I feel like I haven't blogged in for-ev-er!! I am so behind on things I want/need to share, including my reflections on the In Pictures and In Words book study. Life has kind of taken over lately and between getting ready for the baby, trying to buy a house, and getting my disaster of a classroom ready, things have been a *little* busy. I promise to do better :).

I did make some new number posters for my classroom (I'm calling them posters, but each is the size of a regular piece of paper). I don't really have a theme in my classroom, more of a primary colored decor with some apples thrown in. Click on the picture below if you would like the number posters for yourself- they're free :). I would love to hear from you if you are able to use these!

I hope you all are enjoying your last bits of summer. It seems like this summer passed by faster than any before...we go back a week from Friday! As hard as it is to slow down, remember to take some time for yourself before things get super hectic. :)
Since Teachers Pay Teachers was down for most of the day, I'm extending my Christmas in July sale on seasonal items until Thursday night :). Click here to get your deals!
Who doesn't love dreaming of cooler weather when it's 105 degrees outside?? Well, crank up the AC and get ready to do some shopping tomorrow!

Some amazing teacher bloggers are offering 20% off all seasonal items for tomorrow only, so don't miss out! You can click here to see my store/sale and click here to see other stores involved. Happy shopping!!

**Teachers pay Teaches will be offline until 9 a.m. tomorrow, so you can sleep late before you shop :)
I have been busy working on a variety of different packs, organizing what I can in my room, and house hunting {not to mention getting ready for a baby!}, and I can finally cross one thing off my list! I just uploaded a new pack to TpT that will be great for helping your children meet a variety of the common core standards for math:
Included you will get 2 different graphic organizers for each number 1-20 to help your little ones practice representing numbers in a variety of ways, ten frame activity pages for each number (and for 11-20, they practice decomposing into tens and ones), a decomposing game for numbers 3-10, 3 different number/ten frame match it up games, and a Pop! number/ten frame game. You can get it by clicking the picture above.
In other news, I don't think I've mentioned that I started a family blog. It's definitely nothing fancy, but I needed a way to have a separate "memory book" for our family. You can visit here.
I'll be back tomorrow {hopefully} with my thoughts on the next chapter of In Pictures and In Words. :)
First, congrats to the winners of my 500 follower giveaway! You should have received an email from me today :) Thanks to everyone for entering and for following...I'm so excited to have over 600 followers now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I went to school today to work a little and my sweet granny came to help me paint all of my shelves...this is what it looked like when we left:  

Can you say disaster area?? The bad thing is, teachers come back to school in 3 weeks!!! I am freaking out and can't do much because I'm still not sure if I'm going to be in this room or if I will be moving to a new room. I am just a *little* overwhelmed. I'm going to do as much as I can in the way of organizing and hope that I find out soon where I will be. The good part is I have a super awesome family that as my granny told me today, "Can come whenever we need to to help you move." Love them!

How much more summer do you have?

Yay! I've finally made it to 500 followers (a little past that now), so I'm having a giveaway with the help of some awesome other bloggers. Look at what you can win:

Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

Deedee is giving her complete writing set!!
Click here to follow her blog
Click here to follow her TpT store

Primary Graffiti 
Cheryl is giving your choice of one item from her store
Click here to follow her blog
Click here to follow her TpT store

Sprinkles to Kindergarten 
Erica is giving your choice of one item from her store
Click here to follow her blog
Click here to follow her TpT store

First Grade Blue Skies 
Jennifer is giving away her Chicken Little pack
Click here to follow her blog
Click here to follow her TpT store

Sour Apple Studio 
Kelley is giving your choice of one item from her store
Click here to follow her blog
Click here to follow her TpT store

I am also giving away your choice of one item from my store (You can follow my blog and TpT store by clicking on the sidebar icons). I'll also giveaway a choice of one item to a second place winner :). 

You can use Rafflecopter below to enter...I'll choose a winner Friday morning :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations Sandra! I will be contacting you to get your info so you can get your recorder! :)

For everyone who didn't win, check back tomorrow. I'm announcing an awesome 500 follower giveaway! 

I seriously need a school supply intervention...I get more excited about Wal-Mart putting school supplies out than I do about almost anything else!

Exhibit A:

The good news is I got all of this for less than $100 (and yes, there are over 100 notebooks and 150 folders!)
Close up: The confetti was on clearance and I'm going to use it for this

You can never have too many crayons or too much glue, right??
While we're talking about school supplies, I am so excited about getting to test this:

This is Learning Resources HearALL Assessment Recorder and I cannot wait to use it with my kiddos this year. You can read more about it here, but I am already thinking of a million ways I'm going to use this. When my kids leave my guided reading group every day, they have to go buddy read to 2 partners. Since I'm not where I can hear and make sure they are reading correctly (or for that matter reading the whole book), this is going to be a great tool to use. First, they will LOVE recording themselves and second, I can really see if they're applying what we learned in reading group. I also think it would be great for some of my kiddos who don't realize what they sound like when they read. You know the ones...I call them my little robots :). I can use this to record their reading group so they can really get an understanding of how they sound. I'm telling you - this is going to be great! Now for the good news...you can win your very own! I'm so thankful to the super nice people at Learning Resources for giving me this opportunity to review their product and offering a free recorder for my followers. I'm trying Rafflecopter for the first time, so here goes:

a Rafflecopter giveaway You can check out more products from Learning Resources here.
I am still loving this book and reading everyone's posts! I finally got to my classroom today, so of course, the first thing I did was dig through all my books, looking at them with "fresh" eyes.
Chapter 8 delves into techniques illustrators use relating to precision and detail. One of my favorite quotes from this chapter says, "Writers paint pictures with words and illustrators paint pictures with pictures, but they are both trying to help readers experience and understand , and precise detail is certainly one means to that end for both word artists and picture artists." Wood discusses how helping children develop their observation skills is key when studying these techniques, and most children are already pretty good at noticing small details (you know you have some sweeties who yell out all the details while you're reading!).

The techniques discussed in this chapter include:
#13 - Crafting Details of Expression and Gesture
#14 - Crafting Physical Details of Characters
#15 - Revealing Character with Background Details
#16 - Crafting Details From the World of Nature
#17 - Showing the Effects of Weather on a Scene
#18 - Crafting Details From the World of People
#19 - Using Authentic, Object-Specific Details
#20 - Crafting the Illusion of Motion with Detail
#21 - Crafting the Illusion of Sound with Details
#22 - Using Details as an Element of Surprise

Here are a few illustrations from some books that show these techniques:
Corduroy: #13 - Although the author never tells us the little girl is sad, it's obvious as the little girl has to leave without him

Zara's Hats: #14 and #15 - The characters are dressed in a manner that reflects where and in what time period they live. The background gives us major clues as to what the father does for a living. 

Zara's Hats: #18 - We can see the world the family lives in by the details in many of the pictures like this one.

The Most Perfect Spot: #17 - When it begins raining, the illustrator shows us how the numerous people in the park react.

Miss Nelson is Missing: #13 and #14: One of my faves! We definitely learn a lot about Viola Swamp by her appearance and expressions. We don't even need words to know what she might be like!

The Quiltmaker's Journey: #16 and #20 - This book has beautiful illustrations and this one in particular shows a beautiful scene from nature.

Goldilocks Rocks: # 20 - The feathers in the air, along with Goldilock's hair, show us the motion of the two characters.
To read more, visit Growing Kinders...she is hosting this week's study.

I so badly wanted to get some things done at school, but I still don't know where my room will be, so I'm kind of stuck, so maybe I'll make some more freebies this week :). Think that will take my mind off of not getting to go to the kindergarten conference in Vegas?? I am so jealous of everyone going!
I love sending my new kiddos postcards before school starts! I think it sets the tone for our year and really show the kids and their families that their teacher cares :). I usually buy some, but decided to make my own this year and thought I would share with you. There are 3 different front sides (for K, 1st, and 2nd) and 3 different backs (we have Open House, so mine says that and I also teach in a small town and already know a lot of the kids so I put "see you" on mine, but added a version that says "meet you"). You should be able to print the front side, then (depending on how your printer loads paper), put the paper back in and print the back. I would love for you to let me know if you're able to use these (or if they don't print correctly!!).

Can you believe we go back to school in a month??

I am still loving this book and reading everyone's posts that go along with the book study!

In Chapter 7, Ray begins discussing different illustration techniques and how we can teach these to our little ones. In this chapter, she focuses on ideas and content. One of her points that we can relay to our students is that, "Illustrators, just like writers, have to have and develop good ideas for their illustrations." This is so important for me to get across to my children!
For each illustration technique in the chapter, she follows the same pattern when discussing:
-Something to notice
-An illustration example
-An understanding for young writers and illustrators
-An idea for trying it out
-A writing connection

I really enjoyed going through the chapter and learning more about each technique ( I love professional reading when I learn new things as well!!). There are 12 techniques in this chapter and I so wish I had some examples to give you of each one, but I can't get to my books and it's driving me crazy!! I've added notes on a few of the techniques.

Technique 1: Crafting with distance perspective - Ray tells us that our goal in this technique is to "help children realize that how large or small they draw something in a picture matters to how close or far away it seems from the reader."

Technique 2: Crafting with positioning perspective - Discuss with children how the different positions of central images in the books we read vary and how they affect the story that is being told.

Technique 3: Crafting the background - We need to teach children what background means and help them to see how having a lot or a little bit of background affects the story.

Technique 4: Showing two sides of a physical space - We can help children see that when both sides or areas of a space are shown in an illustration, it can affect the overall feeling of an illustration and/or book.

Technique 5: Using different scenes to show different actions - Illustrations can show actions that aren't necessarily written in the words of a page (For example, "The friends played together." could be written, but the illustration could show multiple boxes with different pictures of the kids playing various games.)

Technique 6: Using scenes to capture the passage of time  - When an illustrator uses this technique, we need to be careful to make sure it is very clear to students that the multiple pictures on a page are showing a passage of time and not things that are happening all in the same day.

Technique 7: Using scenes to show movement through different places

Technique 8: Using scenes as a list

Technique 9: Showing, not telling - This is one technique that I have actually used with my students before. We are always talking about adding details so that our readers can really see what we're trying to tell.

Technique 10: Crafting a backstory - In this technique, Ray gives the example of student writing a story about tractors. Even though the book is about tractors, his illustrations show a farmer and his dog doing farm work. They are not mentioned in the words, but are part of the story.

Technique 11: Manipulating point of view for effect

Technique 12: Seeing through the eyes of the narrator - In order for students to use this technique, Ray suggests that we need to give them a strong sense of the ways a narrator brings his or her perspective to the story.  One book that I can think of in my collection that would be a good example of this technique (along with #2) is Hey, Little Ant. The story alternates between a boy and an ant speaking and giving reasons why the boy should or should not step on the ant. Depending on who is speaking, the illustrations are different (and the kids love this book!).

I can't wait to read more about the techniques and really figure out how I will teach them to my sweet kiddos that usually come in drawing people with their legs and arms coming out of their heads!!

To read more, be sure to head over to Mrs. Wills blog and read the other blog posts :) Be sure to comment, because you could win a gift card to The Clever School Teacher! Thanks Mrs. Wills for my gift card I won last week...I used it the same day I got it! The site is so nice because you can look up books according to Katie Wood Ray's techniques, CCSS, reading strategies and much more!

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