Friday, February 19, 2016

Book Talk Thursday-ish: Creature Features

Hi everyone! I'm going to just stop apologizing for not posting as frequently and accept that this is just going to be the new norm for me. At least until Caffrey is a little older and I can get a better grasp on time and life and all that stuff. And in my defense, I started this post yesterday, but I didn't have a chance to finish it until this morning.

I did, however, want to share a new book that I discovered. Every year, a committee selects books for the Virginia Readers' Choice list, and they publish the next year's list in February. I happened to get my hands on the latest list last week and IMMEDIATELY started hunting down all of the books. I have 7 of them in my possession now and two others on hold at the library.

Andrea is featuring one of the books on her blog today, and I wanted to link up with one of my favorites here: Creature Features: Twenty-Five Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do.

Click on this image to see other great books!

This book is perfect for questioning, AND it ties right in with science for an animal adaptations lesson. I used it as a model to ask "why" questions, which I feel like my students always struggle with. In my class, we use the Fountas & Pinnell LLI system, which is a kit that includes leveled books to quickly get students reading on grade level. The fourth grade pack has a series called Intriguing Animals. I pulled a few of those books and split my students into groups. Then they looked through the books and found unique characteristics about each animal to come up with two questions and answers. Then they selected their favorite and shared it with the class.

To extend this activity, I would love to give the students a picture of a strange animal and have them generate a list of questions to then research online or in a book later. There are so many possibilities, and I love the fact that the lesson is cross-curricular!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Currently a new year?

I cannot believe it's already 2016! The year ended in a bit of a whirlwird around here, but I'm looking forward to fresh starts and more time watching my sweet little boys grow into handsome young men.

Listening: Keagan and Caffrey did NOT sync their naps today, so I didn't get my usual quiet time. Although fortunately Keagan has become pretty independent, and I managed to sneak in a short nap while Caffrey slept. That is, until Keagan decided to play "Polar Express" with his train whistle. Thankfully he only woke me up!

Loving: I struggled a little with this one to be honest. It's been a bit crazy here lately. My husband and I had to travel back to MS (after just getting back from a trip at the beginning of break) after my grandmother passed away. I know it's better for her and I'm glad that she is no longer suffering, but it's made for a busy and stressful break. Despite all of that, I have an amazing family and have the pleasure of being mommy to the cutest little boys. Ever. See?

Thinking: Since this has been the first day we've been able to be home and have nothing that HAS to be done immediately, I have taken advantage of it. Of course, we do need to get some groceries, so it's probably time I at least brush my teeth and become somewhat presentable.

Wanting: Like I said, this "break" was way too busy, and I need another break to recooperate. At least Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is just around the corner. And I heard whispers of snow?

Needing: My boots literally have a hole in the bottom that I've temporarily covered with duct tape to keep water out (since it's been monsoon season everywhere). Did you know duct tape doesn't stay in one place on the bottom of shoes? I just haven't had time to find ones that are worth spending my money. Maybe I'll do that before going back to school,..

One Little Word: This was an easy one for me. Ever since Caffrey was born and we moved, I just haven't been able to find my "new normal". Everything has been hectic, and I want to find a routine. I need to get some kind of schedule going and just go with it. My hope is that it will become easier as Caffrey gets a little older and doesn't need to be held all the time.