July 27, 2018

Launch Guided Reading Like a Boss

Happy Friday, friends!

It's Friday and all week I've been busy with my first online class through UCLA to get my English Language Learners certification and I have to say that I am absolutely loving this class. I feel as though I have been given a fresh perspective as to view my students and it's definitely impacted my approach to teaching this year. This summer course has us learning about Culture and Inclusion and how we, as teachers and administrators, can better create culturally responsible classrooms and schools. A lot of good stuff!

Also, if you've been following me on Facebook lately you'll know I've been super busy with getting all of the Eureka Math resources fine-tuned and finished up. You can already download Module 1 for FIRST GRADE as well as Modules 1 and 2 for SECOND GRADE over at my shop. I really look forward to using these because it maintains the integrity of each lesson, but cuts down on all the busy work students do with their original worksheets!

...that's not what we're talking about today. 

Today is all about launching an organized and focused guided reading block this year!

One of my favorite mentors on effective guided reading comes from *Jan Richardson and her text, Next Steps in Guided Reading. I first heard of Jan Richardson when I first began teaching in Virginia and my school at the time only used her approach. It took some getting used to, but with some practice and refinement on my end I found I was really teaching skills to my kiddos and by the end of the year they were soaring in their reading.

*affiliate Amazon link

So, to help pay it forward a bit I wanted to share a couple of resources I swear by and has made prepping my guided reading block a breeze. Again, Jan Richardson's lesson plan templates are easy to use, but I found that when I'm sitting down and planning everything out I found myself all over the place.

Not anymore!

Common Core Cheat Sheet Flip-book

This flip-book has all of the CCS at your fingertips and can be kept in your guided reading binder. This resource is there to help you find those objectives and tailor your lessons around them. Keep it handy for your daily reading lesson planning, too! 

Lesson Plan Templates

You'll find in my Guided Reading Resource Packet a bunch of lesson plan templates that are inspired by the teachings of Jan Richardson. I've included Pre-A all the way through Fluent so every teacher, no matter the grade or student ability, has access to these plans!

Each plan has check-the-box style focus skills, which helps you stay on-task during your lesson. I found these to be super helpful because, well, they're all right there! See what skills need work and use these plans and notes to influence the next lesson you plan for a given group!

For example...

I pulled an AR level 2 book from my son's room bookshelf to showcase how easy it is to use these lesson plan templates!

Before their reading

  • Each lesson begins with the basics: record the title, reading level of the selected book, and date of day 1-2. 
  • You can opt for a mini-review of sight words just to get their brains warmed up. These sight words can be chosen by words that you notice this group of students regularly misspell or mis-read. This is also optional if you're working with a higher group.
  • Next, you are going to introduce new vocabulary that will be featured in their reading. These are going to be words that help give context to their reading. You should always try to look for 1-3 new words.
    •  I chose "license" because I know it'll be a word students would have difficulty with sounding out. It's a great word to review the different sounds "c" makes and gives context to the sentence about Amelia Bedelia's drivers license.
    • I also chose words that sound the same but have different meanings. Amelia is known for being literal-minded, so this is another great opportunity for students to learn about words such as: herd ('heard of cows') vs heard (as to 'hear' something), steer (a cow) vs steer ('steer' the car). 
  • The introduction is a quick sentence on the title of the story and the main overview of what happens, but leaving it open for students to be curious.
During their reading
  • I already have all of the prompts that Jan Richardson recommends during the time students are reading out loud. Simply check off the prompts/strategies you want them to focus on during today's lesson.
  • During this time, you can have students popcorn read or individually read in whisper voices. You'll lean in and listen to students as they read, prompting them on a given skill and taking notes on what you observe. Do this for all of your students.
Sticky Tip: put sticky notes in each book where you'd like students to stop reading for the day. You can also use sticky notes that have prompts or questions for them to answer - these are great for early finishers!

After their reading
  • Prompt them with a discussion question that focuses on the key comprehension strategy. For this story I chose a simple B-M-E summary and this will be the basis of their guided writing (which will be completed on Day 2).
Day 2 is very similar in structure to Day 1's lesson. Students re-read, or continue reading, and focus on the skills they worked on the day before. The majority of this lesson is fine tuning those skills and working on a simple guided writing activity to summarize the story. This time can also be used for continued word work or comprehension skill.

Parental Inclusion

Reading is such a complex skill and teachers alone can't be the only ones instructing students. My class at UCLA is teaching me about tapping into that resource at home! But, often parents don't understand how we approach reading in the classroom - no longer can this happen!

Sending home a simple FAQ sheet and information about Common Core is step in the right direction in terms of getting parents familiar with how we're teaching reading- and moreso, what they can be doing at home to help reinforce those skills.

This download comes with a couple of parent sheets that can be sent home at the beginning of the year and posted somewhere prominent in their homes. The yellow sheet is an outline as to what guided reading is and how it will look in the classroom. Right now this resource is geared towards 2nd grade skills, but I am happy to adapt this to any grade if you contact me!

The pink sheet is a helpful guide for parents with prompts they can give when their child reads at home and on the back a layman's explanation of the CCS reading objectives. 

Get back to school ready with these downloads! 

July 18, 2018

Diving Into Eureka Math | Module 2 + GIVEAWAY

Hello friends! I am back on the blog today to share with you Module 2 of Eureka Math's unit for second grade! In this module we're diving straight into measurement using centimeters and meters. I really enjoyed working on this module because of Eureka's approach to introducing students to the skills of measurement and how they can relate those skills with solving addition and subtraction word problems. 

Again, my purpose to creating these resources isn't to copy and paste the curriculum. Because the curriculum is pretty great but it could be adapted to real-life classrooms. This is assuming just by looking at their versions of the handouts, these curriculum designers haven't been in a classroom in a while. 

A lot of the work is busy, cumbersome, and sometimes overwhelming for my kiddos. Other teachers I know cut down on the number of problems they want students to work on, which says one thing: it's too much! So, I decided to get a head start on the year and focus the work we expect students to complete so they're spending more time on the skills and for teachers to use this product in addition to other fun centers or activities. 

Get your students up and moving!

Nothing engages kids more than having interactive and engaging activities to do! So, in this measurement module I aim to get kids out of their seats and measuring! Taking the concept development for lessons I've created individual activities where kids measure various items (or each other!) in the room to learn about estimating, using centimeter rulers and meter tape, and answering questions about what they found, notice, and can relate within their work.

And yes, centimeter ruler and meter tape templates are included!

 The use of Math Language

Eureka Math incorporates its own math language into their lessons, which help students from year to year know what the heck we're saying when we're teaching. In this module students learn about visualizing, using mental benchmarks, learning to estimate, and understand what non-standard and standard means.

My worksheet pages help scaffold these new words and allow students to actively use them during their independent practice portion of their problem sets.

I've added a few goodies too...

Although I really like much of Eureka's approach to teaching these measurement concepts, I couldn't help but notice that students could use a little more scaffolding when it comes to jumping into some of these skills.

Especially as it relates to using non-standard and standardized units of measurement! So, don't be surprised to find a few added worksheets or note pages in there ;)


I have included the end of the module assessment, but tweaked it some. I do include most of the original questions but added a couple of questions towards the end. I realized on the assessment it doesn't include every skill the kids worked on and so I added a couple myself in there. I also include an answer key since it doesn't 100% match up with Eureka's.

...and now onto the GIVEAWAY!

One lucky winner will be selected at random on midnight August 1st PST. This winner is entitled to one personal use copy of all created modules for second grade math. This winner will automatically receive a PDF of each module as they are created and released with a total of 8 modules.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

July 14, 2018

Diving Into Eureka Math | Second Grade Module 1

I am back and again with more goodies to compliment any Eureka Math module 1 lesson...now for SECOND GRADE! Although I will be covering a friend while she's on maternity leave in first grade, I'll be back into 2nd at the beginning of 2019. So, why not get prepped?

Eureka Math is trending as the best new math curriculum that schools across the country are taking notice of. My school only just adopted this curriculum last year and it felt as though all the teachers were getting their sea legs. It truly takes a while to become comfortable with the teaching points, but like anything, teachers can easily adapt the concepts and make them fun and engaging lessons.

I am in the process of giving each module a facelift from their original frameworks, which can be found online. I've found a few quirks that don't really translate into the classroom and decided to create my own resource, but inspired by the work and lessons found within each module.

So, let's take a look at what I have so far for module one in second grade!

Begin with note taking skills

I don't believe it can ever be too soon to introduce the skill of note taking. I've created each lesson with that in mind! Easy fill-in-the-blank style notes are combined with work spaces for students to explore and share their work in more meaningful ways. I made sure to include the common Eureka Math vocabulary so students become familiar with this math language.

In second grade a lot of the concepts being introduced are built upon their knowledge from first grade. I've taken some of the pages that I included in my First Grade Module 1 resource as a means to refresh student memories after the summer break.

Lesson pages are focused and to the point!

I, along with other teachers I've spoken with about Eureka Math, have one major pet peeve and that is the lengthy and cumbersome problem sets! These practice problems seem to go on forever and most teachers don't have their students complete a full page.

In my resource I've narrowed down each lesson to include the skills discussed in the concept development, space for student to work with scaffolds, and problem sets that take out the busy work and have students focus on real practice before being dismissed to other activities.

Lets kids interact with the material!

 I love these activities that I've nestled in because it gives students a chance to interact with the skills they're learning. For example, here is a fun way to remember the different facts to make 10. I based this off of an anchor chart I made years ago and now students can keep them safe and as a reference in their math journals.

Displaying a similar anchor chart, along with their rainbows to keep in their journals, students have a far better chance of remembering this strategy when adding or subtracting larger numbers.
Make sure you follow me via email (look for the signup on the sidebar) so you'll be notified whenever new resources are available! Keep an eye out for more Eureka Math modules for both first and second grade.


                                                 First Grade                         Second Grade

July 12, 2018

Diving Into Eureka Math | First Grade

Last year was the first time I was introduced to Eureka Math. My school had adopted it last year and it seems the consensus was that overall teachers liked aspects of the curriculum, but that it definitely can be modified. I just so happen to agree and today I wanted to share a few of my ideas as I plan to teach Module 1 for first grade next school year.

Download at TpT
As some of you may already know, Eureka Math seems to be a popular math curriculum that is finding it's way from middle/high schools to the elementary grades. In second grade last year I got to get a glimpse into the program and how the kids interact with it's material. I have to agree that there is A LOT of great strategies taught, but I found too much time was spent on any one given concept. And I have to say it...

...I HATE the worksheets that come along with it!

They've got too many problems and the format isn't conducive to helping students visualize the math concepts being taught. Also...it's not cute so I took it upon myself to create something that, I hope, teachers all over can use.

I am excited to share with you the complete MODULE 1 of Eureka Math for first grade!

My plan for the future is to dig into second grade for when I go back next January and have those resources available to you all! So, definitely keep an eye out for that!

But, for now I have Module 1 ready for all my first grade teacher friends and I couldn't be more excited to share this with you!

So, let's take a peek at what I've been working on these last few weeks of summer...

One way I love teaching is by using easy-to-follow note pages for my students. By having them be responsible for taking 'notes' during a lesson, I'm more likely to keep their attention and engagement for longer. So, I formatted each application problem and problem set for every lesson to be just right for pasting into student's interactive notebooks!

**But want worksheets instead for centers or small groups? Just print them like normal!

Have students easily follow along with your lessons each day! I've adapted these pages so that while you're teaching the concept development, they can follow along in their journals. I've also narrowed down the problem sets to include just the right amount of practice problems before dismissing your students to another activity you may have planned.

Using a notebook helps keep track of student learning, gives students a space to jot their ideas and work down, and keeps them in a safe place all year long! Use additional pages in your notebooks, too, for other activities you plan during each lesson.

Each Module will feature a cover page with tabs so that as students build their journals throughout the year, each Module will be easy to find! Cover pages also include an overview of what students will be learning about during those lessons.

Most lessons include extension activities for those students ready to expand their thinking or even for those early finishers. Along with that are templates that can be printed out and laminated for continued use throughout the school year using Expo markers! Cut and paste activities can also be used throughout various lessons.

Every so many lessons the Eureka Math curriculum gives students the opportunity to complete Sprints, or timed fluency tests. These sprints can be used at the beginning of lessons to get student's brains warmed up or use them as a means to check-in with their fluency. A and B sides are included as well and match up to Eureka's answer keys included in the Teacher Handbook. Answer keys can also be found online!

Pin me for later!

July 5, 2018

Attacking Your Classroom Library Like a Pro

I am super excited to share these labels with you because it’s been years, I mean years, since I’ve given these guys a fresh look. It’s always kind of fun (and scary) to look back on my earliest products and realize all the things I was doing wrong and how simple everything was. If anything, it shows how much I’ve learned within these last few years on upping the quality and range of my products. I used to only think about my own needs then just upload them to TpT and it was only just last year did I realize the key to becoming a serious TpT Seller and that’s ensuring your products can be used for any grade! 

Which brings us back to these classroom library cards! After looking over what I originally had, I realized that they were a touch outdated and didn’t expand into the many different genres and topics children’s books can be organized into. However, I’m all about simple and not getting into the weeds too much with organizing my library. 

What’s new?

This download now has many new genre and topic labels as well as new authors such as Eric Carle and Shel Silverstein. Another huge improvement to this product is the inclusion of F&P, Lexile, DRA, and AR leveled labels! So, now you can level your class books by level vs the popular genres or themes.

What’s Included?
- Autobiography
- Biography
- Holidays
- Realistic Fiction
- Science Fiction
- Historical Fiction
- Non-Fiction
- Mystery
- Fairy Tales
- Poetry
- Weather
- Animals
- Folk Tales
- Sports
- Math
- School
- Fables

Now includes:
- Social Studies
- Famous Americans
- Native Americans
- Cultural Books
- Science
- Seasons
- Star Student Books
- Class Books
- Environmental Print
- Money
- Shapes
- Colors
- Counting
- First Day of School
- Numbers
- Names
- Sight Words
- Health
- Food & Nutrition
- Manners
- Life Cycles
- Feelings

- Newspaper Bin (for magazines such as Time For Kids, etc.)
- Book Hospital (for broken books in need of repairs)

- Roald Dahl
- Beverly Cleary
- Dr. Seuss
- Judy Blume
- Jan Brett
- Patricia Polacco
- David Shannon
- Cynthia Rylant
- Eric Carle {NEW}
- Shel Silverstein {NEW}

- A-Z Mysteries
- Magic Tree House

**original labels for series such as Goosebumps, Junie B. Jones, etc. were removed for copyright purposes and I don’t have similar clip art. Working on getting those permissions! Sorry for any inconvenience. 

So, this school year don’t forget this helpful tool for your classroom and be sure to get your library organized quickly with these classroom library labels!

July 3, 2018

Teacher Tidbit Tuesday | Summer Routine

It's Tuesday and that means I am joining in on this week's teacher topic which is all about sharing summer routines! Be sure to check out Life in 5th Grade and the other amazing bloggers who are hosting this topic discussion!

Oh, summer. How I love thee.

Summer for me this year is a little different than previous summers since I am beginning online classes at UCLA to earn my English Language Learners certificate. As a part of licensing here in California, I have earned my preliminary credential which is good for five years. Within those five years I must earn my CLAD certificate (the English language learners certification) and complete an induction program - which is kind of like student teaching/internship. I'm a touch frustrated that I have to complete the induction program simply because it's extremely similar to the internship I completed during my grad school studies.

But, alas there's no way around it so I just have to suck it up and get it done.

Other than that...

Right after the school year ended my family and I took a vacation to one of our favorite islands: Turks & Caicos. If you've never been (or heard of it) you NEED to do your research and book your tickets! My husband and I visited for the first time almost 5 years ago and loved it so much we returned for our honeymoon. Since Greyson arrived we haven't been able to take a real vacation, so this year we saved up enough credit card points and were able to make it work!

From CA we flew to Miami, Florida and split up our trip to accommodate Greyson with the time difference. So, we decided to spend a day in Miami before flying to Turks, which is only about a 45 minute flight. It was so nice to relax and the resort we stayed at just began an 'all inclusive' rate, which is extremely helpful now that we're traveling as a family. 

Now that we're back home, Greyson continues to go to school which is a huge help for me because I can focus on my summer school class and work on prepping curriculum and products for next year (and my TpT shop). It also allows me to finally dust the cobwebs off my little blog here and regularly post again. 

My, what one can do with uninterrupted time!

New curriculum and products...

This summer thus far I have been really crunching out this Eureka Math product that I plan to use next year when teaching first grade. If you're not familiar, Eureka Math is a math curriculum that really breaks objectives and concepts down and provides students a multitude of ways to compute and find the answer. Parts of it I love and others seem a bit cumbersome, but my school just adopted this last year and I want to be as prepared and knowledgable about it as I can.

I'm excited to share what I've been working on, but there's A LOT of content to get through....just for Module 1! Be sure to follow me here via email or at my Facebook page for more updates and the big reveal!

Health and wellness.

Another aspect of my summer is focusing on my health and overall wellness. Yes, working out and getting healthy is always a goal, but I am finally taking the steps to check-in with myself and make some necessary changes. First, I went to the doctor for a check up; something I haven't had done in ages or at least since being pregnant. I also opted to have blood work done so that I can see where my numbers are - especially for high cholesterol, which I'm predisposed to having. This also means exploring the Keto diet and making healthier food choices during the week and making sure I fit the gym into my daily routine as well.

I personally need a goal in order to get my butt to the gym so I've decided to purchase the running app 13.1, which is the same company as C25K ('couch to 5k). My goal is to condition myself to run a half-marathon even though I'm not signed up for any event. Having this goal makes me accountable to run the plan from the app and change my eating/drinking habits to support my training. So, it's a win, win!

How do you stay healthy during the summer months?

I love that the summer months are more relaxing with time to gather with friends, stay in my PJs than what's probably acceptable, and thank gooooooodness for Greyson's school that offers a summer program. I love that boy, but I am so thankful to have a break during the day to be productive....or binge on Southern Charm and Real Housewives. ;)

Catch my other posts in this series...