Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Peek at my Week: Government & Dr. Seuss

This is my first time linking up with Mrs. Laffin's Laughings for a Peek at my week! I love the idea of seeing what everyone has planned for the week.

I left school Friday afternoon super stressed about what I was going to do for Reading and Language this coming week. We took our State Writing Test on Wednesday and finished our George Washington's Socks project this week. With only two weeks left until Spring Break, I really don't want to start our new novel unit yet, and my kids need a break from essay writing. After reading through a few blogs this weekend, I finally got inspired and found a perfect solution to my Reading and Language Arts dilemma.

Social Studies: We are continuing our look at the Constitution and formation of our government.
M: Preamble- After a small dose of School House Rock to help them remember the words, they are going to break into groups with a small part of the Preamble to discuss and bring back to the class.
T: Separation of Powers and Checks & Balances - Once again a School House Rock event.
W: Three Branches- In the past I have used my Government Tree to teach this concept, but my tree got a little damage from having a box fall on it. So this year we will be using a graphic organizer instead. I also love to use the "We the People" series to help teach this concept.
Th: National & State Powers: The "We the People" series has a great lesson on this too. We will use it to pull information from in order to create a Venn Diagram.
F: Federalists & Anti-federalists: We will be creating posters in support or opposition of ratifying the Constitution.

Reading: We will be continuing our Vocab Warriors this week with the Midas set. We are almost finished with the Vocab Warriors. My students are so excited because we are having a party at the end for all students who made an 80% or higher on all the tests. It's still a few weeks away as we have to finish the next unit and have at least a week for redos, but they have been working all year to get to this point.

 I saw this amazing idea at Teaching in Room 6 for using Dr. Seuss books to teach upper grade skills. You can view what she did and get the resources for Free at her site. I will be using The Lorax as my example throughout the week as the students work on their own books in small groups. I love that this lesson hits on Literal Understanding, Main Idea, Theme, and a fun end of book project of creating their own cover. My students will love this activity, and it will be a great skill review.

Writing: As I said, my students just took their State Writing Test, and I promised them they would not write another essay for a long time. With that in mind, I LOVED the free lesson at Ideas by Jivey for using a Mentor Sentence from The Lorax. This will be my first time using Mentor Sentences, but I am excited to see how it goes. I think my kiddos will love getting to create their own using the Mentor Sentence as inspiration.

With all that said, we just got a call that school is cancelled tomorrow. Sigh. I guess I'll be doing some rearranging when I know for sure how many days we will be out next week. Oh well, here is a peek at what was supposed to be my week. :)

Currently March

It's finally March which means Spring is almost here! A new month in my blogging world means it is time to link up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for this month's Currently. I love to do these and see how I change or in my case stay the same from month to month.

Most of these are pretty self explanatory. I really love snow, but I'm over missing school and crummy roads. We have been lucky and only missed six days this year compared to many of you, but still enough is enough. I miss my flip flops!! It is also really weird to hear it snowing and then thundering at the same time. I'm not sure my mind can really process the two different noises at the same time.

 With the weather being so cold and roads icky, we have decided to lock ourselves in for the day. Luckily last weekend we went grocery shopping and got enough for at least another week or two. No reason to leave the house! I really should clean the house, but it was such a busy week and I need to just breathe and do my own thing. 

If I had the money I would hire someone to help me with all the things I don't want to do. I love to cook, but I could go the rest of my life without having to clean the kitchen, bathrooms, or do laundry. There just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to get everything done.

On the last one you are supposed to guess the question, but I'll give you a hint. It is the number of days since I started a new journey in life...

Here's to a wonderful March for all!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Five for Friday(ish)
Well it's not Friday, but I also haven't blogged since the Summer so being a day late really isn't that bad. After a pretty crazy half of the school year, I'm back and had a great week!

After being sick all weekend long, my hubby and I finally got to celebrate Valentine's Day Monday evening. I can guarantee we will always remember our first Valentine's Day as a married couple. Below are the beautiful flowers he sent me at work.

Monday was President's Day and my students spent some time learning about the leadership traits of one of my favorite Presidents: George Washington. After attending the Summer Institute at Mount Vernon a few years ago, I am obsessed with GW! I wish I could spend all year just teaching about our first President.

For the last three weeks the students at my school have been bringing in money for our Pasta for Pennies campaign. The money all gets donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Friday was our final day and I had a student very quietly hand me a $100 dollar bill. To say I was shocked was an understatement. Most of my students come from homes that don't have much to spare at the end of each week. I was touched by the donation. Later, I found out from his mom that the $100 was that student's OWN money. He had been saving for an X-box, but after seeing a commercial on TV the night before about a child with cancer, he decided he wanted to donate it. I sat at my desk and let tears fall down my face and thanked god for the way he had just touched me.

Monday my mom surprised me by walking into my classroom with a shopping cart. I had told her a few months ago when seeing a shopping cart at the end of some random parking lot, that I really wanted one for my classroom. I don't know about you but I always seem to come in the door with my hands full of stuff and have to make several trips back and forth to my car. I never thought in a million years she would find a store to buy one. My students and I are so excited! They kept finding random reasons this week to use it. Way to go mom!

My students have spent the last few weeks preparing for our Black History Month Wax Museum. The kids each picked and read a biography of a famous or influential African American. They then competed research using the school databases in order to create a poster and paragraph about their person. On Friday, my students dressed as their person and presented their findings to the other students who visited their museum. They did such a fantastic job. I am one proud teacher!

We have our state writing test next week. Fingers crossed my students do their best. Hope you had a fantastic week too!