Monday, April 25, 2016


So we have JUST enough time to read Rump before school gets out. A chapter a day and then Hello Summer! We loved Jack so much - and so many characters are recognizable now for my students - Rump is already a hit! Here's a little taste of how we sketched to demonstrate our understanding and then used that to help us write!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Partnering with families

Recently I've reflected on how I go about partnering families. It's sort of second nature and hard to put into words until I started just jotting some thoughts.
My approach boils down to basically this: Communicate. Keep it positive. State the positive - explicitly. Validate concerns. Listen. Invite collaboration. Did I mention keeping it positive?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Tellin' Stories

This afternoon my ELD class began sharing the magical chameleons stories they finished writing recently. About half the class was able to share today and - Oh.My.Goodness - the stories were amazing! There were swords, zombie queens, nachos... you name it. Because my ELD class is comprised by students from all the 2nd grade classrooms, the kids were a little hesitant at first to read their stories, out loud and proud. Their inhibitions faded fast, though, and they became expert storytellers! I'm so looking forward to hearing the rest of the stories!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Taking it off the map...

If you know me, you know I love, Love, LOVE Thinking Maps. The way they help my students organize their thinking is just magic! 

This student created a Bubble Map to describe tomatoes and then used that information to Take it Off the Map - using it to write.  Specifically, he was using the Bubble Map to help him revise a mentor sentence to make it more interesting with vivid word choice!

This is exactly what I've been guiding students to do, what we've been practicing together, and now to see him utilizing the skill independently makes my teacher heart soar!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Got it Covered

So we held a little friendly competition to see whose design would grace the cover of our class book. There were so many awesome submissions! I couldn't decide - and why should I? Our class decided to put it to a vote! Everyone who went to the library today got to cast their ballot for the design they thought was the best choice for our book. And the winner is...

Monday, April 11, 2016

Treasure Books

Have any of y'all ever published Treasure Books with your students? This is my first year doing it so we're working on a class book together and just going step by step. We decided to write about something we are supremely passionate about! 
We are not done yet - but we will be soon! Here's a glimpse of our progress so far...


Magical Chameleons

Thanks to the gorgeous pictures and article in the latest National Geographic magazine, my ELD students are enthralled with learning all about these amazing creatures! 
We took a break from non-fiction learning, though, and began planning stories about magical chameleons!
 We thought deeply about the character traits, problem/solution, and other characters. Then, on Friday, we did a directed draw to illustrate a chameleon. The students are just now finishing their drawings and then will finish their stories, too!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Saturday, April 2, 2016

National Board Certification

So, many of you probably already know that the National Board Certification process has undergone a transformation and the new components have been rolling out slowly - about one per year. I started the process, finishing Components 1 and 2 last year and working on Component 3 this year. 
During the process last year I learned the importance of planning ahead - impeccable planning - to avoid the stress of getting even close to the due date. 
Yesterday, the NBCT opened up the submission window (til 5/18) to get this year's submissions in. Guess who submitted Component 3 yesterday?  This girl!

I only need to wait 8 months to get my results! Tick, tock...

Friday, April 1, 2016


Friday is usually a day for a lot of assessments, but today we also experienced the Holy Trifecta - an author's visit, computer lab and an art lesson!
Dan Santat is Everything.

Do ya'll use Imagine Learning or Smarty Ants? My kids love "playing" the games and I love that they can get some fun practice in while they raise their EL levels! Home support, too! Winning!
We're so in love with paint, glue and oil pastels!