Friday, July 12, 2013

Day 5 Giveaway! Hurry, Don't miss it!!

Happy Friday!
A very special CONGRATS to #324 Jessica E. Reinartz!
She is the winner of yesterday's awesome prize pack!

Being a teacher often comes with the ability to self-sooth yourself, especially on "those days."   For every 10 excuses or complaints, we might get one sweet compliment. 
I think as teachers we often compliment ourselves,
to give us the mental BOOST that we need to be exceptional for our students.  Perhaps it is a mental note of "Man, I ROCKED that reading lesson" or "I can't believe we got that done in one day...WOO HOO!"
I don't know of any other profession where the gift of compliments means so much because for the most part, that is all we get.
No bonus or raise for the extraordinary.
No fancy celebration for a job well done.

We take our compliments straight to the heart,
and nestle them away,
so on "those days"
we can reach in and say, 
This is why I am a teacher.

I had such a moment recently and it was so special to me, that I wanted to share it with all of you!
Last week I received the most amazing message on my Facebook Page.  I don't know about you, but it's not every day that a famous person stops by and leaves a very special message for me!

How about that.  
This compliment could very well get me through the entire year!
If you don't know who Barbara Odanaka is, let me tell me you that she is an AMAZING children's author and last year, when I started using my beanie babies to help me teach the CAFE strategy lessons, I used her book to help me launch the first 5 strategies.  I have never used one anchor text over the course of several weeks to teach multiple strategies before, so this was definitely a first for me.  The kids LOVED it!  We spent a little mini-lesson every other day reviewing previous strategies and when it was time to add a new one, we moved on to a new section of the book and it worked perfectly!  Barb's book title definitely entices the "WOW" factor for me and thus came my inspiration for my "Critter Cafe Collection" last year! Since I officially just "met" Barb on Facebook last week, I don't think she knows about how much her book inspired me!  So I am dedicating this Happy Friday celebration post to my new friend Barbara.  Thank you for the inspiration!

I am sure Barbara would agree with me that anchor texts are the most important piece of learning we can give our kiddos.  There is nothing more powerful than our daily read alouds.  Look up, in the middle of reading a great text, and you know exactly what I mean.
Our kids linger in our every word, and amplify every expression we make...  Read alouds challenge beginning readers to become RISK takers so they can go off and try it on their own.  It is truly the highlight of my teaching day because for 10 minutes I get to be the great story-teller... An actress with many voices... that whisks the kids away into some grand adventure or a spooky dark night....  
Sharing a love for reading couldn't be any sweeter than this special time in our day!
So, to help me celebrate my love for literacy, 
Barbara has gracious offered to raffle away one autographed copy of "A Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe"
to one very lucky winner today!
And to keep with a theme, how about a set of 44 reading strategy posters to help guide your book discussions?  

Good Luck my sweet Friends!!!  

See you tomorrow for the Grand Finale' of my week-long celebration!


  1. I think the most favorite thing I read to my kiddos is the Junie B series. There were so many different skills that I hit with those books and the kids could not get enough of them. It encouraged many of them to work harder on becoming better readers because they wanted to include them in the book boxes as a good fit book.

  2. I have been reading the "Ready Freddy" series for the last couple of years and the kids just love him and his classmates. Because it is a story about First Graders there are so many connections that the kids can make to increase comprehension.

  3. My kids like Junie B and The Littles

  4. I end up reading a lot of the Magic Treehouse books during the is a nice mix of fiction with some facts thrown in and the students love the predictability. Plus the chapters are just the right length (ever read aloud and have to look ahead to see how many more pages you need to read?!) and always have a cliffhanger.

  5. I have used Junie B some for connections and it worked fairly well with my first graders. I don't too many series. I really like the chapter book The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.

  6. I am so excited about winning yesterday's prize pack!! I do not have any set read alouds that I do- I change it up depending on what my students are interested in and what changes they make to the curriculum.


  7. I don't have anything I read throughout the year, but I love reading Pete the Cat books & now that there are some leveled ones I use them in reading groups too.

  8. Dragon Slayer's Academy is a huge hit in my class.

  9. There are so many to choose from...ones I have enjoyed in different classes were already listed!

  10. I read a lot of the Magic Tree House books to my little ones.


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Thank you so much for stopping by the First Grade Critter Cafe'!

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