Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sad news, acts of kindness, and a new product!

This week was a sad week at work...I found out that a former student of mine lost her house last weekend in a fire.  They lost everything, including her 7 pets (they were not home at the time). Through social media, I have been asking friends and family if they have any donations of clothes or toys for her and her 3 year old brother.  Today I was so happy as some friends who I still communicate with via Facebook but haven't seen since high school came to my house and dropped off 3 big bags of toys and clothes!  I can't wait to drop them off at school tomorrow!!! I have other friends as well that are donating items and I had another friend who I have not seen in a while offer to drive around and pick things up for me if I am not able to go get them!  Acts of kindness just like these...there are no words to describe how they make me feel...I am so appreciative that I know and have these people in my life.
In honor of February and Valentine's Day, where we show people how much we care and love them, I am going to have a ACTS OF KINDNESS incentive..just thought of it and not really sure how to go about doing it but I will do some research and let you know what I come up with. It is also in memory of what I went through 3 years ago.  When my girls were just 9 months old, I was diagnosed with a very rare form of uterine cancer.  I had a lot of complications and almost didn't make it but after months of chemo and emergency surgery, plus the love and support of my family, I survived.  Many acts of kindness were done for me, such as raising money for me at my school because I wasn't able to work for 4 months and my sick bank time didn't go through right away.  My friends purchased formula, diapers, baby food, and clothes for the twins...My best friend also raised money so that I could get professional pictures taken of the girls and their 1st birthday, a milestone that I will always treasure.  My husband's job gave us a $200 gift card to Babies R Us to help out with the girls and my mom's job also raised money to help pay for gas and medical bills (we had to commute for over an hour to get chemo 3X a week).  Words can't describe how thankful I am, everyday, for these people and their kindness...they made a really hard time in my life a lot easier and when I introduce this to my students, I am going to tell the class all about these people and their acts of kindness.

On a more positive note, I have uploaded a new product that I LOVE!!! It involves one of my FAVORITE phonics rules! SILENT E (aka Magic E, bossy E, etc.)   I already have my list of YouTube songs ready to go for next week and the first rule I am teaching is a_e so those sheets are all printed out and ready to go! Here is the link to check it out!!!

They are calling for more snow this week...I really hope we don't lose anymore days...the kids are so off because of these crazy snow days!!!! Plus, I have a lot to teach and they have a lot to learn!!! =)

Happy teaching!!!

Alyson Hennessy

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pinterest links!

Yay! Now you can PIN my pictures and links onto Pinterest! I finally figured it out!!! =) So they are calling for nasty weather starting tomorrow afternoon until Wednesday morning...cold temps, wind, and TONS of snow....I am REALLY hoping that my after school meeting is cancelled and that we have a snow day on Wednesday...I HATE driving in the snow! I was busy this weekend...I uploaded 3 new products, including a FREEBIE!!
We are getting ready for our AIMSweb so we have been practicing Nonsense Words through center activities and playing games.  I send home a nonsense word sheet for the month to have the students practice at home as well!  
Tomorrow, we continue with Bossy R in English, story structure, and la letra J in Spanish!  I am trying a new project with story structure...if it works, I will post it on TpT!  *fingers crossed*  Trying to make it fun for the kiddies!

Happy teaching everyone!

Alyson Hennessy

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

So many meetings so little time!!

So today we had our before school faculty meeting and tomorrow I have an early department meeting at a different school building and my observation!!! Then Friday I have an early morning math meeting!!! yikes!!!
Thank goodness for the upcoming 3 day weekend!!!
My observation tomorrow is focusing on reading skills and strategies so we have been really practicing our independent reading stamina and strategies these past couple  of days. My skill for the week is "Does it make sense?".  During my guided reading groups we have been working on sight words and deciding skills as well. Here are some pictures of kids in action!!
It's all about practice and modeling!! We are doing sight word games everyday and making cards for both the classroom and home! I also started book baggies for reading at home. It had been hard getting books that we can send home because in the past they never came back and we had no books for a class or group set. Thankfully I got some donations and used my reading A to Z account to do the rest!! I love when the kids love reading!! As an avid reader myself I want them to want to read, not just read because it is "time to read".
Wish me luck for my observation tomorrow!!!
Happy teaching!!
Alyson Hennessy

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Observation Jitters!

Okay...I have been teaching for 8  years and I still get nervous for formal observations! I would much rather people just pop in and watch!
We are working on various reading strategies and I feel that my group has difficulties sometimes determining if what they are reading makes sense...welcome DETECTIVE DIANE!

She is going to help my class determine how to use clues to see if what they are reading makes sense!!! I am introducing her as part of my observation!  We have met other characters, such as Donald Dentist (he gets your mouth ready)!  I found this great product on TpT -Reading Strategy Crew
Link to Number Two Pencils Product
We have been using these in the classroom and I decided to create my own for this particular skill!
I hope that the class enjoys them!! I am going to upload the product onto TpT later this week! If my observation goes well, I'll post it as a flash freebie!!!! =)
I had a very busy, very fun weekend and must now finish planning for the crazy week ahead!!
Happy Teaching everyone!!
Alyson Hennessy

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Weekend?!?! What weekend??

Wow!! I thought weekends were for relaxing but not this addition to the regular activities, such as food shopping, cleaning, and laundry, we have Disney on Ice for my Twinkie girls and I have a baby shower tomorrow!! Plus I'm being observed next week and need to write up the plan, plan and organize a Math CC parent information night, and I have an ELA common core consultant coming in!!! Ah! I'm tired already. 
So this week we has fun with visualization! We read The Napping House in Spanish and as I read I had the kids draw what was happening and I didn't show the pictures until the end!! They loved it!! We also did weather and we watched videos of lightening, tornadoes, and hurricanes!! They get so excited watching weather in action!
I introduced Silabas con g (ga, go, gu) and we made "casas de sílabas" 
They did very well with it!! I'm going to work on making packets for all of the letters!!!
For my observation I am introducing the reading strategy "does it make sense?" with a character I created called Detective Diane! We have already worked on getting your mouth ready, looking for picture clues, and looking at word chunks!! I hope they like the activities I put together!! As soon as it's ready I'll upload it to TpT!
Also this week we introduced Bossy R with er, ir, and ur.  At the end of the unit I created an assessment for each reading group based in their level...took me a long time but the assessments that we have are ver difficult for our ELLs and amy student reading below grade level. So I created reading stories, phonics questions, sight word sentences, and comprehension activities for each group I have.  The students did very well with it-I only had to read the questions and the listening questions as well!! If you are interested go to my TpT store and check them out. I uploaded 2-one for ELLs and one for an on level group.
Wish me luck on my observation!! Happy teaching everyone!!!
Alyson Hennessy

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New year, new products!!!

Happy New Year!!!! We had a bit of a shaky start going back last Thursday! Just as we went over routines and expectations for the rest of the year, up came a blizzard and closed school on Friday!! Crazy! Then we went in on Monday but had a two hour delay today due to the sub zero temperatures and the Polar Vortex!! It is hard to adapt to a schedule with a two hour delay but the class did great! I couldn't go ahead in math because I had a lot of students who did not come in so we did a review for math but continued with personal narrative planning, Bossy R, and visualization.
I read today "The sea creature from the deep" to have the students practice making visuals in their mind! It is from a visualization packet I found while reading Blogs and checking Pinterest for ideas and the class liked it! Here are some journal entries of their visuals 
They love looking at their partners work to see how their pictures are the same and different!
The next few pictures are from my Personal Narrative Writing packet! They class has been doing so well with the planning process and today you could hear a pin drop while they were drafting their story idea!!! It was amazing!! There are also pics of my New Year's Eve party horn resolutions and my Bossy R French Fry game-both are in my TpT store!!
Stay warm!! Happy teaching!!!

Alyson Hennesst