Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I like your style...fall, family, and football

Hehehehe...  look at that...what a way to start the week! My kiddos really "like my style."  :)

It has been an eventful week, and I am a little later in my blogging than I usually am. No worries though...as usual, we are working hard on any number of amazing things, so this post will be a hodge podge of goodies for you.

Have I told you how much I love reading my kiddos' Reader's Notebooks? I have no doubt that I am repeating myself, but I just can't help it! Yes, it is an all consuming job at times, but boy does it create a strong connection between my readers and me. Sometimes they make me giggle, and sometimes they make me cry. Sometimes they make me frustrated, and sometimes they make me think. All of these things are the reasons that no matter how consuming it can all be...I LOVE this part of our reading workshop, and will not give it up. :)

Can you tell what we are revisiting in our classroom?! Whew...messy kiddos! We spent a few moments of our morning meeting activity cleaning up after ourselves. Personal responsibility for our surroundings is just not much fun sometimes, but we will keep on practicing until we get it right! 

This is one of my kiddos using an audio book during reading workshop. If you have not checked out AudioBooks.com, you really should as soon as you can. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my AudioBooks.com!
I listen to books more than I do radio, and it has become very helpful to me in the classroom as well! I cannot even express the amazing books and narrators I have listened to lately. 

This little sweetie has earned 5 foot prints in her walking club! She is so proud!

Mrs. Whitt and I bought some sweets for our little sweetie with the broken arm. Hoping for a quick recovery for her!

See this! Whoo Hoo....this is my book-jumper finishing a book...without my nagging! I think we have found her niche in books!  Yes...this makes me smile!

Look at my precious girls! I just love getting a visit from former students. Friday night I stayed a bit late to plan for the upcoming week since I knew I would not be making it back over the weekend. As I worked, I got a message from my girls asking if they could stop by to say hello...our hello turned into a 30 minute visit!

It is Red Ribbon Week! Today was Tie-Dye day...I didn't manage to get a photo of my kiddos, but I did get one of Mrs. Whitt's cuties! Say peace out to drugs!


We are finishing up The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White, just a little behind schedule. The kiddos have truly enjoyed this story, and as we get closer to the end, the less they want me to stop reading. 

See my chunky attempt at a trumpeter swan... it will become the background for one our our Trumpet of the Swan anchors. We can only hope that most of his chunkiness will be covered once we finish the book. 

We have finished a perfectly creepy seasonal read! It is one of my all time faves...and no, I don't want to hear about how much I repeat that statement... this REALLY is a FAVORITE! Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac is a reluctant reader transformer! I can promise you that every year I have read this, I have pulled a boy or two (or three) into the magic of reading!  I have something else to share about this completely awesome and unforgettable folktale. I secretly love that the first chapter creeps out my kiddos. Now, please don't jump to conclusions and think that I am into frightening small children (usually ;). No matter how many ohs and ahs and oh-my-goshes and hows ~ they never, EVER want me to stop

We were sad to say goodbye to Molly, but we were all eager and happy to join the Mr. Terupt's class in Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea. I will be sure to share how the kiddos react the further we get into it. We are really enjoying so many different points of view as each chapter is narrated by a different character.

Well....told you it would be a hodge podge of information!

Now on to my delay in posting ...

This weekend we were kissed by fall, football, and family.

We enjoyed a wonderful visit from the grandparents, Poppa Joe and Grandma La. To just say that we had fun would be an understatement. It had been entirely too long since our last visit, but we made lots of great new memories and took tons of cute pics. I cannot wait until our next visit!

As usual...I will have to say goodnight...I am chomping at the bit to get in and finish the end of Allegiant by Veronica Roth! So close to the ending....I can't stand it! So with that, happy reading!

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Science exploration and lots of great reading

Hello sweet friends... I have been slow getting to the computer for a post today... but here I am! :)  Our short week flew right by us, and we did have quite the successful parent teacher conferences! I always enjoy spending time with my kiddos and their parents. It is fun to watch the kiddos show off their work. We were also lucky enough to have a large selection of books available for our students to pick up before or after their conferences. How fun is that?! Free books! I had a hard time keeping myself out of the big library to find some new additions to our classroom library.

Both classes worked hard to get out a few examples of their work

I am sure I have said it before, but I will say it again...I love the education blogging community! There are so many amazing teachers that share so many amazing ideas!

Thursday morning I woke up and perused my Bloglovin' feed. Michelle at The Teaching Tribune shared her post about Read and Review, a Kagan structure. I have been to many Kagan workshops, but this structure wasn't familiar to me for some reason. She promised plenty of smiles as I watched engaged students.

She could not have been more right! Knowing that we were reading a short nonfiction text to accompany our read aloud, Trumpet of the Swan, I jumped at the chance to give this structure a try. I loved every moment of it, and even more, when the kiddos and I came back together for closing discussion, they expressed how purposeful and helpful it was for them to work together in this way. I have NO doubts that we will use this again! 

Be sure to check out Michelle's post at The Teaching Tribune to find out more. 

The kiddos have been working hard (and having a blast) in Mrs. Whitt's class. Their explorations in science have been too cute!

Students worked together to create their own glue...these are the successful examples of glue, holding up beans. 

After reading Jess Makes Hair Gel by Jacqueline Barber, the students had to determine which ingredients would best make glue.

Below, the kiddos are looking at states of matter as they investigate baking soda and vinegar...look at that face. :)

Lots of great work happening all around...

I have been doing lots of my own reading...it has been a while since I shared. 

Again...many different genres this time. I loved some more than others of course, but they were all great reads. 

I listened to the audio version of Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea, but it was so wonderful that I had to buy my own hard copy. Oh my goodness....I cannot wait until it comes in, and I am seriously thinking about using it as a read aloud this year. LOVED it!

Ann Hite's The Storycatcher is now one of my fave ghost stories! This one is definitely for adults only. Shelly and Faith and all their ghosts make for such stunning story telling! I loved all of the strong women in this story. I will definitely be looking into more of Ms. Hite's work very soon! 

I have no doubt mentioned my love for Neil Gaiman's work as well. I just can't get enough of his modern fairy tales...so I read two more just recently. Stardust...(yes I know, again...where have I been to not have read this already, but better late than never) was one that I could not put down! I do love a happy ending!

Odd and the Frost Giants was a quick and amusing little read. Check out the book trailer....

Lots of great reading... here is my reader's notebook and examples of think marks. The kiddos enjoy looking through it here and there for ideas. 

Well, with that friends, I am off to watch some Walking Dead...so glad it is back on. ;)

Happy Reading, friends!

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

4H Camp and Homecoming :)

What a beautiful Friday we had at 4H Camp! I just LOVE this field  trip. The C.A. Vines 4H Center is part of the Arkansas Outdoor School (AOS) and offers such fun experience-based activities! This was my ninth year to attend, and I loved it just as much as the first time.

Our kiddos participated in archery, fishing, canoeing, and rock wall climbing. Watching my sweet students experience some of these things for the very first time always makes me smile, and the students that have the hardest time sitting still in a classroom seem to learn and share the most. Such an awesome opportunity for them to shine!

Be sure to visit our Facebook page to see all the great pics we took during our visit. 

Vilonia had their homecoming this weekend. After all my 4H fun, I came home to watch our football team win our homecoming game. With all the injuries this year, I could not be more proud for them to win that game. 

Tonight, my boys are at their Homecoming dance. Love my handsome boys!

Haha....my boys and
their serious faces!

Well, that is two posts in a row with little academics...I will have to get back to some hard work soon! :) 

Happy Reading, friends!

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