Friday, March 14, 2014

Five for Friday {Linky} Spring Break Edition

I haven't posted in a while because the week before Spring Break was chaotic and then Spring Break was here! These last 2 weeks have FLOWN by. Here's a super brief summary 5forFriday style of what I've been up to..

Our last week before Spring Break was only 4 days, thanks to a "snow" day. Then we had Open House on Thursday night and my grade level planning day on Friday. The week blew past with several things not getting accomplished on my to-do list. It was kind of a bummer. I had every intention of doing some reader's theaters to let my kids analyze drama before the break (something that would keep them AND ME entertained!) but being out of the classroom for 2 days didn't allow for that. Hopefully we will find time in the coming weeks but we have officially hit the home stretch before our state testing (only 2 more weeks) and it's time to put the pedal to the metal. [In TX, 5th graders have to pass to go to the next grade level so it's a ton of pressure for the kids and teachers but I am trying to stay positive! We haven't done much "test prep" in a benchmark and that's it...because I wanted to make sure I taught the content as in depth as possible.] Anyway, that brings me to #2
I decided when we get back to school Monday, I'm going to teach some "test taking strategies". I looked all over Pinterest and TpT for a collection of strategies I liked and I compiled them to make this foldable. 
I used pieces of this pin from the Savvy School Counselor and the RELAX acronym I found here. I plan to go over general strategies on Monday and then on Tuesday, my kids are going to make an accordion foldable using tips found in this awesome download I got for free from TPT. Then we will spend the rest of the week in stations called "Put It Into Practice" for fiction, nonfiction and poetry texts. If it goes well I'll give more details later :)

One of the things I started within the last 2 weeks was a book study lead by one of the coordinators in our district. We are reading Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. It's very interesting so far. My principal is actually going to have our entire faculty read it over the summer. The basic premise [so far] is that people have to choose their mindset. A fixed mindset is when you believe you have reached your "peak"...whatever ability you have (intellectual, creative, athletic, etc.) can't be improved...a sort of "it is what it is" take on life. But a growth mindset is when you believe your basic qualities can be cultivated through effort. If we teach our students that their is purpose to their failures, that it's totally okay (and even) encouraged to not experience success immediately, then they learn to always seek more. We need our kids to know that their intelligence and abilities don't ever "max out" and we as teachers need to show them the "goodness in failure" (to take a line from my friend, Demesha). Anyway, it's worth a read!  

I love, I mean LOVE, jewelry. Specifically Stella & Dot jewelry. I got this package in the mail and it made my whole week before Spring Break happier. 

We made the drive to Cincinnati...all 16 hours of it. Jackson was over it on the way after we hit Tennessee which was only 7 hours in...yay. Then when we arrived, we grabbed dinner and went to my sister-in-law's house, where my hubs and I promptly BOTH became super ill. As in stomach viruses and food poisoning. Mine was over in 24 hours and my poor hubs endured almost 48 hours before we took him to the doctor and got some medicine. I am so thankful that my in-laws took care of Jackson while we were down for the count. Then, (praise the Lord!) Jackson was AWESOME on the way home. He didn't cry until the last 30 minutes but I can handle that! All in all, not the best trip to Ohio we've ever had BUT J got to meet his great-Gram and I think everyone else was spared our near brush with death virus.

So, there you have it...a super brief summary of the last 2 weeks. I hoping for a more restful rest of my Spring Break because, thanks to all the ridiculous snow days, there are no more little breaks until Memorial Day. (uh, what?!) Happy Friday!


  1. Always great to meet a fellow Texan! Where in Texas are you from? I'm from the DFW area but am currently living and teaching English in Korea.
    Southern Fried Teachin’

  2. Happy spring break!!! I have four more weeks - ahhh!!

    My Carolina Classroom