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Showing posts from September, 2013


I have been going to bed so early lately, and I just haven't had the mental energy to blog even though I have so many things to share with you! Instead of sharing them now, I will make a list of things I'm going to tell you about, so that I'm inspired to write about them soon: The Success of Close Reading Planning out the Quarter in the ISN Using NoRedInk for Practice The First Shared Inquiry of the Year Teaching the Art of Argument with Model Texts Using Writing to Teach Grammar Prepping for Parent Teacher Conferences Which one do you want to hear about most? Are the rest of you wiped out as the whirlwind of the beginning of the school year is finally settling? We are almost done with the quarter, parent teacher conferences are next week, and drama starts up soon, so I need to buck up and get some energy back. How do you keep your energy up?

Young Adult Book Recommendations!

I figured today I would talk about some of the books I've read since the school year started, and that I would highly recommend for Middle School and High School students! Sapphire Blue  by Kerstin Gier This is the sequel to Ruby Red  and continues the story of Gwen, who is a member of a time-traveling circle. She just discovered she had the ability to time travel at the beginning of Ruby Red, and is now on a journey back in time to prevent people from misusing the power of time travel for selfish reasons. This book is chock full of historical facts, and interesting characters. I couldn't stop reading it, and there is a little bit of romance thrown in as well, but not too much :) The Wells Bequest  by Polly Shulman If any of your students read The Grimm Legacy  they are sure to love The Wells Bequest , the second book in the series! This book focuses on the equipment and artifacts held at the New York Circulating Material Repository, and finding H.

Tantalizing Tuesday!

Today I am proud to review the Erin Condren Acrylic Clipboard, and also...announce a FLASH giveaway for a $25 Erin Condren gift card!! This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm on Wednesday, so enter while you can! I am bumping my ISN post to tomorrow in order to do this giveaway today :) A few days ago I received my AMAZING clipboard from Erin Condren. After I ordered, I waited patiently, and when this little beauty arrived I was so excited to open it! If you have ever ordered from EC before, you know that the anticipation of waiting makes finally receiving it so incredibly exciting, it's like Christmas! I love the packaging, it's so thoughtful! Yay!! Here it is... I chose the Fleur Feliz design in the Splash colorway. I liked the teacher ones, but they just weren', so I went with one of the designer clipboards. I love the back! Do you want your own clipboard, or maybe a teacher planner, or something else from their incredible collection?

ISN Series: Why I'm So Picky about the ISN

Sorry, I had to, lol! A lot of my students will ask me why I'm so nit-picky when it comes to the ISN, and I thought for a quick post today, I would list the FAQ I get about it, and my answers! 1. Why do we have to number every single page ahead of time? I'm very honest when I tell them that I don't trust they will do it on their own. They might not like hearing it, but I let them know that even though they might have the best intentions to do it, they will forget, and then someone will get off by a page or two. 2. Why do we have to glue everything in...and why can we only use 5 drops of glue? Two reasons: 1, then you won't lose it, 2, you won't lose it.  You can only use 5 drops of glue because it will waste less glue, and if you draw circles or write your names with the glue, it can bleed through, mess up the pages, and it will be hard to write on the paper when the glue dries 3. Can't I put this stuff in later? No- If you have th

3rd Week Slacking and Grammar!

Hello everyone! I knew this would happen, I only posted ONCE last week, and I was on such a roll! Tomorrow I will still do my ISN series, but I wanted to write today about.....GRAMMAR! In our Language Arts 2 classes we are focusing on Phrases and Clauses at the 7th grade level, and I have been very frustrated with how to approach grammar so students aren't bored out of their minds this year, and I can ensure they are learning. To do this, I am not using the textbook for awhile, mostly because it is VERY dry and VERY difficult. I found some awesome handouts in our Literature series of all places that introduce the standard, 7.L.1, in a very simple and non-threatening way for students. I gave our pre-test to students last week, and I really think chunking it into the (a) (b) and (c) sub-standards will make it much easier on our students (Thanks, CCSS!). Here's my plan of action (I can't post the worksheets I made any better because I adapted them from Keith Polette

ISN Series: Keeping it Organized!

Today I'm going to focus on how to keep the ISN organized! For me, I have a lot of things I have to keep straight since I run three different sets of notebooks among my classes! First I have my binder, where I keep an updated table of contents for each class, along with "master" copies to use for the future and to make copies. In addition to these, I have the pages also glued into my notebook that stays in the classroom as a model for students. Second, and new this year, I found this awesome folder at target that has three pockets, which is perfect! I put any copies I need to make for the week there so I'm not hunting all over for them. When I'm done making copies, these go in the binder. I labeled each pocket to keep everything straight! I also keep copies in folders on my desktop for easy access. For students, I keep assignments in a few different places. First, I upload ALL handouts to our google site

September Currently...Welcome Fall!

I'm linking up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the September Currently today! I LOVE fall, and I'm so excited to move into my favorite season of sweaters, scarves, boots, and pumpkin spice lattes. :) Listening: We are having a "Walking Dead" marathon today. We didn't think we'd get into the show, but now that we've worn out Netflix and watched almost every series (yeah, Breaking Bad!) we decided to move onto this one. I will admit I've totally gotten hooked! Loving: That although we couldn't go out of town this weekend, the hubster and I had a good time hanging around the house with Bella...even though he dropped his iPhone on my face this morning (OUCH!) while we were googling something we saw on an infomercial, lol! Thinking: Last week we had half days every day because many buildings in our district have no A/C and it was so hot and humid. This week will be hard to adjust since we ran the full day schedule last week, and it s

Perfect School Shoes!

I've found the perfect shoes for work, finally! If you haven't heard of them, let me introduce you to....Tieks! Tieks  are made by Gavrieli, and have been featured on Oprah's "O List"! I ordered my Tieks on Wednesday evening, and I couldn't believe they were set to arrive on Saturday! However, I was totally bummed out when I saw that our local post office had moved the delivery date to 9/3 (Tuesday). :( I actually called (I hate making phone calls btw) and asked if I could just come pick them up from the post office. They said yes, so I jumped in the car and went over to pick them up right away! It was a tiny box, but look at that Tiek blue color, so cute! Adorable little headband or something on top of the box! Here is Bella wearing it :) Again, this is what I love about many companies today. From personal correspondence via e-mail and then handwritten notes, it really makes the consumer feel special!  Collapsible shoe bag