Thank you Kathleen Sokolowski for this wonderful idea.  Above is a picture of her Glitterboard.

What is a Glitterboard?

A joyful way to highlight special quotes each day. The glitterboard is a way to encourage appreciation for the powerful effect of words in our lives.

How do you make one?

All you need is a picture frame, glitter scrapbook paper, and a dry erase marker.

Love this idea!  I am going to use wet erase markers on my board since I need to travel with it.


Word Fun

open-uri20130123-3309-xm6cz8My mom forwarded me this email a while back and I just came across it again in one of my saved folders.  I had saved it because not only is it beyond clever…I think it would be GREAT to share some of these examples with students.

This is the text of the email:

Homographs are  words of like spelling but with more than one meaning.  
A homograph that is also pronounced differently is a heteronym.

Examples of Heteronyms:
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present. 
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
 11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
 13) They were too close to the door to close it
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?   

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. – Why doesn’t ‘Buick’ rhyme with ‘quick’?

Is your head spinning yet?  So fun!

Monitoring Matters

612179Goal 3 in The Reading Strategies Book is titled: Supporting Print Work: Increasing Accuracy and Integrating Sources of Information.  In the goal’s introduction it states, “Isolated phonics skill work without the application in actual books is shown to be of limited effectiveness” (p. 77).  Effective Word Study therefore needs to incorporate an application component in real reading and writing.

A clever monitoring lesson was recently shared with me to help students think about the importance of reading accurately.  Here is the lesson:

  • Choose a poem to read to the class
  • Ask students to identify words they are not 100% sure about their meaning.
  • Take those words out of the poem and reread it.

This short lesson shows students what happens to their comprehension when they don’t take the time to understand all the words in their reading.  The result is that their comprehension suffers.

The teacher who shared this lesson with me is a 5th grade teacher.   She stated that her team did away with using Words Their Way with their 5th graders because they were not finding it to be beneficial for their population of students.  This year they will be trying a more embedded approach to word study as suggested in the book Word Savy (pictured below).  I found a used copy of this book on Amazon for super cheap ($4) that I plan on purchasing to learn more.

877371If you have read this book let me know what you think!



Recently I cleaned out a corner of the reading cabin at my school and I came across several teacher manuals, student notebooks, magnets, and folders from the Fundations program.  It was apparent that someone had been to a Fundations professional development but it seemed like they did not implement the program upon returning since most of the materials were still sealed in their original wrappers. A quick flip through the materials peaked my interested and so I brought them home for the summer to see what I could learn and possibly use in the future.

Today I began my investigations into Fundations with a skim of the website:

Here is what I learned:

  • It is a division on the Wilson Language Basics for K-3
  • It was created in 1985
  • It is heavy on skills and learning in isolation
  • The length of lessons is 25-30 minutes
  • They use the word DYSLEXIA! (Oh my!)
  • They have a newsletter titled The Decoder (clever!)
  • They have a informational PDs offered as well as certification classes
  • There are several types of information sessions that range from 7-15 hours in length

My interest was peaked until I watched a few of the videos posted on the website:


So, I am not sold on the delivery BUT I do think the CONTENT of how words work might be helpful for teachers like me who plan on digging deeper into word study.  I think the materials are worth exploring further.  The question is how?  Is it worth going to the introduction workshops or can I get out of the program what I need just by looking at the materials I have?

If anyone knows more about the program…please let me know your thoughts!