Thursday, April 17, 2014

We were Nominated...and WON!! 2014 Exemplary Reading Program Award!

Welcome back friends to my follow-up post regarding 
this photo from yesterday-
What do these exemplary educators all have in common?
Answer:  They will ALL be presenting at the 2014 IRA Conference in New Orleans this May!
Now what on Earth does that have to do with me?
Recently, my elementary school was the only school in the state of Ohio to be selected for the International Reading Association Exemplary Reading Program Award.  The award recognizes outstanding reading and language arts programs in schools throughout North America.  The award highlights the many literacy initiatives/endeavors we take on throughout the course of the school year and looks at how we embed literacy into our daily practice and overall school community.  Specific initiatives that were examined to determine the award include:  our tutoring program, community volunteer involvement, comprehensive Daily 5 practices throughout our building, ER&D Comprehension Strategy teaching practices, professional development in the area of literacy, staff involvement with The Toledo Area Council of the International Reading Association, Title I services, involvement with Right to Read Week, International Literacy Day, Read Across America, various author visits, participation in the Read, Write and Think Organization and participation with the Accelerated Reader program.  I was a little nervous when my principal asked me to be one of four classroom visits on the "IRA judgement tour", but our team was so geeked up to win this award, I had to do it!  Seven IRA consultants visited Room 102 for about 25 minutes to see a CAFE lesson and Daily 5.  Judges also visited 3 other classrooms and a Title one session with an intervention specialist.  
It was a great day and the following week, our principal had an emergency meeting to share the final results.
We won the Exemplary Reading Award for 2014!
How exciting!
But oh no, that's not all folks!
My superintendent was there at the meeting to congratulate us and offered to send me and a very special colleague to New Orleans in May to receive our award!
we get to attend the 3-day IRA conference where all the educational gurus will be presenting!
(insert my party dance at this point!)
The Daily 5 Sisters
Gail Boushey and Joan Moser (The 2 Sisters)

P. David Pearson
Rafe Esquith

Debbie Diller
Debbie Diller

Richard Allington
Richard Allington

Phyllis C. Hunter
Jana Echevarria and MaryEllen Vogt

Tim Rasinski
Timothy Rasinski

Not to mention shopping in TEACHER Heaven all weekend!
Exhibit Hall
This is my first trip to New Orleans so I am sure this trip will be a very memorable one! May can't get here soon enough! I look forward to returning from the conference and sharing all my new-found knowledge with you! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I am linking up with my very sweet Firstie Friend,
Miss DeCarbo for her weekly Wordless Wednesday linky!

What do these AMAZINGLY-talented Educational Gurus 
all have in common?

Please leave a comment and tell me how one (or more) of these teachers have inspired your teaching!

I will be back tomorrow with a follow-up post to reveal my answer!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Skipping the Treats and Celebrating with FANCY Y and an ART PARTY instead!

Happy Monday Friends!
Spring Break has finally arrived!
Of course I woke up this morning, startled and fearing I was running late for school and it took me 15 minutes to realize I WAS allowed to sleep in today!  HOORAY!
I am not sure the kids were terribly excited about leaving last Friday.  They were quite serious about having already had to endure 14 calamity days this winter and really didn't want to spend more time off at home..... (How sweet is that!)
We had so much fun learning last week, I guess I can't really blame them!  Let's give you a peek at last week!
 The Fancy Y made quite the impression and we learned so many new words that Fancy Y can make!
Of course Room 102 is a HUGE fan of Jane O'Connor and the Fancy Nancy Series!  We have all of her books!!!

It was the PERFECT opportunity to introduce Becca Foxwell's 
Fancy Y as Long E {long e spelled y phonics unit}
We loved every single word work activity in the unit!
The kids even made up some fun word games too!
This darling says, "Ohhhh, I missed that one....and I knew it!!!"
On Thursday, we had a FANCY Y party and dressed in our fanciest clothes!  Look at these cutie pies!

For several weeks, we have been exploring text features within informational texts.  Last week, I met with a small strategy group and they did so well with text features, they were given the honor of teaching that same lesson with a group of students...just like the teacher!
I was so impressed!  These groups were on task and eager to participate! 
Love how "Feature Flamingo" is being passed around to share in the text features discussion!
We had a total of four strategy groups working throughout the room.  The conversations were amazing!

WOW!  Look at her text!  Tons of post-its means TONS of great text features to discuss!  YAY!
After the read aloud and guided practice, groups were asked to complete a cut & paste activity to show what they know about text features.
They did a great job!
This week in math we are having a blast with measurement and using non-standard materials to help us measure!
(I am using Reagan's Masters of Measurement unit)
Mastering Measurement: Non-Standard and Standard Linear Me

Our 2 favorite non-standard units of measurement are 
pennies and teddy bears!

Most classes have a party the last week before spring break...
But not Room 102!  The kids voted to skip the treats and have an ART PARTY instead.
(Boy do I love this class!!!)
We were so excited about ROBOTS last week that we chose to do a Directed Draw illustration of a robot.  (inspired by Pinterest of course!)

We are studying famous artists, and I managed to squeeze in Kandinsky's work with the robots!
We added the bright and bold squares and made these robots take on a whole new look!

From far away, you see Kandinsky Colors.....
But coming closer.......
Aren't these the best little robots you have ever seen?

Another special art project was one of this teacher's favorites!
Pablo Picasso is well-known for his cubism and blue period.
We mixed the two techniques together and came up with self portraits.....Picasso Style!
First Graders are discovering fine motor skills all year and this is a great lesson to see who can conceptualize form and function.

Well I hope you enjoyed a peek at last week!
I have a master "to-do" schedule this week and 90% of it is wedding related!  Wish me luck!  
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