Hi friends! This blog is for teachers and families- all for the sheer joy of literacy. When we are enthusiastic about reading and writing our students and our own kids become excited to read and write. I hope that we all can be models for those in our care- how did you show your passion for reading, writing, learning, language, or words today?? It's in those small, daily moments that we teach kids to love literacy.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Reading, Doing, Pinning (3)

Hello readers! Hope you're having a lovely Sunday! It's a beautiful sunny day here in Oakland, California!!

School starts back up tomorrow after a 3-week (blessed!) work hiatus. I'm a reading specialist at a charter school in the Bay Area and tomorrow we have staff professional development before the kiddies come back. In the morning, we will be looking at data on an online data portal to target students' instructional needs. In the afternoon, we're going to begin RtI rotations (I'm excited for this). We created RtI rotations to give time for interventionists (me, ed specialist, after school teachers, intervention aides) to check-in with grade level team every month or two. The rotations are 30-minutes each. I'm excited to have this set time time to collaborate with the grade level teams.  I'm wondering-- do any teachers/specialists out there check-in with each other on a regular basis? If so, what does your agenda look like together? What would make this time feel productive and positively collaborative? I'd love any ideas you may have!

On the home front, my daughter is thoroughly excited about the new Dora potty seat I just got her. We are also hoping that our brand-spanking-new IKEA kitchen will be finished soon. We're just waiting for the countertops to get installed and then we can get all the appliances hooked up. In the meantime, we've been living off Trader Joe's microwave products and washing dishes in our bathroom. I can't wait to start organizing my new kitchen, the suspense is killing me!

While I love reading, I am not quick reader...or so you'll see as I'll read the same book for a few weeks (especially when I'm back to the daily grind).

Started Early, Took My Dog: A NovelI finished reading, Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson. At first I was really into this book. It is a fast-paced, multi-faceted mystery. The characters are down-to-earth and quite likable. However, towards the end, I felt like there were so many characters that I had a general sense of, but not many that I had true affection towards (perhaps just Jackson Brodie- I liked him a lot). And, in the end, I didn't feel complete closure with the turn of events (is that a spoiler?). I would definitely recommend it- especially if you're a mystery fiend. I would enjoy reading another Kate Atkinson mystery. As with all mysteries, this book is very plot driven.

MaineI just started Maine, by J. Courtney Sullivan. Unfortunately, the reviews on Goodreads say the characters are one-dimensional and that it doesn't end well. I've just cracked it last night, and I'm about 30 pages in. It's a family drama, spanning several generations, the setting (obviously) in Maine. I really like the tone of the book, and how the narrative perspective shifts. I already understand the characters, and they feel like they are people I have known/know. Growing up in a religious family (my dad and grandfather both pastors), I understand how many people routinely operate out of moral guilt. Maybe some readers are turned off when characters are driven by this guilt (that's what it seemed like on Goodreads). It seems quite believable. Although, I'm only 30 pages in, like I said, so my opinion is bound to shift! So far, I'm really eager to read it every chance I get! My mom also grew up in Maine, and I vacationed there in summer growing up- so, I have all more reason to like the book!

Below are my favorite literacy pins of the week! I couldn't limit myself to one:
  • Smekens Eduaction Solutions, Inc.: Has an incredible library of ideas to teach reading, writing, and content to elementary students. While I'm familiar with most of these ideas, it'll be great to use this site to jog my memory when I access a teaching idea. I also love the way that Smekens Education System has these ideas organized.
Smekens Education Solutions, Inc.
  • K12Reader: Is an amazing resource for teachers and parents. This site has been around since 2008 and it's filled to the brim with free reading resources for parents and teachers. If you're a teacher, I'm sure you'll really appreciate the FREE leveled comprehension passages (a dynamite resource!).
  • And my final fav of the week- This awesome idea from Mrs. Patton's Patch's Blog. Mrs. Patton used painter's tape to make sound boxes (elkonin boxes) on her classroom's rug. Her Kinder friend can jump out the sounds independently during reading/writing time. I love this idea!

Hope this post finds you well! What was your favorite pin of the week?


  1. You are very sweet, glad you like the idea. But, I can't take credit for the original idea. I got it from Heather at Heather's Heart... http://heathersfirstgradeheart.blogspot.com/2011/09/sound-box-hop-and-stretchy-snake.html

    Colleen Patton
    Mrs. Patton’s Patch

  2. Colleen, Welcome! And thank you for kindly posting the original post from Heather's Heart. Great to have you stop by!


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