Friday, November 8, 2013

Five for Friday

It's been a great week and now it's a long weekend and I'm so stoked! Here's a look at my week for Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching!

1. Personal Readers

I've been teaching guided reading groups in kinder, first, and second. We "read" Fountas & Pinnell's Level A readers. We are also about five weeks deep in Words Their Way (WTW), so the kiddos know all initial consonant sounds (well, not to mastery, but we've introduced them all). Anyways, I found the idea of the Personal Reader in the Emergent Spellers book of WTW.

What you do is just make a handout of an excerpt (or all of) a book you've done for guided reading or shared reading. Then, each child gets a folder and the passages are in there. We only have one so far, but they were so, so excited! Here's our conversation:

Me: Boys and girls, I got you a present!
Kiddos: You did?! What is it?!!!
Me: Well, it's a folder, but look inside. It has the story we read this week - a copy just for you.
Kiddos: It's for us? <smiling> Can we take them home and practice them at home, too?!?!
Me: Well, we're still figuring that out. But yes, they are your stories and you can practice at home.
Kiddos: <totally unprompted> Thank you, Ms. Brezek!

another Kiddo: Thank you!!!

Melts. My. Heart.

2. Kids loving words and teachers loving teaching them

I love the people I work with, and especially when I get emails like this. One teacher has been doing WTW with some students in fourth and fifth grades and the kiddos were so excited to get new words for vocabulary discussion, sorting, pattern seeking, spelling, games...etc. Excited for words? Teacher win : )

3. My friend, Christine
Speaking of working with awesome people, I love working with Christine, one of our Reading Specialists. We get each other, trust each other, and help one another. She's taught me so much about guided reading and sight words (ooohhhhh I have a so good blog coming - she said I could write about it!) and running records and assessment of kids in the primary grades. Oh, and gluten-free pumpkin bars? Yes, those are awesome. And healthy! : ) I can be myself with Christine and I look forward to coming to work each day because I know there will be a positive, happy, person waiting to say hello in the morning. You're totes amazing!

Side note: Can we take a few more pics? This is the *only* one I have!
(and I kinda look like a giant!)

4. An email from a former student....
Diego was my student, let's see, my third year? That would have been 2005-2006. He is now in college studying engineering and came to Chicago for a conference. Unfortunately, we were unable to connect for a dinner, but he sent me this great email. This is why I do the work I email like this will fill my heart for  months and months to come.

5. Fall on our playground

I am not a huge fan of recess duty, especially now that it's getting cooler, but it is a pretty beautiful yard we have. It seemed like it rained for two days, causing us to be inside for recess, and then this day, when we finally went back out, the leaves were all golden and falling, and so the kids were having a blast playing with them. Fall is my favorite season because of pictures like the one below...

One more thing, I have to share. Last night I went to dinner for a friend's birthday (Happy Birthday, Laurie!). We went to Hash House a Go Go and I had chicken and waffles for the first time:

Let's start with the waffles and work upwards: Belgian waffles with bacon cooked inside, topped with fried chicken and onion straws, and skewered with a rosemary stalk. It was delicious, but so much food. I shared it with a friend, and we still took some home. Great restaurant, great food, great friends!

Well, that's all for me today. Enjoy your weekend, hope it's long like mine! Speaking of, thank you to all the service men and women who protect our freedoms so we can have chicken and waffles and teach kids how to read and do 100 other amazing things every day. Thankful for all the Veterans do to protect all the liberties we enjoy each day.

Also, thanks again to Doodle Bugs Teaching for the link-up! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Peace out,


  1. Michelle,

    I love reading about your journey this year in your new position as a literacy coach. It is evident that you're soaking up a TON of new information, and you're using it to make such a positive difference in the way students in your school learn how to read and write. SO COOL!

    Have a great week,

    1. Thanks Kasey! So glad you stopped by and that we're networking together. Hey - do you have any interest in joining a blog hop group? There's like 20 of us - all reading specialists and literacy coaches and they we plan blog hops together - all link our pages and give reading strategies and a TpT freebie. I've only done one so far, but had so much traffic on my blog because of it! Our next one is next weekend and is already set, but I could as the group leaders about including you for the one after. We don't have many middle school bloggers, so you would be an awesome addition. Let me know!


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