Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Top Ten Lists

Good morning, friends!

I am up bright and early this morning for some unknown reason...guess I'm am subconsciously getting ready to head back to school in a few short weeks. I was thinking that I cannot believe that summer has flown by so quickly, but ...well, really...it always goes by way too quickly. 

Guess I will use this burst of up-and-at-'em energy to write a quick post, then stop by the school to do some last minute work in my room.

I am excited to join Courtney at Swimming Into Second for her new linky party! She loves Top Ten Lists and wants to do a different topic each week! How stinkin' fun!

This week...Classroom Must Haves...

So here is my list....

1. While most of my list is no particular order...this first one is definitely the most important must have of all...ANYTHING Responsive Classroom...Last year was my first year to be a full responsive classroom after spending the summer before in training...and I will never go back! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE morning meetings!



2. So...speaking of Responsive Classroom...I could not function without my chime...
I use it not only for morning meetings or afternoon closings...but for almost every transition as well! 

3. YES..I know you are tired of me going on and on about my summer project...but this is definitely my NEW MUST HAVE...

This is my new mentor text library...although I do not use every single text every year...I could not live without all of these wonderful picture books and having a large variety to meet the needs of each set of kiddos each year is priceless because we all know that every year is a new challenge!

4. This may be a bit redundant, LOL, but a must have in my classroom would be my large library...I have worked very hard to build a library large enough to try and reach every reader that enters my room!

5. For me...creating a true LOVE of reading for all of my kiddos is my ultimate goal...The Book Whisperer truly inspired me to look at my teaching practices and the goals I have for my kiddos. I revisit this great read often, and I love checking out Donalyn Miller on her blog.

6.  I know it is old school but this chart stand is an absolute must have! Bringing my kiddos to the carpet to discuss and anchor with them is something we do every day! Although sometimes I find this chart stand big and clunky, I have grown to depend on it!

On the subject of anchors...when I run out of the very limited room I have to hang all of my anchors, I use this to store the anchors that I cannot bear to part with. It has two bars, so I can use one side for writing and another for reading.

7.  I have to share my new fave pen...These are the BEST erasable pens I have ever used! I am a bit obsessed with them! If you have not used these pens, you really MUST try them!

8.  As a literacy teacher, I could not begin planning my writing lessons without these two gentlemen, Jeff Anderson and Barry Lane! Mechanically Inclined is my grammar-go-to! LOVE it...I cannot tell you how many days I have this book opened right next to my lesson plan book. Hooked on Meaning is my content/style-go-to! Some of my favorite writing lessons each year come from this wonderful book with CD. 

9. Post Its, Post Its, Post Its...a very definite must have in my room...

There are so many uses for them...but this is my favorite...

I just love reading my kiddos' notebooks with all of their Post It "thinkmarks!"

10.  This next one is a simple but practical one for me...I must have these Sterilite plastic dish tubs from WalMart...I spent just a couple bucks on each one.

I use them to store a variety of books for each group...nonfiction as the priority...I love having these at their fingertips for random down time.

Well...there you have it. My Top Ten Must Haves....although I am sure I left something out, and as soon as I make it to my classroom today, I will think of a million other important things. LOL

I have also joined Fifth in the Middle for her blog lists by state...come on Arkansas bloggers! When I joined the list, there were only 11 of us, so stop by and add your blog. You can also check out some other pretty amazing southern bloggers out there! :) 

Caffeine and Lesson Plans also has a great list of blogs by grade level. Now I know just where to look to find amazing fourth grade ideas!


Be sure to stop by both of their blogs!

With that ladies and gents...I will say goodbye for now. I am heading to the classroom to get some work done!

Happy reading!

Follow on Bloglovin


  1. Like you, I use wind chimes in my classroom to get my student's attention. Love reading the Book Whisper as well. I will have to check out some of those other books you mentioned. Even though I will be teaching 1st and 2nd grade this year I am your newest follower. You snagged me at Flamingo! :)
    I really like your butterfly motif.


    1. Debbie,

      Thanks for the kind words and thanks for stopping by!

      I am your newest follower, too!


  2. Hi Tina! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Yes, you have got to try a stopwatch! They get lined up in 20 seconds or less when I use that thing lol. I also really like Hooked on Meaning; it has some great ideas for writing. I am also your newest follower :)

    Ladybugs Lounge

    1. I will definitely be getting one!

      Thanks for following!


  3. Your room looks so organized! Thanks for sharing!
    Grade 4 Buzz

  4. Thanks for linking up Tina! I love, love, love your library! Amazing! I keep hearing about those pens. I'm going to have to check them out.

    Swimming into Second

    1. Courtney,

      Thanks for stopping by...I love your linky idea...very cute!

      You have to try the pens LOL...you will love them!


  5. I have been reading The Book Whisperer this summer and, to put it simply, I LOVE IT!!!!! Your classroom library is amazing. I wish I had half the books you do! And btw, I've nominated you for an award :) Check out my blog for more info.

  6. What a great library you have! I am also going to check out Mechanically Inclined. Thanks for sharing :)