Friday, November 30, 2012

 Festival of Lights Begins

Just taking a breather....this year is so busy!  Trying to keep afloat and blogging about it is difficult.  In the past three weeks, I have gained 2 students, 2 students moved, and got another new one Tuesday.  I want a "No Vacancy" sign put on our reader board.

Anyway today we started preparations for our Festival of Light.  During the beginning of the week, we read and researched other countries who have light festivals.  We will be working on making posters to present them next week.  We also finished our first lanterns today.  The hanging lanterns are the easiest to do without parent help.  The other ones are more tricky.  Start with a balloon.....students thought blowing up a balloon as morning work was awesome! 

Next cover your balloon with tissue paper dipped in liquid starch.

 Hang them up and let them dry....
Next week, I will pop the balloons and attach a wire hanger.  Then they will be ready for the tea lights.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

 Thankful for Books

The teachers in my life who taught me to read I am forever grateful.  I am thankful for books....and like Teach Mentor Texts, I have complied a list of the books I am most thankful for.  These are books, I remember as an independent reader.  Many picture books and non-fiction books shaped me as a reader.  In no particular order, her they are:
Adventures of Tom Sawyer-Read in 7th grade and I remember feeling so smart for reading it:-)  And my lit. teacher let us read anything we want, and we wrote back and forth in reading journals.  I can still remember some of the things she wrote.
Persuasion-My first Jane Austin read.
The Peach Keeper-After finishing this book, I called my aunt to tell her she had to read it.  Turns out she had just finished reading it also!  Sarah Addison Allen is one of my favorite authors!
Switcharound-Once my brother went to the library and checked Switcharound out for me.  He said it was because there was a brother and sister and baseball on the cover.  Anyway it got me onto the world of Anastasia Krupnik:-)
Ender's Game-My first introduction to Science Fiction.  The movie version should be interesting.
Charlotte's Web-Can. Not. Read without crying.  How does one put into words how amazing this book is? it is memorable.
The Spellman Files-My aunt got me hooked on this series as well.  I cannot read the book version, but the audio books are awesome and this series is a riot!  (Although, after recently finishing the most current book, I am VERY VERY upset with Lisa Lutz!)
Goose Girl-Shannon Hale is such a story teller!  Loved this book and the rest of the of the books I recommend most.
Redeeming Love-A retelling of the book of Hosea, set during Gold Rush-ish era.  Also makes me cry every time I read it.
Though None Go With Me-Don't know what I love about this book, but it is one of the few I re-read regularly. 
The Christy Miller Series-Favorite series during middle school/high school.  Me and three other friends would all read and discuss!  Some of the quotes/quirks from this book still crack us up.
All-of-a-Kind Family and the Betsy Tacy books-My mom read them as a girl, so I wanted to as well.
Jacob Have I Loved-No idea why I loved this book growing up, but I did...and still do.

I am sure as soon as I post this, I am going to think of more books I should have included.......
Happy Thanksgiving,

Monday, November 19, 2012

 It's Monday! What are You Reading?

Thank You, Thanksgiving....and furlough days.  Pajamas and books are all I need for the next 7 days! 
What I Read Last Week:

What I Plan to Read This Week:

That should put a dent in my pile!  Go visit Teach Mentor Texts and see what everyone else is reading.
Happy Monday,

Friday, November 16, 2012

 Made It!!!!

It is officially break!  It could not have come at a better time!  What a crazy stressful week!  Not sure what you all do when it feels like, as a teacher, you can do nothing right...never mind that you spend hours working for and loving other people's children.  I would love to share my favorite video for when I am having my teacher pity parties-Matt Damon is my hero...and his mom too!
If I knew how to create a linky party, I would start collecting this goose-bump creating videos.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

 Book Character Costumes

Today was  MUCH better than yesterday!  Only one minor alert for throwing rocks....a much more 2/3 grade offense!  One more day to go, then ten days of pure reading enjoyment.  Who has book suggestions!?

While on Pinterest, where I hangout regularly, I found this inspiring quote:
This is SO me.  I have never been and don't imagine being a worksheet teacher.  Blogland, for the most part has reinforced this thinking and given me tons of ideas for creating student learning and engagement that a worksheet could never do.  I am so thankful for the world of blogging!  One of my blogging friends who I think fits this quote so well is Miss Trayers over at Not Just Child's Play.  She is so good at pushing kids' thinking....lots of brain wrinkling going on!  A while back she did a blog post about book characters and what they would chose to wear for Halloween.  So can read about it here.  So I had my students think of a character they had recently met while reading and had them draw them in their Halloween costumes.
Ramona as a tube of toothpaste, because she once poured the whole tube down the sink.
Big Nate as a zombie, because he likes to dress scary and scare his teacher, Godfrey.
Ereth (from the book Poppy) as a salt lick, because he loves salt more than anything.  (except his life.)
Another Ereth as a log, because then everyone will leave him alone.
 I have a group of kids who LOVE the Poppy books:-) 

You should go check out Not Just Child's Play and say hi!  You might get some brain wrinkles for yourself!

Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

 Who Stole my 2nd and 3rd Graders....and Some Reading With Meaning

Where to has to be a full moon, because the ridiculousness that went on today can only be explained by that.  Today we went to OMSI (our local science museum).  We got on the bus...we arrived....we experienced a really cool presentation about weather....we got on the bus.  I can call the day a success, right.  Oh no...all kinds of crazy!

Crazy #1
We get back to school and a parent, who chaperoned, has something she really needs to tell me.  As I attempt to herd my 36 chickadees back to our room, I am thinking this is not a good time and she should just send a note.  I figure whatever she has to say has something to do with her, "do-no-wrong" child.  Oh boy was I off.....She informed me that two students sitting near her on the bus put a coat over their laps and were doing something inappropriate with their hands....that were under the coat!  I remember people doing stuff like this on band trips....when I was in HIGH SCHOOL.  My class is 2nd and 3rd grade. 

A couple weeks ago, my counselor informed that another girl in my class is upset because "__________ (insert name of boy in above mentioned offense here) dumped her for __________ (insert name of girl in above mentioned offense here).  And that is not even an upgrade from how coll she is."  Her words, not mine!  All three of them have, "I love _________." covering their writing folders.  How did I end up in high school drama?!?! 

Crazy #2
Next...I go to recess to get my class and another student has received a minor alert for kicking someone and telling them they smelled like butt!  (Part of me finds this hilarious...btw)  So add that to the list. 

Crazy #3
My  new student (who I think has quite a few issues, but is too new for me to have it all figured out) spent her day coloring hearts all over her jeans with a sharpie.  I mean ALL over from bottom to top...if she had more time, I think the back would have been completed as well.

So more minor alerts to fill out and send home.  I few of you asked about these, after the Cuss Club Debaucle post.  I don't have a computer edition.  Our district prints them on carbon copy, so we can keep one with teacher, turn one into the office, and send one home.  I did try and take a picture as a springboard for creating something similar for your use:-)

Happy Hour is calling my name!  But as I reflect on the day I can say: 
-I did not loose anyone.
-My students (the other 32 not involved above) were really on task and listening and following directions.
-We learned a lot of cool weather facts during the presentation
-I still do really love my class:-)
-Two more days til a week of Thanksgiving break!

Oh and since you have made it to the end of this venting post....did you know that Debbie Miller has got a 2nd edition of Reading With Meaning coming soon.  Reading with Meaning and The Book Whisperer are two of my favorite reading resources!  Until they get rid of the online book, if you click on the book, you can read the new edition online.

Happy Wednesday,