Today, a Work on Words topic that I am extremely passionate about... Small Groups!
The question I have been asked the most over the years by other teachers is, "How do you find the time to differentiate Word Work for your students and still teach everything else?"  Short answer - I use the time I am already meeting with them in Guided Reading groups.
Do your students in grades 3-5 need to work on words? Definitely! Click through to this blog post about how I teach and manage word work in my reading groups, and a free cheat sheet for teachers!

We've been at the beach this week, and I thought I'd share a little tidbit that I use with my own children...
Credits: Mr. MagicianKG Fonts
For our beach trip, I made a whopping investment - at the Dollar Tree.  I purchased a 3-pack of Mini Composition books and gave 2 of them to my kiddos, along with some ball-point pens from the depths of my purse I picked specifically for them.  I told them it was their track-out notebook, for them to put anything they wanted to remember from their vacation.  Check it out:
You could decorate it... but I just gave my kiddos a pen.  They are so excited to write in pen.
My Kindergartner has a cold.  He thought it was important.  His sister wrote the sentence. 
He is learning to speak forcefully to get the dog's attention - thus, the yelling.
He found a cool leaf.  He taped it in, and wrote an L because leaf begins with L.  The line is for the rest of the letters.
This is the only page I've been allowed to read from my 5th grader's notebook, but it's pretty awesome.
 Best part?  We had one "extra" notebook.  My 5th grader decided to use it from the point of view of our new dog, Mavis.  Love, Love, Love.  :)
From the point of view of our pet, Mavis.
For a dollar, my kiddos have been drawing/writing/keeping a record of our family vacation, with very little help from me.  Cheap, easy, and fun!  And, it keeps them writing in an authentic way over the vacation. How do you encourage kiddos to write at home?
Y'all, what a week!  I've been running ragged trying to get things done before returning to work soon, but I wanted to share some info really quickly... Here goes:

I am so excited to share both of these resources with you!!  Here are my newest task cards... Idioms - Task Cards, Scoot, Assessment.  My classes have always enjoyed playing Scoot with task cards, and I always loved that it helped my kinesthetic learners (who have a difficult time staying still - just sayin'.)  A one page assessment is included, too.
Click here to view on TpT, Click here to view on TN
Also, I finished a huge labor of love for me - my Close Reading Guide for grades 3-6.  It is a compilation of strategies for teachers to begin implementing "Close Reading" strategies a little at a time, using the texts that you already use in your classroom.  Enjoy!!
Click here to view on TpT, Click here to view on TN
Here's a quick freebie to compliment your Text Talks...
Click to download from TpT, Click here to download from TN
What day is it?  :)  This camel makes me happy.  Every.  Time.

A new school year has begun!  Here's an updated copy of my Graduation Year posters.  These posters are to inspire your elementary students to achieve their high school graduation by reminding them what year they will graduate from High School. This is in response to a push in my district to decrease the dropout rate by keeping my kiddos focused on when they will graduate with a high school diploma! I hope it inspires your class as well. Includes posters for grades K-5, and one poster for all 6 grades, perfect for posting in the library, lunchroom, office, etc. I appreciate your feedback! Enjoy!!
What's Your Graduation Year?  Free Posters on TpT
So... several weeks ago I had the amazing pleasure of getting together with some of my NC Teacher Blogger friends.  Since I've been napping slacking off busy, this is the first chance I've had to share!  Enjoy!!

NC Bloggers!  :)
We met at Logan's Roadhouse in Garner - the kind of place you should put your peanut shells on the floor.  Really.  (I think we were all nervous about leaving a mess, so all our peanut shells ended up wadded into napkins!!)
So. Much. Fun!  The place was rockin' - possibly due to the fact that everyone else there was going to the Miranda Lambert concert...  Our waiter thought we were celebrating a birthday, since we brought door prizes!  :)


For your free Keep Calm and Shine On Labels, click here.
 Seriously, this was such a fun group of ladies - we swapped blogging tips, teaching stories (including my Beginning Teacher Story - Fire and Broken Bones), and got to know each other better.  Be sure to visit their blogs...  :)


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I'm super thrilled to link up with Teaching With Grace for a fun linky -
Here's a peek at my Favorites Bar...
I tend to put my Favorites in the order that I use them, so in the front, I have Gmail, Hello Mrs Sykes (You're here!), and links to TPT and TN, and my Facebook page.  By the way, if you haven't grabbed your fan freebie (Chevron Alphabet display), time is running out - it will be changed soon!!  I have a link to my school system's website, since I'm referring to it constantly, even from home.  :)

JW Illustrations and KPM Doodles are two of my favorite clipart sites!  If you are looking for clipart, you should check them out!

Since my son and daughter use my computer, too, I have links to Starfall and PBS Kids.  I can't recommend these sites enough!!  They are amazing, especially for my son, who is learning to read.  :)

The Google Analytics site is where I get my geek on, checking stats for my blog traffic.

I hope that everyone holds their loved ones a bit longer today, spends a moment of quiet reflection for those who continue to protect and serve, and thanks a veteran today...  If you are looking for resources to address 9/11 with your class, Laura Candler has a wonderful blog post on Corkboard Connections about the delicate balance of honoring 9/11 with students.  Much love to you all!!

Tribute in Light (2)
{Source}
Really?  It's September?  How did that happen?  My Sabbatical has been great, but I'm heading back to work in a bit...  I'll tell you more in a bit.  First, it's time for Currently with Farley...
Listening:  Aren't you glad Jon is back?  If you don't know what I'm talking about... no worries!  It's the Daily Show.  :)
Loving:  Mavis!  My new fur baby.  Here's a pic of her from my buddy Casey.  She's super cute!
Thinking:  I got a job!  I know I've been on Sabbatical, but I had an amaing opportunity land in my lap.  I'll be an Intervention teacher for grades 3-5.  I'm super excited, and have been Pinning away on Pinterest.  :)
Wanting:  'nuff said.  I need to take time for myself.
Needing:  a Laundry Fairy.  {Maybe I'll have my kiddos do it...  yeah, right!}
{Puffy Heart}:  Daily walks - with Miss Mavis!; Occasional Meditation; I'll start drinking more water, since I'm no spring chicken!!
Don't forget to check out the linky with Farley, and the rule of 3!
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