By George, I Think I’ve Got It!

It’s been 10 weeks and I’ve still been struggling with my self-selected reading time. At the beginning of the year I created “book bags” for each student. I put the books bags in a bin behind each zone for the students that sit there. But I teach 107 students in four periods, and the bags were being thrown in the bin, and it was taking forever of the kids to get their bag, etc, etc, etc…..

After many different attempts to organize the “book bins” I finally solved my problem. We were provided with hundreds of Target bags last year and they had hardly been touched. Eureka! I hooked those babies on the back of a desk and voila! It is now a storage space. My sweet children will only have to reach behind them to grab their bag and begin the glorious process of self selected reading!

Problem solved….meltdown averted…sanity preserved….that is until I change my mind again…..

Till the next time!



First Quarter in Review and my October Currently

I can’t believe that we are heading in Week Eight of our 1st Nine Weeks! Where did the time go? I’m enjoying my new kiddos and we’re having a good time in class. But, these 60 minute periods are killing me! I know I should be used to it by now – it’s my third year….but eight years of 90 minute period spoiled me!

I’m working on streamlining my lessons so that I get in all the necessary components – but I just don’t like it. Now, I’m probably about two weeks behind in my pacing guide, but I’m achieving my goal of 80% student mastery of skills. So, I’m doing quite a few things right.

My kiddos are loving the technology. You would think our ActivExpression devices are little piece of magic – and I guess they are. We’ve actively begun blogging (which they have actively dived into) and using VoiceThread; and I’ve introduced them to Animoto, Xtranormal, Wordle, Socrative, and Voki. Skype, Bitstrips and Edmodo are coming up next.



Here’s our VoiceThread about our school:

I’ve adjusted my homework plan and it’s saving me 210 copies a week….that’s right you read it right…A WEEK! I might actually only have to buy one additional case of paper this year! 🙂

Things are good great! Of course there are always a few things to tweak, but when isn’t there?

And now for my October currently……

I’m linking up with Farley from Oh’Boy 4th Grade yet again (I just love these things!); It forces me to be reflective and aware.


I have two iPod touches and an iPad, but I’ve been hemming and hawing about getting the iPhone for about three years. I love my HTC Inspire, which has an Android platform, but the battery life is killing me! I’ve heard the battery life on the iPhones are better. This time next week, I will be the content owner of one – just not sure which one…..stay tuned!

I am such the procrastinator (which I actually plan to stop doing…..tomorrow), but I know first hand how smooth the mornings are when I get clothes ready for the week on Sunday. So – I’m going to bite the bullet and do it…..a little later this evening. 🙂



We’re participating in The Global Read Aloud, and they are loving The One and Only Ivan. It’s such a sad story and I’m pleasantly surprised how much they care for that gorilla already. If you haven’t heard of The Global Read Aloud, click on the link above and check it out.

My next read will be Wonder. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this book and actually downloaded the sample.

But, as I have exhausted my bi-weekly book allowance, I will purchase it next week. A great book about teaching tolerance – from what I’ve read (and heard about) so far.


Bitstrips – Another Addiction!

I have a friend who is a Instructional Technology Specialist, who blogs over on Techni-color, that got me hooked to this awesome Web 2.0 tool, Bitstrips!

This site allows you to create your own toon and customize it to look like you or whomever you wish it to look like. You can then save those toons and create your own stories. There is also a paid version for teachers to have students create their own avatars, and its like a closed classroom community. There is a free 30 day trial so that you can get a feel for it, or sign up for the free Daily Funnies starring you….check it out!!

Here is a bitstrip that I created to review Point of View. What do you think?