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Catching up... and a GIVEAWAY!!

Ok, friends! We have made it through Day 10 of school!!!
I wanted to just do a quick update on what has been going on in my life...
This week, we really focused on jumping into our curriculum and routines. I taught ENY all week, and have been beefing up and teaching our ELA curriculum this week as well!
One thing I was feeling last year was that waiting to teach the letter sounds until later really hinders the rigor and momentum students have when they are learning about letter shapes and identification. One way that I have been teaching letter sounds and identification is through Deanna Jump's Chit Chat Messages, but I have also been creating my own at home, which makes it easy for me to personalize what we are reading (and writing) about, and how I review prior knowledge.
Another success in literacy that I have had is by using "rainbow words." This is something I learned about through a colleague last year, and I found it to be SO motivational!! Every student starts out with a list of "red" words, which go home to be identified and mastered as a homework piece. The lists are all the same, but the order in which levels are "added" are entirely up to the students' progress. One way I am changing it this year is the manner in which they are sent home. Last year, after a student mastered a level, they were sent with a new list of the next color to be mastered. I was finding that while students had mastered levels before, they sometimes forgot some of the previous level's words. This year, I am sending them home on binder rings, and students must bring the ring back to add the next color level, so they can continue to build on what they know. This is what my wall of words looked like before sending home the rings:

When students had mastered their "purple" words, I would purchase a book in their area of interest from Scholastic, and wrote a personalized note on the front cover for the child. This has been one of the most successful changes I have made to my ELA homework, and I had kiddos reading second grade words by the end of last year! (They would continue on to first grade words after mastering the K words)

This weekend, I had the opportunity to go see Kelly Clarkson in concert for a friend's birthday. Pentatonix opened for her, and KILLED it, of course. I really LOVE a cappella groups!! A ca-believe it! ;)
I didn't take any pictures of Kelly because A. I didn't want to be an annoying concert-goer who filmed instead of experienced a concert and B. I have the worst phone known to woman, and am FINALLY getting a new one. I can't wait!!! 

Finally, I have reached several of my goals and milestones this week, and I wanted to celebrate with you!!! I will be giving away the items shown below (some of my faves) AND a $10 TPT gift certificate to say thank you:
Pin Hooks: the best way to hang items on binder rings and clips. I use these EVERY-where in my classroom
Mr. Sketch: Who DOESN'T love smelly markers?!
Flair Pens: No introduction necessary! ;) A teacher staple!
Island Margarita hand sanitizer from B&BW. LOVE the mini mental vacay I go on when I use this. 
Grey-ish purple nail polish
A gold canvas quote
Watermelon Lemonade B&BW scent disk... Ahhh, summer. You were JUST here!
FINALLY, I did NOT have this item in the picture, but I LOVE Nickel and Suede Earrings (Thanks, Amy Lemons, for introducing them to me through your Instagram), so I have purchased an additional pair of the Olive earrings for my lucky winner!!
**I am NOT sponsored by this company. I purchased this item for my winner!!**

ANNNNNNNNND, I have a Large Hole Sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies!! You NEED this in your life!!

Please, enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Thanks for following! I appreciate EVERY one of you!!

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