Wednesday, July 10, 2013

      Summer Time Excitement

      I trust you are having an awesome summer.  I hope so anyway!  This has been a very important summer for my family.  Our youngest graduated from high school in May and is leaving to go away to college very soon.  With her being our youngest it makes it so much harder and even though you raise them to be independent and go after their dreams, we are going to miss her, and are not looking forward to an empty house without our kiddos.  Life is about change though, right?  We just have to embrace it.  I've been busy with some summer tutoring, lots of family have been down to visit this summer and we have thoroughly enjoyed that.  I've actually spent quite a bit of time in my classroom this summer. I just keep finding a need to go back, maybe you do that too?  I've been working to get all of my books grouped and arranged so that my Kindergartners will have easy access. I want to arrange them in a way that makes them easily available and yet also addresses the interests and needs of my students. Right now I am thinking all the Arthur books are together, all the bug nonfiction are together, all the dinosaurs, etc.  Also I want them to be grouped so that I can easily teach using different genres, and easily pull a book to focus on meeting the goal of 50% of the read-alouds being fiction and 50% of the read-alouds being informational text.  I received some new books at the end of last year, and I wanted time to read them and start developing text specific questions and activities to go with them.  It's important that questions are not all of a generic nature, but specific to the text and really allow for discussion, allowing students to really think about the story, what they have read, vocabulary, and meaning.
    This summer I have also spent time developing activities to help my students master the common core standards. I am sure you have too.   I am excited about what I've come up with and look forward to sharing it with you very soon.  I am excited, mostly because there are so many different ways to use it to meet the specific needs of students.  That is what I love about creating my own stuff.  The store bought materials can be great, but when I make it myself it is so much more flexible and allows for easy differentiating.  
     Enjoy your summer and remember to take time to take care of you!!  August will be here before we know it.  I plan to go back into the classroom on July 23rd, to get my room ready.  Check back to see what I am planning for classroom design this year.  I am hoping it turns out great!  I would also love to see what you are doing in your classroom.  In the mean time, maybe I'll catch you on the river!!

Happy teaching!

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