Mom Blog: written by a teacher-mom, but not just for moms- a blog for everyone: July 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mom Facing Jail Time

I read an article today in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about a local mom facing jail time for what seems to be a horrible accident.  From what was stated in the article, the story goes something like this: 

A Cobb County mom, Raquel Nelson,  got off of a public transit and proceeded to cross the four lane road with her three kids.  As the article stated, she didn't go to a cross walk because the nearest one for .3 miles away, and it was getting dark outside.  Evidently, while crossing the road, her son was hit and killed by a hit and run driver.  Well, here is the kicker for me. The guy who fled the scene pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months in jail.  He has served his time and is now out.  The mom is facing sentencing tomorrow, and she could get up to three years in jail.

Am I the only one that seems something wrong with this?  The mom is up to get more time than the guy who hit the kid and then DROVE OFF!! Yes, the mom should have been more careful, but she didn't set out to kill her own son.  I just hope the judge in this case shows some compassion and can see that the mom has probably suffered enough already.  Surely she won't send  her do jail time and take her away from the other two kids. 

Oh, and if you want to be in far greater disbelief, here is more about the guy that drove off:

"Guy was originally charged with hit and run, first degree homicide by vehicle and cruelty to children. Charges were later dropped to just the hit and run charge.Court records show that Guy was previously convicted of two-hit-and-runs on the same day, Feb. 17, 1997.The first hit-and-run also happened on Austell Road, but when Guy fled from that scene he hit another car, seriously injuring that driver and passenger, records show.Guy pleaded guilty and received a two-year prison sentence, but was out in less than a year, according to the Department of Corrections website."  (taken from AJC)

It will be interesting to see what happens in this case.


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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Reader's Workshop

UPDATE:  Since I posted the below blog, I added more pages.  It is a total of 13 pages.  See the details on the TpT website.  If you use Fountas and Pinnell's reading strategies, this goes along with the first few days of setting up reader's workshop.

School is almost in, and I am gearing up for reader's workshop.  In doing so, I have designed some sheets and have added them to my TpT product listings.  What do you get?

This is a packet of printable sheets to be used in a student's readers notebook. The packet includes a COVER SHEET, which can be slid down into the plastic sleeve of a three-ring binder. It also includes a TABLE OF CONTENTS. I have split the notebook into seven sections. You could choose to use this table of contents or make your own. I will use the tabbed dividers in the binder to separate the sections. There is a sheet called ALL ABOUT ME, THE READER for students to complete and put in the front of their binder. This sheet has a place for them to do a self-portrait, tell the last book read, explain how they feel about reading, and share how they choose books. There is a READING LOG, a sheet titled I PROMISE TO TAKE CARE OF MY READER'S NOTEBOOK where students can write 5 things they will and 5 things they will not do with the notebook (this could be used with a mini-lesson), a sheet titled HOW DO YOU SHOP FOR JUST RIGHT BOOKS where they write ideas on how you know a book is too easy, too hard, or just right. A sheet titled WHAT TO INCLUDE IN MY READER'S RESPONSE LETTER, which tells proper letter format, reminders of conventions. They will then stick these on the sheet to refer to in their notebook. Finally, I have included a LIST OF 5 WEBSITES that have free reader's workshop printables. These can be combined with what I have made in order to make a wonderful reader's notebook for your students.

If you are interested in viewing or purchasing the Reader's Workshop Notebook packet,
please click the Teachers pay Teachers image below.


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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Responding to Literature in the Elementary Classroom

So, your kids have finished reading a book. Now what? How about have them respond to it. There are a variety of ways to respond. Most often you probably use a response notebook, but let's face it, that can get old after a while. Don't get me wrong. They have a purpose! But, if I am getting tired of reading them, I know my kids are probably getting tired of writing them. In this case, it is simply time for a break. Remember, a response to literature is communicating what you think and understand about what you read. It may be done while you are reading or after you are reading, but there are many modes of sharing this. As I searched for ideas in cyberland, I came across the wonderful website Work Sheet Place. Click here to see the response to literature activity sheets.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Organized Classroom

The countdown has begun!  I am officially going back to teaching, and the students will be arriving shortly.  I have mixed emotions (which I will blog about on a later date), but for now, I want to share some pictures of all the work I have done in my classroom over the last few days.  There is still more to be done, but you can get a good idea of my efforts. You will also probably realize why my Blogging Mom blog postings have been slim pickings.

I love for my classroom to be organized.  I also try to instill organizational skill in the kids by having them keep their desks clean and tidy.  I don't think kids can work efficiently in a classroom of clutter. 

So, here goes.....

We will start with my class library.  There are many ways to organize books in the elementary classroom.  Some people separate books by genre.  Some do it by the reading level of the book.  Actually, some people don't organize them at all.  They just stick them on a shelf.  I am sure there are lots of other ways. What have I chosen to do?  I have taken all of my chapter books and separated them by reading level using a color coding system.  The pink crates are second grade reading level.  The purple is third and fourth.  The green has fifth grade.  As far as the picture type books, I thought long and hard about how to organize those this year.  I wanted something different.  The genre thing is great, but I wanted something that would grab my kids' attention and draw them to the library.  I decided that to best do this I needed display shelves that would allow for the covers to be seen.  Of course these types of display shelves at teacher supply stores cost hundreds of dollars.  To compromise, my husband and I built the shelves pictured below.  I think it really makes the books say, "Come read me!"

When the kids arrive in the morning, I don't want any questions about what the expectations are.  Each day as they hang their book bag, they will get a brief reminder of what to do.  There are actually six expectations, but only a couple are pictured.

I can't stand for kids to sharpen their pencils all day long.  It either makes noise or a mess.  If you are a teacher, you know what I'm talking about!  So, in order to eliminate both of those, we sharpen a bunch of pencils at the end of the day to use the following day. 

At the beginning of the year, the students are issued a different science book for each unit of study.  This makes about six paper back books for each student.  This is simply too much to keep in the desks.  I collect them at the start of the year and give out each unit as needed.  Here is where they are stored until used.

This is just a simple organization system where kids turn in their work. 

The students keep most supplies in their desks, but I always have extras on hand.  These buckets make great organizers for basic school supplies.

I have lots of literacy games or math folder games that I have made.  I store them in these boxes, which I made the labels for.

I use the file cabinet to store copies of worksheets for upcoming activities.  Each drawer holds a different subject.

There is always some kind of important handout for me to keep up with, so I kept part of my bulletin board for teacher stuff.

And the last picture to share for now is my essential question display.  I made the labels to go along with my cooking theme.  I can easily change the question on the dry erase board.

Hope you enjoyed.  Let the learning begin!


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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Beach Vacation 2011

We had a great time at the beach!  As I said before we left, I would be back to post a few pics. 
These are a few of my favorites.


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