Sunday, August 24, 2014

Our First Week is in the Books!

Yes...summer is over. Not only do I have to remember the day of the week, but oh my...I have to wake up to an alarm! Those that know me well know that this is certainly something that is NOT in my wheelhouse. Goodness...there were a couple of pretty violent snooze punches this week. 

Ah well... early or not, I have genuinely enjoyed our first week back! Every year I think that it is just not possible for me to love what I do any more than I do, and every year I am proved wrong. This new round of kiddos has me excited for all the possibilities. It is going to be an awesome year, and we have certainly started off productively!

As always, we launched our Reading Workshop with a huge, and frankly quite messy, book frenzy! Stacks of books were given to each kiddo - this is when I love my huge library. Each stack contains books just below, comfortably within, and just above their reading levels and lots of their favorite genres, subjects, and authors. Watching them make their final selections and conferencing with them clues me in to just how well each kiddo is at making appropriate book choices.

Garrett checking out blurbs to create his
"to read" pile in his cubby

Stacks of "to read" piles in we conference and work
together on reading, adjustments will be made to help kiddos
continue growing and motivated in their independent reading
Of course, my ultimate goal is to get them reading and responding to the books they love as quickly as possible.... AND to do as much of that as possible WITHOUT unnecessary interruption from me.



I am a big believer that kiddos DO NOT get nearly enough uninterrupted independent reading throughout the day. So I definitely try to give them as much as possible in my room. It is always my goal to guide each student as unobtrusively as possible, but we do need time to talk about our reading as well. 

A quick round of Mix-Pair-Share to discuss
our book choices :)

I certainly couldn't launch a crazy book frenzy
without my awesome new librarians...
not sure if they know the enormity of the task
they have agreed to take on :)

Our writing workshop is launched right along side reading workshop... getting the kiddos comfortable and established in the routines and procedures of writing workshop can be challenging, but we are on our way to some fun writing!

We created our writer's notebooks!


Some of my favorite personal notebooks

And our heart maps...



Of course I had to read some of my favorite picture books....


This year's kiddos were overwhelmingly impressed with the engravings of Barry Moser in What You Know First. Such a beautiful book!

We had a surprise visitor in our first week new Marine stopped by to say hello! He took a few minutes to talk to the kiddos and answer questions. So proud of him!  They seemed to get a kick out of it, and they had some great questions for him. 


He stopped by after visiting another teacher at our local high school... this sweet, sweet lady had the opportunity to visit the MCRD in San Diego and small worlds of small worlds, she was able to meet and eat lunch with Justin. After not hearing from him for months, she called and delivered precious news about how he was doing in bootcamp. I will forever be grateful to her for such a simple act of kindness. :)

I also had a couple of former (and present lol) kiddos come back to visit me after school. They were totting little sister around with them as they visited teachers. The expression on his face is cracking me up, and that is not even HIS little sister...she belongs to the boy on the left....haha. 

I am sure you will all be surprised, but I made a stop by my fave book store this weekend. Whoop whoop! Ah... the feeling of peace that comes from walking into a good book store! It's like coming home!

Well...even more surprising... I found a new favorite picture book.

Little tidbit here...I am a sucker for a picture book that started as a song... I have quite a few, and I just can't help myself when I find a new one. 

Jon J Muth did an AMAZING job painting this beautiful song by Bob Dylan. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! Oh...and it has a CD... happy dance! I cannot wait to share this one!

I also finished reading the sweetest and most skillfully written little book. Sheila Turnage has such a beautiful way with words, and more than once I caught myself stopping and rereading a certain part just to wallow in the magic of it. It is no wonder that it was a Newberry Honor Book, and I cannot wait to read it to my kiddos. I am in love with Mo Lebeau and all of her southern stubbornness! Such an unforgettable character!

I guess that's it for now, my blogging peeps. I will say goodnight until next time.

Happy Reading, friends!

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