Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Proud Teaching Moment….and a Little Freebie

I had one of those moments today,  you know the one I am talking about.  The one that makes your eyes fill up and you can’t even find the words to tell them how proud you are.  I had one. 
We have been working hard on using evidence from the text to support our answers.  (Yes, I am gearing up for full-fledged Common Core next year.)  We have also been working on close reading and reading text for different purposes.  Today we did our 2nd read of Wilbur’s Boast from our reading series.   The students were given a question that they had to answer and they had to show evidence from the text to support their answer.  I was super nervous.  I thought for sure that it would be one of those times I would have to really spoon feed them and we all would end up frustrated.
We did a quick review of showing evidence by making this anchor chart.
Evidence anchor chart
As we reread the text, the students used sticky notes to “stop and jot,” spots where they found evidence to support their answers.  Afterwards, we talked about how to take their “stop and jot,” notes and use the sentence starters to write an answer to the question.
It was when they started finishing up their responses and bringing them to show me that my moment occurred.  I couldn’t believe the responses I was reading.  They were so well thought out.  They had actual evidence, that actually supported their answer! 
I made this rubric to use to grade their responses.  You are welcome to download it for free!  Just click the picture and it will take you to it!
This week we also have been working on the prefixes re-, un-, dis-, and pre-.  We made this anchor chart.
Prefixes anchor chart
Then we did a little cooperative learning activity using the prefix cards in my spring centers pack.
You can check out my “Bring on Spring,” centers by clicking the picture below.
I will close with this little gem.  As you may already know, my family is pretty much basketball obsessed.  March Madness is like some crazy holiday in our house!  I always love when I have a student who loves basketball as much as I do.  As I was grading vocabulary sentences this week, I came across this…..
Aaron Craft sentence
It is sentence #3.  “Aaron Craft wasn’t boasting after he made the winning shot of the game.”  Love it!  Melt my heart, this kiddo shares my love for college basketball and Aaron Craft! 
I may or may not have Ohio State winning it all in my bracket…I’m just sayin’. 
Go Buckeyes!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Five For Friday…Spring Break Edition

I am so excited to be on Spring Break and be able to get my Five for Friday done and FINALLY crack the first 100! 
Here is some randomness from this glorious week of beautiful spring weather, all of my nieces and nephews in town, and no school!
1.  I was able to work on some centers for spring finally.  My kiddos have been asking! You can check them out at my TpT store.
2.  We had some family pics taken while my sisters and their families were in town.  I can’t wait to see how they all turned out.  I snapped these over the photographers shoulder.
family pic

3.  We went hiking on the “Memorial Trail.”  It is a trail that honors the soldiers that fought in the Vietnam War.  My uncle has a plaque along the trail and we wanted to get a picture for my grandma with all the kids visiting the plaque.
4.  I am obsessed with  2 new products from Garnier.  Loving their oil-free BB Cream and the Anti-Dark Circle Roller!

5.  Spring Break is now winding down and I have been thinking more and more about school and how much work we still have to do.  I have spent a lot of time on TpT, pinterest, and stalking my favorite blogs looking for lots of good test prep ideas.  It’s that time again!
I would love to hear any great ideas you have to get your kiddos pumped and motivated for testing time! 
Happy Friday everyone!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Break……Time For Some Catching Up!

Buckle up folks, it’s going to be a long one!  Spring Break is finally here and I couldn’t be more excited!  I finally finished my Spring themed centers….my class has been begging for them!  Here they are…….
Of course everything is Common Core aligned!  Check them out at my TpT store!
In other news….we did one of my most favorite writing lessons EVER before leaving for break!  It is by the amazing Abby Mullins.  Check it out HERE.
Every year I look forward to this week of writing.  This year, however, was one of my favorites.
#1: I always love watching the reactions of the kiddos who have never had Pop Rocks before!
#2:  This year I had the BEST simile ever written about Pop Rocks.  Keep reading to see it!
I started the week by torturing them with a gift that they weren’t allowed to open.  They had to first describe the gift bag and write some descriptive sentences about it.
The next day, they opened their gift and the Pop Rockin began!  We made a few anchor charts and talked about writing descriptively. 
Anchor Chart1Anchor Chart2
Day 3, we got down to the business of writing similes.  The Pop Rocks exploded in my mouth like……  My ALL-TIME FAVORITE……an angry mom!  I just about lost it when my little lovely raised her hand and said that!  It is nice to know that I am not the only mama out there who can lose it from time to time!
Pop Rocks2
Pop Rocks1
I am telling you, if you don’t already own Abby’s Pop Rockin Writing pack, do yourself a favor and hop on over to TpT and pick it up.  Best time and money ever spent!  My kiddos LOVE it every year!  And we already had to talk to 2nd grade about not stealing it!  They are just a little jealous that we found it first!
Spring Break is finally upon us!  My WHOLE family is in town.  My sister and her family flew in from Tennessee for the week and my baby sister is up from Tucson.  It is going to be cousin filled. 
Spring Break1

A little game playing!
Spring Break2
And of course some baby lovin’!  These are my newest niece and nephew. 
Happy Spring everyone!

Monday, March 4, 2013

My New Favorite Spot in Our Room

Back in the fall, we had a big school wide fun run fundraiser.  Ten percent of the money our class raised went directly back to our classroom.  Let me just tell you that this could be the most competitive class I have ever had.  If there has been a competition for it, my class has won it.  So, we raised quite a bit of money and got quite a bit back to spend on our room.  We brainstormed some ideas and voted to revamp and refresh our classroom library.  New baskets (the old ones were breaking), a new labeling and organizing system (I let them vote since they use it) and new books ( a huge order to Scholastic!).  Our library has now become my new favorite spot in our room.  I just love the way it turned out.
I had to get one closer up so you could see the empty basket.  My class is in love with the Wayside School books by Louis Sachar.  They are my favorite read-alouds and they just can’t get enough of them.  I ordered several copies of each of the three books in the book order and they are all gone right now!  I love that they are so excited about books!
I am curious, how do you organize and manage your library?  I am thinking of trying the “Book Retriever,” app on my classroom ipod.  Has anyone used it?  Thoughts?
Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

March Currently!

I can’t believe it is time for Currently again!  Time is flying, which stresses me out.  I have so much to teach still.  On the other hand, that means it will be Spring break before I know it…woohoo!

March Currently

Listening……to the Bible miniseries on the History Channel and to my husband explaining the story of Sarah and Abraham to my daughters. He is such a great dad!

Loving……We went shopping today for my daughter’s 8th grade promotion dress.  I am not sure if 8th grade promotion is strictly and Arizona thing or not.  Where I grew up back east we didn’t do anything for 8th grade promotion, we just went to high school.  Here is Az, they have a promotion ceremony and dance.  Shopping for an age appropriate dress for a 14 year old during prom season…..not easy!

Thinking……That I should be working on my Ecosystems unit.  I have some things that I need to put together and type up for next week.  I am thinking about putting it up on TpT when it is all finished….we’ll see.

Wanting…..Spring Break is coming and so are both of my sisters and their families.  It will be cousin craziness around here.  One is coming from Tennessee with her 4 kiddos and one from 2 hours south of me with her 2.  It is going to be a “Conner filled,” week as my husband calls it.

Needing……To shop for the clothes for our family pics.  My sisters picked a color scheme and I need to find some clothes for it!

This last part was hard with a name that starts with a J!  So, like…..Justin Timberlake.  I will watch any movie that boy is in.  He is so talented.

Love….Java.  Coffee keeps me going.  I look forward to the morning so I can have a cup.  I even prefer my own home brewed cup with my Kroger Crème Brulee creamer over a Starbucks!

Hate…..”Jerky” people.  I truly dislike people that are mean.

My goal for next month…..get my currently done right away and be in the 2 digit numbers, or at least in the 100s. Smile

Hope everyone has a great week!