Friday, June 21, 2013

Five for Friday & Optimum Organization Summer Linky

Time to recap our week with Five for Friday at Doodle Bugs...

Individualized Spelling: Getting More Organized

We are sharing this organization accomplishment and are linking up for the first time with with Lady Bug Teaching Files for her Optimum Organization Summer Linky Party...

As many of you may, we do individualized spelling with our kids.  We find that we have many kids that are quite good spellers that end up needing to replace core words with more challenging words to help them grow as spellers.  We do not want these kids to just select random "hard" words to add to their lists, as many of them can work with more appropriate words for their needs that have the same spelling patterns present in the week's core words. For the last two years, I have added additional words to the pretest, but this has been done the day of the pretest (as I sit down at the computer and search for words online while giving the core words). Has it worked alright? Yes. Is there a better way? Of course!  In our conversations last week, Courtney and I decided to get more organized and create a word list for each spelling pattern that includes the core words, high frequency/word wall words, additional "challenge" words (with the same spelling pattern as the core list), and content area words. 

After pretesting kids on the first three types of words, those kids who are still in need of additional words will be able to choose from content area words. The final place for students to select words, if needed, will be from a list of frequently misspelled words and/or words of their choosing. Click here for a free download of frequently misspelled words.

We will add to the word wall and content area word lists the week before a pretest is to be given, and place the list in a binder for the coming week. 

Check out other great organizational tips by visiting the Optimum Organization Summer Linky!

I'm Done!!! (Courtney)

All week I have spent my days sitting in a classroom (when the sun is shining beautifully outside) learning about school and community relations.  Why, you may ask. Well it is my LAST required course for me to complete my Type 75 Administrators Certificate! Here in the good ole state of Illinois, in order to be a principal or any other type of administrator, you need a Type 75 certificate. That, of course is all changing soon, and I just want to keep my options open for the future. I am one that doesn't like to take classes to just take them and move over on the salary scale, I want a purpose when I take classes. I don't plan on leaving the classroom anytime soon, but I like to know that opportunities are open to me if the need were ever to arise. :)

A Great Tutorial! (Sarah)

As I am sure you all know, chalkboard art is the hottest new thing! I stumbled upon a great tutorial giving step-by-step directions for how to create a chalkboard effect using Adobe Illustrator.  Visit the website to learn more! 

Just messed around and created a simple sign to hang up when school starts...

Of course, there are oodles of neat chalkboard fonts on the internet, but I wanted to dabble in creating the chalk effect myself.  Don't think it turned out too bad! :0)

New Clipart & Backgrounds (Sarah)

Just wanted to share some new clipart and backgrounds I made this week. Fly on over to my Graphics by Sarah Beth TpT Store to check them out...

Rubadubdub! One Dirty Dog in the Tub! (Sarah)

Welp, number five is just a filler to speak--but we really have had a busy week!  My pooch, Daisy May, got a bath so she was ready for our visitors... Just like a kid--looked and smelled good!

 Leaving you with a "smile" from Daisy May--have a wonderful weekend! 


  1. Your chalk art turned are fabulous! I also love the background papers. I will need pick those up. They include my favorite color.

    Foreman Teaches

    1. Super! Glad the freebie can be of use to you. Thanks for stopping in...


  2. Love the individualized spelling lists!!! Awesome idea!!

  3. I agree with the individualized spelling - that's always been a hard one for me to manage!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Whimsy Workshop

    1. But worth it! :0) Thanks for stopping over!

      Sarah & Courtney

  4. Sarah,
    Let me just say that your blog is adorable and Daisy May is probably the sweetest pup Ice seen in a while. My Oliver would have a
    crush for sure! I love those wacky cute!!! Happy Friday from your newest follower!
    ~ Natalie

  5. Chalkboard craze right now, for sure. Thanks for sharing the link on how to create my own. I love the look, but I'm a little nervous about all the ink! Ack! Maybe a few things would be okay...

    Teaching Little Miracles

  6. Thanks so much for the adorable backgrounds! Fabulous idea for individual spelling lists!

    Lucky to Be in First

  7. Thanks for the freebie! :) I've already downloaded them! I'm your newest follower!

    Adventures in Room 204

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I use a challenge list for kids who test out based on the pretest. It has the same spelling pattern but just harder words. Thanks for the freebie as well. I'm you newest follower!

    Success in Second Grade

  9. I am in loooooooove with the individualized spelling. I am going to be teaching 4th grade next year, and I know I'm going to have kids at all different levels with their spelling. I'm totally going to have to try out your idea of the individualized spelling. Thanks for sharing!

    - Stephanie

  10. Yes! I have the cluster class this year so the individualized spelling lists are great, definitely going to use those with my kids this year. Do you have the kids pick their words after the pre-test from the challenge list or do you pick them. How exactly do you manage that?


    1. Hi! I give a pretest of of all of the core, high frequency/word wall, and "challenge" words. I circulate the room during the pretest and just tell kids when they can stop based on what I see. The kids that need more continue. After I look at the pretests, those kids that still need more words can first choose from content words they do not know. The final option for words is the frequently misspelled words list and/or words of interest to them (they take what they can from their writing first--often not many). Hope this makes sense and is of help to you...

      Thanks so much for stopping over--

  11. Hi there!

    Love your blog! I am your newest follower and should be your 200th follower on Bloglovin'. I love doing individualized spelling and love how you color-code and organize the words for it. I would love to know more and will hunt around your blog for more info.


    Innovate, Create and Relate

  12. Thanks so much for stopping at our blog! Glad to have you as a new follower! :0)

    All the best,

  13. Hi! I love the spelling words idea! Is there any way I can get those lists each wee that you created? Are you on "Teachers Pay Teachers"? It would be so helpful!