Welcome!!! I am super to be hosting a back to school photo collage event with Layla from Fancy Free in 4th and Jamie from Diary of a Not So Whimpy Teacher

Planners are my jam. I do not know what I would do if I did not have a planner for every part of my life. Yes, I have 3 planners. One for teaching, one for personal, and one for blogging. The best part about these planners are they are personalized with my creativity. They are a must have in my life.  I have purchased other commercial brands, but this year I created my own. I like to be able to use EVERY last bit of it... pencil marked, post-it marked, and just loved by me. Want to see inside, click here.

Post-it note is my middle name. I use just about every size of post-it note made. My favorite are the light ones to use when planning. Sometimes we have to move around a lesson 3-4 times, so writing on a posty, saves me erasing time. I store my post-it notes in this cute strawberry basket from the @verybusybox from Blair Turner Paper. I also use post-it notes when I am thinking of how many copies I need for each paper. It helps the parents know the routine of front to table, double sided... colored too :)

Every teacher has to have a Tallahassee Design Wooden Plaque. Whenever I stay late at school, I always look up at my Tallahassee Pencil and book and smile. They keep me going. How can they not, they are adorbs! Interested? 

Yes, I am known for giving cookies to teachers, friends, bloggy buddies, and followers. I love designing the perfect cookie with my cookie designer Megan from Bettie's Bake Shop. Exciting news!!! She now ships to anywhere in the United States. PLUS!!! She is offering a 15% discount to all her instagram followers if you order before August 4th. The order can be for anytime during 2015. @bettiesbakeshop
Want to see some cookies she has done for me over the years?

This picture is of my home office decor. I am in a LOVE No.2 pencil phase. Anything with pencils on it, I want it. How can you blame me... No.2 pencils are amazing. Especially Ticonderoga!!! They write like butter. These are a MUST have in my classroom.

Come link up and share your TEACHER FAVES

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Hi Friends,

Here is the periscope update from today! Glad you join in! Open The Magic!!!!

Classroom Tip- Use One Word from Sophia for Persuavive Writing
Use Ninja for Back to School (Learning how friends are a powerful tool)


Amazon Affiliate links used. 

I can't find the Who Was? What Was? Where is? playing cards online. I purchased mine at Barnes N Noble. 

What is your favorite book you have purchased this summer?

I love historical fiction and non-fiction books. I love history as much as I love reading. Well, maybe not as much, but pretty close. Today, I would like to share about several historical books I discussed about on Sunday's periscope. Did you watch?


America The Beautiful has rich colorful illustrations. I love reading this story during our study of the American Revolution. Amazon Affiliate links used.

You know when you read a book and you put it down and then you have a conversation in your head-like Man! That was a great book!??? Yep, that happened to with ALL of these. All four of these books are great for boys and girls.  
*American Revolution

Just Fyi- Right now it's #1 on the NY Best Seller List
*The 60's
*Mature Content (Suggested 5th or 6th)

Brooklyn Bridge
Such a wonderful story about Coney Island, Invention of the Stuff Teddy More and More
A Story about Bravery and Lessons Learned
GREAT for Gold Rush and Figurative Language Instruction
So funny and the kids will learn about the American Revolution 
The Rainforest and More!
Do you know about this series? OMG! It is wonderful. Especially form my 3rd grade teacher followers. The BEST thing about these books is all grade levels can read them and learn new information. A lot of my fifth graders read these books. :)
It all started with WHO IS, but then came Who Was, Where Is and more! My teacher hearts gets so full when I go onto Amazon and see new ones coming out each week! 
Here are some of my favorites:
Who is Jeff Kinney? (Coming Soon..August 18th)
 At the end of the year, I asked my students which books were their favorites from different genres and subjects we had discussed this year. Here are their TOP 5 Historical Picks. If you asked me, I would have picked Sophia's War and Prisoner B-3087. 
Queen of Falls *Currently Out of Stock

 What are your GO TOs for Social Studies in an elementary classroom?

 About Point is one of my favorite quick comprehension strategies while reading. I learned about this strategy during my masters program and have used it ever since. I like this strategy because you use it Before, During, and After reading. To use it before, use the pictures in the book or the information on the back cover.

This is a quick and simple way for students to extract information from the text without getting overwhelmed. Let me show you how it works.

First, give each student a post-it note. After they read a sentence, paragraph, short story, or whole book have them complete the sentence. This seection is about..............; and the point is__________.

Amazon Affiliate Link Is Used
Hello Friends! Happy Monday! Today I am linking up with Tara for Monday, Made It. 

If you are new to Ramona Recommends, you might remember me because I hosted last week's Monday Made It!
Have you heard of Fish in a Tree? OMG, it is one of those books that just makes you come alive. It makes every teacher have goosebumps. This year Fish in a Tree is the Global Read Aloud book choice for the October Kick Off! I will be doing another post this summer all about it! BUT! I made this pledge button, because I believe every teacher should have to read this book. Yes, I want you to read it to your students, but YOU NEED TO READ IT LIKE NOW! :) Take the pledge, download this button on your blog, instagram, classroom website, or whatever. By downloading this button, you are helping to spread the word of Teacher Moments and student triumphs. So many teachers make a difference lets continue to share in the glory.

 The Button I made :) 
Download FREEBIE!
 Buy This BOOK! :)


 Amazon Affiliate Link Provided.

I am so excited because today, I will giving my first professional development about how to make a worksheet, a letter home, or a happy birthday certificate CUTE! I titled my PD, "Cute It Up with, Courtney". The teachers are my school asked during the school year if I could show them a few tips. The excitement has been bouncing off the walls! I made a powerpoint, notes for my guests, and a friend made cookies... you know what cookies I am talking about.... Do you all know Megan from @bettiesbakeshop? She is the one who did my Vegas cookies? She is pretty much AMAZING. Here are some of the slides from tomorrow's presentation.

So thankful that my parents are letting me host at their home. Thank you MD! Thank you to my great friends who donated to my first PD!!!
I might even stream some of this from my periscope!!!!
Do you follow me? @ramonarecommends

While we are on the topic of Kindness this week, I decided to add some new RAK items to my TpT Store. I am really excited about all of them. I am so excited that I even bundled them all right here

My favorite one I created this weekend was my Back To School RAK Guide. 

 Inside you will find books to use, songs to play, and RAK cards for your kids. Lets continue to spread Random Acts of Kindness around our schools. 

Can't wait to see what you made this week! Go Link Up!


Today, I will provide you with 10 WAYS to SHOW YOUR KIDS YOU LOVE TO READ. It all starts with the teacher. Teachers are role models for their students and it is our job to show to led to pick up a good book and OPEN THE MAGIC!

1. What is the TEACHER READING
-During the school year I share with my students what books I am reading. Most of the time, they are children's picture books and chapter books. I love using children's literature through out my day in the classroom so I do A LOT of reading to see how I can fit most books into my curriculum. 
This year I plan to put up a bulletin board entiled What Miss H is Reading. Want to see an example from @Literacy For Big Kids?

My kids know I am OBESSED with Children's Literature. They know I have 1,800 of my own children's literature books sitting in my office. They know I have named my library OPEN THE MAGIC! I want them to know I love love love reading! Want to see my Open the Magic library?




Once a month or weekly I have book chats with my students. I ask them what books they are reading. Sometimes they learn about books quicker than I do. They help me create my know what are the popular books to put on my recommendation lists.  Need More? I have some here too.

Create a Recommendation Wall for the kid to recommend to each other. We all know kids like reading what their peers read. Last year, one boy read Prisoner B-3087 and then all the rest of the boys started to read it. They even had mini book clubs at lunch. My student did a recommendation binder this year called Bubblicious Book Reviews. They were required to write at least 3, but many words 10-15 reviews. 

Show your kids picture of you shopping the Scholastic Warehouse Sale
 Go through the catalog each month and pick 5 books you would recommend. Staple on to catelog sheet and send home.  

Read Alouds are KEY to any classroom instruction. They are just as important as teaching multiplication. Students are able to hear fluent reading, see how to make connections, get lost in the reading, and learn about new books. Speaking of Read Alouds- Take the Pledge! Go to my instagram to get the button! @ramonarecommends All Teachers should read FISH IN A TREE this year. Read it for October's National Read Aloud book. If you can't wait that long (I couldn't) read it yourself. It will make you a better teacher. 

Grab This Button and Put On Your Blog, Insta, in Classroom!
Share how you show your kids you love to read. Come check out my new pinterest board!

Get authors to come to your school! I made my kids wait with me so I could get a selfie and class picture with Jon Scieszka :)





As Always :OPEN THE MAGIC!!!

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