Friday, June 21, 2013


A Cure for Randomness

Happy First Day of Summer!  Most of the things I have on my mind today are random.  I wanted to write a post today, but I couldn't seem to congeal the randomness.  Then, it dawned on me! I'll join Doodle Bugs Teaching's.... 

Here we go!  
I finally got my Erin Condren planner!  It's beautiful and I love it.  I ordered it during her Teacher Appreciation sale as I really liked her updated version of it.  

However, this is not the first one I received.  Let's just say that the first one I got must have been a reject that slipped by the quality control person.   I was disappointed.  But, I wrote an email and explained its faults.  Within hours, they wrote me back and said:

What more could I ask for?  That's awesome customer service!  I've already started filling it up and love how colorful it is.  No one could possibly understand the joy of a new planner but another teacher!

I am having so much fun with my Facebook page!  My favorite thing is searching for and posting a teaching-related cartoon, meme, or current event.  Of course, timing is everything.  It is always my goal to choose something that will strike a chord and go viral.  Here are a few of my successes.  Together, they have been viewed by over 60,000 people!  Amazing!  Click HERE to follow me on Facebook and join the fun!

I'm looking for advice.  I will be teaching Language Arts next year for the first time in y-e-a-r-s!  I'd like to do some reading over the summer that might help me in the classroom this year.  Do you have any suggestions?  There are so many books from which to choose. Which do you think should be my first priority?   Here are a few I'm thinking about.


Prior to June 13, 2013, Texas teachers were taking a legal risk to express any specific type of holiday wishes within a school.  Students would say to me, "Merry Christmas!", "Happy Hanukkah!", or "Eid Mubarak!", and the only thing we could say in return was "Happy Holidays!".  It seemed so silly!  School is a place of inclusion.  I was always careful and toed the line.  But, it made me very uncomfortable.  

Well, I'm proud to say that the Texas State Legislature passed a bill, which was signed by Gov. Perry, that protects Christmas and other holiday celebrations in Texas public schools from legal challenges.   Gov. Perry said, "It's a shame that a bill like required, but I'm glad that we're standing up for religious freedom. Religious freedom does not mean freedom from religion."  Amen to that!

Well, if you made it this far, I'm thinking a reward is in order!  If you do one of the following 4 things, you could win your choice of item from my TPT store.  

1.  Do you have an Erin Condren planner?  Comment and let me know which one you got.

2.  Follow my Facebook Page and comment to let me know you did.

3.  Comment with advice about which Language Arts books I should read this summer.

4.  Comment about what you did on your first day of summer.

I will choose a winner with the random number generator at 11 pm CST tonight.  If you don't have a blog, please make sure I have a way to contact you.  Good luck!


  1. 1. Do you have an Erin Condren planner? Comment and let me know which one you got.

    No- they don't ship to NZ :(

    2. Follow my Facebook Page and comment to let me know you did.
    Yes- will go find you now

    4. Comment about what you did on your first day of summer.
    Our first day of summer isn't until December 20th :(

    haha the joys of being on the other side of the world!

    x Serena x
    Magic Mistakes & Mayhem

    P.S. That bit about the holidays is crazy!

  2. 1. No, Condren planner. I like the Mead Student planner. I use that one every year.
    2. I do follow your FB page.
    3. You can never go wrong with Fountas & Pinnell.
    4. Today I got a new temporary crown. Weeee!


  3. I've been using the Daily 5 for 5 years now and I re-read the book every summer. Never hurts to freshen up! Daily 5 is great for management of the LA block but I highly recommend Comprehension Connections (if you haven't already read it) for some AMAZING and powerful minilessons.

    ❤ Karen
    Flamingo Fabulous in Second Grade

  4. 1. No I don't have one.
    2. I'm one of your FB fans!
    4. Our first day of summer is on the 27th...

  5. 1. Nope, I don't have an Erin Condren planner.

    2. I'm following you now!

    3. Guiding Readers & Writers would be my vote, but a little's HUGE and might make you feel a little overwhelmed. Take baby steps with it & I'd start with The 1st 20 days of school.

    4. On my first day of summer, I got a mani/pedi with my teammates.

  6. I was in the same place as you are now last year - I went from teaching 7th grade math to teaching 3rd grade self contained. I learned so much from Daily 5 and the Café.

  7. I spent my day working in the yard and I'm now blog stalking by the pool! I'd say that's an appropriate first day of summer! :)
    ideas by jivey
    Follow Me On Facebook! :)

  8. 1. No Erin Condren planner for me, but I'm getting one for my daughter who will start her first year in the classroom this year.
    2. I'm a facebook follower!
    3. I'll be reading Cafe this summer.
    4. First day of summer break? I was back in my classroom cleaning it up for the summer break.

  9. I recommend Guiding Readers and Writers and doing reading/writing workshop instead of Daily 5. My students improved more when I did the workshops than they did with the Daily 5 model. I agree that that book can be a little overwhelming; it took me all summer to read a few years ago. But it has some great ideas!
    Ladybugs Lounge

  10. And the winner is............ Comment #7, Jivey! Please let me know which product you would like from my store!

    Thank you all for commenting and for all of your advice about the books!


  11. I am now following you on Facebook. I am also a Texas Teacher and am so grateful for the religious freedom bill. Have a great summer!

  12. 1. No Condren planner-I use technology for that kind of thing.
    2. I did follow you on Face Book. We teachers get so serious and I love tghose e-cards for a laugh.
    3. I use Daily 5 and CAFE for a few years now. Daily 5 is a management tool and CAFE are ways to teach comprehension, fluency, expanding vocabulary and accuracy. (those were not at all in order-summer brain)
    My granddaughter is in a Texas school in San Antonio and they participated in Christmas Around the World activities. Didn't seem at all inclusive to me. But I guess they anticipated Gov. perry signing the bill. LOL

  13. I ordered an Erin Condren planner and can't WAIT to get it! It ships out next week! I know plans and schedules can be done so many ways with technology, but there's nothing like writing down your plans, to-do lists, etc. and being able to cross things out! I think it's a teacher thing! :)

    All of those books look like good reads. I would suggest, as a start, with Guiding Readers and Writers. It is amazing. It is such a foundational book that really gets into the theory and set up of balanced literacy. Especially in third grade (which I teach too) when we are trying to establish independent workshops and growing readers and writers. All the other books you had listed would just be icing on the cake- they'd provide additional knowledge based on the foundational concepts you learned about in Guiding Readers and Writers. I've read mine twice. Once when I started teaching as we do Literacy Collaborative at our school, and then again in grad school. I would FOR SURE at least read certain chapters of it! Good luck! :)



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