September 27, 2016

Happy Fall Y'all~It's Giveaway Time

Fall is such a FUN time to teach in the classroom, and Tori Johnson with Teach with Tori and Kelly Avery at Mrs. Avery's Island wanted to help you get your Literacy and Math Centers ready for the new season!  We have partnered together to have a "Happy Fall Y'all Giveaway", and we wanted you to know exactly how you can enter!  We will be giving away 4 fun, engaging resources which cover standards in both math and ELA!  These resources are perfect to use with Daily 3, Daily 5, your favorite Kagan Structure, RTI groups, whole group lessons, fast finisher activities, morning work, etc....  This bundle is valued at $20 and will be given away to 6 lucky winners!


Directions for entering:
1.  Visit and LIKE our Facebook pages, Mrs. Avery's Island and Teach with Tori 
2.  Visit and FOLLOW (if you are not following already) our Teachers Pay Teachers Stores  Kelly Avery and Teach with Tori
3.  On our Facebook pages, scroll down and look for the image above.  
4.  Leave a comment on the post that includes your email address (we will email you the resources if you are one of the six lucky winners) and TAG as many of your TEACHING FRIENDS as you would like....**TEACHER TIP #1:  the MORE you TAG, the BETTER your chances; however, they MUST be elementary teachers who could benefit from these resources!!** 
5.  Share the post on YOUR Facebook page! **TEACHER TIP #2:  Sharing the post just might increase your chances too! ;) **

On September 30th, we will comment on our FaceBook posts to announce the six winners!  I will also post the winners on this blog post!  

Last thing....  Please comment on this blog post to let me know how bad you would like to win these resources for your classroom!  Good luck and Happy Fall Y'all!

September 9, 2016

Daily 5: A Literacy Framework that Works for Me!

Do the words Daily 5 ring a bell when you hear them?  Do you find yourself searching Pinterest or Google to find educational blogs offering a deeper explanation about this AMAZING literacy framework!  Are you interested in purchasing the Daily 5 book with intentions of implementing the framework in your classroom this year?  Are you that teacher who's afraid to put down the reading manual your district has adopted and pressures you to follow?  Does it stress you thinking about not having complete control of every student while meeting with a guided reading group?  Or, does allowing your students the freedom to select a book of their choice without your supervision have you like....
If you answered YES to any (or all) of these questions, I hope this post will bring encouragement and inspire you to learn more about how Daily 5 can impact your students and provide growth for each one of them.  You may be wondering, "How in the Sam Hill is it possible that EVERY student succeeds and shows growth with a student population ranging from students in the gifted program to ELL/ESL students, and all in-between!  I'll let Taylor share a word on how she feels about Daily 5...

video

You may be thinking, "So where in the world do I start?"
1.  I would recommend getting your hands on a copy of the Daily 5 book or ebook, written by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, and read that sucker from stem to stern!  Summarize it and prepare to follow it to a TEE!    
2.  I took my summary of the book and created myself an instructional PowerPoint.  I wanted to make sure I had dotted my i's and crossed my t's when I introduced each component to my students.    
3.  When I was ready to launch this literacy framework with my students, I began by asking them how they "moved" into my classroom that morning....of course, they all said, "I walked in the classroom."  They pretty much looked at me as if I was crazy, but I followed up by saying, "So...although each one of you are able to walk, did you know that each one of you took your first steps at a different age?  For some of you, you may have started walking at 9 months old, others at 11 months old, and maybe some on or around your first birthday, but today EVERY ONE of you walk without any problem."  This led me into explaining that reading is just the same, and although we may not learn to read at the same time, the end result is, WE WILL ALL LEARN TO READ!  
This lesson seriously nips anyone making fun of another student because of their reading deficits in the bud.    

4.  I lead right into the Daily 5's recommended "SHOE LESSON".   I literally bring a plastic garbage bag FULL of different shoes.  

 
The shoe lesson allows me to explain how each person selects a shoe that is a GOOD FIT for them.  I tell them that many people really do not know how to even select a book at the library, and I inform them that selecting shoes and a book have many things in common.  Because each shoe is specific for a gender, interest, size, and purpose, I am able to explain that books are also specific to each person.  For example, I tell them that the Harley Davison riding boot does not fit my foot, nor do I have an interest in riding motorcycles; therefore, that would not be a good fit for me, but it's a perfect fit for Mr. Avery because it's the right size and he has an interest in riding motorcycles.  I also tell them that just because Mr. Avery likes that shoe for riding bikes doesn't mean I have to.  I explain that if I was in the library, I would not select a book about football if I did not have an interest in football...EVEN IF MY BEST FRIEND SELECTED A FOOTBALL BOOK!  Ahhh......  Once the shoe lesson has been taught, it's like the students GET IT when it comes to selecting a Good Fit book.  We then discuss my "I PICK" poster.

I now apply the Shoe Lesson by demonstrating some books, and I let them know that even teachers have to follow the Good Fit rule when selecting a book!  First, I show them my book that is TOO BIG for me....  (Yea, that's my forestry book with a gazillion pages in it.)  It is a non fiction book containing the scientific names of every tree and shrub under the sun.  Even using my best Saxon Phonics decoding skills, I SLAUGHTER the names and cannot even pronounce them!  I explain that not only do I NOT have an interest in reading about trees and shrubs, I can't even pronounce the words in the book, therefore, there is no way I will understand what I am reading.  #toobig #toohard #notinterested

The next book I demonstrate is a Clifford board book.  I open it and begin reading as if it is a breeze...because it is!  I ask my students if they think it's appropriate for an old lady like me to be reading a Clifford book to myself!  We all agree that the book it TOO LITTLE, and it will not help me increase my reading fluency or comprehension skills.  #toolittle #tooeasy #notinterested

The next book I demonstrate is about a girl that has just graduated from high school and is going away to college.   I explain to them that I am very interested in this book since my daughter, Anna Kate, will be graduating from high school this year.  I open to the middle of the book and begin reading a couple of pages.  My students are able to hear me read the words fluently, and they can sense that I am very interested in the book. #perfectsize #GOODFIT #veryinterested  

*Btw...if you happen to be "IN MY SHOES" {no pun intended}, and have a senior getting ready to leave the nest, I strongly recommend Maria Shriver's And One More Thing Before You Go...!
Now, you may be thinking, "How do you actually set up the stations in your room so that everyone (YES, EVERYONE) is ACTIVELY engaged for optimal growth.  So here is a virtual snapshot of my classroom....
 
Students are assigned a book box.  On the side of the book box I have a laminated bookmark with a specific colored circle (red, blue, green, yellow).  The colors divide my students into groups of about five or six students.  There's really no rhyme or reason on how the students are grouped, unless behavior becomes an issue.  I literally fan out the bookmarks (facedown) and students choose a bookmark, and voila, that is the group they are in.  They stay in that group for the entire year.  I used to have the bookmarks loose in their boxes, but I had a few rebels try to pull a slick one on me by switching bookmarks.  Those days were over.  

On Mondays, students select 3-5 books for their book box.  We do not actually go to Daily 5 rotations on Mondays, we just prepare so that Tuesday-Friday we are ready to roll! 
 
These are the rotations for each colored group.  You will notice that EVERY DAY students go to Read to Self.  Students may choose which station they want to attend first, but they all go to Read to Self.  Once students quickly settle into their rotation, I begin randomly calling students to meet with me at my horseshoe table for small group/RTI.  During that time, based on the needs of the students I have called, I may work on grammar skills, comprehension skills, discuss and make corrections on reading tests, play a phonics game, etc.   After we meet for about 20 minutes, the students return to their Daily 5 Rotation.
 
As mentioned above, Read to Self is a rotation that every student goes to each day.  They select one of their 4 or 5 books from their book box, and read for 20-30 minutes.  THEY LOVE IT!  Most students stay at their own desk during Read to Self.

                                                 
This is Zach, and he decided to go to Read to Self today for his first rotation.  Zach is reading on or slightly above grade level.  After about 20-30 minutes (and yes, it took about six weeks for us to build up our stamina to be able to stay engaged for that long), he will then rotate to Work on Writing.  He is reading his first chapter book, and he feels like a rockstar! 
Sophia also chose to go to Read to Self first.  Sophia is in our gifted program and is reading on a 5th grade level.  She has fallen in love with the Little House series!  Because she is reading a book that is a GOOD FIT for her, she is increasing her vocabulary and comprehension skills.  Can you even imagine if she was reading in a 2nd grade reader how bored she would be?  Not to mention, her reading growth would be ZILCH.  

Anna, shown in the video below, is reading a Pete the Cat book which is a GOOD FIT book for her.  Anna is an ELL student and moved from Mexico to the United States.  Each day, she goes home from school to a non-English speaking home.  As you can imagine, Anna is not able to receive any reinforcement from her parents, and because of the language barrier, Anna is reading on a much lower level than her classmates.  Again, just imagine how difficult the stories in the 2nd grade basal would have been for her the first half of the school year.  Nonetheless, she is building fluency, understanding what she is reading, and gaining confidence like a champ!  
                                     video
As I said, Anna was way below grade level when school started.  In fact, she was reading on a .9 reading level, and did not know all 36 kindergarten sight words.  The video above was taken around March, and by May, Anna was reading on a 2.2 reading level.  Anna never made her A.R. goal, but we worked so hard trying to make sure she made her goal.  For the first time, Anna made her goal during the third and fourth quarters of the school year.  It was the most incredible, not to mention emotional, time for me as her reading teacher.  As we described our Terrific Kids, which the kids do not know, for the 3rd quarter's Honors' Roll Assembly, I could barely get through the speech.  Her peers cheered for her as if it was the winning touchdown of a nail biting football game.   These are the moments that we as teachers remind ourselves, "It's not about the income, it's all about the outcome."     
video
Work on Words provides students with choice as well!  They love using markers, alphabet beads, Wikki Sticks, and other manipulatives to practice their weekly words.  

These two students chose to go to Work on Words first.  They both selected an activity from the Work on Words literacy station.  In my Work on Words station, I have a variety of phonics and grammar based activities.  I also provide extra copies of our weekly study guides in the station.  This eliminates students from wasting even one minute having to go get their copy from the binder.  It also guarantees them not to leave their copy at school and then not have it for home.  Each study guide has a list of that week's selection vocabulary words, academic vocabulary words, and spelling words so students can practice working with their words.  Some of the activities I have for students to choose from include:  dry erase boards, Bananagrams, letter tiles, magnetic letters, Write the Room wands and swords, file folder games, Bingo, etc.
Listening to Reading is so beneficial for students.  As they listen, they are able to follow along the highlighted text in the ebook.  
 
These students are at Listening to Reading.  They log into our parish library's website, and they have access to Tumblebooks.  Tumblebooks is on online library full of a variety of ebooks.  They can choose the ebooks of their choice to listen to.  They often have time to listen to three or four books once we have built their stamina.  They LOVE Listening to Reading!  
 
The students in the picture above are at Work on Writing.  They each have a writing journal and keep it in their Daily 5 book box.  They can choose to write about anything they want to.  They get so engaged in writing that oftentimes it can take several weeks to complete their story.  If they come to the writing center and are struggling to think of anything to write about, I always provide a monthly writing menu, as well as, a variety of engaging monthly writing prompts in the station for them to choose from.  The goal is to not have students waste ten minutes trying to think of something to write about.
            
The students shown in the picture below are at the Read to Someone rotation.  Read to Someone is a perfect way for students to build fluency and build comprehension skills.  The authors of Daily 5 recommend that the stronger reader reads first.  There are several ways for students to Read to Someone, but it is MOST important that the students sit "EEKK".  EEKK stands for "Elbow to Elbow Knee to Knee, I read to you and you read to me!"  It is important that the book is shared between the two students and each student holds a corner of the book.  Some of the ways students can Read to Someone include:
1.  I Read, You Read:  The stronger student reads a page or paragraph, and then the other student reads the same page or paragraph.
2.  Each student has their own book.  One student reads a page from their book, and then the other student reads a page from theirs.  
3.  Choral Reading:  Students read the same page or paragraph at the same time. 
Students can practice questioning each other about their book to increase comprehension.  
   
If you are planning to implement Daily 5 in your classroom this year, I would love to answer any questions you might have.  If you already use Daily 5 with your reading class, what experiences have you had?  What are some activities you use in you Work on Words station?  

Thank you for visiting my blog today!  If you have a classroom blog, I would love to follow you!  Please leave me a comment so I can connect with you!

September 3, 2016

Labor Day Link Up and Storewide Sale

I hope this finds all of my teaching friends near and far doing well!  I am so excited to share with you that I am linking up with some AMAZING Teachers Pay Teachers authors across the United States this Labor Day to bring you even MORE Back to School bargains!  Whether you've already kicked off the school year and are looking forward to a LABORLESS Day or preparing to head back to school next week, I invite you to hop on over to Appletastic Learning-Blossoming in 5th Grade's blog and take a look at all of the teacher authors participating in our Labor Day Linky Party!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kelly-Avery
To celebrate Labor Day, I'd like to introduce you to some of my Teachers Pay Teachers top selling resources and brand new resources I have just launched!


My Year Long Writing Prompts is my top selling resource of all times!  Check it out to see what other teachers from a variety of grade levels have to say about them!  Whether you are a Daily 5 teacher looking for no prep Work on Writing resources or want to use them for whole group writing assignments, you will never have to scramble for a journal topic again!  
   
This is my top selling set of task cards!  Task cards are my absolute FAVORITE, and because of that, I have created a set for just about any grammar and reading skill imaginable!  If I haven't made a set for a particular skill, comment on the skill you need, and it just might be my next resource!  :)

With 2016 being an election year, I have created two new election resources!  
Check them out to see if you might be able to use them in your classroom! 

HOT off the press are these two resources that could possibly be a LIFE SAVER! 
Click each picture above to see the previews!

Hoping you have a fabulous school year and please remember that if you are ever in need of thematic classroom decorclassroom anchor chart or a custom resource, I'd be happy to help you out!  Just leave a comment or message me on TpT, and I will get back with you ASAP! 

Thank you for visiting my blog today!  







My Medical Emergency was Turned into a Lesson Learned!

Well.... In case you have wondered where in the world I have been since I launched my blog, I wanted to give you the peace of mind that I am still alive!  On Father's Day, I had a FREAK (and, I do mean FREAK) accident which almost resulted in the loss of my middle finger on my right hand!  Yep, you guessed it...I'm right handed, and the struggle has been REAL!  As much as I would like to say I was bit by a shark or a bear, all I have to offer is I was making sweet tea....YES!  MAKING SWEET TEA!  Oh yeah...did I mention this happened the night before my blog launch too?  Thank the Lord I had already written my post and created my Rafflecopter prior to my accident or there's no telling what could have been included in my post under the influence of some STRONG pain medication!  One of my dear friends brought me what you see in the picture below, and it was just too cute not to share!  


Here's how my story goes....  We were about 15 minutes away from having our dear friends over for burgers.  The grill was lit, table was set, and I decided we needed some ice cold sweet tea to go with those burgers.  That's just what we do in the south!  I made the sweet tea the same way I have made it for 25 years, and even used the same pitcher I've used for 25 years!  After I dissolved the sugar in the tea, I picked up the pitcher and filled the rest with water.  As soon as I picked up the GLASS pitcher, it completely separated in two parts...It was as if someone had taken a glass cutter and cut it in half.  No shards. No shattered glass.  Just two separate parts.  By nature, I threw my right hand under the bottom half to keep it from hitting the tile floor and going into a million pieces.   I sure didn't want to mop up sweet tea minutes before our company arrived either, but THAT is where I went wrong! The bottom half of the top part of the pitcher sliced across my middle finger cutting all of my nerves, an artery, and both of my tendons.  I came VERY close to a helicopter ride to Dallas to have my finger reattached, but praise the Lord again it did not sever it completely!  After having extensive hand surgery, Flexor Tendon Repair, and being completely immobilized with ZERO use of my right hand for 6 weeks, I guess you could say typing a blog post would have taken me a month of Sundays using just my left hand.  Moral of the story:  Only Rubbermaid/Tupperware for me when it comes to making sweet tea!
My niece also had shoulder surgery this summer, so at least I could sympathize with someone!
Chilling in the E.R. waiting on my temporary fix until I could meet with my surgeon the next morning.  

Just making sure everything was "on go" for my blog launch which was the NEXT DAY!  
Feeling NO PAIN here!

Speaks for itself!   

Can I just tell you my hair was a complete wreck for WEEKS!!!!  
Feeling like an 80 year old getting a weekly set!  

After my accident, emergent situations started swirling in my mind.....What if I was home alone?  How could I have even dialed 911 (my body immediately went into a state of shock) or driven myself to the E.R.?  (My kitchen looked like a scene off of CSI Miami with blood EVERYWHERE, blood spurting in all directions with every beat of my heart!)  My finger literally FELL back after the tendons were cut, so to drive myself or find my phone to call 911 was almost impossible.  Other thoughts that crossed my mind were what if this happened to one of my girls?  What if this happened while a babysitter was on the clock? What if this happened to an elderly person who lived alone?
With all of those situations which could possibly happen, I decided to create an emergency reference flipbook.  After-all, in our classrooms we are required to keep an emergency folder important contact information for our students easily accessible and readily available.  So the thought of having my students create a Family Emergency Medical Flipbook came to my mind!  (It's actually a FLASH FREEBIE in my store RIGHT NOW, so please feel free to go grab this download!  Also, please be sure and leave me some feedback and let me know what you think after you have a chance to look at it!)  Below are a few pictures of the resource!  We never know when an emergency may happen and when seconds count!  I'm thinking I will be incorporating this lesson on personal information into my Fire Safety lessons this October when we focus on national Fire Prevention month!  This flipbook is also included in my NEW Fire Safety packet too!  Thank you so much Study All Knight (Danielle Knight) for your AWESOME flip book template that made this resource a SUCCESS!  



I have learned quite a bit about the things in life I take for granted.... such as having two functional hands!  I have also learned that in a New York second, life as I know it can change!  I have been attending occupational therapy three days a week since I've had my surgery.  I have still not been released from surgeon, so I have not even met my students this year.  I will be heading back to school on September 12th, and I can't wait to meet the next set of students that will soon become a part of my heart!  

Do you have a particular link, book, or activity you enjoy when teaching your students about Fire Safety or medical emergencies?  Please comment below and share them!  

June 28, 2016

2 For Tuesday

After nearly cutting my finger off on Father's Day and having to have EXTENSIVE hand surgery, I was not able to participate in Chalk One Up for the Teacher's Two for Tuesday last week!  HOWEVER, I'M BACK, and although I may be a one handed typist for the next few months, I was not going to let another week pass me by without participating in this weekly Whale of a Sale!  

This week you can take advantage of TWO of my Back to School bundles!  
These can both be found in my 2 for Tuesday category!
  
Arghhh you ready to head back to school with some Pirate swag?  If so, this classroom bundle is FULL of pirate themed printables which will have your Buccaneers set for an amazing year!  Get your spyglass out to take a closer look at what's included!
Or... perhaps you may choose to roll out the red carpet for your new celebrities and dazzle in the new school year with these Hollywood themed printables!  It's a "REEL" deal!
With these thematic bundles, there's no more spending a fortune at school supply stores year after year to replenish your consumable resources!  Instead, just print off your new desk tags, binder covers, stationery, and more to set your classroom apart with a CuStOm DeCoR!

Other themed classroom bundles including Superhero, Under the Sea, and Owls are also available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Custom themed classroom bundles are also available upon request!  Soooo...if you have a specific theme or color scheme in mind, please don't hesitate to message me and let's create your "One of a Kind" classroom decor which can't be purchased at your local school supply store! 

If you stumbled across my blog accidentally, YOU ARE JUST IN TIME!  
I would like to invite you to enter my Blog Launch GIVEAWAY!  My incredible Blog Launching Squad graciously partnered with me to help spread my excitement of my new branding and blog!  (Take a peek to see if you recognize any of my Squad!)
**Complete details can be found in my June 19th post!**
 Feel free to share my excitement with all of your teaching friends!! 
Great prizes and each participant has up to 47 chances to win!! 
Winners will be announced on July 1st!
  

June 19, 2016

Blog Launch Giveaway

AHOY, MATEY!!  Welcome to my brand spankin' new teaching blog designed by Blogs Fit for a Queen!  Scripture says it's better to give than to receive....(Although, I'm pretty sure I didn't grasp that concept until I was a little older...ya know, like maybe last year...JK!)  ;)

Soooo....when I started to plan this giveaway and dreaming of what I could do to share this excitement, I immediately thought about Kool and the Gang's chartbuster from wayyyy back in the day, "Celebrate good times, come on...."  (Eeeeeek.....I'm not too sure I can even contain my excitement!)
I couldn't be more excited to have the support of some special people (aka what I am calling my Blog Launching Squad) who have been such an inspiration to me along my Teachers Pay Teachers journey!  Without further ado, let me introduce my Blog Launching Squad (Drumroll please).....


As you can see from the picture above, there are some pretty amazing opportunities to do a little FREE shopping if you happen to be one of the LUCKY winners!  AND...the good news is you have MANY chances to become a winner!  For every social media site and TpT store you follow from the Blog Launching Squad, who so graciously agreed to help me spread the word, you will receive a chance to win one of the gift cards shown!  In fact, you have up to 47....yep, you read that correctly... FORTY-SEVEN CHANCES to win a prize! whoop whoop!  So go ahead and send the hubs or wifey out on some errands and/or put the babes down for a siesta and take advantage of all 47 chances you have to be a WINNER!  Please go visit my Blog Launching Squad's blogs and share the love!  BEST WISHES to EVERYONE!  :)
Because July 1st happens to be my 3rd anniversary as a teacher author on Teachers Pay Teachers, I will announce the winners in a blog post that day!  I am looking so forward to connecting with other teachers from around the globe!  I'd love to hear from you, so please take a minute to leave me a comment or two, and let me know what neck of the woods you are from, what grade you teach, or anything else you'd like me to know!

See the Rafflecopter below and scroll to see the prizes! :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway