Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Reading in the Wild--You GOTTA read this!

Ok, I have been a total blogging slacker...but for good reason. I have been completely absorbed in reading. Seriously. I am reading this book

for a book study with several reading teachers, interventionists and librarians around our district and it has impacted me immensely. Not only have I received no less than a thousand ideas I want to implement or adapt for my own classroom (seriously...a thousand), it has reawakened the wild reader in me! I have read 3 books for pleasure in the past 2 weeks. Now, that may not sound like a lot but I have an 8 month old, I'm co-directing a play with 5th graders AND it's the end of the year. See, now you can be amazed. :)

This is an absolute MUST READ. Go get it now

Ok, now on to the fun stuff I've been reading: 

These books are GREAT! I was not expecting them to be this good and frankly, I only read them because one of my students insisted they were awesome. (He was right, but please don't tell'd totally go to his head!) Besides funny (sometimes cheesy) little side jokes, the actual story is really great. I highly recommend these books to upper elementary kids. 

Ok. This book. Seriously. Just. I can't even explain. This book was such a surprise. I ordered it on a whim from Scholastic and I read this beauty in 2 days. My kids were dying to know what it was about and why I wanted to have extended independent reading time. It's about this girl who accidentally meets a boy via email--he sent his email to the wrong address (not exactly the best book for teaching internet safety, but you've gotta read it!). I would love to give you more info or a more complete summary but I promise, after the first page, you will be hooked. My partner teacher (the Math and Science teacher) has been cursing me the last two days because she has stayed up late reading it. I totally think it will be a movie soon. 

And now, I'm reading this: 

My partner teacher from last year (I seriously love that I have other book people that teach with me!) texted me last weekend and insisted I start this book immediately. I read the first 150 pages in two nights, then one of my terrible, horrible, no good students RUINED the ending for me. Ok, my student isn't terrible and horrible, she's actually awesome, but that stinker ruined the book for me, because she was telling me how someone else ruined the ending for her. Life is so unfair sometimes. {sigh}
I still want to finish it because I am not a book abandoner by nature and it is really good so far. Plus, if I want to see the movie, I have to read the book first! :) 

So, that's the reason for my blogging absence. Books. I mean, that's an acceptable reason, right? 
I'm curious: Have any of you read any of Donalyn Miller's books? What'd you think? What was your biggest "aha!" from them? AND, what are you wild readers, reading? 

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Friday, May 9, 2014

5 for Friday: Teacher Appreciation Style!

Sometimes we as teachers get so bogged down in our to-do lists that we forget to tell each other what an amazing job we are each doing. So, my Five for Friday this week is going to be a list of all the things I think teachers do that are amazing and deserve appreciation. I'm going to count DOWN this time... 
Thanks for all the extra time you spend trying to make sure you offer only the best for your kids. Thanks for the hours spent skimming Pinterest looking for fresh new ideas (seriously!), thanks for the time you spend with impromptu parent conferences as your kids get picked up every day, thanks for the time spent doing paperwork, analyzing data, reading professional books, grading papers, planning intervention, etc. Thanks for your time. 
Thanks for planning lessons which help your kids not just pass a test, but help them become better readers, better writers, scientists, mathematicians, critical thinkers and better human beings in general. 

Thanks for spending your own money on everything from classroom decor, books, supplies and even the occasional lunch for a student. We all know you don't get paid enough to buy everything you want to purchase, but the fact that you would skip that much needed Coke at lunch so a student could have a hot lunch is appreciated. 
Thank you for not getting frustrated when everyone else fails to recognize how amazing you are....all the time. 

 Above all, thank you for loving your students like they are your own kids...because I honestly believe that 100% of the teachers at my school love their students.. Maybe not all the time, especially on days where there is a full moon :), but we love our kids. We are proud of them, sad for them, disappointed by them, excited for them. They ARE our children. The other day, one of my students said "Hey, Mrs. have 43 kids!"...Another student added, " have all of us plus baby Jackson!". It sounds cheesy but it totally melted my heart. 

So Happy Appreciation Week my fellow teacher friends! You are amazing, you are appreciated and you are loved. Have a great weekend! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

5 for Friday AND Currently

I'm doubling linking this post with Doodle Bugs Teaching and Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade (2 blogs I totally love!) 
It's already May. Seriously?! Where has this school year gone? Oh yea, I spent 10 weeks of it at home sleepless and frazzled  cuddling with my precious baby. Anyway, I'm totally digging Farley's design for this month's currently.  
Listening: Pretty self explanatory. I typed up my Currently stuff while students were working on their CARE books and just listening to the conversations they have with each other is super entertaining. They are often slightly creeped out amazed at the amount of "stuff" I know about their personal love lives (I could write a whole separate post on this topic...) but I love to give them "independent" time and just sit back and observe. :) 
Loving: Personally, global warming has served me well this year. I loved our super cold winters and I'm not complaining about pleasant temps in early May. Hit me up in August and I'll be hating the heat, but it's Texas and it's what we Texans do..complain about the heat but make fun of other people who can't hang with it. 
Thinking: May is one of my favorite months. It starts off with my hubby's birthday on the 8th and ends with mine on the 31st. And I love birthdays. Seriously love them. 
Wanting: I'm not really a shopaholic but it does make me happy during stressful times. Buying new shoes or a purse can make my week. I need a good shopping trip. 
Needing: Listen, I've been trying to eat better (less fried foods, etc.) but I am CRAVING a Zaxby's chicken salad. It's my favorite fast food place (don't tell Chicfila) but there is only ONE within an hour of my house. Texas needs more Zaxby's. PLEASE.
Surprise: Go visit this fabulous blog. It is for the art teacher at my school, Alex Alkire. We went to Elliott together (and are both back to teach at our old school!) and she is just fabulous. Not only is she a talented art teacher who the kids LOVEEEEE but she is just a cool person. Super talented. AND she and I trick 90% of the kids at our school into believing we are sisters... :) Check her out!! 
come to the Art side

OK, on with the 5 for Friday: 
I think this technically happened last week but we found out our positions for next year. (At our school, there is A LOT of moving around with looping and such so you never really know where you will be...I mean, within reason. I both love and hate it. haha) Anyway, I will be teaching 5th grade reading next year for all of the monolingual classes and I get to teach Gifted and Talented again! It is totally one of my passions so I am excited! 

 Also last week, we went on our 5th grade field trip. I love field trips. I love planning them and everything. This year we went to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. It was really great. The Indiana Jones exhibit was AWESOME! Everyone got a tablet and got to participate in this field trip with the tablets and it was just so fun. We could have spent hours in that one exhibit but we had a packed day. I was super excited because they were going to have a Wizard of Oz exhibit and had advertised the ruby slippers and everything BUT we got there and it was a replica of the slippers (lame...) and that exhibit was geared toward younger kids but they did have cool stuff in the gift shop! :) 

 You can totally tell that we have passed the majority of the state testing at our school. I came out at 5:15 the other day and my car was the only car in the parking lot, with the custodians. #endofyearsyndrome

 Last, but certainly not least...look how big my cutie is getting. 

Phew, that's it. What a long post but it catches you up on all the juicy details of my life this week. Have a great weekend! Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin'! 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Wordless Wednesday, on a Thursday

I'm joining up for my first Wordless Wednesday Linky! (On a Thursday..better late than never!) 
Whatever it takes to make text marking during Reading Intervention more would think these kids have never used highlighters. :)