Sunday, June 1, 2014

Currently June!!!

Holy Cow...I made it this month!!!  I didn't forget!  It's June 1st and that means it's time to link up with Farley for her monthly addition of Currently!!

Listening: I'm really lucky to have a husband who is OCD and can't stand to keep a messy house.  YAY, me!

Loving: 3 1/2 more days with the kiddos...I can do this!!

Thinking: My to-do list is VERY long with things that I have to wrap up before I have to turn in my keys for the LAST time at my current school!  I'm opening a brand new school with former principal.  I'm sad to leave my current team because they are AWESOME, but excited for my new adventure.

Wanting: I'm lucky enough to currently work in a portable building, so that means I can go up anytime I want.  I've spent the last 4 weekends in my classroom packing and moving stuff home.  Sadly, I still have a little more packing/moving to do.

Needing: I need more energy!!  I just started Plexus...anyone else?  My friend swears by it and she told me that it gave her lots of energy.  I hope it starts kicking in sometime soon!

Bucket List: This is the 2nd year that I'll be meeting up with my girlfriend from college to spend 4 days at Crystal Beach (near Galveston).  I'm super's girls only (no husband or kids).  Next, I'm taking my daughters to Sea World in San Antonio. Again...girls only (little girls).  Sea World runs a special that offers a free Fun Card to certified Texas Teachers & this year they have a Preschool Fun Card for kids 3-5 for free.  Basically, I only have to pay for my oldest daughter...not a bad deal!  I think on our way to San Antonio, we are going to stop off at the Natural  Bridge Caverns because I've never been. Finally, the whole family is headed to Florida to see Mickey & Minnie!!!  We are going to spend 5 days in New Symrna Beach with my husband's family before heading to Disney.  We are excited!!

Until next time...

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Spark Student Motivation-Glow stick Friday

It's been FOREVER since I've linked up with Joanne for Spark Student Motivation.  Ok, it's been a long time since I blogged PERIOD.

You may remember a few months back I blogged about how to motivate my students to read independently  by introducing Flashlight Friday.  If you missed it, please click here to read about it.
So, it's the end of the year and at this point...I'm just trying to survive!!!  Yesterday was our LAST Friday of the year.  The kiddos last day is next Thursday, but I go through next Friday.

Anyway, my students love Flashlight Friday!!  But most of the flashlights are DEAD and I need new batteries.  I could easily go pick up a few batteries & mini-flashlights, but let's be honest...I'm done!!

My daughter had a party at one of those inflatable zones, but I paid extra to have a Glow-in-the-dark Jump Party.  Now, it only includes 1 glow stick per child, so I decided to go buy a bunch at the dollar store.  As it turns out, I didn't need the extra glow sticks.  Now, I'm stuck with an enormous amount of glow sticks!! What am I going to do?? This is where I get the idea to use those glow sticks instead of flashlights. 

Introducing....GLOW STICK FRIDAY!!!

Alright, I had a few that just had fun playing with the glow sticks, but it's the end of the year!!  My passionate readers really did read and enjoyed the glow sticks.

Countdown...3 1/2 more days (with my students)!!!!

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Julian Chapter

I know, I'm the worst blogger EVER! However, I just had to share this news with you! If you loved Wonder by: RJ Palacio, then you have to get her newest book....The Julian Chapter

It's not very long...less than 100 pages. I'm currently reading it to my class and it's amazing how engaged they are in the book. They can actually sit for 45 minutes while I read it and are disappointed when I stop.

If you're like me, you probably weren't a fan of Julian! However, it's interesting to see things from his point of view. The jury is still out on whether or not I'll end up liking him, but my opinion is slightly changing.

Now it's only available as an ebook, but I just downloaded it to my iPad.

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Currently March

Wow! It's the first of the month and time to link up with Farley @ Oh Boy 4th Grade!

Listening: I missed one of my favorite shows! I have to catch up!

Loving: 1 more week until Spring Break...Nuf said!

Thinking: Really? We have Open House the Thursday before Spring Break. Also, our school was so lucky to be picked to participate in our state's writing field test. Yes, a "practice" test one month before they have to take the writing test that actually counts. Brilliant!

Wanting: I need more hours in the day! I'm so far behind that I'm neglecting lots of things my blog!

Needing: To Spring clean my classroom before Thursday, but I can't start until after the field test on Monday. Plus, I need to organize the girls clothes from Winter to Spring. 

?????: The answer is IPad, coffee, and Mr. Sketch. What's the question?

Until the next time...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pop Poetry!

I AM still here!  Sorry, but I've been very preoccupied with some MAJOR changes going on at my school.  More on that to come when it's been finalized!

Anyway, I wanted to share with you something I did with my class to introduce poetry.  We usually always start with reviewing figurative language and I found this cool youtube video that plays clips of songs that include similes and metaphors.

No, I did NOT create this video, but big thanks to the teacher that did because the kids had fun with it!

I started by giving the kids an index card. On one side they wrote "simile" and on the other side "metaphor". We quickly reviewed similes and metaphors with a few examples.  Next, I played the video and stopped after each song.  The students had to hold up their card indicating if that was an example of a simile or metaphor.

The next day,we talked about how song lyrics are just poems put to music.  Similes and metaphors are not meant to be taken literally, but figuratively and what we refer to as figurative language.  

So, I gave the students a copy of the song lyrics to The River by: Garth Brooks.  I asked the students to highlight or underline any similes & metaphors found in the song.  Afterwards, we discussed the meaning of those similes and metaphor. What was the author really trying to say? What is the theme of the song?

Overall, they did a pretty good job!  I did have to remind one class that the song included figurative language and it really wasn't about a guy sailing his ship down a river.

If you are interested in a copy of the lyrics, please click here.

I've also included a video of Garth Brooks playing the song "The River". 

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tried it Tuesday-Experiements in Reading

It's been a while, but I tried something new and thought it would be the perfect time to link up with Holly @ Fourth Grade Flipper!

We are working on procedural texts, so I decided to give the kids a little science experiment.  Does an orange float or sink?  I gave each table the materials and instructions.  They had to follow the steps in the experiment and write what they observed.  Here are a few pictures...

Afterwards, we had a brief discussion about density and how the peel contains air pockets which helps give the orange a lower density than water and the orange will float. When the peel is removed from the oranges its density is higher than water & it sinks to the bottom.

Next, I gave the students a group assignment.  They had to teach the class "how to" do something.  I explained that they couldn't go out and buy anything to complete their "How to".  It must be something they could do using the materials within the classroom.  I gave them a few ideas like...a dance move, paper airplane, origami star, throwing a football (thank goodness no one did that one!)

Here are a few of the "How to" posters they came up with...

The students quickly realized that they were missing a few key important details like materials they need and steps that were missing.  I explained to them that they had to think of their "audience".  It's easy for them to do these things because they know how to do them, but what about those people who didn't know how to do it?

Overall, they did a great job and had a good time doing it!  There was one group who created a "how to" do the hokey pokey.  It was so hilarious!  I even had a few kiddos who hadn't heard or done the hokey pokey, so of course we all had to get up and do the hokey pokey!

If you're interested in trying out the orange experiment, you can download a copy by clicking here!

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Currently January!

Wow!  Where did December go?  I managed not to post anything the ENTIRE month of December!  I was super busy.  I need to get better!

So, it's the 1st and that means it's time to link up with Farley for Currently!

Listening: I'm not much of a football fan, it's just background noise.

Loving: My sweet husband bought me a new mini ipad for Christmas!  He even included the keyboard...I'm using it right now!

Thinking: I really need to blog more...especially since this is my first post in over a month!

Wanting: I really wish I had more time off.  It's been nice, but spent most of the break with Christmas set up and clean up.

Needing: Grades are due for report cards when I return on Monday at noon.  I still have one more assignment to grade and input before I'll be ready to submit.

Memory/Tradition: In years past, we've always spent Christmas Eve at my mother-in-law's house, but with people traveling we celebrated early. So, my husband and I decided to drive to College Station, Texas to Santa's Wonderland.  It was great and NOT crowded at all.  I'd heard the horror stories of waiting in 2 hr lines for the hayride through the lights, but Christmas Eve is the night to go!  I think we are going to make this our new tradition!

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