Brain Break Foodie Friday! Nachos 4 Ways!!!

From another favorite…Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 4.32.25 PM

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Happy Friday & Enjoy!!



What do my students need BEFORE formal guided reading? These 3 things!

For teachers in the lower grades, this is a popular dilemma .  In Kindergarten, formal guided reading usually doesn’t begin until around January.  (That shouldn’t be a hard fast rule, though.  Some young learners will be ready sooner, and if they are..START!)  bee readTaking time to front-load important strategies will make the guided reading lessons more meaningful!

According to author Joan Aldrich Knight, these are the 3 earliest strategies before formal guided reading…


Teach students how print works- left to right and top to bottom.  During your read aloud model with your finger.  When singing familiar songs, write out the lyrics and follow the print with your finger or a pointer.

Voice Pointing/Tracking

Students need practice with pointing under each word and there are plenty of fun ways to do it.  You can give them fun things to point with like chopsticks, popsicle sticks with eyeballs, fuzzy balls, or gems glued to the tip, or those witch fingernails that come out around Halloween.  You can also make lily pads and use a frog to move from pad to pad.  Be creative!

Sight Words

Emergent books are full of sight words.  The more words students know, they more fluent they will be once they get started with guided reading.

Building a strong foundation will make your guided reading lessons a breeze!


Guided Reading: Think you’ve seen it all? Check out these FREEBIES!!

LOVE Genia Connell’s post Guided Reading Organization Made Easy!  Check out the pics and video below.  Want to see more?  Find a Universal Lesson Plan template, free binder cover, and book organization materials on her post- click here!

Great idea for collecting student work!  

Maybe take pics once the work is complete to upload and save!

For observing and noting student behaviors…


Click the pic below to get the indicators A -Z for FREE!!!


Do you have materials and ideas you’d like to share?  Leave a note below!


4 Things the Brain Remembers!!

During an RTI Training, the presenter shared the 4 things the brain remembers…





When introducing ideas the children need to remember, incorporate one of these into the lesson to improve their retention!


Marzano’s 3 Keys to Classroom Management

Appropriate levels of dominance, cooperation, and knowing your students support a positive classroom dynamic!


Appropriate Dominance:  the teacher’s ability to provide clear purpose and strong guidance regarding both academics and student behavior exhibited through establishing clear behavior expectations, clear learning goals, and exhibiting assertive behavior.

Appropriate Cooperation:  where dominance centers on the teacher as the driving force, cooperation deals with the teacher and students working together as a team in learning as well as effective relationships.  The main road to this end is the teacher taking personal interest in each student in the class.

Knowing Students:  the most effective classroom managers do not treat all students the same, rather they take a personal interest in their students and show sensitivity to their diverse and specific needs.

Teacher-Student Relationships

                                                                                      lead to…

Effective Classroom Management

                                                                    which ultimately leads to…

High Student Achievement!! 

Follow the path!


Marzano, R., Marzano, J., & Pickering, D (2003) Classroom Management that Works, ASDC





Brain Break Foodie Friday!  Chicken & Waffle Tacos…with Honey Cream!!🤗  

From one of my all time favorite foodie sites…


WHAAAAATTT?!?!?!😱 Yesss you are NOT dreaming!  This is real…AND REAL EASYYY!!!

Click on any picture to go to the recipe!!!  




Teacher Superpowers!! Are You “With It”??

igradeu-the-7-superpowers-every-teacher-must-master-ndash-the-chalk-473261“Withitness” (with-it-ness) is a collection of superpowers that allow teachers manage their classroom effectively through preventative discipline.  Do you have these superpowers?  

Withitness is a model created by educational theorist Jacob Kounin who focused on a teacher’s ability to affect student behavior through instructional management.  He defines withitness as the teachers ability to be aware of every action in the classroom and responding appropriately to it.

Here are a few of his key ideas…

Proximity and Body Language Eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, and physical proximity all indicate to the students that the teacher is in control.  Constantly moving throughout the room and always facing the students demonstrates that the classroom is your domain and that you command student attention.  Not in a threatening manner…but showing strength and confidence.

Overlapping  This is the teachers ability to multitask in the classroom.  Taking attendance,  greeting students entering the classroom, and offering a word of encouragement for the students completing a morning activity all at the same time is an example of overlapping.  Students are more likely to stay on task when they know the teacher has her eyes on everyone at all times.  

Ripple Effect  This is where the teachers clarity and firmness when correcting one student’s behavior positively impact the behavior of other students.  This is most effective at the beginning of the school year in order for students to learn what will be tolerated and what will not.  Along with this is the idea of correcting even the smallest infractions as if they were major in hopes of lessening the chances that major infractions will occur.  The ripple effect is enhanced when the teacher names the offense and gives the reason why it is unacceptable with a firmness that conveys “I mean it”.

Group Focus  Holding the attention of students is essential to managing the classroom and reducing misbehavior.  Active participation is key to keeping students engaged.  Questioning, regular checks for understanding, and varying students who are called upon to answer or contribute are a few ways to focus the attention of the class.  Keeping a pace and rhythm to the day, smooth transitions, offering variety and challenges, and accountability  all improve student attention and participation.

Bottom line….students are mirrors that reflect YOU.  

If you are dry, dull, slow, and quiet they will be too.  

If you are aggressive, mean, and demeaning they will be too.  

If you display withitness….they will too!!   Everybody wins!!




Story for International Women’s Day: The House that Jane Built

The House that JAne Built

Click the book for ordering information!

Here’s a great way to celebrate Women’s History Month!  Show the video of actress Kierman Shipka read the story The House that Jane Built by Tanya Lee Stone.  

This is a true account of Jane Addams, the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, who transformed a poor neighborhood in Chicago by opening up her home as a community center.


Here is the video!! 

There is also a Teachers Guide AND a Family ActivityGuide!!

Click below to get a copy of either….or BOTH!!!!

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Teacher’s Guide

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Family Activity Guide