Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ok so here is post number 1!

So new to this whole blogging thing, but have definitely been blogstalking for the past month or so thanks to my friend Erin over at Eberhart's Explorers! We used to live in the same neighborhood but now I am living at the beach, and she is such an inspiration to me! She does fifty million things and teaches!

Lots of other amazing blogs that I follow inspire me on a daily basis, I do not know how they all do it! Once I get this blogging thing figured out I will be sure to link all of my favorite blogs to my page somehow.

Well let's see I am a first year teacher and loving every minute in second grade. Please note that I said loooooving every minute by no means am I LIKING every minute. I never thought about what first year teaching would do to me. I am exhausted twenty four seven! Thankfully we have surpassed 100 days and only have 76 left! So I know I am going to make it through my first year! Teaching has always always always been what I wanted to do. I sit around now and think about what else I would do career wise and can honestly say NOTHING comes to mind.

My biggest struggle at this point is getting my small group guided reading together. The district puts so much emphasis on this area but yet I have received NO formal training.  I would love to hear any ideas/tips/comments that other teachers have.

Also if you know of any second grade blogs please leave the link here for me. I find bunches and bunches of kindergarten and first grade blogs but know of very few second grade blogs....

Also if anyone else uses the Imagine It! curriculum I would love to hear tips on how to ADD to and supplement this program especially for my higher level students.

Hope to hear from my fellow teachers soon! Lots of love and good wishes to you all!


  1. Guided reading is the best thing you will ever do with your boys and girls. Does your district have leveled readers with your series? If they do, start there. Make three groups, high, middle and low based on your gut. Later you can use data, but it will not hurt any child when you start to be in a group that is "too low" or "two high" because your groups will still be 2nd grade. Take one hour and plan 3 areas....
    Group 1 at the listening center, next day at a word wall center...just writing their spelling in markers is fun!
    Group 2 Read to themself, next day let them read with a partner
    Group 3 With you at a guided reading group
    Ring a bell every 15 mins. let everyone get settled and then have the group with you just read to you and discuss the story...no stress, no data, no "solving life's problems" in that 15 mins.
    Enjoy reading and show them you enjoy listening to them. Do not let the other groups move or interupt you and your group. Set rules and hold to them. My classroom term is "Mrs. Smith is like the mall, right now I'm CLOSED!" when I'm with a group.
    As you get better, use the plans that go with the stories...or get leveled readers from your media center with some plans. OR focus on the districts "big idea" for the week....main idea, compare and contrast, etc.
    Later you can use testing data to make your groups. Your small groups can and should change weekly as your students' needs grow and change.
    The Daily Five is an amazing book that will help you, it is easy to read, you can read it while you lay in the sun and think....how can I start with just "The Daily Three?"
    You will grow to love guided reading and your children with thrive!
    Fern Smith’s Classroom Ideas!

  2. Fern,
    Thank you for the tips....I wish I could use the Daily Five but my district has a core program and our workstations/centers that the kids go to while I do guided reading is also mandated.....My biggest struggle is finding books to use and the big idea to use with them! I feel like I am recreating the wheel and that is nooot what I should be doing because I know other teachers have awesome resources out there!!!! :o)

    I love your blog!