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Remind Connected Educators Twitter Chat

My amazing Special Education RCE partner Valerie and I will be hosting our first Remind #SpEdRCE Twitter chat this Wednesday, October 21st in celebration of Connected Educator Month!

We are excited in the weeks ahead to invite Special Education and Intervention teachers to join our Remind Connected Educator group!  If you are interested in the chat, we will focus on the questions below.  Our chat is just 30 minutes, so if you are new to Twitter, this is a great way to try out an education chat and learn from some extraordinary teachers!

  • What have been some of your strengths/setbacks within SpEd or Intervention?
  • How do you bounce back from those setbacks (i.e. colleagues, mentors)?
  • In honor of Connected Educator’s Month, how can you grow your PLN to better serve your students as well as develop a growth mindset for yourself?
  • In what ways can small group intervention teachers and SpEd teachers be more connected?

Be sure to set your reminder for Wednesday night! We can't wait to chat and learn more from each other!

The Power of a Pencil

If you are my real-life Facebook friend, then you'll have already read this post. If you are blog buddies, I hope my Thank You inspires you to ask when in need, and give when you can. :) 

Happy Weekend.

Never underestimate the power of the pencil, or in my case, the need of a pencil.

In August, I submitted a Reddit Teacher Gift request. Each fall, Reddit pairs donors with teachers requesting supplies. My request was somewhat simple. As an intervention teacher, I do not receive a share in the school supplies students bring in August. Not wanting to burden classroom teachers with my needs, my Reddit request was somewhat simple. Basics such as pencils, glue, notebooks, folders, tissue, and erasers were really all I needed.

That's when a (then) stranger through Reddit (Brad) contacted me. He was a Texas donor who felt strongly that all teachers should be provided with the basic supplies needed in the classroom. He asked if I could share my story, and set a goal to go beyond my basic wish list and raise donations to help supply my class for years to come.

Brad's network of friends were quick to jump in to help, (even despite their concerns of whether or not I was running an underground loose leaf notebook paper operation☺). Some shared they planned to donate to a teacher in their own neighborhood (awesome). Together they donated over $500 worth of supplies and Amazon Gift Card dollars towards my class.

When the massive box of supplies arrived, the first thing I opened where the pencils.

I write all this to say thank you to Brad and his friends, and to challenge you to follow his example. Teachers spend on average $500 or more out of pocket each year on supplies for their classroom. Each and every donation matters. 

Flipping for Fall with the The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving

While it may only be the beginning of October, I'm ready to talk turkey with this month's fall blog hop. When I think of books for fall, I think of one of my favorite mentor texts. Not only is this a nonfiction book about Thanksgiving, but one with an entertaining twist thanks to clever illustrations!

Each post in our blog hop will feature a fall-themed mentor text. You'll find ideas and a free printable for using the mentor text to teach a specific skill. As you turkey trot through the hop, you will collect a special word from each post. When you reach the end, you will use these words to enter a raffle. If you want to keep track of each Mystery Word, here is a cute organizer you can print to take notes on as you follow the hop.

Two lucky people (one for the primary path and one for the upper elementary path) will win all the books from our posts!

This is not an ad for Under Armour...but I do spy a turkey!

Thank You Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson, is the story of how Thanksgiving almost wasn’t a holiday. Sarah Hale lobbied to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. She used the power of the pen and a lot of persistence to get her message to several presidents. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln finally agreed! Much to the White House turkey's dismay, the 4th Thursday of November became a national holiday.

This mentor text can be used in so many ways with your students in all elementary grade levels. Personally, I love using this mentor text to generate conversations with my young readers about genre, author's purpose, and mindset.

As I begin my read aloud, I want to engage my students with the facts and rich vocabulary throughout.  I usually stop early on to question students regarding the genre and ask for text evidence to support their ideas.  I also stop at times to work with them on understanding new words like campaign, dainty, or persistence.  The illustrations and opportunities for historical noticings keep their attention and conversations focused as we read together.

Students often have misconceptions about author's purpose and base their ideas from illustrations and pictures alone. This text is a wonderful way to show that informational reading can also be entertaining!

In the past, I used the catchy PIE acronym to explain an author may write to Persuade, Inform, or Entertain. Deb Hanson from Crafting Connections has a great post about taking author's purpose a step further to teach PIE'ED, which includes Explain and Describe. The lovely Amy Lemmons from Step into Second Grade has several pin-worthy anchor charts she uses to introduce author's purpose with her primary students. 

But author's purpose is just one way to use this awesome mentor text. If you're looking for more reflection and comprehension, here is a great reading group guide from the publisher!

I've created a Forever Freebie that will supplement your lessons with this mentor text. I created a character wheel using descriptions of Sarah Hale.   Interactive journals play a big role in my planning and instruction, and I wanted to create a tool that students could use related to mindset and perseverance. Sarah is described in the text as strong, brave, stubborn, and smart.  Your students can use this wheel to share details from the book or create pictures to demonstrate why this is true . This is a great way to work with your learners on supporting their thoughts with information from the text! 

While you were reading did you catch my mystery word?  If not, it is turkey 

I'm so glad you hopped over today! Now it's time to grab another cup of pumpkin spiced latte and hop to the next stop with Cathy from The W.I.S.E. Owl ! Thank you!