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Friday, January 20, 2017

The Friday Five: Songs That Take You Back in Time

Isn't music just the best!?  I mean show me someone who doesn't like music and you've probably just introduced me to an alien.  Music is so amazing and truly has the ability to change your mood and lift your spirits.  Scientists agree.  This article was fueled by the author's curiosity about why hearing a song could bring back vivid and distinct memories.

It's called the "reminiscence bump," and it works for songs you heard during first experiences, memories, and feelings from your first 25 years of life (although I'd argue that it lasts longer, please say it lasts longer).  I always loved using music in the classroom, and I know my students always enjoyed having music on the background no matter what it was or at what time of day.

For this Friday Five, I'm sharing 5 songs that take me back.  Even as I'm typing this I still have no idea how to possibly choose 5, so I'll be as surprised as you at what you read next.  ;)

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
In 1st grade, three of my best friends and I created a dance and lip-synced to this song at the school talent show.  (Well I think it was 1st grade, might need a fact check, Mom.)  We were in our pajamas, used the Chipmunks version, and incorporated our sleeping bags into the show.  I mean it was pretty much the cutest thing ever.  I vividly remember it, and anytime I hear this song, it takes me right back to that stage.  Look at my 1st grade sass:

Wide Open Spaces
Really, any song from this Dixie Chicks' album will do it.  My mom, friend Brandy (carpool buddy), and I would belt out these songs on the way to and from school every day the second half of 8th grade.  I can't believe I'm voluntarily sharing a picture from 8th grade...

I've Got a Feeling
This song instantly fills me with happiness.  It was at the top of the charts when my husband John and I got married in July of 2009.  The DJ played it at the perfect moment - the dance floor was packed with all of our closest friends, hands in the air, heels kicked-off, singing and jumping all around us.  BEST. PARTY. EVER.

Get Low
Junior year of college.  'Nuff said.

I Love Little Nora
Yeah, so I'm about to get sappy.  I don't have a video link for this song because my Dad made it up and sang it to me as he rocked me as a baby and toddler.  Even though I don't remember being rocked as a baby (obviously), I do remember this song - the words and the tune.  It was always so special to me, and now I have changed the lyrics, and I sing it to my sweet baby boy Beckett.  My Daddy and I:

My dear friends Tracy at the Caffeinated Counselor and Kimmie at Elementary Nerd are joining me for this fun Friday link-up!  Be sure to visit their pages to see their 5 songs, and share yours by commenting below!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Asking Questions: A Reading Strategy FAN FREEBIE

It has been more than a hot minute since I've taken the time to post here.  I could make excuses, but really I just had other priorities for awhile, and that's totally okay.  Since I've last posted I've...

  • Moved into a new house
  • Spent a year working in the curriculum department of my school district
  • Had the most perfect baby boy :) - Beckett
  • Resigned from the school district to spend this year staying at home with my babe
  • Embarked on a mission to not buy any clothes, jewelry, or shoes in 2017 (I'm blogging about it here)
  • Really missed both teaching and blogging about education!
As I came to dust off the blog and get to writing again, I realize I still had a few draft posts I had never finished or published.  SCORE.  Feels like Christmas again.  Thanks to those of you who are still following this blog 2 years later; hope you enjoy this post about an awesome reading strategy that includes a fan freebie!!

My students always loved Reader's Workshop time.  And I loved that we no longer taught "learning-to-read" before teaching "reading-to-learn."  Both types of reading instruction can (and should) come before students can read independently.  They can engage in deep, meaningful reading experiences and learn to use the comprehension strategies that they will use for their entire lives!

One strategy we worked on every spring was asking questions before, during, and after reading.  We did this first as a whole group during our mini-lessons.  When my students were ready to record their questions independently, I gave them this recording page for them to use during both read-alouds and while reading to self.

You can grab this student recording sheet for FREE on my Facebook page. 

Make sure to like the page, and then you will have access to the "Fan Freebies" link!  Enjoy!