Show and Tell Tuesday - August Edition!

Happy Wonderful Wednesday!  It's never too late to link up with Forever in Fifth Grade for:

Sparty, the GIANT Bernese Mountain Dog

When my brother and his family go away, I'm the trusted dog-sitter for my nephew, Sparty, who has managed to keep growing even at 18 months old!

Bernese Mountain Dog

Sparty is a gentle and playful dog who weighs in at 100+ pounds.  This time I made sure to use my right hand to hold his leash while walking my dog with my left because last time I ended up with a sore elbow due to being pulled.

The Second Mrs. Hockaday - Great New Historical Fiction!

If you like historical fiction and mysteries, this is the book for you:
Click on book to read more on Amazon!

This book is told through letters and journal entries both during the Civil War and the years afterward.  The second Mrs. Hockaday is a young woman who ends up marrying at a very young age to a man who goes off to continue his role in the Civil War.  In the meantime, Mrs. Hockaday finds herself a mother and the person in charge of the farm and its employees. 

Back to School Letters In the Mail!

I know that Back to School Time is right around the corner when I put these letters in the mail:

welcome back letter for students

In the meantime, I'm trying my best to enjoy every last day of summer.  Soon we're off to New York City to visit my daughter, Bethany.  On the way home, we're stopping in Mystic Seaport. 

Whale, Thanks for stopping by!

Reading Strategies That Improve Comprehension

It's that time again - although I am a few days late - to link up with Teaching Little Miracles for:

If you'd like to catch up from the beginning of this book study, head here:

The Reading Strategies Book - Breaking It Down

Goals 1 and 2

Goals 3 and 4

Goals 5 and 6

Goals 7 and 8

Goals 9 and 10 

Goal 11 - Understanding Vocabulary and Figurative Language
In fact, research shows that if students are truly to understand what they read, they must be able to understand, not only decode upward of 95 percent of the words. (p. 297)

*Strategy 11.1 Retire Overworked Words

This is absolutely a strategy that I use right from the get-go.  My students love to describe a character as nice or kind way too often throughout the school year, and we need to work constantly on using more specific adjectives such as honest, respectful or caring...


*Goal 11.3 Insert a Synonym

Synonyms are words that mean the same.  

I love this strategy, and it explains why I always used my thesaurus every time I needed to write a paper (I LOVED my thesaurus!).


Goal 11.9 Stick to your Story

This strategy comes into play in a big way when we are preparing for our MCAS tests (state testing).  When answering questions that refer directly back to the story, students often invent their own version of what happened or they'll tell a story of what happened to them.  Either way, they're not answering the question ~ either because they didn't understand the story, the question being asked or both.


Goal 12 - Speaking, Listening, and Deepening Comprehension
*Strategy 12.1 Listen with Your Whole Body

This is such a life skill that needs constant review and reinforcement.  I often find myself refocusing my attention when I'm listening to another person.  Having someone listen to you is such a gift.

listening skills

 Strategy 12.10 Sentence Starter Sticks

In this activity students chose a stick with a sentence starter on it.  They use the sentence starter to begin their answer:

Here's the best part - I took a class years ago and made similar sticks with questions, and I've never used them.  Needless to say, I am bringing them to school this year!

question sticks

Thank you for checking in today!  I hope you have someone who listens to you with their whole body!


It Was Monday, and Here's What I'm Still Reading!, hola, Coca Cola!  Thanks for popping by to hear about some fun books as I link up with Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers for:

*Click on the covers of the books to read more at Amazon!

 Urgency Emergency ~ "All in a day's work!" ~ Series by Dosh Archer

I love these fun books by author/illustrator Dosh Archer who writes books that are fun to read and funny!  One example is:

In this twisted tale, the Big Bad Wolf is rushed to the ER due to choking.  Upon doing the Heimlich maneuver, the doctor ejects a pair of slippers with a person wearing them (I bet you can figure out the mystery person!).  My third graders went crazy for these books, and I had just as much fun reading them out loud.  

All the books have animal characters from nursery rhymes or other stories!

7 Ate 9, The Untold Story

Follow Private "I" as he solves a mystery in this laugh out loud book:

All of the above books contain creative language and puns that are fun for kids and adults!

Today I posted over at Conversations From The Classroom:

 Click on the picture to read about what's happening to cursive writing these days!

I'm so happy you visited my blog today ~ thank you!


Moving On With More Reading Strategies

Hello, and welcome to another installment of Teaching Little Miracles' Link-Up::

If you'd like to catch up from the beginning of this book study, head here:

The Reading Strategies Book - Breaking It Down

Goals 1 and 2

Goals 3 and 4

Goals 5 and 6

Goals 7 and 8 

Goal 9 - Determining Key Details

Determining key details is the difference between taking a highlighter to every single word in a textbook, and highlighting just those facts that align to your purpose for reading, or that align to what the author is trying to say. (p. 247)

*Goal 9.1 Compare New to Known

This goal is all about making connections between the text and what you already know in order to create an understanding of the new information.

compare new to known

*Goal 9.5 Gather Up Facts

How I wished someone had taught me this strategy ~ write down what you learned from your reading.  It was so difficult to write a book report because I couldn't remember any details I had read.

anchor chart gather up facts

*Goal 9.15 Using Analogies

I love analogies and think that they are so fun to do when we have some extra time.  They're like riddles!  This strategy encourages readers to think of why an author would compare two things.


Goal 10 - Getting the Most From Text Features

This goal is HUGE and SUPER IMPORTANT with all the emphasis on non-fiction that happens to be on our state tests!  Over the years, I've tried to add more and more non-fiction books to the mix in my classroom library - although I must admit - most of the books remain fiction ones.  I'm always on the lookout for new non-fiction anyway!

*Goal 10.4 - Caption It!

One year during MCAS testing, a student asked for help (not that I could help) about a question that asked about the caption.  She didn't know what a caption was.  Now I make sure to teach and review captions all the time!


*Goal 10.15 Maps

Maps are educational and fun!  I've spent the last two summer taking professional development that involves maps.  Consequently, I am so happy to highlight this strategy.


 It's also helpful that maps are non-fiction text features, too!

Here's an analogy for you:   Summer is to watermelon as back to school is to:


Absolutely Amazing and Awesome Amazon Giveaway Going On Now!

Here's another reason to celebrate the weekend!

Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card

*The rafflecopter is at the bottom of this post!

Giveaway organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)
Co-hosts: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher),  Teacher JeanellLIVIN' IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVERMM BilingualMrs. Hansens HelpfulsDigging Deep to Soar Beyond the TextMs. K180 Days of ReadingThe Best DaysHeart 2 Heart TeachingCathy's Cool CreationsLeah PopinskiWalk with Me a SecondJackie Crews, Teacher Gameroom, It's a Teacher ThingThe Watermelon Teacher - Susan KrevatReading and Writing RedheadIt's Kinder Time"Dee Bibb - Teaching at the Beach"KB3TeachKovescence of the MindTeach with HopeBrynn's Teacher BagGrowing Grade by GradeMomma with a Teaching MissionCara's Creative PlaygroundLockwood's Little LearnersSliding Into 1stTaking on SecondSouthern DrawlLove Luck and Laughter, and Pitner's Potpourri.
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 8/11/17 and is open worldwide.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog?  Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Currently and Amazingly It's August - Still Lots of Summer!

Hi there!  Thanks for popping in today as I link-up with Anne In Residence and Shea Lennon for:

Snacking On

I've been enjoying an Italian Ice every afternoon ~ it's so refreshing on a hot summer day!



Last week I took a class through the National Endowment for Humanties.  Every day we visited landmarks in Massachusetts as well as The Pequot Museum (the largest Native American Museum which is located at Foxwoods).  In addition, I learned so much at the Museum of Fine Arts, Plimouth Plantation and Little Brewster's Island - home of the country's oldest operating lighthouse.

If you ever come to Boston, you'll have so much to see and learn because there is an amazing amount of history here!


I'm reading this book:

I'm thoroughly enjoying it and can't wait to find out what happens to the main characters!


I've been borrowing a lot of children's books from my library because there are so many new picture books to discover.  I promised myself that I wouldn't go to the children's room during the summer, but I just couldn't stay away!

How can anyone resist that cute sheep?


I make the same dinners all the time, and I'm getting bored eating the same food.  I decided to diversify by trying Blue Apron.  Unfortunately, the delivery was late, and the recipes were too complicated, but I was not deterred.  I tried another one - Hello Fresh, and it was so much better.  The food was easy to prepare; the recipes were easy to follow; and I've already made the chicken en Provence again!  The box is so well-organized, too - each recipe has a corresponding bag that contains all the ingredients you need in one place.  Best of all - it's fun - cooking is social - instead of me doing everything - my family helps me.  If you want to try it out, click here to get $40 off your first box!

 I'd love to know if you've ever tried one of these meal services!

Thanks for visiting today!  Hope you're enjoying the summer!

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