Category Archives: Back To School

Play, Learning, and Authentic Tasks

“Gigi please get out of that drawer.”  I was in the kitchen trying to cook dinner.  Gigi was being a typical toddler and getting into everything that she possibly could get into. My frustration was starting to grow.  I sighed … Continue reading

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We’ve been busy…

Hi Friends! Happy 2013! This post in an apology for not being present on the blog for the past few months and a public commitment to make my practice more visible in the coming days. This has been a challenging … Continue reading

Posted in Back To School, Conference Presentations, Interesting, Professional Books, Professional Development, Self Reflection, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honoring the PLN

It’s been an unusual start to the school year. I have my largest class ever. I went on strike.  It’s the middle of October, but only the 26th day of school.  Things feel a little weird. In times like this, … Continue reading

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Back to the Beginning

Even though it’s October it still feels very much like the beginning of the year.  One of  the first thoughts that many teachers have about their students is “they look so little!”  It’s true.  Those tall confident students that left … Continue reading

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10 Days: An Emotional Roller Coaster

Ten days ago I started school.  I met my 33 first graders for the first time.  I set routines, learned about my students, met their parents, established a workshop model…now I am on strike.  The emotional highs and lows of … Continue reading

Posted in Back To School, Classroom Environment, Interesting, Politics, Self Reflection | 15 Comments

How do we effectively use technology?

In our classroom, first grade students use the iPad and Web 2.0 tools to build comprehension, expand audience and interact with the world!  Our goal has been to go beyond substitutional interactions with the device and seek tools that modify, … Continue reading

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A Time to Reflect

Columbus Day. It’s always the first real opportunity to step back and reflect on the current school year.  The 3-day weekend serves as a much needed break to think about where we’ve been, what we’ve accomplished and provides time to … Continue reading

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Responsive Teaching in Week 1

Wow.  Did that really just happen?  Photos, paintings and a pile of getting to know you projects litter the tables.  There’s so much glitter on the floor it looks like a Kesha concert took place in my classroom.   Week one … Continue reading

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iPad Organization

This year my 1st grade classroom will go one-to-one with the iPad 2.  I’m so excited! I’ve spent a lot of time this summer thinking about curriculum, assessment and management of devices.  Last year, my classroom participated in a smaller … Continue reading

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Day 15: The Last Days of Back to School

It seems silly to write a back to school post.  I’m already “back to school.”  Chicago decided to join us by ushering in fall on the first day.  Suddenly Carmel apples seem like a good idea and I’m thinking about … Continue reading

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Day 14: A Slice of Life

Today was the first day the students were actually “back to school.”  Ok, I didn’t quite make my 15 days before the first day….hey, I tried.  It was a good day.  An exhausting day, but a good day.  Let’s zoom … Continue reading

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Day 13: Books That Teach

I love picture books that have a message.  I use a wide variety of books every year and at the beginning of the year I like books that send a message of acceptance and tolerance.  Here are three of my … Continue reading

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Day 12: Setting Students up for 2.0

There are two websites that I use a great deal in my class.  Edmodo and Kidblogs.  I have chosen these two sites because they enable me to create an online collaboration space for students while still maintaining privacy and control.  … Continue reading

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Day 11: Read Aloud Books for the First Weeks of School

As you probably noticed from my post on classroom environment I have a lot of books.  I’ve been collecting books since I began teaching and there is no end in sight.  I have a core set of books that I … Continue reading

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Day 10: Professional Connections

Yesterday was my first official day back!  The students report on Tuesday.  So it looks like I’ll make my 15 days just in time.  : ) We have a strong culture of reading at our school.  We read professional books … Continue reading

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Day 9: Planning Ahead

Planning ahead is a way of life for teachers.  We have to plan, prepare, and prepare some more.  Here are some ways that I prepare to help make my year a little easier. Every year before school starts I send … Continue reading

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Day 8: A Steady Diet of Reading

Keeping kids excited about reading is a major part of my job.  If they like the books they will read.  This means that I keep up a steady diet of reading during the year.  Enough that the site of me … Continue reading

Posted in Back To School, Book Reviews, My Reading Life, Read Aloud Books, Reader's Workshop | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Day 7: Balance

As we prepare for the new school year it’s important to think about balance.  Granted, it’s hard the first few weeks of the year to find balance because of the sheer amount of work there is to do.  But let’s … Continue reading

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Day 6: A Tour Through My Room

I’m in a good place with my room.  It’s not done.  But it’s getting there.  I thought that today I would post some pictures and break down my rationale for why I have things  the way they are and possible … Continue reading

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Day 5: Classroom Environment

It’s that time again.  The dust is settled.  The floor is waxed.  It’s time to set up the room.  Every year I rearrange things before the school year ends thinking…maybe I’ll get it all set before I go.  Then summer … Continue reading

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