Sunday, January 27, 2013

What Makes You Feel Proud?

I was asked an interesting question today that really got me thinking: "What TpT (Teachers pay Teachers) product are you most proud of and why?"

Whew!  Good question!  Every time I create something new I go through a phase where that newest product is my favorite.  When I really stop to reflect about the items I offer in my store, however, there really are 2 or 3 that make me extra proud.  And when I think even deeper, I realize that I am most proud of the product that I know has changed my teaching and that gives me an extra feeling of excitement every time another teacher deems it purchase-worthy. 
 My Guided Reading Planning & Recording Forms!!
(includes 15 usable forms)

First of all, let me just let you in on a little secret... although it's not actually a secret if you know me in real life!


One of my favorite things to do in the whole wide world (as funny as it may sound) is to create quality forms!  As a resource teacher with a huge caseload (at all times), I am constantly rewriting and revamping my lesson plans and the forms I use to stay efficient.  My goal is always to plan and work smarter, not harder.  So, ultimately I work hard to make sure that I work smart!  :)

This year, I decided that I needed to become more familiar with Fountas & Pinnell's Comprehension Toolkit.  My district adopted the Toolkit as a major part of our 3-6 reading curriculum 2 years ago.  I have become familiar with the way it is used in the classroom and had general knowledge of how it can be used with guided reading groups, but in order for me to really understand it and be able to use it effectively... I had to create... SOME NEW FORMS!!  Woot woot! 

My Guided Reading Planning & Recording Forms were the result!  Now that I've used them for the majority of the school year, I can tell you that they have really improved the way I plan and teach guided reading (with or without the Toolkit).  One of my favorite forms is the Plan & Prep form which forces me to think all the way through the guided reading process.  After using this form to plan for a student or small group, I feel completely prepared for the lessons ahead.  Other forms in the set allow me to record meaningful anecdotal information and plan next steps as I monitor and adjust.

Additional forms have also been added to the set as I found a need for them.  At this point, the set feels pretty complete to me, but I'm sure I'll find new ways to make it even better over time!

I love that this resource has become such a staple in my daily teaching life, but what makes me feel even prouder is that these forms have quickly become my best-selling item!  It is such an amazing feeling to know that other teachers have seen their value and are loving them as much as I do. 

So, since there isn't a way to give a direct thank you via TpT, thank you to all of you WONDERFUL teachers that have purchased this item from my store.  You are such a blessing to me!

What Makes You Feel Proud?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ta Da!

Well, after an entire day of attempting to figure out the blog design world (Thank you MLK!), I think it's time to go to bed.  Not bad if I do say so myself!  :)