Tag Archive: help

Donors Choose

IMG_5130We just had ANOTHER Donor’s Choose project get funded and I wanted to say THANK YOU!  I know several of my readers on here have contributed to the MANY projects we have done and I have to say thank you.  US Cellular’s Calling All Teachers finished the rest of our iPad mini which arrived last week and we have already been able to use the iPads more now that we have 2.  The kiddos are able to use them in pairs to help themselves with some of the word work in group.

I want to do digital writing (based off of Troy Hick’s book Creating Digital Writing: Composing Texts across Media and Genres) and we are looking to add another iPad.  If you want to donate we would LOVE any extra support we could get.  You can find our project here: http://www.donorschoose.org/project/ipad-mini-creating-big-learners-part-2/1390246/?rf=link-siteshare-2014-10-teacher_account-teacher_1951485&challengeid=310126  and until 10/18/14 if you enter code SPARK you can double your donation for us.

Thank you for supporting my school.  Lowell has the HIGHEST dollar amount donated in the entire school district and that’s thanks to many generous donors.

In the last year here is what you have helped Ms. Acuff’s class get…

  • ipad mini $566.00
  • mobile writing $259.00
  • supplies $165.00
  • laptop $407.00
  • furniture $205.00
  • ipad $805.00
  • 5 Kindles $603.00

For a grand total of: $3,010.00 worth of materials to enhance our learning.  THANK YOU!


Lowell Ice Bucket Challenge

We did it!  The Lowell staff was nominated to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket challenge and each staff member was able to have 2 of their kiddos pour the water on us at an all school assembly.  This was a lot of fun for everyone involved, the kids loved it, and it was a great opportunity for the kids of Lowell to get involved in a charity event.  Enjoy our video! 🙂


We have nominated everyone down at ESC (Educational Service Center) to complete the challenge next.

I would say the staff at Lowell is pretty darn cool!  It’s a great day to be a Lowell Cougar!

I have one final Donors Choose project for the school year that will expire on June 2nd.  We have $185 left to go in our project and would love if you could help us cross the finish line before the end of the school year.  We’ve done close to half of our fundraising so we don’t want to lose out on the monies already donated.  (Donations are tax deductible 🙂 )

If you would like to donate even $1 please visit: http://www.donorschoose.org/project/mobile-writers/1169060/?rf=link-siteshare-2014-05-teacher_account-teacherid_1951485&challengeid=310126

Donors Choose & KIA

Hi there–would you be willing to donate to my project to get an ipad for my beginning and struggling readers?  KIA has agreed to pay for half of my project for an ipad for my students to accelerate reading skills. I also qualified for an additional promotion where money is matched. so essentially for every $1 someone donates, KIA and Donors Choose donate $3. Last year I was able to do a lot more with the ipad until budget and staff changes were made and the reading teachers no longer had access to an ipad.   It would help me out tremendously to donate even $1. You have to enter in coupon code ‘inspire’ at the check out to get the donation matched, which they are only offering until Thursday. 

Most of the things I post on my blog are with the help of an ipad.  I would love to be able to continue to share all of our successes with you through your generous donation.

The link to my project is: http://www.donorschoose.org/project/ilearn-with-an-ipad/1059688/?utm_source=FB&utm_medium=FBactivityfeed&utm_content=title&utm_campaign=promo_partial

Choose Your Adventure

IMG_7907Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year!  I am really excited to be back at Lowell again this year for my 5th year!!!  It was SO wonderful to see so many of my students/former students and other Lowell kiddos at back to school night last night and then again this morning.

This year I really hope to get students fired up about reading (even more than I usually hope to get students fired up)  This year I want students to be able to choose their adventure destination with books!

Please contact me if you need any support in helping your child with reading, with book recommendations, or if you have any concerns about your child’s reading progress this year.  I am here for YOU and your CHILD!  Let’s have a great year and get our “read on”!!!

IMG_0104I started a lesson a couple of weeks ago with my 3rd graders asking them to take a post-it note pad and sticky note text features in the book we would be reading for that day.  I had a student immediately say, “What is a text feature?”  Two thoughts came through my mind.  1. I was so happy he was willing to say he was unsure.  2. This is something they study extensively in 2nd grade.  Why was this still unknown?

So in the world of teaching adjusting your plans will happen often.  I had to adjust and we began to talk about text features briefly.  I knew we’d need to come back to this.

Fast forward to last week where I brought it up again.  It was a little more well known, but students didn’t know how they helped them in the books they were reading.  We went over how the features are helpful (as are the 3rd grade classroom teachers)

IMG_0108Today we went through magazines to find the different text features and then wrote about how they could help us as readers.  We made a large chart together (We still have a couple of features to finish writing about).

This ended up being an excellent learning day.  Students were cutting out random things and shouting, “I FOUND ONE!”  I would reply back with, “Well, which one did you find?”  Once they had to really think about it, then they realized it wasn’t really a text feature.

I have to say I was quite impressed with the team work that went into putting this chart together.  My motto is “team work makes the dream work” and students today rose to that quote.  If one student wasn’t sure how it helped, another was there to assist.  They were asking each other for their opinion on what kind of text feature they found and if it fit the criteria we were looking for.  Wow!  Real discussions about literature topics.

Next week I’ll be starting a 3 book non-fiction series with my 3rd graders.  I’m hoping this extra time we took to go over how text features help us will aid in our readings for the next 2 weeks.


It’s inevitable that at some point when your child is reading, he or she will come to a word he/she doesn’t know.  What are some strategies your child should be using?  What are some strategies you could prompt for?

  1. Look at the picture. (Yes, we want your child looking at the picture!  Please don’t cover the picture up.  There are many helpful clues he or she can find from searching the picture!)
  2. Think about the story.  What would make sense here?
  3. Get your mouth ready.  Point and slide your finger under the word.  Then go back and re-read the sentence.
  4. Read to the end of the sentences and then go back and see if you can figure out the word.  Then go back and re-read the entire sentence together.
  5. Try a word!  Does it make sense?  Does it look right?  Does it sound right?
  6. Look for chunks or parts in the word you know!

Encourage your child to try multiple strategies before telling them the word.  If after several attempts at the word and your child is still struggling, give them the word, but run your finger under the word slowly while you tell them.  Most importantly, help make reading fun.