Saturday, November 29, 2014

Good writing follows good reading?

Did you have a good Thanksgiving?  Are you still enjoying the bliss of a much-needed longer break this Fall?  I know I am!  

I've been using the CAFE model in my classroom for almost a year now, and while I really like it in theory, it's proven harder this school year, since we're using a new Reading anthology.  Which one?  Are any of you using Wonders, by McGraw-Hill?  Wow, oh wow!

I really believe that if my students can master this, any Common Core testing will seem like a piece of cake.  But there is a learning curve to this.  By the end of the year, they should be pretty good.  Right now?  Well, they're getting better.

We've had quite a few conversations about stretching our brains and making them work harder, just like exercising any other muscle.  Bless their hearts, they are hanging in there with this.  But let me say, it is NOT easy.

Is anyone else out their using this series?  How do you teach your students to analyze the way they're expected to?

Because this series is so intense, I allow students more time for creative writing during CAFE's Write To Self, something they seem to really appreciate.  I just had a half-dozen students enter the 'Wild Jungle Writing contest" through Amazing Kids magazine.  Sorry, the deadline for that one is right now :( .  I wasn't so quick about getting that information out.

But there's a pretty cool one being sponsored through Scholastic that's worth taking a look at!  I have quite a few students girls working on poetry and essays for this one.
 And finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the TpT sale that starts in two days.  Here's the link to my store if you want to take a look.

Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving break!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

It's November. Time for Currently

I happened up Kim's post at Finding Joy in Sixth Grade which makes me want to say, "Yeah.  What she said."

As little as I've been blogging lately, there's something about Farley's Currently that warms my heart and makes me feel welcomed back into this wonderful blogging community.  Lots has happened to take me away from blogging - three deaths in my family (I know, right?  Can we stop this trend already?), lots of new stuff at school, some fun weekends away from home.

But Farley comes through consistently month after month, and I return, just to share in the love!  So here goes....
Glenn's down in the basement working on some long overdo projects and I'm up here working on the computer.  No idea who's playing but it's a quiet background sound that tells me he's happy and busy!

We've had a lot of stuff the last month or so, and most of it's been good.  But after being away from home for a couple of weekends, I was SOOOO ready to come home and just putter around here.  Other than a fun get-together on Friday evening (with flashlights and glow sticks!) and church this morning, the pace for the rest of the weekend was ours.  YAY! 

I had to spend a couple of hours yesterday tracking all of my students' data.  There's good stuff there, don't get me wrong.  But I'd rather be planning what I'm going to teach, or coming up with an engaging lesson.  Just sayin'.....

After my older brother and sister passed away this year, I decided to take a close look at how I was eating and what that might be doing to my health.I met with a health coach over the summer and pretty much have said goodbye to refined sugar (actually not as hard as I thought) and wheat (a little more challenging, but there are lots of creative solutions out there).  It made a big difference in how I felt and when I got my blood test results last week, all my numbers had moved significantly!  Yay for healthy eating!

Have to admit I've been following more blogs about that than about teaching lately, but now that I've found a rhythm with that, I should be back to blogging again.

Have a great Monday, everyone!