Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Re-Made It and My Etsy Store Grand Opening!

Today I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It I  have been revamping one of my very first products I ever made for TpT!  Kind of crazy how much I have changed as a tech savvy designer in just 7 months!  So back in January I had created a writing center activity focused on "How To" books.  It was the perfect activity to add to our writing center during guided reading.  Students get to pick from any of the "how to" topic cards and then write the procedure for the topic.

Ironically, after I had posted this as an initial *freebie* with teachingblogaddict  I had gotten chosen from the "Random Number Generator" on Teaching Blog Addict to be the featured product of the week! I was so escatic and overwhelmed that some little thing I created had gotten chosen. I seriously had no idea what I was even doing yet with blogging and selling on TpT.  I had never joined a link up or anything! {Makes me laugh now!!} Little did I know how big of a hit it was going to be!  I had over $1,000 pins and over $1,000 downloads when it was free!!  I couldn't even believe it!  Anyhow, that was a very fun moment for me as I entered into this awesome teaching blog and TpT community!

So here is my new "How To" Writing Activity all revamped.  I added several more "How To" Cards and changed the graphic organizers and writing paper to meet the needs of our young writers.   Here is the original version..I still have it on TpT! Click here.
"How To" Writing Cards and Writing Paper

 20 "How To" Cards
"How To" Graphic Organizer with Transition Words 
 "How To" Writing Page" with picture, transition words, and writer's checklist!

"HOW TO" Flip Book

Also this week I was very busy opening of my very own Etsy store! 
I am so excited about this.  Since doing my TpT products, I have found a special interest in making other digital products.  Two years ago when I got married I was bound to stick within my budget and create a variety of different accent pieces to make it that much more special and unique.  It started with the save the dates, then the invitations, programs, table cards, water bottle labels, Mad-Libs for guests, kids games, etc!  So, last week I opened up my store and I was so excited to receive my very first sale!  
My store is called Blue Eye's Designs.  My store will focus on two special moments in a woman's life: getting married and having a baby.  I know how special my wedding was and making it as unique as possible, I can't imagine that when having my first child I am going to feel any different!  Many of my products will focus on wedding details like I did for my own wedding.  My baby products will include mostly wall art, baby monthly onesie stickers, invitations, and water bottle labels. 
I would love for you to come check out my store! Many items in my store would make for a fun and unique baby shower gift.  Right now everything in my store are *INSTANT DOWNLOADS!*  This will make it much easier on me with less running around. I love personalizing and customizing to fit your style.   Below are some sample products in my store!! Hope ya'll will swing by and visit my store!!

Monthly Onesies Samples

Water Bottle Labels Samples
Baby Stats Samples

Wall Art Samples

Personalized Baby Name Wall Art Samples

 Love to see what you all made for Monday Made It?


Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Made It

Today I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It
This summer I have been tutoring one of my favorite 2nd grade students.  I only get to work with him for a few more weeks and then he will be starting 3rd grade at our 3-5 building.  {Sad Face} Anyhow, I have been doing a heavy focus on nonfiction reading and finding topics of interest to him.  This week we are reading a reading a-z book called Deep in the Ocean.  My little guy just got back from a vacation  from Fort Lauderdale, so I figured a topic about the ocean would be perfect!  

I have been doing my own "book study" or summer reading with Reality Checks-Teaching Reading Comprehension with Nonfiction K-5 by Tony Stead. This is a great book that provides many examples of what students struggle with while reading nonfiction, strategies of how to teach for deeper understanding of nonfiction, and it also provides many examples of organizers to use to facilitate higher level comprehension.
Often times, we as teachers, find ourselves teaching nonfiction in the most literal way-"finding information." Stead shares with you real life classroom examples of how to teach nonfiction comprehension through literal understandings {getting the facts, retelling, unknown vocabulary and concepts}, interpretive understandings {inferring and making connections}, evaluative understandings {reading between the lines}, and visualization {comprehension beyond words, guided reading and assessment, frame work for teaching}. 

I started with using the RAN strategy {Reading and Analyzing Nonfiction}.  This is an upgrade from the typical KWL by Donna Ogle. While the KWL helps students develop literal comprehension with information texts, it solely relies on the students' background knowledge, which may not always be correct.  Students come with different experience and background which they may know little about a topic or have misconceptions. The idea of "What I want to know" in the KWL is very ambiguous and often students come up with ideas that are offtrack or irrelevant which makes it difficult for teachers to answer their wonderings. 
The RAN strategy offers some similar yet concrete ways to help our little learners gain a better understanding of how to interpret and connect to informational texts.  The RAN strategy incorporates five categories: "What I Think I Know," "Confirmed-"Yes I was Right!" "Misconceptions," "New Information" and "Wonderings."

What I Think I Know:  Allows learner to access their background knowledge in which they think is right about a topic.  Yet, has an understanding that not all background knowledge is accurate.

 Confirmed-Yes I was Right! : Allows learners to confirm what is right while reading. It's important to take time and discuss that we thought was right from "What I Think I Know."  This also allows students to understand that what we thought we knew based on our prior knowledge may be different than the facts shared by the author. Students can confirm by researching. 

Misconceptions: This is the space where we talk about what we thought we knew and revise our new learning. {This is a much more difficult concept for our k-2 learners, and this category can be added later in the year, once students have a greater understanding of the other four categories.} Children research to discard prior knowledge. 

 New Information:  Students are able to research and share their new learning of literal concepts that they didn't already have in their background knowledge

 Wonderings: Students raise questions about what they're reading during and after reading. 

Today I had a chance to start this strategy.  I really like how the RAN strategy has these categories to help students gain a better understanding that our prior knowledge is not always accurate.  Yet it allows us to discuss and talk about whether "We were right" or had a "misconception" about our prior knowledge.  This strategy should also be done with post-it notes because as we read we will move our "what we think we know" ideas to either "yes, we were right, or "misconceptions" categories.  This helps us search for information and confirm and discard our previous understandings.  I chose not to add the "misconceptions" category since this was our first time practicing this strategy.  The "misconception" category may cause students to feel insecure about what they thought they knew.  It's important to highlight and celebrate what they DO know at such a young age.  Even though the "misconception" category is left out, students learn so much new information that any prior misconception is usually changed without making it public.  In upper grades, it would be more appropriate to discuss the "misconception" category. 

I have created several graphic organizers that are adapted from Tony Stead's Reality Checks philosophies. Graphic organizers focus on:
-The RAN strategy (3 versions with and without misconceptions category"
-Notes page for students to use the RAN strategy during independent reading
-Word Meaning Log
-Making Connections with Nonfiction
-Tex-to-Self Connections with Nonfiction (2 versions)
-Text-to-World Connections with Nonfiction
-Fact and Opinion Sort
-30 Fact and Opinion Task Cards with QR Codes {Recording Sheet Included}

Click on the images to find them in my TpT store!

What inspired you this week for your Monday Made It?!?


Friday, July 19, 2013

Superheroes and a Giveaway

So I am super excited to be participating in Carol's giveaway over at Super Sparkly in Second!   It's so exciting when you reach that 100 followers mark!  So head on over to her blog and help her celebrate by entering her fabulous giveaway!!  You can click on the picture below or HERE.

I finally finished my Classroom Decor Superheroes Packet.  My kiddos last year loved Superheroes and I think this would make a great theme for almost any grade level!  This packet has a chevron background and six different superheroes.

Table Signs

Name Tags

 Desk Tags

Number Cards (1-100)
(for calendars, number lines, and student numbers)

Calendar Holiday Cards

Days of the Week and Months

Classroom Jobs

Supply Labels

Number Posters (1-20)
*number, word form, and tens frame

Color Posters

Bunting Banners
(Welcome to ___ Grade & Welcome to Our Class)

Schedule Cards
(with and without analog clocks)

*I have also created blank cards for the table signs, name tags, numbers, holidays, supply labels, schedule cards, classroom jobs, bunting banner, etc.

Click HERE to get your copy of my Superhero Theme Classroom Decor.

Can't believe we only have a few weeks of summer left!  The husband and I are off to see Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field tomorrow night.  Very excited!!!!