Friday, October 17, 2014

Five for Friday {Disney Edition}

Happy Friday, teacher friends! Today I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday linky party, except I am not talking about anything school related. Why, you may ask? Well, I have been at home with a sick little boy (stomach bug) most of the week. So our week has consisted of yucky stomach bug symptoms, the doctor, and lots of cuddles on the couch.
The only other thing going on this week is some DISNEY planning! That's right.....
While I rarely share anything personal on here, I chose to today for a few reasons:
  • Disney is more fun to talk about than vomiting.
  • No school pictures from this week.
So, we are a LONG way from our trip, but y'all, I am so excited! So, let's take a break from our regular 5th grade happenings to talk Disney!
We were able to book our dining this week so with the help of our travel agent (which is free, I might add - Mouse Tales Travel) we were able to get into all of the restaurants we wanted!
I have been purchasing items for Disney from various places (mostly the Dollar Tree) so I thought I'd share a few items! We plan on going to one night parade while at Disney and I've read to buy and bring your own glow sticks. I'll still buy regular glow sticks, but I found these Mickey glow wands that will be perfect!  

I love a good souvenir and always love to buy them on trips! I've heard Disney souvenirs can become quite expensive and I've read some people buy souvenirs ahead of time and bring them along. Being that I love a good souvenir, I am going in the middle with this one. I love the idea of Mickey (or any other character) bringing a gift to our room each day while we are gone with a personalized note (that I'll create and bring). So when I saw these figurines at the Dollar Tree, I had to get them. My thought is that I will create letters from each character and while we are gone, that "character" will leave the note and toy in the room. Something like, "Dear E, I am so glad I got to meet you at Chef Mickey's last night! I hope you have a fun time exploring Disney World! Here is a little toy for you to take home and play with to remember our fun time together. Love, Mickey". We will still buy some souvenirs, but these will fun little souvenirs each day!
We know lines can be long at Disney and I've read to bring something for children to do while waiting in line. E loves to dry and write letters and words so this Mickey dry erase board will be great! Does anyone know if this will be allowed on the airplane? I wasn't sure about the dry erase marker...??
One of our character gifts will be this fun picture frame for Mickey and/or the whole gang! We'll have it for the last day with a note along the lines of, "Dear E, we hope you have had a magical time at Disney! Here is a picture frame to print and frame our picture together!"
{one extra!}
A plain, blueberry waffle is about the whole thing my little one could eat this week. He requested a Mickey waffle (after seeing one online while we were looking at Disney stuff) so this mama made do and created one! He LOVED it!
How many Disney World lovers are there reading this? Any advice/tips?
* I will be back to my regular 5th grade posts now.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Five for Friday {October 10th}

Happy Friday, friends! I am usually so happy to see Friday because the weekend is near, but I have been on Fall Break this week so today it means I'm closing in on the last of Fall Break! 
I didn't get Fall Break in my previous district so I have thoroughly enjoyed my Fall Break this year! It was a much needed and has been a breath of fresh air!

Right before school ended for Fall Break, I received this sweet acrostic poem from a sweet student. It made my day!
For Fall Break we spent some time with family back home. The week prior to going home I saw an advertisement of a yard sale of a teacher who was getting out of teaching. I contacted her and asked if I could come a week later if she had a lot left. It turns out that she did! She gave me a GREAT deal on the picture books she had left and I ended up getting all of them! I got around 500 books for approximately 12 cents each!
Here were some of my favorite finds: a collection of Fall and Winter books, Jan Brett books, and Magic School bus books.
Here is another picture of some of my favorite titles!
I also scored two other GREAT deals. I purchased this straw dispenser (to use as a pencil dispenser) for $5.00 and a book scanner for $10.00! What a steal! 

My son and I enjoyed painting some this week on a rainy day. We painted handprint acorns and a fall tree. He also painted a rainbow!
Yesterday we toured a school that we are hoping my son will attend next year. I was thoroughly impressed with it and would LOVE this to be our school home. I am planning on applying as well, but we are working on one step at a time. This picture sums up my thoughts and prayers for now. I prayed before we went and I am putting my trust in God that if this is where he wants either of us, he will help us in our journey to get there.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

International Dot Day

Have you ever heard of International Dot Day? I hadn't heard of it until it was introduced to us at school last week. International Dot Day is inspired by Peter Reynold's book "The Dot" and is a celebration of creativity and courage. We were told about the book and asked to do a craft project in our classrooms using coffee filters.
Since we didn't have the book, I found a YouTube video of the book so I started off by playing the video to my class. It is a story of Vaski who was inspired by her art teacher to "make her mark and see where it takes her". 

We had a great class discussion of what the story meant and I was pleasantly surprised that my students realized the theme of the story. We talked about encouragement, having courage, and making our "marks" in the world. We used these free task cards to further our discussion.

Afterwards each student made a craft for Dot Day. We handed coffee filters out to each student, let them draw/make their dot, and then sprayed it with water. We let them dry before turning them in to become a school wide art project. They are now hanging in the cafeteria in front of the windows and look SO nice!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Student Showcase Night

This past week we had Student Showcase Night. It was basically like Open House all over again, but with more of a focus on what the students have done for the past month. I decided to have stations set up so that my students could take their parents through the stations themselves. I liked the idea of stations and thought it worked well. Unfortunately, I only had FIVE students from my homeroom attend and ONE student from another homeroom attend. I have twenty five students total. Even though attendance was low, I still took a few pictures to share my stations with y'all.
1) Make an estimate o how many pieces of candy are in the jar. The family closest took home all of the candy. There were 144 pieces total and two families guessed 150 so we shared the candy with both of them.
2) On the Smartboard I had a review game for our novel "Steal Away Home". For some families, they realized their students needed to STUDY so that was a good eye-opener for some! 
3) Computer Station - Students could show their parents how to take an AR test or work on Reflex Math. I did have a couple of families write down their child's username and password for Reflex so that was a positive.
4) Letters of Encouragement - We have ITBS testing next week so parents could write their students a note of encouragement.
5) Be a helping hand - donate disinfectant wipes and/or tissues. Only ONE hand was taken. Sigh. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Five for Friday

TGIF, friends! I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday linky. And I am actually linking up on Friday! I'm usually a day late to the party. We really wanted to go to a football game {what's better than Friday night football?}, but it's raining, thundering, and lightning. 
On to Five for Friday... 
This week we completed our monthly STEM challenge which was to grow the largest creature. We were provided all of the materials and allowed the creature to sit in water for 5 days. Our seahorse grew quite a bit!
This week was our Scholastic book fair. I just recently ordered from a Scholastic book order so I didn't shop too much at the book fair. 
I did grab two Pete the Cat books that I didn't have. I love Pete the Cat!
We had Student Showcase Night this week. I'll share more on that tomorrow in it's own post, but here is a sneak peek. Unfortunately, I only had 5 of my homeroom students come. 
Next week we have ITBS testing so I've had to cover up and take down everything. It seems like I just decorated everything!
I love this quote and it really stood out to me this week. I have a challenging group this year and I have moments where I am just worn down. I am praying that through our moments, my students see God through me.  
Happy weekend! 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Steal Away Home

So today I am at home with a sick child - my son has strep throat, but thankfully, he is his regular happy and playful self. While I have a minute, I thought I'd share about what we are doing in Reading.

I love to incorporate Social Studies into Reading. Last year at my previous school, we were able to order any and all class sets of novels we wanted and we had GREAT units mapped out that matched the sequence of our Social Studies units. It went together beautifully.

We didn't have any of those novel studies at my new school, but they did have a class set of novels that I had never heard of. The novel is "Steal Away Home" by Lois Ruby. It is a GREAT book to use in correlation to the Underground Railroad & slavery era.
We are about halfway through the novel and the students seem to LOVE it. We typically read aloud one chapter per day and focus on a mini lesson skill from the CAFE menu. During Read to Self, students choose their own book on their level.
Some books that we have incorporated with our novel study is the picture book "Follow the Drinking Gourd" by Jeanette Winter. It was another new book to me, but it went along so well with one of the chapters in "Steal Away Home".
Another read aloud that would go well with "Steal Away Home" is "Henry's Freedom Box". In the story, Miss Lizbet Charles tells the story of Henry Brown (which is "Henry's Freedom Box").
Even though I am not the Social Studies teacher, I love incorporating Social Studies into Reading.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Five for Friday on Saturday!

Happy Saturday, friends! I am so happy it's Saturday! I'm in my pajamas on the couch with my little man beside me watching a cartoon while he eats breakfast. Life is good! 
I have been a bit absent since school started. Without going into much detail, it's been a tough month and will be a challenging year, but I am trying to focus on the positives and not spread any negativity I may be feeling.
I work with a great group of ladies who are super sweet. My birthday was this past Thursday and they had cake and fruit for me during our meeting before school started. They also made sure my husband would be home so that I wouldn't be by myself on my birthday. They are sweet teammates! 
Without further ado, here are some of my positives for the week! 
{one} I am in the process of grading about 75 narrative essay's (eeekkk!) and I have several GREAT writer's! I love the great vocabulary they are using, the way they capture their readers attention from the introduction, and their descriptive details. I have several very talented writers!
One thing my school uses in a "Grow and Glow" notepad. Glow is where you write a positive about their writing and grow is where you give feedback about how they could grow as a writer.
{two} I am loving my Erin Condren and have been on the lookout for decorative tape and calendar stickers from the Dollar Tree. I finally found them! Every Dollar Tree is sold out of the tape and they have some CUTE designs.
{three} We worked on Grandparent's Day crafts this week and everyone should be receiving theirs in the mail today! I LOVE this cute, simple, and useful gift. I found the original idea HERE.
{four} Although I don't teach Science, my students had a Science project due this week and I thought this one was SO cute so I had to snap and share a picture of it! 
{five} I saved the BEST for last! Yesterday I officially booked our Spring Break trip! Come on April!! 
Have a fabulous weekend!