Friday, November 22, 2013

A great middle school giveaway, shout-outs, and the end of the week

Hi everyone,
Kate, from Kate's Science Classroom has joined with Krystal from Lessons from the Middle to give away two $20 shopping sprees to each of their stores.  This is the perfect opportunity for those of us who teach kids in the upper grades!

If you want to get started on TpT or improve your products click here for some tips from top sellers
A very special shout-out to Katie over at Teacher to the Core for her lesson in how to create beautiful covers for things you sell on TpT.    Her lesson, including video, simplified making covers for me.  It used to take me so long to create a cover, because I did it all using Paint.  Her way?  Make it in Powerpoint.  Oh. My. Word.  So much easier!

Here's one that I've started playing with.  It's not finished yet, but it only took me a couple of minutes to create.  I made this Adjective review for my students to use about a month ago, and I've been so busy with other things that I haven't had time to make the cover page and tighten it up a bit.  I've started working on an Adverb review; hopefully that one will come a little more quickly.

Are your students totally into making loom bracelets?  I commented on one a student of mine was wearing, and about an hour later, I found it on my desk.  Totally unexpected!  And very sweet!  This coming Wednesday before Thanksgiving, students will bring in looms to share their skills with each other.  I bought a bunch of bands, and they're going to teach each other how to make different designs.  What a great way to share!

Have a great weekend!  Next week's a short one - have a great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Peak at My Week - dive bombing into the deep end of the pool

I haven't been a very active blogger lately, since getting ready to move has taken up most of my free time.  So I thought I'd link up with Jennifer at Mrs. Laffin's Laughings to take a look at what's in store for this upcoming week.
We're moving into a new theme in Reading and it's one the kids really enjoy.  It's about unsolved mysteries and we'll be reading about Amelia Earhart (her disappearance is still being studied, although researchers might be on to something.)  This is one of my favorite books about her because it presents her honestly and explains how, as a woman, she was so ahead of her times.  And that's something most girls today just take for granted.  

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about one of my classes, which has some weaker students and also a number of English language learners in it.  There's another teacher who helps me and I feel like I've been underutilizing her.  So, as we talked last week, we're going to "divebomb into the deep end of the pool" this week.  I decided to break my class up into three groups and have them rotate through three different activities- one with her (story), one with me (grammar or word work) and one independently - either word work or independent reading.  I want to give these kiddos more attention than I can in a whole group.  I'm excited to see what happens!

Do you regularly do that with your students?  What are the pros and cons?  

Have a great week!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Oh Friday, glorious Friday!

Linking up with Doodlebugs for

#1  Getting ready to move has put a real crimp in my blogging!  And tiptoeing around the house, now that the stagers have been here is kinda funny, and just a little bit weird.  Or, as one of my former students wrote, "weriod."  Okay.  Clearly, she still needs to work on spelling!

So this is what my dining room is supposed to look like.  Right.  I always place my napkins in their wine glasses.  Because I drink wine every night?  C'mon - I can't do that AND grade papers!

Do you like the painting in my family room?  It goes nicely with the colors on my pillows, doesn't it?  
Yeah.  Have no clue where it came from.
And actually, I kind of like it.

#2 I was working with my students on adjectives a couple of weeks back, and put together a packet of activities for them to do around that.  I had been surprised that they'd struggled to identify adjectives in a sentence, so I thought I'd start them out easily.  First, we drew a picture based on a simple sentence.  Then, I elaborated on the sentence and had them draw that.  They were amazed at how differently their pictures turned out.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the power of adjectives.

Now, you ask, where are the pictures?  Pictures, oh......right.  

#3  We spent a lot of time last week and the early part of this week preparing for a theme test, wrapping up our Reading Olympians word work, which, by the way, my kids are loving, and finishing up writing.  Can you tell it's the end of the marking period?  All good stuff - and boy am I glad to be finished with that huge pile of grading.  I don't know how I managed to have so many things due right around the same time.  Oh, and we counted how many books we read this marking period.  77 kids read 638 books!  WOW!

#4  Our iPads arrived.  We were so excited!  Instead of getting 10 per team (we're on teams of three), we got 30.  Cool!  Except that we couldn't download anything on them.  Or sign students on.  Oops!  The tech folks had to come back and reclaim them.  I can't wait to get them back.  I have so many ideas for how I'd like my students to use them.

#5 We start a new Reading theme next week, around unsolved mysteries.  The kids usually love this one, and it's fun to have them all read mysteries during this time.  I don't usually insist that they read the same genre at the same time, but for this theme, I insist that everyone try a mystery book.  Last year, a boatload of kids discovered a new genre to fall in love with! 

And that folks, is about all I can muster right now.  Still more packing to do, and of course, theme tests to grade.  Hold on, while I pull that napkin right out of that ol' wineglass!