Friday, May 31, 2013

Five for Friday

Happy Friday everyone!  I survived another week.  Only 1more week left before summer vacation.  That's 5 days, 35 school hours, 2,100 minutes, 126,000 seconds!  Can you tell how excited I am? Although I am definitely ready for summer break, I will miss mu students.  This was a rough year, but I will miss each and everyone of them.

Since it's Friday I am linking up with Doodle Bug Teaching for her weekly Five for Friday linky party.  (This is the first time in about a month I have actually posted on a Friday.)

This was a great week so here we go.

1.  Book Drive
About 6 weeks ago, my school initiated a Book Drive with the hopes of collecting enough books to send 5 books home over the summer with each student.  We sent flyers home with students, placed boxes around the building, and reached out to the community and our friends and families.  After all of the books were collected and counted we had a grand total of over 6,000 books.

This week, each teacher "shopped" for the books for their students.  We are going to have a Summer Reading Kickoff Assembly next Wednesday and students will receive their books then.

Here are the carts of selected books ready to be delivered.

After all 36 teachers had shopped for books, there are still a lot of books left over.  Therefore, students will be able to take home two extra books.

I'm super excited to pass them out next week.

2.  Puzzles
After testing each year I pull out puzzles for my students to work on.  This year the selected a puzzle of all the  Disney villains.  Here is our progress.

3. Summer School
I was interviewed and hired to teach summer school this summer.  I'll be teaching a third grade transition class.  Ideally I'd love to take the summer off but since that's not possible, I'm happy I'm working with an age group that I love.

4.  Third Grade
Speaking of third grade.....It's finally official,  I'll be teaching third grade next school year.  Words can't express how excited I am.  Third grade is where my heart is and I can't wait until next year.  I do have a lot of work to do over the summer to prepare for the change of grade level but it will be well worth it.

5.  IPad
My district is starting a new program to test the reading levels of our students in grades K-3. In order to use the program we have to use Ipads.   We are all required to go to a training this summer, which means that the Ipads had to be issued prior to vacation.  I received mine yesterday.  Although it technically belongs to my district, I am allowed to use it personally too.  I love that I have the entire summer to learn how to use it.  However, I did allow a few of my students use it today.  Here they are working on it instead of playing at recess today.

Now I need some help from you.   What are some free apps that you use on your iPad?  I'm looking for both professional and personal suggestions.  Thanks in advance.

I'm off to enjoy a relaxing weekend before a hectic last week of school.  There's so much paperwork and packing that needs to be done but I also want to spend the last few days enjoying the time with my scholars.  I'll have to find the balance.

Don't forget to join the party by stopping by Doodle Bug Teaching to link up.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Five for Friday

Happy Saturday!  This week has been crazy busy and I got home yesterday and passed out so I completely forgot about creating this post.  I also never wrote a Five for Friday post last week so I'm combining the last two weeks in this post.

So even though it is Saturday, I'm linking up with Doodle Bug Teaching for Five for Friday (two week edition).

1.  Testing, Testing, Testing
We took our End of Grade Tests this week. Reading was Tuesday, math was Wednesday, and science was Friday.  For the most part, my students worked really hard on their tests and I'm extremely proud of their hard work.  Unfortunately we won't find out how well they did until October.   Fortunately I don't have to see the disappointed faces when delivering bad news of any students who may not have passed.

Now testing is over and its time to have some fun and enjoy the last two weeks of school.

2.  Puzzles

After testing each year I always pull out some puzzles.  This year was no different.  I pulled out the puzzles yesterday afternoon.  This one is a compilation of all the Disney villians.  There were about 6 kids working on it and they loved it.  Unfortunately we will be working on this puzzle blind, I can't find the picture of the puzzle so it may be a little difficult.  I love doing puzzles so I love sharing this love with my students.

3.  End of School Year Activities
This week my team and I planned the end of year activities for our fifth graders.  Activities include  staff vs. fifth grade soccer game, fifth grade dance, talent show, and fifth grade promotion ceremony.  There are a few other activities but thankfully my team isn't in charge of those.

4.  Mother's Day Weekend
I know this was two weeks ago but I wanted to share my weekend with my mom.  This yearwas the first ttime in about 10 years that I spent Mother's Day with my mom.  It was an amazing weekend and I'm glad she was able to come visit me that weekend.  I don't get see her as much as I'd like to so any time I get to spend with her I
is great.  Here's a picture of my mom and I when I was 4 years old.

5. Now for the best news of the week...
My principal has been working on grade level placements for next year. And I'm finally getting my preference. I'll be teaching 3rd grade next year and I'm extremely excited about it.  I already have so much floating around in my head that I want to do next year.  I've learned a lot while teaching fifth the last four years but my heart is truly in third and I'm happy to be returning.

Well that's my Friday five. I'm ready to enjoy the long weekend and then the final 9 days of the school year.  Don't forget to stop by Doodle Bug Teaching to link up.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Five for Friday

I know it is Saturday and I'm a little late but yesterday was pretty busy.  (I'll explain later.)  So now it's time for my weekly Five for Friday with Doodle Bug Teaching.

1.  Teacher appreciation week waFriday and I really did feel appreciated.  I hope everyone enjoyed their week as well.  As part of Teacher Appreciation week, we had a drawing for massages. A massage therapist will be at our school next Tuesday and only 15 teachers won a twenty minute massage.  I was one of the lucky 15.  I'm super excited about it.

2.  I've mentioned before that I have had a lot of behavior issues in my class this year.  Let's just say that I have a very needy class this year and it has been a struggle.  Well,  yesterday a student surprised me.  He brought me this watch.

It's hard to tell from this picture but there is no glass on the face of the watch and the hands don't work.  But this was the most precious gift I received this week.  This child and i have a long way this year and this present symbolizes the hard work that we have both put in this year.  He was so proud when put it on and wore it the entire day, even though it was my least favorite color.  And I plan to wear it for the next 19 days as well.

3.  Wednesday we had our final orchestra concert.  I'm so proud of thr 2nd-5th graders who played.  Here are pictures of some of our violinists and our bucket band.

Three of my students are in the orchestra.  Their playing has come so far this year.  I'm so proud of their musical growth.

4.  My school is holding a book drive wirh the attempt to send five books home with every child over the summer.

One of our teacher assistants told her mom about the drive and she jumped in to help.  She held a drive at her school in Mississippi and they were able to donate almost 3,500 books.  Rhe books were delivered on Friday morning.  With that donation and what we have collected at our school, we are extremely close to our goal.

5.  My mom is visiting me for the weekend.  This is why this post is late.  Last night I had to finish cleaning my house and then headed to the airport to pick her up.  We had a great day today and I'm looking forward to enjoying the day with her tomorrow as well.  I don't get ro spend as much time with her as I would like so I will cherish every moment while she is here while celebrating her for Mother's Day.  Here's a picture of us goofing off today.

Well, that's my five random things from this week.  I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the weekend and Happy Mother's Dat!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Five for Friday

Happy Friday!! Two more weeks until testing and onl. 5 more weeks until summer. This was a strange week so I'm glad it's ovet but we did have some fun along the way.

Therefore, I back to share five random things from my week by linking up with Doodle Bug Teaching for Five for Friday.

1.  This week was spirit week at my school.  On Wednesday we had Bring a Stuffed Animal to School Day.  Here are the stuffed animals brought in by students.

All but 5 of my students brought in a stuffed animal.  I lent out the rest.  (I'm a bit of a collector.) The Cincinnati Bengal bear up front was my contribution.  The students kept their friends with them all day, except for lunch and recess.  There's nothing like a line of fifth graders walking down the hall with stuffed animals.  I loved it.

One of my students wanted his animals to read for themselves.

So cute.

2. Thursday was Wacky Tacky Day. Here is my outfit for the day.

3-5. We've been in test prep hell all week. (I obviously hate testing.) Therefore I try to do many activities yo break up the test prep.

3. We did a sort of gallery walk to work on math problems. Several problems were posted on the wall. The kids walked around the room and solved them.

It's funny how allowing them to wonder room makes solving math problems more fun.

4. I also pulled out the tangrams for the first time. They got a kick out of making the different shapes.

5.  We made acrostic poems using our names to give test taking tips.  They turned out really good.

I originally saw this idea here.

Well,those are some of the highlights from my week.  I'm glad the weekend is here.  Don't forget to stop by Doodle Bug Teaching to join in on the fun and share your five random things.

P.S.  I just realized that this is my 50th post. I can't believe it's been that many.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Favorite Reading Group Book

Happy Wednesday! I can't belbook  it is already May.  Only 12 more school days before End of Grade testing begins and only 26 more days of school.  I can't believe we are so close to the end.

Since we are still in full test prep mode, things have been really busy but I'm still finding time for small groups to participate in book clubs.  Therefore, I'm linking up withJessica from Ideas by Jivey for her weekly Workshop Wednesday.

A few years ago, I read the book Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan for a grad school class.  I instantly fell in love with the book.  It's about a little girl who lived in a wealthy Mexican community with her parents and grandmother.  They had servants who took care of their every needs and Esperanza gets what ever she wants.  Then tragedy strikes and he r father is killed.  Her entire life gets turned upside down.  Esperanza, her mother, and their former servants must flee the country to America and become migrant workers.  The book focuses on her struggle to adapt to het new life in America.  This book is great for theme and context clues.  I've read this book with my highest reading group for the last three years.

This year I decided to do an author study on Pam Munoz Ryan.  I wanted to allow my students to discover the connection between the various books by an author.  So I had them read Becoming Naomi Leon which was another greay book about a little girl of Hispanic decent who had to relocate and learn to adapt to her new life.  (Just like Esperanza.)  This book was also really good for theme.  My students were able to make so many connections between the two books. I was actually amazed.

While they were in the middle of reading his book, the kids found Paint the Wind in our classeoom library.  I was only planning to have them read the two books, but they were eager to read another Pam Munoz Ryan book.  (I love their eagerness to read.)

Paint the Wind was also about a little girl of hispanic decent who was forced to relocate and had to adapt and adjust to the changes in her life.  They were immediately able to identify this common theme.  This book is good for teaching kids to follow multiple story lines.

Finally, my kids saw an ad in this book for Stealing Freedom.  Luckily I was able to find this novel set in my school's bookroom.  Although it was an easier reading level I knew they would love this book too.  And I was right.  This book also focused on change in a young girl's life.  More connections were made after reading this book.

Through all these books, students were able to see how similar themes are developed differently.

As a culminating project they are researching Pam Munoz Ryan to see if they can find out why she has the tendency to write novels about girls who must relocate and figure out how to adapt to the change in their lives.

Over the past couple of months, I have grown to love Pam Munoz Ryan and I will definitely use her books in future years.

What books do you love to use with your small reading groups?  Link up with Jessica from Ideas by Jivey to link up and share.