Friday, November 21, 2014

Five for Friday before Thanksgiving


Well, I'm still sucking it up at this consistent blogging thing, but I'm still trying. Today I'm home with a sick little boy, so this was the perfect time to at least do a little Five for Friday. Although I'm not exactly sure what I've done that's actually worth sharing.

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Last week, I went to a baby shower for one of my friends and co-workers. We've been having quite the baby boom at work since last April (7 babies born already and about 4 more on the way before the end of the school year). It's been so much fun! I should actually take a picture of our baby wall at work. Yes, wall. It's a little crazy!

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I was ALMOST finished with my Thanksgiving on Thursday unit with my 3rd graders, but I guess we'll have to wait for chapter 10. That was going to be today. We have school Monday and Tuesday, but I'll be doing running records for a teacher who is out until Christmas unexpectedly. At least that means that my short week will be even easier (although possibly a little boring).

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We read Balloons Over Broadway in fourth grade this week. Have you ever read that book? It's about the puppeteer who dreamed up the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. The illustrations are beautifully done, and it's a neat story about a man that most people don't know. The kids loved it, and it's a definite new favorite of mine!

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I know Thanksgiving hasn't come yet, but I have a confession. Steven and I are both obsessed with Christmas and are early decorators. We haven't put everything up yet (and I still have my fall decorations outdoors and plan on fully honoring Thanksgiving), but it makes me smile to see the tree and other few decorations. Oh, and I may be teaching Keagan some Christmas songs already...

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

I decided to watch Catching Fire again during Keagan's nap because I'm going with some friends to see Mockingjay Part 1 tonight! A little bummed that they split it into two parts and I'll have to wait to see the end. Catching Fire is so well done, though. I forgot how much I enjoyed it! Hoping Mockingjay is half as good. Anyone else going to see it?

How many of you are off for break now and who still has a few days left like me?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Five for Friday: November 7


Like I've said before, last month was a whirlwind, and I almost never got on here to post. I'm trying to be better this month, and these weekly linkies are perfect for keeping me on schedule.

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This was our little guy's 3rd Halloween and definitely the most fun! He's obsessed with Ghostbusters, so we worked hard to get his costume as close to the real thing as possible. I was a little bummed because I actually ordered a flight suit from ebay, but it ended up being too small. His daddy made the proton pack, and Keagan has had a blast with it! I've been having fun eating all of his candy...

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This week was a little crazy because we had Parent/Teacher conferences on Tuesday. The nice thing about ours is that we don't have to come in until noon, but then we stay until 7 so parents have a better chance at catching us. I was able to get all of my plans done for the month, so I was thrilled! It didn't even bother me that I got home well after dark.

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Magic Tree House - Thanksgiving on Thursday literature unit

I was ready to take a break from interactive notebooks with my 3rd graders, so we are spending the month reading Thanksgiving on Thursday. I have the questions set in my store, and the students are able to work through it with me slowly. It will also give me a better idea at how well they are understanding stories holistically.

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Fourth grade has been working on text features. I'll be honest: I'm not a huge fan of teaching them because there really aren't many creative ways to review it. You just have to practice finding them and using them. I created this simple scavenger hunt page and brought in some nonfiction books on hurricanes and tornadoes, and I think the kids enjoyed it.

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With fifth grade, we used the story Knots on a Counting Rope to discuss context clues and make inferences. I'm a little bummed that I didn't search earlier because I just learned that I could have had MR. FEENY read it instead. How cool would that have been? Here's the Storyline Online video (or the link if it doesn't work) for your enjoyment, though!

How was your week?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Currently November!

October was a crazy-busy month, and I was a terrible blogger. I think I posted a grand total of 3 times the entire month, and two of them were at the very beginning. November should be calmer, and I hope I'm not as absent. I do promise I've been keeping up with blogs, though!

Fortunately, Farley's blog is a great way to turn a new leaf and start the new month. Can you believe it's already November? I'll be honest, I'm SUPER excited! I love the Thanksgiving/Christmas season with all of the food, family time, and BREAKS actually built into the schedule for the first time since school started.

Listening: Since today is Election Day, we always have parent/teacher conferences. The best part is that conferences are from 12-7, so I get to sleep in! Of course, that really didn't happen for me today because the husband was getting up early for work. Still, I have been to the gym, cleaned, and am now relaxing a little before going to vote and head in to work. I was a little bummed, though, because I forgot Kelly and Michael don't come on until 10, right before I need to head out to vote. Oh well, Today Show will do...

Loving: Tuesdays are usually my day to get cleaning done (we have small group on Monday nights and kind of leave the house a little in a wreck), so it's been nice to get some of it done this morning while I have the house all to myself. I've already vacuumed and cleaned the kitchen. Now I'm working on laundry and may even clean the bathrooms a little before I go. Yay for a clean house!

Thinking: My hair has been in a towel for almost an hour now. It's probably time to go dry it...

Wanting: Cleaning hasn't been bad at all, but it would be nice if it would just take care of itself. Especially putting the laundry away.

Needing: Teachers at my school don't get a break until Thanksgiving, and I'm a little exhausted! Today helps because there are no kids, and I don't have too many conferences. Still, it would be really nice to have even a one day break somewhere in October to break things up. I heard the "s" word in the weather forecast, and I wouldn't be disappointed if it happened. As long as it's on a school day.

Reading: I guess my book is appropriate to go along with the rest of my currently. It's honestly been a good start to the year, just busy. The girls in my small group have been reading through this book, and I would HIGHLY recommend it!

It's all about how God frees us from all of these to-do lists and expectations. He just wants us to have faith in Him and trust in His word. You should check it out!

Okay, I think it's time for me to go finish getting ready now. Are you off? Do you have kids at school today? Or is it a work day for you? I'm curious how the rest of the country does Election Day.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Sunday Scoop

Holy cow. You know it's bad when even your husband (who has been known to say you blog too much) points out that it's been a while...sorry, guys! I haven't forgotten this little blog! School has been a little busy, and our family has been going non-stop enjoying fall and everything it has to offer. It's quickly become a close second to summer now that I have a kid and can really enjoy everything about it.

I'm just going to jump in with a Sunday Scoop, and hopefully I won't have such a huge gap between this post and the next. I have some school things that I really do want to share. Sometime.

Have to:
I'd been doing so well this year making sure my lessons and copies were all done by the end of day Friday, but not this week. I have most of my plans done, but nothing is copied yet. Hope there isn't a huge rush for the copiers on Monday...
I don't know how many of you have to do this, but we all have to make "Smart Goals" and put together portfolios for our teaching. I know what mine is going to be, but I keep putting off writing it. Oops!
We have conferences on Election Day, so I need to call some parents and set up times.

Hope To:
It was so much easier to get to the gym over the summer. I'm hanging in there and at least going once a week, but I would like to get back to 3 days. Saturdays have been so busy that I usually miss my chance then, and Steven and I have to rotate times in the mornings.
Keagan was/is supposed to be a Ghostbuster for Halloween this year. I thought I had it all taken care of after finding a flight suit online. BUT I tried to put him in it for a fall festival last week only to discover it was too small. Boo! Now I need to see if I can just find a khaki button down shirt to wear with khaki pants. The boy will be heartbroken if he can't use his new proton pack daddy built...

Happy To:
I've been having a lot of fun with Amanda's scavenger hunt, but I still have almost 20 items to find by Friday night. Time to get to work!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Five for Friday: It's October 3


First, can I just say that it's October 3?

Oh, I love that movie! It's crazy to think it's 10 years old, though. If you're female and haven't seen it, you should. It really captures the essence of girls perfectly and has some great life lessons!

But moving on, it's also Friday! I've been busy this week, but in a good way. I'm really living up this fall thing, and I think I'm also just thrilled to be out of the month of September finally.

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This week, my fourth graders were working on main idea. I decided it was time to pull out ReadWorks for some practice. I love that you can search by skill and/or grade level to find something related to your current study (these only have about 5 questions), OR you can select multiple skills for 10 questions. It's great for a little test prep! I actually ended up doing some of this with all three of my grade levels.

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On Tuesday, I went to my second Pinterest party and am VERY proud of my first painted pumpkin! Unfortunately, on the way home, it rolled around and scratched off some of the paint. I haven't had time to do the touch-ups yet, but it still looks pretty good sitting on our porch! Plus Steven didn't hate it and complain that it was too girly. I need to pull out my fall wreath this weekend to match it.

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You may have seen me post about my husband and son's obsession with Ghostbusters. Well, Krispy Kreme has 30th anniversary doughnuts all month, so we had to make a trip out there on Wednesday to get some. 

This little boy cracks me up because he came out of the bathroom and told me, "Mommy, I got slimed like Peter Venkman!" Oh dear, I definitely need another girl in the house with me...

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Fifth grade has been learning about types of conflict, so I read them one of my big finds from last year, Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine.

I love finding books they've never heard of, and I actually just ordered a copy of this one for myself. The girl tells these crazy lies, and it ends up causing more trouble than she can handle. It actually covers all four types of conflict also (nature, society, man, self), so you can have students identify each type within the story. The students always enjoy it.

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The fair is in town, and we managed to get tickets from Steven's sister that were only good for Monday-Thursday. We had a lot of fun looking at the animals, eating fried oreos and funnel cake, and walking around. We're not quite ready for rides yet, but they have these cute photo-ops set up. Last year, Keagan and I took our picture "on the roller coaster", so we had to do it again! It's a little grainy because my camera phone isn't great with night pictures, but I still love it.

And I can't get over how much he's grown since last year!

This weekend, we have plans to make more fall memories by going apple picking. Yum...I want some apple donuts!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Currently October with a TREAT!

It's finally October! I feel like the summer months flew by, but September sure made up for it. I know most of that has to do with beginning a new year, but my goodness it seems like it dragged on forever. Do you agree?

Listening: I have FIFTY-TWO kids that I am working with in grades 3-5 this year, so my schedule is jam-packed. When I finally reach break at 2, I'm exhausted. Not to mention today is Thursday. Not Friday.

Loving: The State Fair is in town through Sunday, so we're heading out tonight. I hope the rain actually holds off. Apparently there is a 1,200+ lb pumpkin, and I need a picture with a pumpkin larger than my head for Amanda's Halloween Hunt on Instagram!

Thinking: Yeah...I may start them before I pull kids again. Or maybe not.

Wanting: I love Reese's, but the pumpkins are my favorites. The break between their eggs and pumpkins should be considered cruel and unusual punishment. Really, they can come up for something to fill in the gap during the summer. Beach balls? Swimming trunks? Heck, I'll design it for them even. Maybe they'd give me a lifetime supply?

Needing: I cut them out and then start again. It's a vicious cycle. Right now I'm back to drinking one every time I get a chance. It needs to stop.

My treat: Through tonight and tomorrow, I'm putting my Halloween-themed resources on sale for HALF price!

Halloween Literacy Centers - Comprehension and Word Knowledge

Bats Research Unit

The Case of the Candy Snatcher - an activity for drawing c

Halloween Pumpkin Writing Craftivity

I hope you enjoy them! These are some of my favorite products of the year :-)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tried It Tuesday: Interactive Notebooks

Wow! It's been forever since I linked up with Holly (or tried something new), but I've got something for you today. And, yes, I realize I'm a little behind the trend. Interactive Notebooks!

Last year, our 3rd grade students really struggled with the state reading test, and we have a lot of ground to cover so we can catch up and stay out of the danger zone. So during the big TPT sale over the summer, I bought Erin (Lovin Lit)'s Interactive Notebook set for grades 2-3.

Grades 2-3 ~ Interactive Reading Literature Notebooks *Ele

Y'all, this has been one of the best purchases I've made. It was more than worth the money spent. So far, we have only talked about story elements and retelling/summarizing, but the students can keep up with it and are able to experience success. PLUS this is something we can refer back to all year!

This week, we're working on summarizing a story using "Somebody Wanted But So Then". I read The Story of Ferdinand to them (one of my favorites), and then we filled in the sections together.

Tomorrow, I'm going to have them read another book in pairs and complete a similar graphic organizer. They did well with this one, but I want to see what they can do without my help. We tried this last week with "Beginning, Middle, End", and most of them did just fine.

If you're in the market for a set of notes, I would highly recommend this one. I may even use some of it with my fourth grade students!