Hello Literacy Has a Facebook Page

I'm pleased to announce that Hello Literacy finally has a Facebook page.
if you want Hello Literacy updates, links and freebies. 

Thanks friends for all your support this year through Pinterest, Blogger and Teachers Pay Teachers!
It's been a crazy year so far and I love every minute of it.



Invitation to Edmodo - Hello Literacy Group

For those of you on Edmodo, or those of you not on Edmodo who want to join (it's free to join)...I have created a Hello Literacy group, at the request of a few of you. Within Edmodo, there are Groups and Communities. Groups are by invitation, for teachers and students whom you know or have a common interest and Communities are Edmodo members-at-large that have the Community interest in common but otherwise don't know each other. The groups I belong to are my school district, Elementary IRT's, Lake Myra Staff, my students...that group is called Mrs. Jones' Smarties, and a district iPad group. I belong to two Communities in the more global Edmodo world, the Language Arts Community, the Social Studies Community, and the Elementary Science Community.  Once "in" Edmodo, you'll see a left sidebar, you'll want to click JOIN and enter the following group code:


<<that's a zero between the a and the d>>>

Then, you're in and we're "connected"....see you there! If you're not sure about it, there is an introduction video at the Edmodo homepage that you can watch first....in a very abbreviated nutshell, it's like Facebook (sort of) for education members, mostly teachers and students, but parents can join too, just to see their "own" child's activity, but cannot view the activity of anyone else besides their own child. 
Happy Reading! Jen : )


Ya'll! I'm Tracked Out!!!!..for (((((Three Weeks)))))

In honor of today, my last day of track out {that means NO SCHOOL for me for three weeks! Hence, the WOOHOO!!!!}.... EVERYTHING in my store is 20% off through Sunday. (I teach at a year-round school, which throughout the year we have four cycles of nine weeks in and three weeks off...so today begins my "mini-summer" or I guess that would be "mini-fall".  Ya'll, I am finally going to get a chance to stay home {ALL DAY} and create stuff for TpT (and a few work related ELA essentials)...you have no idea how many ideas I've got swirling around in my head, partial projects, and just plain, too many ideas and not enough hours in a day. Here's a sneak peek into some of my projects....a four week content integrated literacy unit on Earth, Moon and Stars (3-5), and another four week content integrated literacy unit on Environmental Literacy (3-5), a year long Word Wall Words program for first grade, and the BIGGIE, a year long comprehensive phonological awareness curriculum! It's going to be AWE.SOME!!!  Oh, and if you have any special requests (as if that's not enough) from me for product recommendations, things you'd like to see from me, let me, and I can see about adding it to the line up.  For example, I just added my Write It, Build It, Decorate It Word Work template tonight at the request of one my TpT followers.
Write It, Build It, Decorate It....HERE
Also, if you're interested in any of the above products that I mentioned above, be sure to click the Follow Me at the top of my TpT store to get an automated alert straight to your Inbox when I've uploaded a product...this way, you're sure not to miss it!

In the meantime, between now and Sunday...grab my stuff while it's on SALE! Have a great weekend!


Hello Fonts Terms of Use {Revised}

For those of you using my free fonts in your TpT products...your products are looking great! I really do see my fonts everywhere on Teachers Pay Teachers, which is awesome... I'm glad everyone is loving them.  Part of the reason they are free, however, is to get your buyers back to my blog and ultimately to the fonts themselves.  I've upated/revised my Terms of Use when using my Hello Fonts in your FREE or FOR SALE products.  The link in the right side bar has been updated and I have posted a screenshot of it below. If you do not include an Acknowledgements page in your FREE or FOR SALE product, then please give attribution (like below) in your Product Description narrative. Thank you for following the rules when using my #hellofonts.



Common Core Running Records

Everyone, meet Meagan! 

You may remember her from last spring, she was my star Inferrer from my 2nd grade reading group...she inferred on page one of Owl Moon that the narrator must be a child because the author said "Pa and I were out way past my bedtime" and Meagan said "only children have bedtimes"....that was really one just example of many, but seriously, talk about a "close reader!" Anyway, she was in my reading group last year and now that she's in 3rd grade this year, she in my 3rd grade core reading group, 21 students for 75 minutes (not an intervention group, more like enrichment...but since every standard in the Common Core seems like an enrichment/Level 4 opportunity)...this group is working at high levels of engagement, stamina and rigor and I'm super impressed!  At Lake Myra, we do running records K-5, each quarter. We use the Foutas & Pinnell Benchmark Kits. We bought them when the building opened, so the kits are about four years old, they are the green and blue boxes.  I do like the whole Within, Beyond and About sections of the "Comprehension Connection" too.  However, taking running records in 3-5 is a little different than in K-2, instead of using checkmarks for every correct word spoken, we only code for errors and self-corrections...because one cannot make that many checkmarks that quickly at the rate 3-5 readers are reading.  This quarter, I have also started using the Running Record Calculator app in the app store on my iPad.

 I tried it out first, the free version, and then our Media/Technology specialist asked me if a purchase was worth it....I said ABSOLUTELY...and she bought 20 for teachers to use and installed them on their iPads.  The best thing about the paid version is that it takes an audio recording of the child reading and you can flag tricky parts, but you can go back and listen to any of it again.  The curvy arrow also lets you record and send the score and notes to anyone right then and there (in this case, her teacher) and NO PAPER. Also, if  using an iPad with a wireless keyboard, you can type much faster than you can write. So, with all the technical part of this post out of the way, I want to share with you my (Common Core) shift when taking these running records this year.   Below is Meagan's running record from this morning.  It's raw and "real."
With my iPad on and the app running, I kept track of errors and self-corrections on a sticky note. As you can see, there were some tricky parts, mostly with multi-syllabic words (3.RFS.3c) When she was done with the oral reading part, I entered Running Words, Errors and Self-Corrections and the curvy arrow took me the email side where I began the comprehension connection check.  In the Within the Text section, she immediately "got" that Jill was having a dream...many kids, especially ones that are not "close" readers do not pick up on this.  I didn't include everything in writing, but tried to capture when she did use text based evidence in her responses...remember, text based evidence/answers is BIG in the Common Core documents.  Then, in the Beyond the Text section, she inferred that Jill had stage-fright because she was nervous to "speak in front of all those people." I especially love her own self-monitoring of a "disconnection" (a term I taught my students this year from a book I read this summer called The Reading Turn Around...which I highly recommend BTW...and will post later on the disconnections) noting that she really could not relate to Jill at all on several levels...but did note in the Additional Understanding section that she did have a connection with  Jill's mom...LOVE IT!  However, here's the deal with connections. Text to self connections is NOT a Common Core standard, nor is activating prior knowledge. This is because the authors of the Common Core want students to rely less on their own lives for comprehension and more on the text itself for comprehension.  We all know that readers bring their own schema and subjectivity to their reading, and we've been teaching text to self connections for years, so students are VERY used to telling them to us. Of course, we would never tell  children, no you can't say that anymore. However, from a teaching stand regarding connections, the only kind in the Common Core are making text to text contrasts and comparisons regarding mood, theme, characters, and plots.  With all of this said, please enjoy Meagan's running record and notice how often she used text-based evidence in her justifications and made the subject to subject connection between Writing Workshop (showing not telling) and reading...thank you Lucy!

Student Name: Maegan
9/24/2012 Quarter 1

Reading Level: R The Election
Accuracy: 99%
Comprehension: 9/10
Additional Understanding 1
Total Comp Score: 10/10

Error Count: 6
Self-Correct Count: 4
SC Ratio: 1:3
Time: 4:15
Word Count: 492
WPM: 115
Notes: Tricky Words (Errors): unconvincing, courage, nutritious, Eduardo, faculty, encouragingly
Comprehension Conversation
W - "In the beginning, Jill had a dream because she had to give a speech to run for class president"....."her mom gave her a pep talk so she wouldn't get nervous"...like she told her to "focus on one friend and pretend they were talking. Her Mom was able to help her so much because she gives speeches at her work as a heart surgeon." As she began speaking, "all her fears went away, and she focused on Eduardo."

B - She was scared because she didn't want to talk "in front of all those people"...."she had stage-fright". "I have a disconnection because I never get stage-fright because I have been in The Talent Show twice and I'm in the Drama club at my church, so performing in front of people doesn't really make me nervous."

A - The author used "showing not telling" by saying "her cheeks got hotter and hotter" "she squeezed her eyes shut" "fresh wave of panic" "people make me feel sick". The author convinced us that she would be a good class president by using a quote from Abraham Lincoln. She talked about her ideas in her speech "to clean up the hallway, get better (more nutritious food in the cafeteria, and start regular student-faculty discussion groups".

Additional Understanding- I really liked Jill speech be I predict she's going to win...her plans were good. And last year the Lake Myra class president mentioned some of the same plans in her speech and she won the election." "That was like a prediction slash connection."
"I think the author's message is that you should face your fears, and your fears will go away and you'll feel much better. You'll feel like you can do anything!"
"This happened to me and my cousin yesterday, she didn't want to go to the top of the bleachers because she was scared of heights. I was kind of like Jill's mom, I helped her by telling her the more times she does it, the better you get. I also told her to breath in, and let your thoughts go, and you'll feel like you can do it. She climbed to the top and walked up high all the way around to the other side. The next family member I need to work on about facing their fears is my older cousin, we seem to have a lot of fear of heights in our family!"

Sent from my iPad

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Sight Word Success Stories

I guess it goes without saying that Rainbow Words are everywhere at Lake Myra! It's a beautiful thing and of course, you can imagine how ecstatic I was when this first grader walked out to the carpool loop (my pm duty) to see her wearing a "Congratulate Me! I just passed my PINK rainbow words!" shirt label. Uhhh, of course, I gave her a high five, a low five and a rainbow five for her accomplishment...and then said, HOLD THE PHONE...let me snap a pic of that doggone cute label!  The second best part of the story was the excitement she had when she crawled in the car and exclaimed to her dad, "Daddy, Daddy, I read all my pink rainbow words today!" Her dad was happy for her for sure, her love bucket was overfull and most of all, she was soooo proud of herself!  With that said, since uploading my Rainbow Words: High Frequency Word Learning and Assessment System, the positive feedback has been pouring in.  

Here's what others have to say about it (now that school has started & buyers have actually started using it):

"FANTASTIC!!! Absolutely love this! I've already started using this with my kiddos! The first grade department at our school have now adopted this!" - Shannon

"This is a great resource for my 1st graders! They love it! It also works well for the 1st grade intervention class that I teach. Thanks so much!"-Sarah K.

"Top notch product. The certificates and stickers are especially great! Thank you so much for sharing all of your hard work." - shaylaeb

"My entire grade level is purchasing this so that we have an organized approach to teach and assess student sight word acquisition and fluency. Thanks for putting this together!!"-thumper

"What a time saver, and my students love it, too!"-chesneyfan118

So, because I stand behind the quality and customer satisfaction of this product AND I know that teaching sight words can be one of the most boring and stale areas of reading instruction, and I truly want every primary teacher who is looking for a new ways to teach old things...to have a copy of this product...I am putting my Rainbow Words System ON SALE through Sunday, 9/16.  Please grab it...your kiddos will love it and they will THANK YOU for it. Truly. 

Also, uploaded my Reciprocal Teaching Formative Assessment of Comprehension Strategies {which can be used with ANY TEXT...fiction or informational}...and my Reciprocal Teaching Comprehension Strategies Poster.

Happy Reading! -Jen Jones 

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Technologically Speaking, Currently Into...Looking at Old Things in New Ways

Amy Rider, over at Literacy and Laughter, asked me link up with a post about technology.  She left it very open-ended, and gave everyone tons of ideas, so I decided instead of spotlighting one thing (because it was so hard to narrow it down) I decided to post about all the bits of technology I'm "currently into" right now, especially useful in my literacy block, and especially trying to integrate content and technology through reading, writing, speaking and listening, in light of the higher level demands of the Common Core standards.
So here goes:

Category #1: Technology & Character Education (Student Leadership)


This is a great website that you might recognize from street billboards, I see them all around Raleigh, which means the kids do too.  Not only are they inspiration, but included in each one (and they have like 50+ and are adding more all the time...) the website has a 2.0 option for anyone (students) to create their own.  Since we are have a Leader in Me theme at our school this year, the students are looking for student leader character traits in each other.  In addition to the "real" billboard posters that are on the site, there is a one-page story that goes with each one.  Students have the opportunity to do some explanatory/informative (W.2) and opinion writing (W.1) when writing this values "story" about one of their peers.  Use of the website by students, uses APPLY, ANALYZE, EVALUATE and CREATE of Revised Bloom's Taxonomy because they must decide which trait in their peers they notice and see in someone else (apply), discriminate the student leadership traits they notice in their peers (analyze), justify how the peer is demonstrating the trait with evidence and example from the peer's actions, words or behaviors (evaluate) and formulate, design and create a poster (design/stage an appropriate matching image, create a short summarizing slogan, and write the accompanying Values story (create). 

Category #2: Technology & Social Student Platforms


Edmodo is my newest favorite website to use with students.  I wouldn't be using if our county had not purchased a country contract with Edmodo, but it is free for teachers and students.  More students love it than teachers love it, perhaps for many of them, it's like Facebook, not something that they have.  It's not only a social tool, although in a nice way, that social aspect from student to student is limited.  We use it as a school for general announcements, sharing documents, etc. but with students, you can create GROUPS and invite students to the group. You can assign ASSIGNMENTS, and it keeps track for you who has turned them in and who has not, as well as a Newsfeed that is sort of a public group wall.  We had to have a lesson yesterday on "Appropriate Commenting & Posting" and I don't mean inappropriate language, I mean, talking with them about the purpose of our group..."to exchange ideas about reading and think critically about books together"...and how writing comments like "Hey Jazzzzz, Jazzzz, Jazzzy, Jazimine.....wuzzzzzz uppppp?" is not an approriate comments to leave on our group's wall....sort of a which types of comments are appropriate and relevant to the entire group and are they related to reading, novels, literature circles, authors, characters, etc.  Oh, and the best part, the very motivating part of Edmodo is you can create your own BADGES and award them to students in Edmodo.  After you award one to a student, it then appears on their profile for everyone to see.  Edmodo has about 10 badges that you can use, but you can also make your own.  I created a badge for each of the 7 Habits, as well as a Wordsmith badge and a Conversation Extender Badge for students that not only answer questions on our page, but ask questions of others to "keep the conversation going."  Also, when you make badges or other teachers make badges, you can share them with each other and add them to your badge arsenal to award to students.  I created the badge page above, printed it out for students to glue into their reading notebook.

Category #3: Technology & Professional Learning Networks


Yes, I consider Pinterest a PLN.  Through the image networking on Pinterest, I get so many ideas for how to use technology in the classroom.  This board happens to be my Digital.Technology.App board that currently has over 10,000 followers and 500+ pins.  Ideas always at your fingertips.  

Category #4: Technology & Literacy

YouTube can be a slippery slope with students, but when used educationally and with a purpose, it can be a very powerful to use with students.  Using YouTube with students is one of the best forms of motivation...YouTube is their "economy"...it's language they speak and a platform they are very familar with...so again, in my theme of "using old tools in new ways"...use short YouTube clips with familar faces to have students identify, not the Author's Message from a book, but the Producer's Message from a video.  Asking students to determine the Author's Message is a higher order skill that is expected of all students in the Common Core when reading literature text, why not ask them to demonstrate the same skill by removing the reading requirement out of the equation?  By doing this, we reach so many more kids, like ELL's and SWD's, when we get straight to the heart of the skill?   

Category #5 Technology & Tools

So, here's my trick to making all the cute doodle borders that I've been making and selling on Teachers Pay Teachers...a mouse pen! I love it, it allows me to control the lines so much better than a mouse.  There are different brands but they all pretty much do the same job.  If you don't have and you want to make your own cute page borders, I highly recommend a mouse pen.  

I really do have so many more fun apps, tools and technology tidbits, I'd like to share, but it's time to wrap it up.   Ok, here's one more...www.awesomehighlighter.com I'll let you explore that one on your own. 

Happy Reading! Jen Jones

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Labor Day Weekend Sale - thru Monday

Today, tomorrow and Monday...everything in my TpT store is 15% off!

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