July Favorites

Hey hey! I hope you've had a great July.  Summer is winding down for us, and I'm starting to get a little panicky about BTS time.  Mostly about getting out of bed at a reasonable hour.
July Favorites-road tripping, an AMAZING book, a printable freebie, and more.
This post contains affiliate links which means Amazon tosses me some change whenever someone makes a purchase through one of these links and allows me feed my book habit!

Here are a few things I've been loving this month.


Day tripped with my momma! We hit the road and headed to Waco to visit The Silos.  It was incredible.


Everything there done in a way that is beautiful, on brand, and makes my Type A heart sing.  It's basically the Disneyworld of shopping expeditions.  Just like everything else there, their cupcakes were amazing.


I read my first Colleen Hoover book.  And wow.


This one will keep you thinking for days.  I can't believe how good it was.  It Ends with Us is one that needs to go on your TBR list.


I took my first trip to Disneyland this month and got to share that day with these ladies!! We had an amazing time.


I think I even like Disneyland better than Disneyworld.  It's so much more "doable".  The fact that it wasn't 1,000º in July helped, too.


We got another to do project off the list!  There was nothing technically wrong with our fireplace tile except it was super blah.


They're actually coming back next week to add the trim pieces, but I'm already in love with it.


I've been wanting to visit Bless Your Heart in San Antonio forever.  I follow their shop on Instagram, and they have THE CUTEST clothes.

Maybe don't go for the first time with your daughters.  We spent a little more than I planned.  But we're darling now.


We're wrapping up our month of fun and heading into a hard month.  My older daughter is having surgery.  On the first day of school.  Not only will she miss the first day of school, but we'll miss my younger daughter's first day of junior high.  My momma heart is aching that I can't be in two places at once.  But, I'm holding this verse close to my heart.
Free printable: Don't worry about anything. Instead pray about everything.
I definitely haven't moved from all worrying to all praying, but I'm reminding myself to turn to that when the worry gets heavy.  If you've got a worry on your heart, you can click here to download the print, and post it in a place that will remind you.

Let's Talk About Levels . . . .

I've shared on the blog and my Instagram feed before about my love for this book:

How to use a deeper understanding of guided reading levels to support student growth without defining kids by a level label.

One of the reasons I love The Literacy Continuum so much is the demystifying of guided reading levels.  This takes the understanding of levels from more words/harder words to building an understanding of the actual reading process that happens for readers.  As a reading teacher, it helps me understanding why things start to fall apart so quickly for students as they get older when we have only had a more words/harder words focus.

This post contains affiliate links which means Amazon tosses me some change whenever someone makes a purchase through one of these links and allows me feed my book habit!

How to use a deeper understanding of guided reading levels to support student growth without defining kids by a level label.

I love this section.  I wish it was available separately because it would be so valuable to have next to you while planning lessons.  I *MIGHT* have even emailed Heinemann to see if it could be published as a stand alone resource.  Here's a sneak peek:


I love levels!  But there's a big asterisk on that love.


Using levels as a tool for helping us understand how to support readers is not the same as using them as a student's identity.

I saw this on Facebook one day from Kylene Beers and was immediately horrified.


I was so horrified because I did this.  I talked about kids this way.  I was not using levels as a way to understand reading development but to define readers.

If you see this in yourself, here are a few (super short) resources to help you think more deeply about it.

This is the original post from Kylene Beers connected to that image.

And here is a post from the Fountas and Pinnell Community Blog that sums it up beautifully.  It is titled, "A Level is Teacher's Tool, NOT a Child's Label"


Circling around to where we began with The Literacy Continuum, deeply understanding levels of progression for readers becomes even more important because it allows us to speak with parents, students, colleagues, and even ourselves about reading behaviors vs a label that has no meaning to those outside of the education profession.

This school year I challenge you to make a mental shift from thinking and talking about levels and transition to discussing reading behaviors of your students instead.

July Desktop

Happy July to you!  The first of July is a little bittersweet.  Because we start school in mid August, I know once July is over we'll be back in the craziness that is the school year.  BUT for now, July is all ice cream and summertime and fun.


Grab this sweet background by clicking here or on the image below.  How cute is that ice cream background from Hello Talli???


Hope you have a wonderful July!