Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Mini Get-Away and sale!

AAAAAHHHHH!!!!  Even teachers need some rest and relaxation some times.  So.....Mr. and Mrs. Coconut Cutie went to the beach for the weekend with a few of our friends.  O.M.G!!!  It has been so wonderful to get a little sun on my face and some relaxation time by the beach.  I spent my day today reading at the beach, eating seafood at the beach, journaling at the beach, walking on the beach, playing on the beach...did I mention I was at the beach? WOW! 

So, while I was doing all of those wonderful things...AT THE BEACH...I decided a few things:

 1.  I should blog about this because maybe it will inspire you to get some rest and relaxation.  If you are like me, you rarely give yourself permission to do that.  Go ahead.  I give you permission.  You deserve it!

 2.  I should have a mini-vacay celebration sale for my bloggy and TPT friends. you go.  From now until January 31, everything in my store is 10%.  

Head on over there by clicking here, Teacher's Pay Teachers-Coconut Cutie's Classroom

P.S.  Don't you just love little stilt places, in the sand, on the beach?
It just makes me smile.  :0)

Happy relaxing and teaching,
Coconut Cutie

Monday, January 23, 2012

Guided Reading-Setting Up Your Books

Hey y'all!  Hope this post finds you well and your reading groups organized.  Today's FREEBIE is all about organizing your books.  If you are like me, you get most of your books from Scholastic and if you don't, you should really check it out.  They have great rates, the shipping is FAST, and its easy to rack up points for free, that's right, FREE books.  Who doesn't love free books?  Anywho, I love Scholastic for another reason and that is their Teacher Book Wizard  This is a wonderful tool for leveling your books. 

So...let's get started.  Here is how I set up my guided reading books.  First, I leveled all of my books by using the book wizard and then I label each book.  I gathered baskets (one for each level) and labeled each basket with a reading level letter.  I also got a lot of gallon size zip-lock bags.  I put all book copies and guided reading lesson plans (and what ever else goes with that books) into the zip-lock bag.  Then I place the whole kit into the correct leveled basket.

At the beginning of each week, I think about what story and skill would best meet the needs of each group.  Then I pull the books that best fit those needs.  I move each guided reading kit needed over to a basket that I keep by my guided reading table (a.k.a. rainbow table)  and is separated by color group tabs.  When I call each group, the books and everything I need to teach that book are right at my finger tips.
For the materials needed to set up your guided reading books, click on the link Setting Up Your Books FREEBIE

Happy reading and organizing,
Coconut Cutie

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Guided Reading-Getting Started

It’s the middle of the year and it is time for that dreaded MOY (middle of year testing).  BUT...what I love about MOY testing in first grade is seeing my students SOAR!!!  Each year I am blown away at how far they come on their reading levels.  In my district, we use the DRA assessment to find out each student’s reading level (based on letter levels).  For instance, an emergent reader who is still reading repetitive text with MANY pictures would be on a level A and progress up the alphabet.  Hooray for me because I have WONDERFUL readers this year and so many of my children are reading on a level I or higher ALREADY!  Wowie, wow, wow, in the words of Junie B. Jones (one of my most favorite characters). do I do it?  Lots and lots of reading.  Whole group reading, guided reading, homework reading, shared reading, partner reading,  reading center, reading, reading, reading.  

For guided reading, I only put 3 kids in each group.  Yes, this means that I must see many groups but I love working with only 3 as I feel that the students get more of what they need.  After setting up guided reading groups based on abilities, I put a color to each group.  This way they never know who is higher or lower, they are just a group.  When I want a particular group, I call that color group over.  They know who is in which group by looking at the posters on my cabinet door. 

To differentiate my reading center I put leveled books in to baskets marked with the color groups.  When my kiddos go to the reading center they select their colored basket and read from those books.

Click on the link for the Guided Reading Management pages.

Happy reading!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

SPLASH by Frog Street Press

WOW!!!  I am honored to be part of the Frog Street Press SPLASH conference this year.  I will be presenting in Dallas Texas on July 13-14 AND San Antonio on August 3-4.  I can not wait.  My presentation is all about the art of Guided Reading and what tools teachers have in their toolbox to help struggling readers.  For those of you that follow my Teachers Pay Teachers store, , you have seen my Rainbow Reader's Book Club.  In my Rainbow Reader's Book Club kits I give detailed lesson plans and most of the tools needed for that particular book.  This month, in celebration of my acceptance at Frog Street SPLASH, I will be sharing with you lots of guided reading tips and FREEBIES!  

What kinds of things do you do with your struggling readers for small group?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Welcome Classroom Friends

Welcome to Coconut Cutie's Classroom! This is my first post on my new blog and thank goodness because I have so much to share! I can't wait to send you tons of freebies and share my fun classroom ideas. You can find more of my stuff at Teachers Pay Teachers. I specialize in Kindergarten and 1st grade. I love teaching and then sharing all of the wonderful things I experience in the classroom. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you. Please stop back by soon and often for lots of FUN stuff!!! Happy teaching!