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Pigeon, Mo, Kohls and Fun!

Mo Willems stuffed animals from Kohls

Were you one of the many teachers who went to Kohl's and got the Mo Willems animals?  I was so excited to get mine!  My students adore the Mo Willems books, so I know they are going to be beyond thrilled to see these little guys in my classroom.


Pigeon is one of my students' favorites.  They can't seem to get enough of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late.  Maybe because they identify with Pigeon and being told no!  😀  

Pigeon Activities

Students can take the patterns from the Pigeon books and write their own comments from Pigeon's point of view for Don't Let the Pigeon Cook Our Lunch!

Pigeon craft and activities

Hmmm...what would Pigeon fix?  Hotdogs?  Cookies?  

Pigeon Activities and Craft

Students can write Pigeon a letter, write a book recommendation (or a I don't recommend- but who wouldn't recommend a Pigeon book??), and use evidence from the text to prove what they think about the story.



Pigeon Craft and Activities

My students are needing practice with retelling.  Several of them just seem to struggle with this skill.  There are two different retellings that can be used with this.  Plus, 2 cause and effects.  Click here to see this!


Scooping Words into phrases fluency Activities

Don't forget about the Scoop It Up! Fluency Intervention Binders if one of your goals this year is to improve reading fluency!  Click here to check it out!


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DATA...It's Not A Four Letter Word

RTI Data and RTI Tips

DATA...It is not a four letter word.  Okay, technically it is a four letter word.  But data is not a bad word.  Neither is RTI.  With a few tips and some organization, RTI can be the process that improves your student learning.  

RTI Data and RTI Tips

I have heard of schools progress monitoring whenever they decide and some requiring teachers to progress monitor every day!  Neither is good or productive.  

RTI Data and RTI Tips Progress Monitoring

Our school progress monitors once a week.  Some schools assess once every two weeks.  Whatever your school decides to do, it should be at  regular intervals to give you the best data.  Keep track of the results in RTI Data Notebooks.


RTI Data and RTI Tips

Goal lines are so important.  You want to figure the goal and plot it out across the graph for the amount of time the student will be in RTI.  

RTI Data and RTI Tips Using Goal Lines

In the picture above, the goal line has been plotted in blue.  Then each week, the progress monitoring result was plotted in red.  You want to check if the weekly assessments are keeping close to the goal line or above.  

RTI Data and RTI Tips

This lets you know whether the student is on track for meeting the goal at the end of RTI time.  
RTI Data and RTI Tips

If after several weeks, improvement is not being shown, you should adjust your teaching to see if that helps improve learning or determine if this is in fact the correct intervention that the student needs at this time.

RTI Data and RTI Tips

RTI Data and RTI Tips Organizing and Managing Data

Not only should the teacher be graphing and documenting student progress, the student should also do this in their own notebook.  They enjoy seeing their progress and it helps them to take ownership of their learning.

RTI Data and RTI Tips How to Manage RTI Meetings

As I said above, the weekly data is only ONE piece of the RTI puzzle.  You and your committee need to take many other items into consideration as you meet to discuss students.  

RTI Data and RTI Tips

Before our committee meets, I make graphs for each student that contains all their information and data that would be relevant to our meeting.  We need this information as we vote to make decisions on each student.  This Editable RTI Meeting Guide can be found HERE.

I hope these RTI tips help you to see data as a positive thing that truly helps students needing intervention instruction.  RTI Data Notebooks for teachers and students are available for grades K-5.  You can find them HERE.


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Build Student Fluency through Phrases with Fluency Intervention Binders

Fluency Intervention Binders- Sets A thru E are available as individual binders or as a bundle!  Helps students build fluency through reading in phrases.  




Back To School Teacher Survival Kit


Back to School Teacher Survival Kit

Already, it is almost Back to School time!  As I start thinking about getting my room put back together, I am thinking about my Teacher Survival Kit!  A Teacher Survival Kit should include things you might need during the day or night at school that you may or may not carry with you in your purse.   It can just make your day easier when you have a little problem to fix up!


Back to School Teacher Survival Kit

I like to think of it as things I can always have on hand in case I run out of it in my purse, forget to bring it or something comes up like an unexpected parent conference!

Back to School Teacher Survival Kit

I bring my lunch every day to school, but sometimes I just need a little more or once in a while I forget my lunch.  Having a couple snacks put back is always nice to have for those days you just get a little hungry!  I like to have gum/mints to take care of that coffee breath!  
As a title 1 teacher, there are several nights during the year that I have to stay late.  Already having a toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash helps me not to have to remember to bring mine from home.  Same for the hairspray and deodorant.  I like knowing it's there and I don't have to remember to cart everything back and forth.
Some little things that are important for me are hair ties.  There are just some days that the hair MUST go up!  😃 For some reason, I can't keep one in my purse.  Spare earrings are good to keep too in case you have forgotten that morning.  Chap Stick, Excedrin and clippers are always things I am needing.  Other teachers told me about keeping a Tide pen for those times you get something on your shirt.  A dollar for snacks or a drink is a good idea too!

Anything you add to your Teacher Survival Kit??  Pack one for yourself or for a teacher friend!



Just in time as Back to School gets going, we have this Welcome Banner and student response pennants for you!


You can print them both or just use the welcome banner by itself.  Print it, attach some ribbon if you wish, and hang it up for a colorful welcome to your room!


The student response pennants are a quick way to get to know your students!  
You can grab this freebie here!

Meeting Your RTI and Literacy Needs:

Word Work Phonics Intervention Binders

Fluency Intervention Binders






Let's Talk Fluency: Building and Strengthening

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

Reading with fluency can be a difficult thing to achieve for some readers.  Fluency needs to be modeled, practiced, and approached in a strategic manner for those that it does not come naturally.  Fluency activities also need to be multi-dimensional.


Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

One of the sayings in my room is that fluent reading sounds like talking!  Then we talk about what that means.  And what that doesn't mean too.  We don't normally talk super fast or super slow.  That our rate actually changes, our voices go up and down and we use expression.  All of this helps the listener to understand or comprehend the meaning behind what we are saying.  Good fluency leads to better comprehension and that is what reading is all about!

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

One thing we work on to improve our fluency is to practice scooping words into phrases.  Readers who do not have good fluency will not automatically read this way.  They may either read word by word or they may read so fast the words blend into each other.  Either way, comprehension is affected.  

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

Modeling and practicing how to scoop words together is important.   Students can help scoop the words into phrases using chart paper and poems.

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

You can take a page or passage from a book and write it on chart paper for students to help scoop into phrases.  Or use a document camera and your Smartboard!  But modeling and practice are going to be essential to gaining improvement.

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

Sometimes a lack of fluency is partially because of the student's accuracy.  They may not have a large enough bank of learned sight words.  Sight words must be automatic to allow the reader to keep the right pace when they read.  So one of activities that my students do is to practice sight words in different fun ways until they do become automatic.

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

Students also can do a quick phrasing practice with words that are already scooped together for them.  I like for students to hear me model what it sounds like too!  They don't need to spend lots of time on this.  Just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.  You can get this practice in small groups during reading, literacy centers, and during RTI intervention groups.

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

Keep the practice fun and engaging by including games!  Students can play by themselves or with a partner and practice scooping!


Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

Some students need the next step of scooping phrases with the support of having the phrasing already done for them.  Once they get the feel for this, phrasing will feel more natural to them.  

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

We also need to be sure that students attend to punctuation as they read and practice scooping words into phrases.  They need to understand that the punctuation is very important to comprehension.

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

A fun way to practice is to read with different expressions!  
Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

The point of fluency is for it to lead to better comprehension.  You can use quick checks like these to check in on both the student's fluency and their comprehension.

Building Fluency by scooping words into Phrases

You can find these 5 Fluency Intervention sets here.  They are available individually or as a bundle.  Each intervention binder has a level so as your readers increase levels they be moved to the next level if needed.  













Teacher Book Stack

Books for Teachers Professional Development Resources

What's in your Teacher Book Stack for this summer?  I have some brand new ones and a few go-to teacher professional development resources that I like to revisit during the summer.  I just don't have the time during the school year to read and study as much as I can over the summer.  

Books for Teachers Professional Development Resources

I have always enjoyed finding teacher resources that help me sharpen my craft. We expect our students to be reading...teachers should be learners too!  And when I get to do the choosing I am much more motivated.  I also love to try out ideas that I think will help my students learn and grow! 

Books for Teachers Professional Development Resources

I have more than these 4 books in my stack.  But I want to highlight these books:  three are brand new to me and one I actually got last year, but I wanted to do some rereading.

Books for Teachers Professional Development Resources

I am very excited to introduce you to this new book!  My friend, Tammy, is the author of Gatekeepers.  Tammy is also the author of the blog Forever in First.  If you have visited over at her blog, you will recognize Tammy's familiar reflective and thoughtful voice in her book, Gatekeepers.  Tammy does a wonderful job of encouraging teachers to be watchful over the teaching practices they allow into their classrooms.  Her book follows her format of Saturday Sayings, in which Tammy gives you an educational quote and then her reflections on what this could mean for her and your classroom.  She gets you thinking about what is best for your students.  

Books for Teachers Professional Development Resources

I read Who's Doing the Work last year.  It challenged me to talk less and encourage my readers to discuss and think more!  One helpful part of this book in each section is a description of what this would like like in real classrooms at different grade levels.  It was very helpful to "see" what it would look like in action.

Books for Teachers Professional Development Resources

As a teacher of mostly struggling readers, it is very important to me to develop the love of reading in my students.  Several years ago, our school was an AR school, giving extrinsic rewards to try to get students to read.  On the surface, it may seem that those kinds of rewards work- kids read, they get excited to get prizes, etc...But it doesn't seem to develop a LOVE of reading and keep them reading after the contests are completed.  You can read my post about this HERE.  No More Reading For Junk takes you through the research about extrinsic rewards and gives you ideas to replace these so your school can develop a culture of loving reading for reading!

Books for Teachers Professional Development Resources

Do you conference with your students?  I know a lot of teachers find conferencing difficult...what to talk about, how to fit it in.  But so much can be fit in to a few moments.  These one on one teachings will help you figure out what students have learned and what they still need to move them forward.  And as an added bonus, kids love these moments that are just them and their teacher!

So what's on your Teacher Book Stack this year?

Fluency Intervention Binders






Free Resources