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Sunday, February 9, 2014

What makes you happy?

What makes you happy?
What helps you recharge your batteries?
What keeps you going?

Here is what makes me happy, what helps me recharge my batteries and what keeps me going!

From a professional point of view
1. I LOVE my job! I truly LOVE my classroom kids and making a difference in their lives!

From a personal point of view
1. I love my husband and the fact that we both like the same things. We have the same goals, share the same view of what is important in life, LOVE spending time together, love traveling, going to shows (theater, musicals, music bands, comedy), reading, planning for the future, and so much more.
2. Traveling is one of my greatest passions. I love to see the world and immerse myself in the local cultures. Speaking a few other languages also helps! :)
3. I enjoy good quality shows. We have been buying season tickets for over 12 years now. We love: musicals, Broadway shows, various bands from classical music, instrumental to swing (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Band is FANTASTIC!!!, for example), stand-up comedy, theater, etc.
4. I always seem to dream big and don't really care what others think of me. I don't mean that in a cocky way, but in a healthy way. There are way too many ill-intentioned people, envious, fake and ready to knock you down. Just don't let them!

5. I know that I am very strong and determined woman. I have lots of life experiences (mine or my family's) that made me the strong individual I am today. I stand my ground without problems and fight for what I believe in. Realizing and remembering that each day makes me happy and keeps me going.
6. I am very selective in how I choose my friends and how and with whom I spend my time. I treasure true friends and life-long memories with the people I care about and the people whose opinions I value. I don't waste my time!

Yesterday we went to see "The Piano Guys". They were INCREDIBLE! Go see them if you have the chance. A nice dinner with my hubby, great conversations, lots of laughter, a great show. Another wonderful memory to cherish! All these little memories we create throughout the weeks, months and years, make me happy! 

What keeps you going?
What makes you happy?
What are the little moments/memories in life that you cherish?
Life is not always filled with positive moments. At times, we all go through very difficult moments in life, but it is important to focus on all the good people, memories and experiences that we have.
Find something good that outbalances the bad you might be experiencing at either a personal and/or professional level. Life is short and we all need to learn to enjoy it.

I thank God for all the blessings in my life!
Have a wonderful week!

Valentine's Day!

Valentine’s Day
Students love this day! They enjoy decorating their Valentine’s Day bags and sharing their valentines with their friends. We start making a few Valentine's Day related projects about a week or two before February 14th.
On Friday, my students made a cute Valentine’s Day project that required their attention to details, focus on task and good small motor development skills.
What did we use?
  • Large pink and red construction paper
  • Red, bright and light/soft pink tissue papers
  • Large heart printout
  • Sentence printout
How did we make it?
Students tore tissue paper and covered their heart printout. It worked out perfectly since the hearts had time to dry while the children were in Specials.
When we came back, children cut the hearts, glued them on large construction paper.     


The sentence had each letter in a rectangle. Children colored each rectangle a different color, cut each letter/rectangle and then glued them on.

Are you looking for fun, engaging and interactive Valentine’s Day activities for your students/children?
Scroll down, LOTS to see - everything you need: phonics, phonemic awareness, nonsense words, writing, reading, patterning, emergent readers, even one in Spanish!

This is the perfect addition to your Phonics and phonemic awareness activities, all with a cute and fun Valentine’s Day theme. Click on the title to go straight to the product page.
This product helps your students improve phonics skills through engaging, differentiated and interactive activities. Students work on beginning, middle/medial and ending sounds, digraphs, rhyming, writing and long vowels.
Writing and patterning activities are all included in:
Click on the title to go straight to the product page. Students work on: improving vocabulary, reading fluency, use their schemata when describing Valentine’s Day related pictures, patterning, improving reading and writing skills, comparing and contrasting, using 5 Senses and other graphic organizers. Differentiated approach based on your students’ skill level.

Click on the title to go straight to the product page. Students learn how to tell time to the hour and half hour through engaging and interactive activities.

Click on the title to go straight to the product page. Students practice reading, tracking words, identifying sight words, rhyming, and identifying beginning sounds in words.

Valentine's Day - Emergent Reader. Spanish Version.
Click on the title to go straight to the product page. Students practice reading, tracking words, identifying sight words, writing, all in Spanish.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Guided Writing

Guided Writing - Kindergarten
Each day I use one picture card. We take the time to really look at the picture, details in the picture and we talk about it, as a whole class.  

I dictate the first sentence and the expectation is that children write it first. After they write my sentence, they come up with their own complete sentences about the picture.
I start this in January because that is when my kindergartners are ready for more intensive writing sessions. Before January, students journaled daily and were involved in various daily writing activities  but not as focused and challenging.
We always review the rules we should follow when we write: start with a capital letter, use finger spaces, use an end mark, pay attention to how we write the letters and the sight words learned.

I encourage my kids to use the Word Wall that has our sight words listed.  I also encourage them to sound out more difficult words. I NEVER spell a word for them but guide them to find the correct spelling and or use proper and developmentally appropriate phonetic spelling. We have fun but are really working hard. We talk about how we LIKE to do things and not LIK things. Kids always think that is funny but it gets their attention to the proper spelling of the word “like”, for example. I say something like: “I like my boots!” BUT “I don’t lick my boots!”
Also, at time, I give a word bank with words such as “eyes” or “ice” since I don’t want them to write “iz” or “is”.
We also correct a sentence before starting. I use various sentences each day where I omit  letters, misspell sigh words, don’t use any end mark and I don’t start with a capital letter.
All these steps are necessary and very useful! Children are engaged, they review the rules, brainstorm, refocus on what needs to be done step by step.
I also ask students to share the expectations with another student. For example, I say:
“Turn to a shoulder partner and share 3 important rules to follow when you write!”
“Tell your shoulder partner how you always start a sentence!”
Here are a few examples of my kiddos’ writing! I am VERY proud of them. Now, not all can write several complete sentences but they are all making progress at their own individual pace. Most write independently, some need my guidance through the writing process, and a couple of them need one-on-one guidance while writing.

In addition to the guided writing process described above, I also place individual pictures and invite the children to write independently about the specific picture they get, without having any sentence dictated to them!

Please consider following my blog or visit often as I have LOTS of ideas to share and neat pictures of my students’ work!

Here are some very useful CCS aligned products I created focused on sight words and complex sentences. They are a great addition to your students' daily work. Your students will master these sight words and learn to develop complete and complex sentences, all in an engaging and interactive way!

Help your children/students learn sight words!
Click on the title to go straight to the product page.

Sight Words Activities - CCS Aligned - Homework AND/OR Classroom Activities

These two packets are focused on building complete and complex sentences through hands-on, engaging and interactive activities. Click on the titles to go straight to the two product pages.

Literacy Activities – CCS Aligned – Sentence Fixer Uppers – Packet # 1

Literacy Activities – CCS Aligned – Sentence Fixer Uppers – Packet # 2

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day!
So, I guess Phil really disappointed me. It saw its shadow therefore we will have 6 more weeks of winter. I just want SPRING!!!

"At first I was afraid I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live without SPRING by my side

But then I spent so many nights

Thinking how WINTER did me wrong

And I grew strong

And I learned how to get along……!" (original song by: Gloria Gaynor - "I Will Survive")
Oops, sorry…. I got carried away………:)
Here are some cute ideas for “Groundhog Day”:
I found this on pinterest (no link to another site though, just an image)

In my Kindergarten class, we predicted whether Phil would see its shadow or not and made a groundhog project (one of my team partners got this idea from a teaching conference, I think).  The kids tore construction paper for the groundhog, sun and clouds and used brown paper bags for the burrow. Cotton ball were used for snow.

10 Fun Ways To Celebrate Groundhog Day
Check out this website for lots of ideas!

Here is the "Groundhog Day" official web page !