Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Benchmark Literacy

This year our district is piloting a new reading series, Benchmark Literacy.  As we approach the 100th day of school, I can finally say that I think I have it all figured out.  It is so nice to walk into school on a Monday and not have my head spin until 3:15 on Friday.

Benchmark Literacy is an balanced literacy approach with whole & small group instruction, phonics, and writing.  

We started off the year by assessing each student using a non-fiction Fountas and Pinnell piece.  This was such a great way to find out what level each of my students were on.  Fountas and Pinnell is a separate component to Benchmark.  Our reading specialist have used F & P but we have not individually assessed our students using it until this year.  I love it! Have you used Fountas and Pinnell?

I guess I should back up...I absolutely love that Benchmark eases into the school year.  The First 30 Days is literally what you do for the first 30 days of school.  It is amazing, it goes through how you classroom will run throughout the entire school year.  This isn't the only thing that you do during your literacy block as there is phonetic review.  In 1st grade this is BuildUp Phonics.  They also have a review for Kindergarten as well as 2nd grade that parallels the First 30 Days.

I can't say enough great things about Benchmark Literacy.  Although this was just a sweet little taste, stay tuned, because I will be sharing so much more including what I have found works really great, and what has not been as successful!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The First Snow Day of 2015!

Here in Pittsburgh, we have been pretty lucky so far this winter.  At this point last winter, we had multiple delays and closings that extended our school year.  Today we had our first delay that turned into a closing. Boo and Boo!  This means that we will no longer have Martin Luther King Jr. day off. At least at this point, we will at least have a clerical day that Friday.  

Have you heard about the Whole 30?  I first learned about this through Rachelle over at For Blogness Sake.  She is a rockstar and totally inspired me to get back to basics with what I am eating.  

I have not finished reading the book, shhhh, I think you are supposed to completely finish reading it before starting but listen to a sister, I needed to start.  I was so excited that my awesome husband after much begging and pleading said that he would do it with me as well.  All I had to say was: "You can eat Potatoes..." #hooked. I left out a lot of the things you can't consume, like wheat, dairy, and well, alcohol. #opps

If you have no clue about the Whole 30. Check it out here at The Whole 30 website.  This is one of the most resourceful websites I have seen for a program like this.  It is full of recipes, shopping lists, and must knows to get you started.  There are a ton of great Pinterest boards as well as people on Instagram that have shared recipes as well as motivation so seek them out as well! Take the plunge and check out Whole 30 today.  

I am off to watch the new episode of Fixer Upper! #hgtvlove

Monday, January 5, 2015


And then it was January!  {What?!}

I can not even believe that Christmas has come and gone, as well as our break and here we are linking up for another "Currently!"  Fingers crossed the remainder of the year flies by just as quickly as the first half!

Listening: I wish I was watching, but I believe it is all repeats since I along with the Mr. have watched every episode of Fixer Upper, Property Brothers, and Rehab Addict within the last two weeks.  I love having it on in the background no matter what else is going on. 

Loving: I am loving the She Reads Truth app.  Not only do the graphics speak my style, having the ability to read the Bible whenever and wherever I want is ah-mazing.  
If you don't have it, go download it!

Thinking: I had a list of things that I planned to get done over break. Maybe a quarter of it got accomplished.  Perhaps a little less HGTV would have helped with this list getting complete.

Wanting: I would love, love, love a 2 hour delay this week! No cancellations, but a 2 hour delay to get on top of paperwork, copies, and well maybe just sleeping in for 30 extra minutes.  

Needing: Is the lack of sunlight after 4:45 p.m. killing anyone else on the East Coast?  I feel like after I leave school I basically have 1 hour to complete anything and then it is instantaneously night.  Not to mention my see through skin! My mom has reminded me that we are adding day light minute by minute each day so I must just keep the faith.  

Yes: I will blog more. Other than the monthly Currently. Fingers crossed.
Maybe: I will actually plan what we will eat each week for dinner. It makes so much sense yet I can not pull it together.
I wish: I lived where it was sunny 365 days out of the year. So many reasons on this one but until then I will be taking my Vitamin D. 

And thats a wrap for January...until the next blog post that is hopefully before February's Currently!

Have a great first week back to school!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Currently! December...

Man oh day....where has the time gone, this year has been flying by and I can't believe how long it has been since I have last posted.  I decided what better way to get a post in than linking up with Farley's monthly Currently post.  It is December 8th and the struggle is real over here.  Christmas cards have not be made or ordered, decorations have not come out of the attic although I did purchase a wreath at Trader Joe's yesterday {it is still in my trunk}.

Listening: Is anyone else addicted to Christmas Radio?? I can't get enough.

Loving: Our building is doing Secret Santa and I just love love love hearing all the guesses of who everyone thinks they have.

Thinking: I had the miraculous idea of actually making our Christmas cards, so I have started but am not happy with the picture and don't want to redo them, I am sure Mr. Cummings does not want to either so. 

Wanting: There are 9 more wake ups until Christmas break and I could not be looking more forward to it! 

Needing: I don't know about you, but driving home in the dark is no fun at all.  It never really bothered me until this year and I am not liking it at one bit. 

Giving: I think that I have had more fun buying gifts for our church's Giving Tree than I have for friends and family.  I love to pray for the people that they go to as well since we will never meet them or even know who they go to for that matter.  

I can't wait to read all the other link ups!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

All things October!

I have to start off by saying that every October, I love when this quote comes up on Instagram....October is by far one of my favorite months.  I don't even think you have to ask why. #everything pumpkin

Why is it on the 81 degree October days that during recess no one gets hurt, everyone gets along, and no one wants to go inside to continue to learn.  I am not going to lie, I was right there with them and wish there was a way to educate 25 first graders outside. #notpossible

And then there was this candle...I am so predictable with my Yankee Apple Pumpkin every fall but something pulled me into Bath and Body Words and there it was....this amazing Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin candle.  Praise the Lord for a 2 for $22 sale.  If you get real close to your computer screen, you just may be able to smell it. It smells THAT good.

What has your October looked like so far?  Is it flying by just the way you didn't want it to?  Please stay a little longer October...please!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Imagination Playground Play Sets Giveaway!

Who is ready for an awesome giveaway on this Monday morning!?

Have you heard of Imagination Playground?  Ever since I heard of these amazing little blocks, I knew we had to try and get them some way, some how for our school. 

Their set of non-toxic (yay!) foam comes with 105 different pieces that students can use indoor or even outdoor.  How awesome would these be! This would be amazing even in our autistic support rooms!

They currently have a giveaway going on at their website where they are giving 25 sets this fall!  Ah-mazing! I am hoping we win! Fingers crossed!

Hurry up and check out this giveaway!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Let's Link Up!

I am super excited to link up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade.  I was reading everyone's posts this morning in bed (where I wish that I still was, sigh) and thought I would link it on up!

I am absolutely in love with the Pandora station, Alabama Shakes.  Give it a listen. I promise it does not disappoint.

I am in LOVE with this weather.  The sun is shining, the temperature is perfect. Bring it on fall. I can taste a Pumpkin Spice Latte as I type.

Where the heck did this summer go? This was one of the fastest summers ever. I don't know if it is because of the weather or what but it flew by!

I am wanting on about 8 more hours a day please! I will even take 6! If only there was enough time to get it all done, and done well.  

We are so blessed that I really don't think that we need a thing. Maybe a nap would work but other than that, we are living the life.

3 Trips! This one was hard because I want to go EVERYWHERE! We do not discriminate against road trips and would travel at any chance we would get. Clearly if money were not an object.

We are hoping we can fly on a plane sometime this fall to see our friends Rob & Kalie! We can't wait to meet sweet Ms. Reese!
Anytime we get a second, we love to cross the border into Deep Creek, Maryland.  We love the water and how relaxing it is.

And that wraps up my currently!

Happy Wednesday!

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