Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Very quick post to let all of you last-minute planners (like me) know that my entire store is 20% off today! Go grab yourself a quick treat and have a Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I'm having a flash 20% off flash sale in my TpT store today! Snatch up some treats!

And if you've already spent WAY too much money on candy, costumes, and other fun, I have a great freebie for working on main idea. Plus it's mostly fall themed, so you could even use it tomorrow or next week instead. Sorry, no picture. Apparently when I made this, I just threw it together quickly and was done.

I just learned this morning that I get to help carve pumpkins in 3rd grade. Eek! I'm a little scared of using knives, but maybe I can get some fun pictures!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Truths - Creepy Stuff

Why not post three days late? Who's really counting anyway? Tomorrow's going to be nuts (the kids were already crazy today), and I like this topic. We're talking about things that creep us out this week. I'm just going to jump right in and keep this short.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My plans for the week (and where to find them)

We have been BUSY with some Halloween fun this week, so I want to share a few things I'm doing in my classroom to celebrate while reviewing reading!

Sleepy Hollow [lit bundle]

I love a good spooky story, and one of my favorite to do with fifth grade is The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I got this pack from forkin4th last year which includes a version that is more level appropriate for my kids. I like that it still has a good amount of words that they are unfamiliar with. We read the story yesterday, and then split into groups to do a character analysis for Brom Bones and Ichabod Crane. Today, I had them compare the two men and predict what happened to Ichabod after his encounter. I read over them today and made comments. Tomorrow, they will actually work on a sequel to the Legend and focus on giving details. I can't wait to see what they come up with and will try to remember to take pictures!

FREEBIE: Bats {Reading passage with Common Core Aligned Qu

For fourth grade, we're doing test-taking strategies this week with a GREAT freebie I ran across from the 24/7 Teacher. This packet has some great questions for review, and the kids enjoyed learning some new facts about bats!

First, I had the kids make headlines for each paragraph. Since there wasn't much space on the paper and they take their benchmarks and SOL tests on the computer anyway, I showed them how to record the headlines (or stop and jot) on a separate sheet. They did a pretty good job overall, but I have a good idea of who needs more practice on this.

I took a picture of the headlines up close, but it didn't work for some reason.

Once they finished reading and making headlines, they answered the questions provided and highlighted it in the article. I'm making a big deal about proving your answers because these are the kids who need to the MOST!

We've already been doing a lot with bats for third grade in the past few weeks, but tomorrow I will be reading Nightsong! They're learning about animal adaptations in class, so we will discuss how this relates to factual information about bats we have read in other books. Then we'll talk a little about the author's craft. I can't wait to share this book with my very first group!

Finally, I want to leave you with a picture of my door that I finished when I didn't have my camera phone. I finally took this picture last Friday. I think it's fun!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Super Sleuths Blog Hop #2

This is a blog hop, and you are at the second stop! If you just started on my blog and want to go to the very beginning (so you don't miss ANY freebies), click on the image below to head to Carla's blog.

Along this journey, you will learn about various reading strategies from reading coaches/specialists ranging in grade levels. You will also be able to collect freebies at each stop AND enter for a chance to win a special prize at the very end. So get out your magnifying glasses and gloves, and start collecting!

 Drawing Conclusions/Making Inferences

If you've followed me for a while, you may know that I LOVE a good mystery! Growing up, I read Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew, Mandie...if it had a mystery title, I was going to read it. Last year I started creating little "cases" for my kids to solve. These are great for drawing conclusions because the students have to use the clues given to solve the "crime". They're my own little nod to Encyclopedia Brown's short mysteries. I give just enough clues for the student to figure out the mystery, but they aren't so obvious that students get it immediately. They have to really investigate.

Sometimes I will hand out copies and have students highlight important information. Sometimes we leave it all on the Promethean board and dissect the information as a class. But students HAVE to give evidence, and that evidence HAS to be factual. When I did these in 5th grade last year, we talked about "circumstantial evidence", where students would add something like "Well, she MAY have done..." - which I found out from my hubby isn't exactly right, but it sounded more investigator-y. I wouldn't have been corrected if Steven wasn't a Criminal Justice teacher. Anyway, that doesn't count because we're ASSUMING. Using factual evidence builds a stronger case and keeps us from wrongly accusing someone.

I created a new freebie which I just added to my stores yesterday. This link will only take you to the free item until the hop expires, so make sure you grab it quick and tell your friends to stop by the hop! 

This is now a paid resource, but you can purchase it in my TPT or TN stores!

Now that you've learned a little more about drawing conclusions, you're ready for my clue. On your form, record the letter...

Red Letter I

Thanks for visiting today.  I hope you'll enjoy my unit with your students, and if you'd like to keep informed of upcoming events from our group, please follow me on Bloglovin!

 I appreciate your interest in reading instruction and wish you a wonderful school year. Now, on to the...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Teacher Fitness Thursday: Motivation

Today is the second month of Teacher Fitness Thursday, and I want to talk about motivation. Who or what motivates you?

Love this picture I have on my Pinterest

I know this has been an issue for me recently. I have actually gotten down to a number that I like, but there's still a lot of "muffin top" that makes most of my pants unflattering on me. I'm not exactly happy with my shape because I can't actually buy bigger pants since my legs (and butt) are back to being skinny. It's not proportionate, and it eats at me.

When I started my weight-loss journey about 2 months after having Keagan, my sole motivation was getting back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. It helped for a while, and I was slowly able to wear most of the tops and dresses again. I had mini celebrations when these items fit and when I could actually button pants from before (with my overhang, but still). I've been able to do that for a while, though, and I've struggled to find new motivation. I think that's why I've hit a lot of rocks where I just give up and stop working out for a season (like right now). My motivations aren't deep enough.

What I need to focus on are positive people who are becoming stronger and healthier even if their body types aren't perfect. I know I'm too hard on myself, but the truth is that I shouldn't just give up on workouts just because I'm not seeing the body image that I had before. Honestly, that was more of a teenager body anyway, and I don't need that! I should embrace my curves while trying to tone and define them a little more.

Some positive people I like to follow:

Mama Laughlin: This girl has had two kids and lost a whole heck of a lot of weight! She's very honest on her blog and shares the good and the bad. Right now, she's pushing herself even more and actually training for a bikini competition just to prove that she can. Do I have ANY desire to do that? No. But props to her for the confidence she has found and is spreading to others through her blog.

The Biggest Loser in general: I just really love this show! It's more than just a competition. It's a life-changing event, and I have so much respect for the coaches, "contestants", and everyone else involved with the show. They do so much good, and I have cried multiple times watching it. My FAVORITE contestant from the show is definitely Danni, the winner from last season. She just has such a positive attitude and really works hard to stay healthy.

Before, During, and After Blog: Bethany is actually a personal friend of mine from elementary school. She had a baby near the end of the school year (taught high school math in DC before deciding to stay home this year), but she continued with CrossFit through the ENTIRE pregnancy! Seriously. This is a picture of her at 8.5 months. All I wanted to do when I was pregnant was sit on the couch and eat whatever I wanted. Now she also shares about how she handles being a new mom and the real struggles with losing weight after baby.
Pull apart rings

I'd love to see what inspires you to get up and get active! Maybe we can help each other come up with more ideas. I know I could use a few more ways to help me actually get out of bed and pull out my workout DVDs. 

Confession: I didn't end up working out yesterday. My excuse? They are painting the inside of our house, and we don't have any of our blinds up. Who would have actually seen me working out at 5 am? Nobody probably. Maybe the garbage men? But now I can't do my workout in the living room (where our only TV is) because we have furniture in the middle from the kitchen. Guess I need to find other ways to be active at least until our downstairs is finished. Shopping trip tonight? Maybe!

Oh, and don't forget that tomorrow is the big day for our Super Sleuth Blog Hop. You won't want to miss it!