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.

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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)


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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__________.

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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! :)


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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!

When do you use picture books in your classroom? Most people answer during read aloud time. I am proud to say I am a 5th grade teacher and use them ALL the time. My nickname should be 
Miss Picture Book Teacher :)
Whenever I am teaching a new skill, I begin by reading a picture book to my students. PS- I use the word whenever loosely because sometimes I don't have time for a picture book. #sadface #justgottagettothecontent
I use books for every subject- even Math! 
Here is the little script I use:
Today, YOU are going to be investigators and try to guess what is the main idea of the lesson I am going to teach. I am going to read to you a picture book or an excerpt from a chapter book. Each one of these books below I have used or plan to use to begin a lesson. Let me explain a little more! After I read the book, I will discuss what my students think the lesson is about. Then I will teach the lesson. Now, here comes the fun part. At the end of the lesson, we will do another group dicussion-- What did you learn that you can apply from the book. 
Example: The Greedy Triangle
Students learn about different shapes. Students reply- I think we will learn about triangles today. The reason I believe this to be true is..... 
I can connect the book to the lesson by..... 
Sometimes I will have kids go back into the picture book and look for the info. they just learned.

Saving Mr. Terupt (What does GREAT writing look like)
Another Kind of Hurricane (visualization)
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (Show Not Tell Writing. Figurative Language)
I Am Scout (Biography Writing)
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to School (Journal, Writing, Creative Writing)
Pig and Pug (Compare and Contrast)
Something Extraordinary (Character Education)
I'm Not Cute!  (Character Development)
I love doing Book Appetizers because they serve three purposes. 
1. I use to it to preview the skill I am going to teach that day
2. When I read excerpts, I select vivid selections which in turn intrigue my students. #misshinshawonestudentszero
3. It is a review as well. I will have students go into their text and look for figurative language, character development and so on.

ALL of these books are great for good rich writing, illustrations, characters  description and good plots!
 Home- Non-Fiction and Classification

 EVERY Comma lesson NEEDS to use Eats, Shoots and Leaves

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Do you own FISH IN A TREE? No, run to your bookstore and purchase a book that will change your life as a teacher. 

This novel will have all of your students feeling inspired! It reaches children who believe they are nothing and puts them in front of the mirror and gently comforts saying, "You are somebody!"

Grab this freebie and share in the {LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE} love!

Lets let the kids know we understand!

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