Friday, April 5, 2013

Five For Friday

I'm linking up Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for her weekly linky, Five For Friday! Head on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to link up, too!
This week was a pretty busy week back from Spring Break. I'm so excited that there are only 8.5 more weeks to go!

1. I've noticed that my students aren't too secure with contractions {almost all of them... yikes!}, so I retaught it and did lots of practice work with them. I thought they needed a good visual, so I did some "contraction surgery" and produced this anchor chart. Sarah from the Fabulous First Grade blogged all about it {here} and has a great freebie you can find {here}. The band-aids really made my kids think about exactly where the apostrophe goes. They did their own surgery during word work time, but I was too busy working with my groups to take pics. :-(.

2. We're in a pretty severe drought here in Orlando right now, so we welcomed the rain these past few days!  We wrote all about what we do on rainy days. They had a choice of writing from an expository prompt: Tell about what you like to do on a rainy day, or a narrative prompt: Tell a story about a rainy day. I would say, it was pretty much 50/50 which is surprising. Most of my kids tend to write expository because it's a bit easier, but it was nice to see the kids actually writing stories!! =) They produced their writing using one of  "craftivities" that I've been using for years... even before I knew what a craftivity was! =) They came out really cute! 

3. On Thursday morning our Principal called us down for a quick meeting. He gave out the Teacher of the Month award... we won it back in December, so it wasn't us this time. But... he also gave out service pins! These pins go to employees who have been with the county for 10, 20, and 30 years. Well... they are about a year or so behind, so I finally got my pin for 10 years service! =) I can't believe I'm almost done with my 12th year already! I seriously feel like I just finished college. 

4. Every Friday I do fluency checks with a handful of students who need more oral reading fluency practice. I like to use the passages from Reading A-Z. I like them because they're leveled and there are a few passages for each level. My kids take a folder home each Monday. Their homework for the week is to practice it a few times each night and then bring it back to me on Friday. I then listen to how they're reading and give them some pointers for how they can improve. I also time them, but I stress to them that the point is not to be the quickest, but it's to be accurate, use punctuation correctly, and have inflection and expression in their voices as they read. They've improved so much since beginning these folders in November. =) If you've never checked out the Reading A-Z website, it's a must see. There are so many resources there... it's definitely worth the subscription! The picture below shows my binder {I have to make it a lot cuter!}, an example of a fluency sheet, the crate that I keep all of my reading passages in, and my students' fluency folder. This is definitely my tried and true method for improving oral reading fluency each year. 

5. Today is a sad day for my sister and I. Two years ago today, we lost our favorite teacher, Dr. Salvatore Fiore. We called him "Doc".  He passed from a heart attack in his sleep. He was only 57 years old. He was the most amazingly talented teacher that I have ever known. Not only was he a teacher, but he was a tremendously accomplished musician, composer, and conductor. My sister and I were so blessed to have been his students in high school. A few weeks back I posted about being in a show choir. Doc was the director, as well as the director of our 150 person high school choir and 40 person select chamber singers group. The best part of his teaching and directing style was that he tough, but kind. He set huge expectations for everyone to rise to, and we did. Each time we performed, it was magical. He always believed in us, and knew we could be anything we wanted to be. Without his support, encouragement, and amazing singing groups, high school would have stunk. Our 27 person show choir, Vocal Motion, performed and competed all over the country and each year performed at Disney World {starting the year after me}. The pictures below are of my sister's Vocal Motion group, and "Doc" in one of his conductor pictures {got the pic from Facebook}. The picture on the bottom is of one of the "end poses" during her show at Downtown Disney. The top left picture is from one of her Winter concerts. I wish I had pictures and videos of me when I was in the group, but unfortunately I don't. It was pre-digital camera age. I don't know why someone in my family didn't have a regular camera though?? Too bad. I'm saying my prayers for his family who lost this wonderful man far too soon.  RIP Doc, we will always keep you in our hearts and prayers.  

Make sure you link up with Kacey for her fun linky!! =) 
PS... The cute papers are from Glitter Meets Glue Designs and the stars on my kids faces are from Ashley Hughes ! 


  1. I purchases Reading A-Z long time ago. I wish I could get my hands on those leveled fluency passages. Maybe my principal will buy me some. Nope. Pure wishing.
    Congrats on getting your 'pin'.
    My Second Sense

  2. Found you through the linky! I was born and raised in FL, but live in GA now! Nice to see some 'home town' girls... even if you are really yankees! :) hehe! (my mom is from ohio and dad from michigan - so I don't have much room to talk... ) I'm your newest follower!


  3. Congratulations on your 10 year pin! I'm with you! This is my 13th year of teaching and I'm astounded every time I say that number! It sure doesn't feel like it!

    Collaboration Cuties

  4. Congrats on the pin!! That's so special! I don't think we get pins...... :-P
    ideas by jivey

  5. Congratulations on your pin. That is a nice tradition. Our county doesn't do that! What a nice tribute to your teacher. He sounds very special! The Band-Aid anchor chart looks cute. I have to read more about that.
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans


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