Monday, September 19, 2016


When I see teamwork like this, it makes my heart smile!  <3  

Place Value

Do your students need PLACE VALUE reminders?!?!

Awesome things are coming!  I just need to put the finishing touches on this product!  :)  Do you have any suggestions that stand out?  If so, please send them my way!  If you do, I will send a free copy of this product in the next week as soon as I finish it!!!  <3

Friday, July 22, 2016

Quote that has me thinking...Writing Workshop

Last week, I had the pleasure of working with 20+ amazing educators in the Chicagoland area...each with special talents to bring to his/her community, school, students and education as a whole.   Not only am I a 2nd grade teacher, I am an Illinois Writing Project Leader.  I love this unique work I get to do.  Each summer, I am reminded of how much I love being a teacher by the chance to facilitate difficult and in-depth discussions with these talented educators.  During the course of this week, this quote struck me.

"To help our students become writers, we need to write side by side with them." - Rebecca Alber

There are many similar quotes out there that you might stumble upon.  However, this one strikes me as one that I need to continue to remember.  One of my all time favorite moments of the school day is the mini-lesson for Writing Workshop.  Every single person in the classroom looks forward to this special time.  The students, me, and special guests in the classroom that day.

Writing in front of the students gives me a chance to play with some word choice and semantics, as well as it give me a chance to show the students the entire writing process as a think/write aloud.  I have to remember that not only do I want to continue to write in front of students, I want to also do my own writing on my own and show students that I am writing and show them the importance of writing.  How impactful for the students to see the real work application!!  I need to remember to bring in my own Writer's Notebook, just as Ralph Fletcher recommends.

I hope this quote will resonate with you as it has resonated with me.  <3

If you are interested in the Illinois Writing Project, please check out our website.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Makes my heart smile

You know that time when a former student contacts you out of the blue and makes your Friday evening?

Well, that happened to me tonight.  <3

I do not know about you, but I have often thought about where my former students might be, what grade they are in, what they have become, and what would I say to them?  Well, I was reminded that I have said enough...all that has to be said has been biggest impact was already made every single day he/she was in our classroom.  No shows.  No gimmicks.  No fake warm wishes.

When I received the prized message, my husband and I were in the middle of flipping through the channels to find a show to watch after a long and tiring day of potty training and also work.  I will leave it to you to decide who was doing what.  ;-)

Anyways, before we could decide on a show to watch while we cuddled on the couch, a ding occurred on my phone.  I decided to glance, even though I really did not want to.

Well, as soon as I reached for my phone to look at Facebook Messenger, I was elated that I did.
Through messages back and forth, I found out this former student is studying elementary education.  My heart is so full.  I teach for these relationships and memories, impressions and inspiration.  This is the real reason I teach.  #foreverateacher

Monday, February 29, 2016

We Want to Hook You In!

Boy, has it been wayyyyyy tooooo longggggg!  I find myself posting on Instagram or Facebook about exciting things that happen in my classroom, but I have been forgetting about my special place where I can share my thoughts, pictures, and not have to worry about limiting my characters!  :)

Today we worked on writing fabulous leads in Writing Workshop!  The kids want to HOOK YOU IN!  :)  I love watching these little writers blossom!  :)  Below are two of my favorite writing transformations!  I wrote in front of the kids last week (as I do every day!!!!), and today we went back to that piece.  We modified the lead sentence to my piece, and then the kids went back to their seats and picked one piece they wanted to make better, they brainstormed some different leads, and then they picked one they wanted to use.  Honestly, the kids did awesome for the first day!!  I will share more transformations once they happen in the next few days!  :)

Tomorrow, we will look at mentor texts that give us amazing leads!  I will post tomorrow to show you how that goes and give you some ideas!  :)

New Lead:  You are never going to believe this!  :)

New Lead:  Guess what!  :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Scrabble + Family = Happiness

#1  It has been wayyyyyyy too long since I have posted.  The school year engulfed me.  Like literally.  Once the infamous to-do list gets shorter, it all of a sudden gets way longer.  The holidays came and are on their way out.  Where did 2015 go?!?!
#2  I wanted to post a picture of the present I made for my parents on their 36th wedding anniversary.  I am so happy with how it turned out that I HAD to share it with you all.
#3  Happy New Year!  May 2016 bless you with exactly what you are looking for in the upcoming year.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Writing Workshop Often Melts My Heart

Who here LOVES to teach Writing Workshop?  My hand is up...way up in the hair after hearing this question.  Helping kids gain a voice is so powerful and one of my favorite things about my job.  Here are two examples right here!  For number one, the little munchkin wrote about her brother and had such powerful voice.  She even used the phrase, "Guess What?  Are you ready?"  Just like I modeled during my Write Aloud.  :)  Get ready for some extra cuteness.  :)
My second kiddo wrote a longer story her new baby brother or sister.  She even wrote this, "We do not know if it is a boy or a girl yet, but I know this for sure.  I will love the baby and it will be so lucky to have a big sister like me."  Awwwww!!!!!