Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday Smorgasboard

Happy Sunday! Today's post is an assortment of random things I thought I'd share. I hope to be sharing more regularly soon. Sometimes life just gets busy and other things are more important. :)
My students love the graphic novels that I've added to our classroom library. All of the graphic novels were free with bonus points from our September book order! I loved The Babysitter's Club growing up. The graphic novel has been a hit so far. I've tried really hard to love the Amulet series. I'm not quite there yet, but my students LOVE it!
We really celebrated Pop Open a Good Book day and that was a lot of fun. Pajamas, popcorn, read aloud's, extra reading time, what's not to love? I shared my favorite book as a young child, Wake Up, Sun. Clearly, it's been well loved.
In Social Studies, we are about halfway through our Roaring Twenties unit. I love teaching history and have enjoyed all of our units so far. 
We just wrapped up our unit on figurative language. I always enjoy teaching it. I used these two read aloud's when teachings similes and metaphors. 
I had to leave early on Veteran's Day with my son not feeling well, but my substitute read one of my favorite books, America's White Table. LOVE that book.
On a personal note, I've enjoyed a less stressful school year and the beautiful scenery around me lately.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Book Review: Christmas in America

I was recently contacted to do a book review of the picture book Christmas in America by Callista Gingrich, illustrated by Susan Arciero.

I really liked Christmas in America. In the story, Ellis the elephant travels back in time page by page and learns about Christmas in America at various stages of American history. It touches on:
  • settler in Jamestown
  • the colonists in Williamsburg, Virginia
  • American Revolution - crossing the Delaware River
  • George and Martha Washington at Mount Vernon
  • Lewis and Clark expedition
  • Andrew Jackson at the White House
  • Civil War soldiers on the battlefield
  • pioneers traveling along the frontier
  • Teddy Roosevelt and his wide, Edith, at the White House
  • World War I troops overseas
  • Calvin Coolidge as he lights the first national Christmas tree
  • 1920's, Great Depression
  • World War II
  • Apollo 8 astronauts as they orbit the moon
Being a Literacy and Social Studies teacher, I LOVE the integration this book provides. When I taught 4th grade in South Carolina, I taught everything from early colonists to Civil War. Now that I am teaching 5th grade, I teach the latter events. This book will be GREAT to use in the classroom this Christmas. It'll be great to review previously learned topics and a good sneak peek for future units.
I also love that this book talks about God in a few places throughout the text. On the page about the pioneers it states, "They spoke of an infant, so tender and mild, born in a manger, the holy Christ child." I love being able to share my faith with my students and I love that the author chose to put that in the book.
Here are some photos of several of the pages throughout the book.

 I would definitely recommend Christmas in America.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Popping in today to join in on Farley's Currently series!
I'll be back soon for a book review and to share what we've been up to in 5th grade!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Vocabulary Fun

Good morning, friends! This Saturday morning is one of those that I, crisp air, laundry is going, candles are lit, the lamps are on, ahhhh!
I wanted to pop in today and share a vocabulary game I use in my classroom to review our words. It's an easy game to use and the kids love it. I draw student names (from old fashioned popsicle sticks!) and if they want, they come up to the front of the room. I place the vocabulary crown on their head and then attach a vocabulary word to the crown. They are not able to see what word I put on the crown.
On the board, I have a list of all vocabulary words. We have 10 in each unit. They call on their classmates to give them the definition, hints, and examples of the word.  

Those students who don't want to come up and be "crowned" can still participate by giving out definitions, examples, etc.

What fun games do you use to review vocabulary?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Week in review

We had a wonderful week of school last week. I just LOVE my new school!
If you didn't see my post about generating student excitement, click HERE to go to that post. Students came back to this CAUTION sign! 
Last week was our first Scholastic book order and I was SO excited at the amount of books my students ordered. We still have two more boxes coming! WOW!

Last week we focused on making connections and the types of connections readers make.
I recently introduced our reading graffiti wall to students and I love to see quotes begin to appear on it! LOVE this!

In Social Studies we learned all about immigration and used our USA Studies Weekly newspapers as an additional resource. I love teaching history!
I'll be back in a few days to share some amazing books I've read lately!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

CAUTION: New books!

A few weeks ago we had Fall Break and I was able to label and organize 20+ books for my classroom. I also purchased about 10 new (to us) books for my classroom.
I knew that I wanted to generate excitement with my students so I created this CAUTION sign!

I purchased black fabric from Hobby Lobby and caution tape at Target in the dollar spot (with the Halloween goodies). When students came back to school after Fall Break, they found our library like this: 
Y'all, they were SO excited! We previewed the new books before adding them to the library and they were SO pumped!
You could also do this when a Scholastic book order comes in, which would be another fun way to generate excitement! 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

October Currently

Happy October! September seemed to fly by, didn't it? So far all we have experienced in October is rain. It has rained for days and days on end. 
Most of mine are self explanatory so I won't get in detail about each one. :)
Happy October, friends!