily 5 elements and developing a joy of reading in many different ways while still practicing critical kindergarten Word Work skills on a daily basis.


The WORD WORK centers might look like this:

RED - beginning sound match
BLUE - search the room/uppercase and lowercase letter match
YELLOW - roll an apple letter match
GREEN - find the letters; font search and match

 I always make sure that there is a generic activity or two within each WORD WORK tub so that early finishers have something to do before the time to rotate is up!

And just in case you are wondering what we do on Fridays........ I do whole group literacy instruction on Fridays. I may introduce new a skill, a new letter, a new reading game, a shared reading/writing experience...... I like doing this on Friday rather than on Monday because my kiddos are ready for a change on Friday and the skill that they learned on Friday can usually be found in a WORD WORK center the following week.

So.... that is how I tweaked Daily 5 to make it work for me! I am very aware that this is not the pure version of Daily 5, but I feel that my students are able to glean the benefits of this beautiful program while allowing me to feel comfortable in the process!

Click the button below to take you to Blog Hoppin to read about some amazing ideas from teachers sharing their organizational tips!

Until next time!

Blessings,
Cindy

Last chapter of "Talking, Drawing, Writing"

Hello Friends,
Well after delving into this book for 2 months, the time has come for it to end. The last chapter is entitled "One Teacher, One Classroom." This was a relatively short chapter; mainly summing up what was written about in the previous chapters. The authors gave examples of how to encourage kids to leave out little details and only write about the important stuff. I know my students have a tendency to get bogged down in details; especially when writing their books. For example, a story riddled with small details might sound like this:
We went to a restaurant.
We went in.
We sat down.
We ate food.
We went home.

Instead, we as teachers must encourage our students to write about why that particular restaurant was chosen,  what was on the menu,  where they were seated, or the people who went to the restaurant. Not all kids will be able to do this, of course, but by this time of year, most will be able to revise their stories to add interesting details. 

I love how it is suggested to include an "About the Author" page at the end of the student made books. The teacher in the book took a picture of each student, added some words about the child, and then printed it to be used for the ending page. She also had each child pick out their favorite story and then she typed it into a document and the child illustrated each typed page. What a really cool idea!

In the closing remarks, the authors encourage us, as teachers, to listen to our students and encourage them to be the best they can be. Kindergarten kids can, and do, amazing things; they just need the road map to get there and with the aid of this wonderful book, I am excited to read what my kiddos do by the end of the year! As with anything, it takes patience and baby steps, so I must start at the beginning of the book and re-read what those beginning steps entail....... I am looking forward to this journey!

Thanks for staying with me on this book study! I will keep you posted as to what happens when I try this with my new bunch of kiddos!

Until next time!

Blessings, 
Cindy

Sunday Smorgasboard, I am Walking, and Some new and revised packets! Woo hoo!

Hello Friends!





I am linking up with Fabulous in First for Sunday Smorgasboard! I am very late linking up, though, because my hubby and I went out for brunch and visited with some wonderful friends. It is now the middle of the afternoon! Oh well!



First of all, I am sharing a picture of me wearing my walking boot! I am so excited to be wearing this because now I feel like a HUMAN again! Just being able to get outside makes a HUGE difference. I have to wear "balloon" pants because my regular pants do not fit over my boot, but that is okay; at least I am free! I have one more hurdle to jump and that is being able to drive again. I have to be walking full time in the boot for a week before I will be given a "driving" boot to use. One step at a time. One goal at a time!
 I am standing behind my gorgeous rose bush that my husband is happy to tell you is still alive because HE watered it while I was recovering! That is true; he DID do a good job of keeping my flowers alive..... I am just ignoring the weeds climbing everywhere!!




I have started to think a lot about school. I did a lot of work in my classroom before my surgery and I actually do not remember what needs to be done and what doesn't! Hopefully I will get my class list soon so that I can start making name plates. One thing I found this year that I am excited to use are these clips by Really Good Stuff. When I ordered them, I knew that I needed 30 so I placed my order. But when they arrived, there were 120 clips in the box! Why is that you ask? Well....... they come 4 to a package so I ordered 30 packages; not 30 clips..... sigh........guess I am going to have plenty, don't you think???



Because the only thing I have had to do these past couple of weeks is work on my computer, I have been pretty busy revising and creating my units. I totally revised NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, so if you purchased it, RE-DOWNLOAD it! I also revised my HEALTHY KID and CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD packs. I think you will like the changes. FOUR FABULOUS CIRCUS LITERACY CENTERS, SIX SPECTACULAR SPIDER, and FIVE FABULOUS PUMPKIN LITERACY CENTERS are new. I have one more that is just about ready and will be posting that soon!










 The polka dot background is from my friend, Mel FROM POND

So that is about it for now! Have a wonderful week!

Until next time!

Blessings,
Cindy








Chapter 8 "Talking, Drawing, Writing" MOVING WRITERS FORWARD and a freebie


Hello Friends!
Wow! This is the next to the last week of our summer book study! I have learned so much from this book and so glad to have found this wonderful resource. There are a couple of reasons as to why  I have loved it..... First, I LOVE with all my heart teaching kids to draw and truly feel that drawing is such a great way to get kids to express themselves. Second, as I have written in previous posts, writing has always been my weakness and this book has given me so many practical ideas for teaching it. I am excited to implement them this year!

Chapter 8 is called "Moving Writers Forward." This is the step you take after your kiddos are writing and drawing confidently and need a nudge forward. This is for all writers, but especially those little ones who continue to write on the same subject or need some encouragement to make their writing readable by others. They give several suggestions but I am only going to comment on a few.

We all know the pictures with the big yellow sun inside a stripe of blue sky, don't we? (smile) There is nothing wrong with these pictures, but the authors make the suggestion that not all outside pictures need to have a sun to show that it is daytime. They suggest having students look at the sky and notice that it doesn't always look blue; sometimes it just looks white. They also show children that sometimes just the text of a story portrays the fact that it is daytime. For example, we wouldn't build a sand castle at night, right? And conversely, we wouldn't be sleeping in our bed (most times) if it were day time. I think this is a great way to encourage kids to use their words to show that what is happening in their story is during a certain time of day.

I really enjoyed the section on Revision. This is one area that has always been challenging to me. I think kids feel my reluctance to tell them to revise because I am always afraid that I will hurt their self esteem by telling them to go back and try again. The authors give some great ways to make little ones excited about revision. One interesting editing feature that they suggest is the use of a "caret." We all know how it is when we write; many times when we go back and read something we wrote, we find out that we left out a word. (Thank goodness for technology that makes it easy to correct our grammatical and spelling mistakes!) Little ones do the same thing with their writing. I remember one little guy last year who did this consistently and would become so discouraged when he had to erase the entire sentence and try again. I really did not think about teaching them to use a caret symbol to insert forgotten words! What a great idea!

They also feel that it is important from the beginning giving our kiddos a structure for writing. This structure is part of the revising techniques. These beginning structures include:
1.  Writing name of paper
2.  Writing title for writing
3.  Writing the date
4.  Numbering finished writing
5.  Writing the title of writing on MY FINISHED WRITING

As children progress through their writing, other revision techniques are slowly introduced such as:
1. Does my story make sense?
2.  Do I need to add more information in the pictures?
3.  Do I need to add more information in the words?
4.  Do I need to take some information out of my pictures or words?
5.  Have I written my words the best that I know how, reading each word carefully and touching each letter and making sure I have a letter for each sound I say and hear?

Some mechanics that they suggest become part of revisions are:
1.  Put spaces between your words.
2.  Capitalize the word I
3.  Use periods to show writers where to stop
4. Use question marks and exclamation markds.
5.  Use mostly lowercase letters.
6.  Use a capital letter at the beginning of each sentence.
7.  Put quotation marks around the words that people say out loud.

I think this is such a nice progression. Kids start out slowly and gradually move to the more sophisticated editing techniques that are more mechanical than content.

I also loved how kids have a special sheet in their writing folder called "My Ideas for Writing." Since I am a person of lists, this is right on with my mindset! For those times when kids are in the middle of a story and get an idea about another story or if they have just come back from recess and want to write about the soccer game they just played, but it is not writing time, they just jot it on their "My Ideas for Writing" sheet and their idea is not lost!

The authors offer some really nice Writing Folder Inserts in the back of the book. I re-did the "My Ideas for Writing" just to make it a bit cuter! If you would like a copy, click the image to get a Google doc.

 Don't forget to visit Jennifer from Teaching with Grace, who is hosting this book study! She has a giveaway going on in her blog right now!

Until next time!

Blessings,
Cindy

Why I LOVE TPT and How it has changed my Teaching

Hello Friends!

When I started my blog a year and a half ago, I made the decision to not make a big deal about the fact that I sell resources on TPT; rather I wanted my blog to be a place where I could meet new teachers and share some of the things that I do in my classroom. Sharing ideas and collaboration was and always will be my purpose in writing this blog. I have been putting much thought into what I want to say for many months and for some reason, today seems to be the day to write it.....

I have been teaching for 25 years - yes, that even sounds ancient to me! Through those 25 years, I have seen many educational tides; some of them good; some of them destructive. 17 of those 25 years have been spent in kindergarten and 17 of those years in a parochial schools. Much discussion can be made about private schools vs public schools. The intent of this post is not to compare the two types of school; rather to give a bit of  background. I have always loved teaching and I mean ALWAYS! I was one of those kids who asked for a chalk and a chalkboard for Christmas! I say this because truly, I feel that my destiny has always been teaching. I think of myself as wife, mother, and teacher; all 3 are so intertwined that there is no way that you can find where one strand begins and the other ends! When my husband and I were dating, I was already a teacher and he knew from the start that teaching was something that I would not give up and even though I took a brief break from teaching to have our children, I was back into the teaching world when our youngest son entered kindergarten and I have been there ever since!

When I first started teaching kindergarten, there really was no set curriculum. I remember vividly sitting through a textbook review from a representative. When I raised my hand to ask a question, she asked "What grade do you teach?"I told her "Kindergarten." Her response was "Oh...... Kindergarten. Well, kindergarten is so different from the rest of the grades. What I am telling you is not for kindergarten." "So, " I asked, "What DO you have for kindergarten?" "Well", she said, "Honestly, we do not really have anything appropriate for kindergarten at this time." Yep, those are almost the exact words of our conversation. There really wasn't much for kindergarten at the time. It was sad, but also exciting! I really was free to create my own curriculum. I was the first kindergarten teacher that our school had ever had and my principal really had no idea what I should be doing! So, I started to create my own materials. When I look back at them now, I am a bit embarrassed by their quality. But what I DO see is a teacher working to create materials that were enticing to a five year old, but filled with challenge that only kindergarten teachers know their students can achieve. Even back then, I felt that kindergarten kids could be taught a few sight words and construct sentences with simple writing activities. I can't say that what I did with them was pretty, but they learned and that was the important part.

Through the years, my teaching evolved as all good teaching does. I have always been a proponent of continuing education for teachers. Teachers who do not stay up on current trends tend to be the ones that do the same thing from year to year and do not take their inspiration from their students. I have been a mentor to student teachers and newly hired teachers. It is because of the influence of these experiences that I have tried to keep my teaching current.

Four years ago, my teaching had reached a plateau. I still loved my job, but I found that I was starting to be the teacher I did not want to be. During one August in-service, I  was training a new kindergarten team and found myself saying things like "This is the way we have always done it" and "No, I don't think that will work here." WHAT??!! Why was I saying the words that I always, always felt were the sign of a teacher tired of her/his job???? It was then that I decided that I needed to change. So I started perusing the internet looking for ideas. This was before Pinterest so it was indeed a challenge to search for "Ideas for Kindergarten learning!" As I was looking, I happened upon a site called "Teachers Pay Teachers."  Hmm....... I wondered what the heck this place was and clicked on the link. Oh my goodness.... A new world jumped out at me! Wow! I was able to find so many interesting things and was totally inspired by the creativity! I made my first purchase then and was a buyer from then on. My teaching totally changed and I was again excited to create my lessons for my students!

Here is the thing..... When I started using TPT resources, I did not use them to REPLACE my current curriculum. I used them to ENHANCE them. I did not ask TPT to write my lesson plans. I continued to be the creator of my own lesson plans. Never once did I feel that TPT was doing my job for me. I felt that TPT was simply a resource; much like The Mailbox and Teacher Created Materials.

When I began to sell on TPT, it was with trepidation. I knew that what I created for my students worked for me, but wasn't sure if it would work for other teachers. But I decided to try it, so I joined TPT as a seller in the summer of 2011. As soon as I was given my spot, I became an instant part of what is called "The Sellers Forum." Wow, wow, wow! I could not believe the collaboration going on in that place! I was instantly inspired by all the creativity and LOVE of teaching that I found in TPT! I found so many teachers willing to share and give great advice. My teaching evolved once again. The bar had increased and I made the decision to create materials that strove to reach that bar. Because of this decision, my students have TOTALLY benefited! I am excited to share with them new ways of reaching their potential and they are excited to get there!

Some teachers criticize TPT because teachers should be sharing ideas, not selling them. Well, we DO share ideas; LOTS of them! I have 82 products in my store and 28 of them are free. There are THOUSANDS of products for free on TPT! No one can say that sharing is not a part of TPT. But I see no difference between paying a fellow teacher for supplemental materials and purchasing a book from TCM or a subscription to The Mailbox Magazine. No one says that The Mailbox was created to take the place of lesson plan writing. They are simply resources to use to supplement lessons.

Another criticism of TPT is that our resources are mostly in the form of PDF documents and therefore cannot be changed. How many of us have purchased a resource book and been given the opportunity to change the format? I know of no books that allow buyers to change the format. When I create a resource, I try to add pages that are adaptable to both a teacher's individual needs and those of his/her students. I have read several quotes from teachers who say that they go to TPT simply for ideas and not for purchase. They become annoyed when they cannot copy and paste elements from a product to suit their own needs. As a creator of supplemental materials, I purchase photos and clip art from various vendors. In order to protect both the property of the graphic artists and my own ideas, I add security settings to my products. It is an unfortunate part of selling on the internet that ideas can easily be stolen. Look at all the lawsuits movie companies and entertainers are involved in - it is just too easy to steal ideas and therefore, safeguards need to be made to protect intellectual property.

So, how has TPT changed my teaching?

1.  TPT has made me aware of current trends in education and inspired me to make these a part of my weekly lesson planning.

2.  TPT has allowed me to collaborate with some of the brightest minds in education today.

3.  TPT has made learning fun for my students. My students are five years old and they are excited to see bright colors and fun images.

4.  TPT has made it possible for me to create a brilliant lesson and be able to attend a family gathering or have a Saturday night dinner with my husband. All that I have to do is search for a resource and I will find what I need. I write my lesson plans, add the resource, and have the time to enjoy much needed time with my family.

5. TPT has caused  me to become excited about teaching again! I no longer look at last year's lesson plans and simply re-create what I did the previous year. TPT is constantly showcasing new ideas, new sellers, new philosophies.... How can you not get excited about your teaching career when you are surrounded by so much energy and enthusiasm?

6.  Finally, TPT has given me a small source of income that I normally would not have while teaching in a parochial school. Yes, I knew when I became a teacher that I would not make a huge salary and that the benefits would not be monetary. And I still am fine with this; I did not choose my career for the money. But if I can share my ideas with others and make a tiny bit of profit doing it, that adds some icing on the cake.

I guess I just want to say to those teachers who are not proponents of TPT, that it is okay to not want to use us. No one would tell you to purchase The Mailbox Magazine because "it will provide everything that you will need to teach your students." There is not one resource that I know of that can completely fulfill the needs of a classroom. It works the same way with TPT. We are a group of teachers who are sharing our resources. We are not selling our lesson plans. Writing lesson plans and making sure that they are written in a way that suits the needs of your students is the job of the teacher; not the writer of a TPT supplement. We simply offer ideas. You are free to use them or you are free to go somewhere else. That is the beauty of our economy; you decide what works for you. There is not one TPT teacher who feels that his/her resources are more than they are which is simply a resource.  TPT is a resource that many teachers feel blessed to have found and in a small way, I am blessed to be a part of it.

Until next time.... and by the way, the I Love TPT logo that I used is from my good friend, Mel, who I have been blessed to have met through TPT! HERE is the link to her blog!

Blessings,

Cindy

Chapter 7 "Introducing Booklets" and One Week since surgery

Hello Friends!
Well it has been one week since my surgery and I am feeling great! The past week has been full of ups and downs, but for the most part, I can say that things seem to be progressing as they should and hopefully when I visit my doctor on Thursday, they will be able to remove the splint and get me on the road to recovery. I had a little setback last week when I went to have the dressing removed. My foot started to spasm and between the spasms and the new stitches, there was no way that I could try a boot; so they put me in a splint for a few more days and I am happy that those days were extended! It gave my body more time to work on healing!

Okay.... on to "Talking, Drawing, Writing" Chapter 7

One of my favorite parts of teaching kids to write is their creation of books! They get so excited about making them and that makes me excited about reading their books! I truly enjoy how the authors in this book write so simply about the discussions and conferences they have with their students. I can imagine the scenario because it is so similar to what I encounter in my own classroom.

They suggest that booklets be 5 pages long. A first page, a last page, and 3 middle pages. I found it interesting that the authors feel that a 3 page booklet is too short because it encourages children to think that stories have a beginning, middle, and end. This, of course, is what we teach, and "although this is true, we want children to see that middle if much fuller than either of the ends and needs to be filled out." I think this is such a cool way to think about writing books! They also give great ideas for organizing the booklets and introducing them to large and small groups.

I have struggled a bit through the years with whether to allow my students to staple their own books together. I worry about little fingers getting stapled because that actually happened to one of my students when I was student teaching! That was a long time ago and I still remember it so it was pretty scary! The authors feel that allowing children to use the stapler is fine as long as the rules are laid down early.

The writers use colorful covers for their students to use on their booklets. They give their students choices for colors and also have two kinds of paper available - blank and lined. They allow students to make their own choices as to whether they prefer blank or lined paper. As I was thinking about this, I know that when my students receive completely blank paper, they have a tendency to draw and write all over their paper and when creating their cover page, do not always have a feel for where the title should go. So I am going to offer a generic cover page for my students to use - at least at the beginning. It has a box for the title and "By line" for the author's name, and the middle for a picture. I think this will give my students a feel for placement. I also am going to offer both a blank and lined paper offer with boundary marks so they (again) will get a feel for how to place pictures and lines in a book. I created this VERY simple cover and lined and blank paper options. I was thinking that I would copy the cover in various colors with variations as to the inside. As the children get used to writing in books, I am pondering allowing them to use the stapler! I am sure that you all have your own paper types, but if want a copy of what I plan to try this year, click the image!





Until next time! Don't forget to click the book study image above to read more reviews of this wonderful book!

Blessings,

Cindy

Chapter 6 "Talking, Drawing, Writing"

Hello Friends!

This week's chapter is on Assessment. I have struggled with how to assess my student's writing for many years. I have used the one star, two stars, three stars chart that has been prevalent on Pinterest and many teaching blogs. I like this as a visual cue to children to add details, use proper punctuation, and to make sure that their writing makes sense. The feeling I get from the authors of "Talking, Drawing, and Writing, though, is that they are not keen on a rubric type of assessment. A quote from the book:  Historically, in our profession, we haven't been expected to look at children's writing and name what we see, because for a long time, there wasn't any children's writing to look at. When there was, we would focus on the mechanics. Or more recently, we'd have a list of descriptors in front of us and try to fit the children's writing in to the rubric. "

Instead the authors suggest keeping a Cumulative Writing Record. Here is what is listed in the columns:
1.  Child's name
2.  What I notice before writing
3.  What writers are doing (Craft, conventions)
4.  Information Writers Need to Learn
5.  When to Teach

They give 3 settings in which to use this type of record
1. Individual Writing Record - Record and assess improvements and strategies to help an individual child become a better writer
2. Small group writing record - Record and assess improvements and strategies to help children became a better recording within a  GROUP of children upon the assessment sheet.
3. Whole group writing record - Quick assessment of what the whole group is doing.

 I love the charts that are included for all 3 ways to assess. In fact, I think they would be helpful to have during the writing conferences with my students. I like the fact that they are titled "Cumulative" because if you start this type of assessment early in the year, you would have wonderful log of the accomplishments of each student.

Next week's chapter is "Introducing Booklets".

Just a quick note before I sign off..... This is the 3rd day after my surgery and I feel pretty good! The pain the day of surgery and yesterday morning was intense. But I have kept up with the pain meds, so I am really not feeling a lot of pain today. Tomorrow I go to the doctor's office to have the dressing change and get fitted for a boot. When that happens, I should be able to get around quicker. I have a great respect for people who are in wheelchairs. So many obstacles to get from Point A to Point B and the time it takes to get there is twice as long.
Here is a picture of my foot presently..... the picture makes my calf look HUGE! Oh well.... !

That's it for now!

Until next time,

Blessings, Cind

My Wandering and Random Thoughts!

Hello Friends!

I am linking up with Fabulous in First and sharing some Sunday randomness and this DEFINITELY is filled with random thoughts!!!


1.  I just love gardening! When we were in San Francisco, I was  so jealous of the fact that they get to garden year round and we in Illinois, have only a few months.... sniff, sniff..... Anyway, first I am going to share with you some updated photos of our school garden. It has been sooo much fun sharing this love of mine with little ones this summer!








2.  I also love my flowers  in my gardens at home. My flowers were "singing"  to me yesterday, so I took a few pictures of them!










 3.  I have been in my classroom for the past 2 weeks and thought I would share with you this cute bulletin board that I put up yesterday. It has a little bit of a glare on it...It is not completely finished, but done enough that I can share!
I am trying to figure out how to get the kid's names on it so that they match the title plus I think that I am going to cut the lettering from the ellison cutter instead of using the computer printed words. But you get the general idea! The flowers are the paper accordion ones that you can find at Walmart or the Party Store.


Here are the rest of them.... ugh....... Still LOTS to do!!!!!





4. Part of the reason I have been in my classroom is because I am having foot surgery on Tuesday and I was allowed to get inside and work. I will not be able to walk for 10 - 14 days - Yikes! I just picked up my mode of transportation this week! It's called a "Roll About" and you put your sore leg's knee on the pads and scoot yourself with your good foot. The problem with it is that it is going to tear up our carpet... BUT, we were planning to replace it this year anyway, so this will make it happen, for sure! I chose this over crutches because I felt that I would be more secure with this than crutches, but it still takes some maneuvering to get around. It is like driver's ed all over again!



5.  I just finished my latest resource! It is a Social Studies packet. It is called "Maps and Globes for Little Kids" and I am really proud of how it came out! 

If you purchased my "Nutcracker" unit, this is a revision for that and you can ONLY get it through email from me! Just go to your "My Purchases" page on TPT and take a screen shot of your nutcracker purchase. Send me the screen shot and I will send you the revision!



6.  Lastly, because of my surgery, I am not sure when my next post will be... I am going to TRY to get one written for the next chapter in "Talking, Drawing, Writing", but we will see........ Hopefully I will be able to be on my computer after a week. I have been fretting and fretting about this surgery. I am super worried about the inactivity I will have for awhile and I also am worried about how my foot will be for the first of school. I have to be back to school on August 19 for our "Meet the Teacher" day, so my goal is to be walking comfortably in a boot by then...  I am glad that I scheduled the surgery the way I did, though. It gave me time to enjoy some summer fun... my trip to San Francisco, my gardening, and time with my kids. I also am so lucky to have such a supportive principal and maintenance staff who cleaned my room early so that I could have the time to do some room arrangement and decorating. I know that I will appreciate this because I probably will not be allowed to go to school until August 9 or 10 at the earliest!

So..... that is it for now! 

Until next time!

Blessings, 
Cindy



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