Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Survey Says....

I really like to survey the parents of my students at the end of the year. (It would be nice to do this during the year also with things...) I think this information really helps me improve. The positive comments let me know it all really is worth it! I like for these to be anonymous if possible. This year I took these surveys online! Survey Monkey is a great FREE site that will allow you to create a custom survey and collect the data! We are all about data driven instruction...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Our Class is Published!

My class is published authors and illustrators! After reading "Mortimer's Book of What Ifs" and meeting the author Mandi Tillotson Williams, our class decided we could write a book too! We opened our imagination and became authors and illustrators! We invite you to download and enjoy our book. Let us know what you think!

(It is an ePub file and will need to be read on a device capable of reading an eBook. (iPad, iPod Touch, Nook, or other eReader. Your computer may not open it.) You can also download it or view it at

Using a graphic organizer the students mapped out their short stories, then they wrote a draft and practice illustration. They edited their writing with their fellow students. Students then typed their stories in Pages and finished their final illustrations. Mrs. Phillips combined their short stories into one Pages file, scanned and inserted their illustrations. Finally saving and uploading their book as an ePub. We used the free site to upload it and share it for free. The students love being published authors! Hopefully next years I can get my hands on iPads for a while use them to help create iBooks and computer graphics.

7 Days to go until summer break! Still so much to do!

Monday, May 21, 2012

I have surfaced! (Manic Monday Freebie Too!)

It is May and I feel like I am drowning! So much to do with work and family. I have somehow managed to make it to the surface, although barely...

I was doing so well with keeping up my blog, and I fell off the wagon, I'm back on. We have done so many amazing things in class, I will have plenty to share in the upcoming days.

Today I had an amazing moment! While working in our Super Six (Daily 5 + STEM), two of my students came up to me while working in Buddy Reading to share what they were doing. Today I had a Frog and Toad readers theater for students to read. They told me they stopped halfway through the script and made a prediction based on their schemas and clues from the story of what is going to happen. Then 2 minutes later they came back so excited that they were right! I was thrilled!!! They really are getting it and using the strategies on there own. Love Love Love the Super Six!

As we are wrapping up the school year, we are writing about what we thought was cool! I have a great writing graphic organizer in the shape of a popsicle. Students write down 4 things they thought were "cool" this year. Then using the graphic organizer, write a "sweet" expository about the school year. Click on the picture below to download it for free! Gotta love Manic Mondays at Classroom Freebies!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Friday, May 4, 2012

Author Visit Via Skype

We started the morning with an author's visit via Skype. Mandi Tillotson Williams, who has written and illustrated several fabulous children's stories, read a book to our class and answered questions from the students. She also described the process of writing and illustrating her books.
Her books are available on Amazon as a Paperback and/or ebook. They are written in rhyme and have wonderful lessons. My favorite is Henrietta Hexagon and the Triangles.

It is a touching story about Henrietta who feels like she doesn't belong because she is different. She later realizes being different makes her special. In addition to the many literature lessons taught, there are some great math tie-ins as well. To find out more about Mandi visit her web site at I am working on several activities to go along with this book and will share when I have them finished.

I plan to be busy posting and working this weekend , so look for more information soon!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Knock, Knock! Who's There?

I love my Super Six (Daily 5 + STEM) and so do my students!  Buddy Reading is a tough area to keep students engaged sometimes.  They get tired of the same old thing.  Today we had an Ah Ha!  My students found a Knock Knock and Riddles book in my class library.  The two girls who found it in the "Read to Self" area were looking through it and came up with the great idea!  I can not wait to see the students read this book to each other in buddy reading tomorrow!  They will have so much fun, they will never realize they are becoming better readers at the same time!  I love tricking students into learning!
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