It’s All Pinteresting!

Need something to do? Want to get lost for hours at a time with no recollection of how you got to where you are? πŸ™‚

Check out pinterest. But make sure you have your beverage of choice (Diet Pepsi, silly!), some good snacks, and your very own pinterest account ready for action!

My pinterest boards “might” keep you busy for awhile. πŸ™‚

Let me know if you find anything useful. Or if you just had fun wasting time!

Do YOU pin?


Monday Made It Linky Party

You can link up and showcase whatever you have been working on for your classroom/school over at Tara’sΒ 4th Grade FrolicsΒ fabulous blog and Monday Made It Linky Party!

I have made:

time for reading, supper, my 18 year old daughter mad at me, and my laundry able to fold itself (just joking!). πŸ™‚

I made a NEW lesson plan template. Yes, again. I went to a 2 day workshop on content literacy and strategic teaching and FELL IN LOVE WITH STRATEGIC TEACHING!!! So I revised my lesson plan template to reflect this new love. Here it is if you want to use it, edit it, throw it away……


Here’s a pic of it-

If you want to read about strategic teaching you can visit this post or this one that I wrote earlier this week.

I also got 2 of my bulletin boards ready in my classroom. One is for my english anchor charts, and the other one will be for current events since I’m teaching a block of 5th grade english and 5th and 6th US history.

English bulletin board.

Current events bulletin board.

I am going for the simple black and white theme this year since I painted my walls a BRIGHT BLUE!!! Guaranteed to keep the kids awake during history! πŸ™‚

What did you make this week?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Here we are with another chance to share wonderful books with each other thanks to Jen and Kellee over atΒ Teach Mentor TextsΒ and Sheila over atΒ Book JourneyΒ who both sponsor this great meme each week for young adult/children and adult respectively!

Here’s what’s been in my hands this past week. I started off the week in a GREAT way ready to head into Round 2 of Summerthrowdown. But then I got sidetracked with a 2 day professional development on Content Literacy/Strategic Teaching that you can read about here or here. It was FABULOUS by the way! πŸ™‚

Sandcastles by Luanne Rice


A story of family, love, friendship, and heartache. Let’s just say I shed tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

Thirteen Ways to Sink a SubΒ  by Jamie Gilson

Thirteen Ways to Sink a Sub

Cute book for kids.

Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer Holm

Our Only May Amelia

It took me awhile to get into this book, but I ended up LOVING May Amelia. I felt her loss as well as her happiness, and I thoroughly enjoyed her spunkiness!

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

Scary Stories to Tell in th...

If you like short scary stories then you’ll like this one. However, I read a different one last year and thought the stories in the other one were better. My favorite part of this book was chapter 4 which had the urban legends. I ALWAYS like these!!! πŸ™‚

More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

More Scary Stories to Tell ...

Another good Scary Story book. There were a couple in this one that I really liked because of the irony and sarcastic humor.

Babymouse for President by Jennifer and Matt Holm

Babymouse for President (Ba...

Of course it’s 5 out of 5 stars, silly. You can’t go over. (Or else I would!)

So What Do They Really Know? by Cris Tovani

So What Do They Really Know...

Cris has done it again. Written another practical book for teachers. This one is all about assessing students to be able to help them grow and improve. 5 of 5 stars is going out to this dynamic book!! Now I’m going to go back and look through her other one that I’ve already read-Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?

It was still a pretty good week considering all that was going on. Because I ended up working 18 hours at my mom’s marina on Friday and Saturday. πŸ™‚ Rubbing hands together wickedly thinking about all the books this extra money will buy!

I am currently reading one of Joanne Fluke’s mysteries. I’ve never read anything by her before but someone had recommended them to me. She writes mysteries that always have food in the title. Two of the loves of my life-food and books. πŸ™‚

The Apple Turnover Mystery by Joanne Fluke.

So far I’m really into it. AND I’ve already gotten 2 new recipes out of it. πŸ™‚

What are you reading this week?

The Preamble funny

I’ve decided that since I will be teaching US history to 5th and 6th grade this upcoming year that I am going to have them memorize The Preamble to the Constitution during our unit on the Constitution. Of course, I have to REMEMORIZE it first! πŸ™‚ I’ve found some gestures that someone made up that will hopefully help them with the memorization.

You can visit my pinterest history boardΒ to find them OR you can visit Mrs. Disinger’s blogΒ to see a copy of some gestures. By the way, I just found her FABULOUS blog this morning. Oh, my!

Since I REALLY want to make my kids laugh this year, and I want to laugh more as well, I am going to show them this video during this unit of Barney on The Andy Griffith show trying to impress Andy. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Becky, for giving me this great idea!



Is that not hilarious??? That’s where bragging will get you.

Can you recite The Preamble from memory? Maybe like Barney? πŸ™‚

Our only May Amelia book review

Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer Holm

I am going to admit something here. Don’t throw anything at me. I could not get into this book. At first. I don’t know what “my problem” was, and I say “my problem” because it turned out that I ended up loving the book. Here’s what I’m thinking. I had started reading it during the time of my 2 day strategic teaching workshop that I became obsessed with for a lack of Β a better word. I think that HIGHLY influenced my ability to read and think about anything besides that strategic teaching that I have fallen in love with. πŸ™‚

So when that finally got out of my system long enough to clear my head and move on to something else, well, I didn’t want to put the book down. In fact, I read one night when I was so tired that I had to FINALLY stop reading after the book fell out of my hands and slapped me in the face a few good times enough to almost give me a heart attack while I was laying (lying?) in bed. πŸ™‚

Goodreads Summary:

Inspired by the diaries of her great-aunt who grew up in Washington State at the turn of the 20th century, Holm renders this tale of a young girl whose unique spirit captures the courage and depth of the American pioneer experience.

I adore books that are set back in the 1800s/early 1900s, and this one fits the bill. I adore girls that are tomboys like May Amelia. Maybe because I was one? Maybe because I’m still one? I adore books that show a simple life. And who doesn’t adore the author-Jennifer Holm who by the way is the author of the infamous Babymouse!!!!!! πŸ™‚

I felt May Amelia’s heartache and loss, her happiness, and I LOVED her spunkiness. I think you will, too.

4 out of 5 stars

WARNING-There is 1 curse word in this book that should not have been written into the story.

Newbie Bloggers Hop Linky Party

I found this linky party on Surviving Sixth Grade, a blog that I have just recently started following. Hey, Mrs. Jefferson!

Grade Three is the Place For Me is the blog that is hosting this linky party. I’m not a newbie blogger, but wanted to get in on the action.

Here’s how to participate if YOU want in on the action:

1.Β  Post about this linky party on your blog

2.Β  Answer these five questions

3.Β  Think about visiting the other blogs on the post


1. What state are you in?


2.Β  What is your current teaching position?

5th/6th grade US History and 5th grade English

3. What is your teaching experience?

I taught Kindergarten for 6 years, and this will be my 3rd year teaching 6th grade for a total of 9 years. I’m 41 and didn’t decide to teach until I was 30. It took me 3 years to get my master’s degree. πŸ™‚

4. When did you start blogging?

I started blogging in January 2011 with my old site- 6th Grade Scott Foresman Reading Street Resources. I changed to my new blog in May 2012 so that I could simplify my life since I tend to blog about teaching, running, and reading. πŸ™‚ My new blog is I Run Read Teach.

5. Share a blogging tip / blogging resource.

Always try and leave comments on other blogs AND leave a link to your blog as well. However, the biggest tip that I have is to ALWAYS reply to someone who leaves a comment on your blog!!!!!! Even if it’s just to say “thanks”.

Lesson Plan Template

Since I am SO PUMPED about being a strategic teacher I decided to create a lesson plan template that will help keep me on the path to purposeful planning which will lead to strategic teaching. This is a daily plan template NOT weekly. Yes, I know that is A LOT more work. Especially compared to my plans these past 2 years-they were really just to satisfy administration because I would actually write out on a different sheet of paper what I was actually doing in my classroom. πŸ™‚

But now I want my plans to MATCH what and how I’m teaching. Strategically. πŸ™‚



The TWIRL part is just something I added so I can circle each letter as I add that component to my lesson. Sort of my check system for myself.






The Assess section is MAINLY for formative assessments but will also be for summative assessments.

You like?

Strategic Teaching (More)

Do you want to get the juices flowing in your students’ brains? Welcome to strategic teaching! πŸ™‚ (On a sidenote-even though our brain is SO VERY important, it is SO VERY ugly, too!-I had to use a picture of a colored brain because I did NOT want to look at the picture of the real thing longer than I needed!)

Here is the lesson plan structure for strategic teaching:

Lesson Framework

One outcome
Two instructional practices
Three parts to a lesson
Four steps to explicit instruction
Five components of active literacy

A lesson plan template possibility could look like this:

Daily outcome
Before, during, after strategies
Formative assessment

This would be a lesson for a class period when using Β a piece of text or the textbook in a content area. Notice I said-CLASS PERIOD. Not a week. πŸ™‚

Here are some more before, during, and after strategies:

BEFORE- Interview response (I loved this one!), List-Group-Label! Think,Pair,Share
DURING- Reciprocal teaching-I actually have a book about this (Time to read!), Cloze procedure
AFTER- Magnet summary, Collecting a job card from reciprocal teaching, Exit slip, One pager

Another possibility to get the kids moving AND applying different strategies is to set up a few stations around the room. For example, one station might be jot notes, another might be reciprocal teaching, and so on. They would rotate through the stations with 1 piece of text. A different chunk would be used at each station. So let’s say the text that you want them to read is 2 pages. You might want to have 4 stations so that only 1/2 of a page is used at each station. Make sense? I just had an idea. ONE of the stations could be the TEACHER station so that each group of students would have time with the teacher!!!! Voila-small group instruction!

For those that have a short class period here is a breakdown of a lesson time wise-

4 pages of text broken into 4 chunks. 5 minutes to read. 4 minutes to discuss with partner or group. 36 total minutes. 8 minutes afterwards to discuss and/or do formative assessment. 44 total minutes. Plus a before strategy so you’re looking at probably 50 minutes. That works doesn’t it? πŸ™‚

Last tidbit of information. Outcomes could be written as “I can” statements so students have ownership and can think about whether or not they “can”.

I’m telling you this is what I’ve been looking for all my life. Well, besides my husband, and I already found him. πŸ™‚

A strategic lesson plan routine/format that covers it all!!!

Are you ready to plan? Because I’m ready to plan! πŸ™‚

Strategic Teaching

Will try to write this one again. The 1st one got deleted. I’m not pointing any fingers but WORDPRESS sure is acting suspiciously!!! My brain is now officially hurting so this one will be short, dry, and to the point. πŸ™‚

Fantastic workshop today on content literacy/strategic teaching.

Essential Elements for Adolescent Learning:

1. Collaborative Leadership-Principal is responsible for motivating, providing effective PD, and instructional practices.
2. Assessment-Data driven instruction with MULTIPLE forms of assessment, constantly monitoring progress of students
3. Intervention- Targeted skills instruction, small group instruction
4. Professional Development- Should be ongoing (foreva), job embedded, and continually assessed
5. Strategic Teaching- Purposeful planning, multiple strategies used, explicit instruction with time for different kinds of practice

The one thing that made me perk up was purposeful planning. I’m going to ask myself WHY before I plan lessons, activities, assessments, grading practices, etc. I expect myself to answer myself with a justified explanation. πŸ™‚

STRATEGIC TEACHING includes the following:
**One overall outcome based on standards
**Two instructional practices- chunking material and student discussion
**Three parts to lesson-Before, During, After
**Four steps to explicit instruction-I do, We do, Y’all do, You do
**Five parts of active literacy-TWIRL-talking, writing, investigating, reading, listening

Before examples-quick writes, abc brainstorm, anticipation guides, think alouds
During examples-talk to text, jot notes, mini-lecture
After examples-321, anticipation guide follow ups, code the text

You can google these to see what they look like. I’ll post links to some later. Like a lot later. Says panicky Shannon. πŸ™‚

This workshop is making me want to be THAT strategic teacher. The one who plans everything with the students in mind and with a purpose. The one who goes home each day knowing she gave it her all. πŸ™‚