Saturday, March 1, 2014

Late Night Teacher Feature

Being a teacher is so rewarding, yet at times it can be so difficult.  Aside from their day to day lessons, teachers attend meetings, talk with parents, fill out paper work, create materials, grade papers, and plan. Often times it seems as though the list of things to do is never-ending.

Today, several of my blogger friends are taking time out to recognize how hard teachers work.  We have had the amazing opportunity to get to know one another, share ideas, and learn from each other.   Today is our day to "feature" other teachers and recognize their amazing work!

INTRODUCING... *drum roll, please*

Carla from Comprehension Connection!

From traveling to reading, Carla and I have so much in common.  We both started blogging around the same time and quickly became blogging buddies.  Not long ago, we teamed up with other bloggers who shared our passion for reading.  From that group of bloggers, a new collaborative blog was born, Adventures in Literacy Land.  I'm so grateful for the friendships we've formed along the way.

Here are a few snippets from a Question & Answer session with Carla...
"This is my 23rd year of teaching.  I have worked in a range of grades.  I started off in upper elementary, and when my oldest child was born, I was moved to first grade.  It was a challenging year, but I ended up loving first grade.  To this day, it is my favorite grade to teach.  After my second child was born, I took a year off with her.  When I returned to work, I came back as the technology specialist and worked half days in Title 1.  I loved teaching reading and decided to start a master's program.  I would say my specialty is comprehension and writing."
"I knew from early on that I wanted to work with children.  I started off in pre-med with plans to be a pediatrician.  After my first year of college, I decided that helping children when they're well might be more enjoyable.  I had so much fun in my practicum experiences that I knew right away teaching was a good fit.  I student taught in 3rd and 5th grades, so it wasn't until my son was born that I had my first primary experience.  Honestly, I am in the best position now working as a reading specialist, because I teach all grades.  Teaching reading is just the best."
"I really enjoy teaching writing, and that goes back to the years in first grade.  Even before beginning my master's program, I had my students writing a lot.  In first grade, I used framed paragraphs, prompts, and word banks along with lots of shared writing.  I went through a chart tablet per month practically.  In the upper grades, I've enjoyed using the Six Traits to finally have specific language to explain to students how to write.  I've really enjoyed selecting mentor texts to fit the topics and traits we've focused on."
"I've been married to the same person for almost 24 years.  We have a senior in high school, Sam, and a fifth grader, Catherine.  We enjoy traveling, and we're originally from Iowa.  We've had several very enjoyable family trips including San Francisco, Vancouver, Cape Cod, and to Disney of course!  I am involved with my church where I play in the handbell choir (and love it!), and I enjoy a good movie and relaxing with a book...preferably near the beach!"

Just for fun, I thought I would share a three of Carla's "blockbuster hits".

I was difficult to choose just one breathtaking post.  Carla's blog is entitled Comprehension Connection, so I thought it was only fitting that I select a post on comprehension.  In her post, Comprehension Strategy Linky, Carla shares two awesome activities for building comprehension in reading.  What I love most about this post is that she invites others to link up their favorite strategies for building comprehension, so readers walk away with several activities to use in their classrooms.  

One of Carla's premiere products is her Patricia Polacco Guided Reading Author Study. This unit includes materials for twelve of Polacco's books including Thank You Mr. Falker, Mr. Lincoln's Way, Chicken Sunday, Thunder Cake, My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother, and The Keeping Quilt. This pack focuses on comprehension skills, written responses, and vocabulary.  Check it out, you'll be glad you did!

I love Carla's Guided Reading Unit for A Tree Is a Plant by Clyde Bulla. This fantastic freebie would work well for guided reading instruction or to supplement a science unit on plants. The materials are presented in a before, during, after format.  The skills include vocabulary, KWL, main idea, visualizing, summarizing, and questioning.  Hurry and snatch this unit up!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my teacher friend and blogging buddy, Carla.  You can visit her blog {here}.   Then, click on the links below to meet a few other great teachers.  :)


  1. Thank you so much, Wendy, for this sweet post. I really appreciate your kindness, and I am looking forward to reading the other posts. :-)

  2. I love the Comprehension Strategy Linky post! It is so much fun to learn about everyone.